I survived the 15-miler, hills and all. I crossed the finish line at just under two hours and fifteen minutes, placing 245th out of 482 runners. I don't see much of a speed career in my future. Despite my modest nine-minute-mile pace, I almost felt like a real athlete running around the city past all those distance markers with a number pinned to my chest, flashing my best this-is-just-a-piece-of-cake smile to all the onlookers clapping or shoving plastic cups of water in my face.
Runners seem to feel a tinge of regret after the race -- usually an excuse about some injury or poorly marked course. I wish I pushed harder that last mile. I'd planned to go all out at the end, but I got nervous, noticing that I was suddenly all alone and fearing I'd be finishing last.
I can't imagine running 11 more miles to finish a marathon. No, I don't see a marathon in my future unless I had a killer training plan and running partner. In fact, I'm thinking of cutting down the running and taking up zumba and swimming. I believe my running career has peaked ... although I might get around to a half-marathon or at least another 10K.
I made one big mistake Saturday -- I forgot my post-run stretch. I was was just soo sleeeepy when we made it home at 10:30 a.m. -- I'd been up since 5:45. I slipped under the covers for a two-hour nap. When my parents and I went for our Sunday hike, my quadriceps screamed with every step, especially when the trail required us to climb up half a dozen ladders over barbed-wire fences. Gnats swarmed my face and buzzed in my ear while we waded through waist-high weeds (doubtlessly swarming with poison ivy and snakes) that made my freshly shaved-and-moisturized legs burn and itch. I wondered if I was really cut out for this outdoorsy stuff as my boots squashed in the mud and I pummeled face first into spider webs.
But I totally am -- because this weekend I'm going camping, white water rafting and zip lining. I'm not worried about bashing my skull on a river rock or slipping out of my harness 50 feet in the air. I'm nervous that my dad and I might kill each other in an argument about hotdog roasting or tent pitching.