How to Run a Half Marathon
Subtitle: You don’t have to look very far for him here. He’s is step one. As he should be.
39 days left but I am not worried. I can use a sword AND outrun the fudgers. Bring on the zombies.
Step 1: Change your stars. Turn 30, fall to pieces, get addicted to a Sci-Fi TV show you over looked in college and grad school because you were taking a silly amount of credit hours each semester and fall in love with a fictional character not because he is hot, although you realize about season five as they are killing him off that he is like Apollo/Adonis hot - how did I MISS THAT, but because he never gives up. Thank you Daniel, for everything.
Step 2: Pick a race. Ok, so I bitch about Virginia and threaten to move to Canada, Spain, Miami and Mexico, but in reality I have a passionate love affair with Richmond. I have to say that having done a few races here now, this is the FRIENDLIEST place to run on the planet, maybe even the universe. (Not that I have gated anywhere to know yet... :p) So, yes, I’m probably not going anywhere, so you might as well come here. I’ll meet you at the party stop.
Step 3: Commit in ink. Sure, the damn race costs $75-$100 and you would THINK that is enough, but really, if you freak out enough you can back out of anything and convince yourself that the costs can be made up by not eating out a few nights or something. You need something a bit more, well, permanent. I suggest a tattoo. Because nothing says commitment like ink that will never go away. Oh, and if you were wondering, I went with a runner on my left outside ankle. Not a mustache and goatee.... (I’m STILL not over that comment LOL).
Step 4: Start training. No jokes here, I went to marathonrookie.com and printed a race plan that matched the number of weeks I had to commit to this. That’s IT. Nothing against those who chose to pay $200+ for the training teams, but like Greek Life in college, I don’t pay for stuff I can get for free. Sorry.
Step 5: Get encouragement, because let’s face it, you’re like the only person you know doing this and there is no one to run with you. Enlist EVERY human being you can. Recruit your twitter army to send Daniel Jackson pictures to you every time you go on a long run. Recruit your Facebook friends to post wall messages throughout the entire process. Have your spouse run your put crew to bring you water and flashlights when the sun goes down as you are 5/6 of the way through your double digit Saturday runs. Get people to write well wishes on your virtual wall, send you messages that you will carry in your bottle. Get your students and family to sign your technical shirt. Mail your last race shirt to LONDON so your friend can tell Michael Shanks what you are doing so he can sign the shirt, give you a message and take the time to give a shit which makes you cry. You need each and everyone one of these people. TRUST ME. Because this is NOT EASY.
Step 6: Have the most AWESOME in-laws in the FRAKKIN’ world. In-laws that get you a hotel room at the Jefferson, the POSHEST hotel in Richmond (I LOVE YOU MARY) and then have same said awesome in-laws take you to the Tobacco Company for the Race Day special (which I kid you NOT was the biggest piece of Chicken Parm I have EVER seen in my ENTIRE life). You need this too, you need a good place to sleep close to the start and a full tummy. Rest well. Tomorrow is a big day.
Step 7: Wake up early. Get dressed, attach your number, listen to Hot Roommate chew out room service because your protein shake is late, hug Adorable Nerd and Fashionista in Training, race downstairs, take coffee from the AWESOME hotel staff who have it ready and waiting for anyone with a race number and walk a mile to the starting line. Meet up with other runners, chat it up, calm your nerves, tweet like there is no tomorrow. Oh my Athena we’re moving. Headphones it. Marathon playlist on. Starting Tweet prepped. Imma make you my bitch.
Step 8: Run like the wind. Holy cow this is soo cool! Like the 10K was cool but this is the SHIT. Notice everything because, since we are in Richmond after all, there be crazy mess. First, I’d like someone to explains the tutus to me because I have run like 8 races in the past year and every time someone is wearing tutu and I am so confused. Note that your former Grad School (Go University of Richmond SPIDERS!) now has a Quidditch team (because of course there was no cool shit like that when I was there). Stop at every water station, you get more thirsty than you would imagine. Slap EVERY child’s hand you pass, EVERY, because it is 8 am and they are up in coats outside to cheer you on. Oh, and DON’T take the gel at mile 8. That is NASTY, like super nasty. Like, I wish I could puke that up nasty but I have to keep running. Instead, wait till you get to VCU frat row. Like the 10K they are giving out beer and people are REALLY taking it! TAKE THE BEER!!! YES, I KNOW it is only step 8, but TAKE THE BEER.
Step 9: Push through the pain. About mile 11 all of a sudden your left buttock decides that it no longer wants to be part of your body no matter the amount of negotiating that you’re doing with it. Seriously ass?! My KNEES are what the doctors have been worrying about and today YOU decide to give me problems. Tweet for help, help will come and keep pushing. Keep pushing. Keep pushing. JUST KEEP PUSHING.
Step 10: There it is and it’s okay to cry. The music around you is finally louder than the music in your headphones, there is a big banner at the end of the hill and there’s your family and you’re tweeting the finish and everyone is telling you to run like hell and as if your friends are psychic text messages start flying in; the announcer is calling that you’ve made it, you’ve finished, run, run, run and cry. Fall into Hot Roommate’s arms (not mine though) and cry. Because you changed your stars. Thank you Daniel Jackson. Thank you Michael Shanks. Thank you Jack(Hot Roommate). Thank you Mom. Thank you kiddos. Thank you to my friends. Thank you to my students. Thank you everyone. YOU have made this possible. YOU helped me conquer it all.
Forget the wine. I am going to get UV Chocolate Cake Vodka.