I ran the uncorked half marathon in New Kent, VA this morning. And pretty early in this one, the race stuck a cork in me.
After an April with big miles, I had high hopes for this race. But I should have known better. Me and humidity, we've never played well together. I try to approach him with kindness, but he never seems to reciprocate. Must be something I said along the way - like, "I despise summer."
I felt the stickyness in the air the moment I stepped out the door this morning. I had a 45 minute drive to New Kent to come up with a reasonable race plan. Instead, I got there and invoked a completely unreasonable one. I took off from the starting line like I was chasing a half marathon PR, and 3 miles later record chasing mode was quickly downshifted, gears grinding and screaming, into survival mode.
Like delirious sweating I'm not even sure I can survive mode.
The good thing that happened was I gave myself plenty of running grace. I threw all expectations out the window, without regret, and embraced one new one. I held onto 16 - today was my 16th half marathon. No matter what my finish time was - the only number that mattered today was 16.
I remembered what I prompted myself with this morning - don't get focused on how much further I have to go; stay focused on where I am. In spite of the suffocating humidity, the course was beautiful. I loved the open fields, the blue sky, the small streams along the way. It was a great day to be right where I was. Every step.
I did take lessons away.
I spent the last month eating crap, to be honest. I stayed constantly hungry running 55 5Ks. I got completely away from a plant based focus, turned to convenience, and today I paid a price for that. Plant based eating means nothing to me other than feeling the best I can feel every day. Well, that hasn't been the case this month. So time to correct course.
I also know it's time to get serious about the 50 mile Georgia Jewel in September. Chances are the conditions will be much more challenging than today. So I need to begin plenty of heat conditioning. That race will be here before I know it. And it will easily be my biggest running challenge ever.
So grace and lessons today. Grace in allowing myself one of my slowest half marathons in a couple of years. Lessons - well lessons don't care about finish times, they just want us to take something away from the experience.
So today I completed my 16th half marathon. Even if I did finish it with a cork in me. 😓
Life is like running.