Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day Half Marathon

This one is totally my fault.

Absolutely, totally my fault.

Since the beginning of the 40@40 project I had wanted to do at least one silly run. How silly? A track half marathon. 52+ laps around a track.

Wil was totally opposed to this idea.... and I just tucked it away. Heck, running 4+ times around Green Lake is boring enough, and at least there you've got a bit of variety.

But as we approached the end of the project, I realized that Groundhog Day would be the perfect time to run a track half marathon... and as luck would have it, this year Groundhog Day fell on a Saturday. And for whatever reason, Wil consented to the madness.

We did not have an auspicious start. I had said that we should set our alarm for 6 and get up -- after listening to "I Got You Babe", of course. But I was kidding. Wil, however, got up and 6 and would not hear of getting back in bed. I pleaded with him -- it was dark, the track would still be locked, it was FREEEEEEZING, and could we PLEEEEEEEAAAAASE wait until sunrise?

No. The groundhog waits for no man.

So I bundled up -- two shirts, a jacket, long tights, a pair of gloves. Wil wore pretty much the same stuff, but added a hat (clever boy). We both brought music, but decided not to use it until we really needed it.

We got to the track -- still very dark -- while I halfway hoped it would be locked. Nope -- gate was open. So we walked in, got to the track, looked at each other, and just started running. The time was about 6:30.

It was a good half hour before I didn't feel like we were running in total darkness. We decided to switch directions every three miles -- just to break things up a bit. But, wow.

I started trying to distract myself by marching up laps with years of my life. "Let's see, when I was 9 I went to Indonesia and started 5th grade in the fall. My teacher was Miss Kemp. She had long nails and took a cake decorating class...." But once my school years were done things got a little blurry.

And on we ran. What does that look like? Oh, a bit like this:

Or perhaps like this:

Over and over and over again.

Until we hit the 6-mile point, I kept thinking about how 10K runners do their races on tracks. But we sailed past that point... and decided to start listening to music. I think this was a big help -- for a little while. We arrived at 9 miles relatively unscathed.

But I think the laps, the lines, the boredom were all starting to weigh on us. I began daydreaming about fleeing the track and running out to the lookout and back for the final four miles. Wil quite rightly put the kiebosh on that. If we were doing this -- and clearly we were -- we were going to do it ALL.

When we only had about 3 laps to go, some soccer players arrived. By this point we were absolutely plodding along grimly. I bet they thought we were pathetic. WE thought we were pathetic. We must have looked pretty awful. My hips hurt (Why would my hips hurt?! All the turning?), my hands were cold, and I was just done.

I can't pretend we finished in good cheer. But we finished.

You would look dreadful, too. I promise.

 At the end I made Wil pose with the "3" on the track, and hold up 9 fingers. So this is supposed to say "39" rather than "please don't make me do this again".

How many? THIRTY-NINE!!!!!!

I am told that Phil didn't see his shadow... we certainly didn't. So come on, Spring!

Oh, and this one just makes me laugh. The look on that groundhog's face....

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