Woosh, woosh, woosh; people are passing by the second. I am literally left eating their dust. This being my first race, I was not expecting to win, but I was not expecting 40- to 50-year-olds passing me.
When I began the race I was running with my friends, but when we turned at the first bend, they were long gone and I was left jogging at my own tortoise-like pace.
I could have used some more training before I signed for this 13.1–mile race. Before this semester I had never ran more than six miles in one session. I did not use any of those online running schedules because they were all for five weeks or three months long and I had just signed a few weeks beforehand.
My training schedule was very unpredictable; one day I would run three and a half miles, five the next day and six the day after that. A week before the race I doubted that I could do it, so some of my friends and I mapped out a half marathon run and ran it. Two or more days a week I would also cross–train by swimming laps in the John W. Hart Building pool with the BYU–Idaho competitive swim team. This is a great cross–train because it is a non-impact sport; it is a time for your joints to relax. Some days I would swim and run to get an extra workout.
The race was beautiful. We ran through a few neighborhoods, which was fun because people would come out and cheer for us. Then we ran through farmland; it was green as far as the eye could see. The weather was wonderful; it was a perfect day – not too hot, not too cold.
The volunteers helped by passing out water and cheering us on as we passed their stations. But even with their talents I was taken off guard a few times by accidentally grabbing another drink that was not water. At the first water station at the three–mile marker, I was ser excited for my cool c of water to replenish the 70 percent of my body mass (water) that I was losing fast. But to my surprise it was some pink odd-tasting sports drink.
There were the cheers and enthusiasm of the crowed saying, “go tie-dye shirt girl.” I love how friendly strangers in Idaho can be. I am from a little town I like to call Los Angeles, and the most interaction that we get between strangers are dirty looks or quick awkward glances.
The hills seemed endless. Most of the time you run a hill and then down it, but for some odd reason these hills are and then plateau, and then again then flat, over, over, over and over again.
I believe that the beginning of the race was the hardest part. I had not stretched; I had not really warmed at all.
Towards the middle-end I got this thing called a runner’s high; I felt like I could run another 13 miles.
“When a person runs, swims, cycles and performs any other strenuous exercise, pituitary gland releases endorphins: chemicals that release feelings of ehoria and that block sensations of pain,” according to studyhealth.com.
At this point I felt like getting revenge on all of those 100 people that passed me at the beginning of the race so I lengthened my stride (not to mention I have mile-long legs, but I usually run with more of a shuffle step). So the 40-year-old lady that passed me was going to get it and eat my dust. Oh, and that girl that kept on passing me and then walking and then passing me again, she was going down. I sprinted past these people and then came to the hill climb.
I heard footsteps behind me and lo and behold the runner/walker was on my tail again. This is when my high had run out but my pride and stubbornness kicked into high gear. I sprinted that hill and away from my enemies.
I saw the temple. I just had to run down that hill to Smith Park and I was done; there was no way that I had completed a half marathon. I joined that small percent of the world that can run 13.1 miles without stopping.
The 40-year-old bolted past me as I daydreamed in amazement. I began to run after her and then just gave into the fact that she was just that cool. As I ran the last leg of the race I realized that I couldn’t do it without my favorite band Metro Station pushing me through this; I shambled through my iPod Shuffle, regretting that I put it on shuffle, struggling to find the only song that can push me to my limits.
“Keep your body movin’, girl, the beat is thumpin,” then, the point of the song that lets me push it to my limit, “whoa-e, oh-we, oh-oh….”
The finish line was in sight, the announcer said, “Brittany Large coming into the finish.” Yes, I had just finished, I finished, I finished — I just couldn’t get enough of that sound. My friends were there at the finish line to cheer me in; they had finished about 20 minutes earlier than I.
The race was over. I felt accomplished, and I am sure that I want to do another. The pain is so worth it to run across the finish line and accomplish something that only few in the world can say that they have done.
“I felt sicker than a dog, but I felt so good mentally succeeding at something I had been training for, for almost a month and a half,” said freshman Kyle Van Genderen. Marathon here I come. But this time I think that following a training guide might be the smartest idea.