Wherein I run the juvenile ‘happy ending’ allegory into the ground.
Given the lack of training and motivation that I have displayed over the last several weeks my goal going into this race was to run at a leisurely pace and enjoy it. Candis had hoped to PR in this race but given that we’ve been passing the same cough back and forth for the last few days it was not in the cards. Seriously, between the two of us we left more phlegm and snot on the Denver Half Marathon course than should be legally allowed. If Denver area runners break out with some kind of epidemic over the next few days it will be entirely our fault.
Candis finished in 2:21:00 (a 10:46 pace) and I managed a relaxed 2:06:55 (a 9:41 pace). This is the first half marathon that Candis had run without me at her side and she is feeling good about the accomplishment despite missing a PR. As for me, I thought about running with Candis again this year, but as is often the case I was more concerned with getting to my happy ending than helping her reach hers.
The temperature at the start was a chilly 50 degrees (burrrrrrr!) so we had to huddle together until the starting gun went off. This kept us sufficiently warm and also kept the other runners sufficiently nauseated. We ran together for a couple of blocks before I ditched Candis and went off on my own. Throughout the course I was a high-fiving, cheering machine. If anyone wanted a high five, I swerved over and gave them one (usually right after I had finished coughing into my hand). If someone was holding up an encouraging sign I thanked them as I went by, even all the people holding the “your feet only hurt because you’re kicking so much asphalt” signs which are both unoriginal and serve only to remind me that my feet are hurting.
I arrived at mile 9 enjoying myself and feeling pretty strong. Somewhere in my head a part of my brain kicked in to gear and ran some quick (and incorrect) calculations. “Hey, if you run the last 3 miles at an 8:15 pace you can still break 2 hours!” And so I sped up, hoping to get my happy ending after all and not realizing that my math was horrendously incorrect or that there were actually 4 miles left, not 3. My aspirations were fugacious (word of the day, anyone?) as I quickly realized that I would not be finishing in under 2 hours. I slowed down and went back to spreading cheer. Mostly cheer, with only a few germs mixed in. So much for my happy ending.