"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Participant Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon - October 19, 2009


Why runners should NEVER walk a half marathon?

So I it is well known around here that I have been doing diddly shit as far as training goes and had fully expected to forfeit my registration for the Nike Women's Marathon. However, some 1/2 marathon registrations became available and my former run buddy decided to register. I was a little surprised at this since she is, in truth, training less than me and coma patients with conscientious PT therapists are training more than me right now, but I figured "what the hell? We can walk it. How bad can that be?"

13.1 miles is how bad it can be.

13.1 miles of

of watching runners line up and head out for the full marathon you puss-ed out on

of hearing people say, "God, we are so slow we are back here with the walkers!"

of having 20 fucking minutes go by and then finally seeing the next mile marker

of starting in the absolute last wave yet being passed by DROVES of people.

of being passed by droves of happy, peppy people that trained and deserved to be there.

of having the cops move you off to the sidewalks since the course is no longer officially open

Yeah, that is how fucking bad it can be.

I hereby vow that I will never do this again. By this, I mean show up to do an event that I did not train for and have no business being at. Not because I think it cheapens the experience of the event for other runners (fuck that, I am just not that selfless. Did you just meet me?) but because doing the work to get to an event is what makes me me enjoy it regardless how it turns out. Life it too short to spend 4 hours and 45 minutes (yes, a mere 15 minutes slower than my fastest full marathon) doing a fucking, miserable half marathon.

It is marathon season and I do not have a marathon planned. I am a ship with out a rudder. Someone help me.

I figure, if I am going to be overly dramatic, then I should go for it, no?


StephB said...

Alright, RBR, time to get ready for a nice early spring marathon (or half). I've ramped up to 20.08 miles (yes, those .08 miles totally count) from zero in March, so you can do it since you've done marathons (with an "s") before and I'm on my third attempt.

I'm sorry that your Nike race was not as fun as it could have been. But the NEXT race, that will be a good one.

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Okay, if you were willing to walk a half marathon - something inside says you are ready.

Try this - scale things back. Try 10K's for a few months. Or, try shorter Tri's. For me when the thought of doing anything near or over Half marathon distance seems like torture - I fall back to my favorite distance - 10K. Just working on the fastest 10K I can do, eventually perks me back up for the half or more. Kara Goucher went from 10K competition first before marathon comps.

Also try reading a great book on running or watch a doc film on running. Spirit of Running or something like that on the Chicago Marathon. There is also a much too short but really good Nova DVD out there on non runners training for their first Marathon (Boston).

If none of that works? Take a year off. Maybe your body and mind need the time off. Try another sport in the mean time. There is always Botchi Ball, Lawn bowling or curling :)

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

....BTW - I have missed ya. Postings every three weeks doesn't cut it for us RBR fans. We need more! :) Take care.

Diana said...

Holy shit.........LOVE the post. Not for the fact that you're unhappy with your current training regime, but the 13.1 "of's" just cracked my ass up big time. The cops moved you over??? I got pulled over by the cops the other week for speeding.....I was on my bike! Doing 20 in a 15 zone! Love the little town cops and their boredom! Step back, re-evaluate, then suck it up and get at it!! It's in there-find it!

Regina said...

Ok, that sucks. I'm sure you've gotten your fill of the stupid NY Times piece relating to marathons and the plodders place in them. I watched our NYC Marathon yesterday in Central Park. I was inspired by the plodders, the walkers, everyone.

It's gonna be a long winter. You took the first step on the road back to Bad-Assville. Now get off your ass and run bitch run!

There, I've done my good deed for the day. Btw, I'm with Slomohusky, these long periods of drought in between posts is no good for RBR fans.

Kim said...

Wow. That's a 22 minute mile. That's barely zombie walking out there.

ShirleyPerly said...

I once did only a 5K and I couldn't believe how sore my calves and hip flexors were trying to keep up other walkers who'd actually trained for the event. I really only walk very short distances and not very fast.

Maybe talking to a coach about getting a plan for Vineman might get some juices flowing?

Alisa said...

Oh man! You shoulda called me, I was waiting at the finish for a friend to finish the full marathon. I coulda walked a few miles with you.

(P.S. I hope to meet you on July 31st, where I'll be doing Barb's race. I think you are doing the full vineman.)

Carly said...

You summed up my last half marathon. I am with you...I am never ever going to do an event without training. I get too pissy being passed by someone dragging an oxygen tank.

Ordinarylife said...

I totally agree - No training = No event.

Walking is much harder than running it!

And I agree with the above commenter, I missed your posts.

Formulaic said...

Oh Damn! I thought you were funny then I read Carly's comment! Oxygen tank!

That's goood!

Umm....Aren't you coming out for the LV marathon? If not then there is always the AZ marathon in Jan. If you start now you could start slow. Build up easy and stressfree! Plus you'd be able to enjoy christmas food all the more (and really that is the point of training isn't? F-O-O-D!!).

Carolina John said...

well, i guess now you know what happens when you don't train. come on mojo, vineman awaits!

my first half is this saturday, i've been thinking about you a lot lately. and i've been hanging out with calyx harris and donna a bunch lately too since i've moved so close to them. they adore you just like i do.

hang in there girl! luv ya.

Bootchez said...

It's all about your NEXT race . . . I've had a LOT of slumps in a very short running career (and also have a huge lazy streak) and have found that one of the only things that gets me motivated is to pick (and register for) an event, make a whole calendar (or spreadsheet or whatever) of a training schedule, then stick that somewhere where I see it all the time. Somehow this does the trick for me.

Glad to see you posting again, I've missed you!

Missy said...

Yeah, does not sound fun for one second. Suck it!

Calyx Meredith said...

And thus the reason your blog name is not WBW. You are not cut out for that shiz. The event without the prep to get there (even if you could run it) would not float your boat. Now you know. Mojo is likely to follow. Love you chica! (Say hi to former run buddy for us. How has she liked her honeymoon year?)

Stef0115 said...

My opinion: if you are no longer into it, don't force it. Find something else that floats your boat. Life is too damn short!

On the other hand if this is a slump you may just need more time or, as someone suggested, shorter course racing to change things up.

If you do what is absolutely right for you, you can't go wrong.

PunkRockRunner said...

OMFG - Any slower and you'd be walking backwards. I can't take this anymore.

I want my "BITCH" back. The one who made fun of other cyclists, the one with the pink boa at SFM, the one that read my blog (HINT). The one that should think about training for her rematch with 140.6....

You've got my number. Call me! We can run, we can ride but we CAN NOT walk.

Tough love Stacey......

All the best,


Runner Tammy said...

Having recently done an event which involved 1 mile in 1 hour (yes this is not a typo--makes your 22 minute mile pace look like you were hopped up on some speed), I totally feel your pain.

I hope you get back to training and have some great races in the future.


trailturtle said...

Given all of your ranting, it seems like you've found out how to get your mojo back---being this pissed off about not being in shape to do an event has to get you motivated to train and "never do this again!" Nice to see some of the fire again...

IronSnoopy said...

Tips for finding your mojo:
**Go jeans shopping
**Cry when said jeans are biggest size you've ever worn
**Agree to ride with friends you can normally keep up with and then have a tantrum in the middle of a cornfield when they smoke you
**Hint: It's not in a beer, but you can always look there again...and again...and again
**Stop volunteering and spectating and sign the frick up for something.
**Hire a coach to scare the crap out of you and put the fear of God back in your step

Hey, hang in there. You tried the truly lazy, "I don't give a shit" approach and it's not for you. Get back at it!

Round Two, let's go!

Anonymous said...

RBR, it's Justine, i can never remember my freaking Google account and so I must be Anonymous, which I never am. But enough about me.

Aren't you going to focus on speed? Forget marathons for awhile. Try a March 10k(Mermaid is fun) and then take your speed to a half (Santa Cruz is handy) and then take your speed to a full (helllooo Vineman, nice to see you stranger) where you will perhaps see me, yay. Because really, enough about you.

Lindsay said...

do you want to be training long? a lot of other folks here are suggesting shorter races and fun (or is it "fun"?) track workouts. sometimes you need a break from always going long, i know i do. you still have time to get a spring 'thon on the schedule if you want, and run some shorter races in the meantime.

i have learned the untrained-race lesson the hard way too. it definitely sucks! pick yourself up, and get back out there!

saw a sign at the nyc marathon that made me think of you -- "run b*tch run", duh!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

RBR - Look at the current (today's) RW online. You might see something Blue with a door to enter on the front. Look familiar? We miss ya RBR, We need your witt, your humor, and any insight - even the ones on porta potties during races. Get that MOJO back and start running again. Lace em up and go!

Aka Alice said...

I'm thinking you'll find some mojo over the holiday break. That's what usually works for me. Until then, all my mo and jo is sucked up by school and students and other bureaucratic nonsense. GAH!

Here's the bright side for your no-where-near-selfish-self. You just mojo-ed me into picking up my nearly non-existent training for the Las Vegas 1/2 in about a month.

Jane said...

You need to totally take a break for the rest of the winter. Do a gym workout for 30 minutes a day, but fuck this training shit. Don't run races if you don't want to!

Trail Boy said...

It happens to all of us. No training, yet we feel we can line up on race day. Ooops, those miles take forever to walk. Hang in there. Keep your base through the winter. Start training for a half in the early spring. Do it!

Nicole said...

Funny post! It does sound awful.

Also, on the technical side, I've read that walking requires a whole other set of muscles than running, so not only do you go really slowly, it hurts.