Following is a short race report from the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia on September 1, 2013 and a review of the hot vinyasa class I took 24 hours later thinking it would help me.
Spoiler: I did not win. 31-year-old Kenyan Henry Rutto did.
Of the now 9 half marathons I have completed this one sported the most drama. Runners were falling out all around me. Not just the slow old people like me – young, amazing-looking specimen of fitness. No matter how prepared and experienced a runner is, race day and results carry a veil of mystery. Some things just can’t be explained.
Like the lady who dropped down 50 yards from the finish right in front of me. A group of medics rushed to her instantaneously shouting:
Get a Pulse!!
Or the convulsing runner my husband saw being aided by a posse of friends and then placed on a stretcher.
Or the gentleman who died just after he got started – one or two miles in. Why. Why. Why??? So very sad.
And yet, we keep coming back. This event was a celebration of life and tenacity and appreciation for health. Ask VB Team Hoyt how big it was to race this one.
Or maybe the guy whose tee-shirt read:
Survived: Cancer 2010
Survived: Open Heart Surgery 2011
This is nothing.
I saw this hero right before I was encountered by a line of garden hoses spraying us as we passed by mile 11. Even winning Henry (above) said:
“I did not feel good until mile 11,” Rutto said after the race. “But when I went past [Kosgei] I knew I would win. It was hot and I was not feeling very good.”
My stranger-buddy next to me said as we were showered with yard water:
“I love people.”
Me too. I think those guys over in Syria need to run this race.
My family and I had a blast.
We went to Buffalo Wild Wings after we checked into the hotel:
Best beer ever.
We celebrated at a waterside eatery after a day on the beach.
We made it home happy and healthy. Thank you God. Bless all the runners.
The next day I thought a hot vinyasa class would do me right. The hot part was a good idea, perhaps not the vinyasa. The long holds and strenuous flow did not serve me. My legs were not working but my shoulders, sweet Jesus, opened like a book. Baby got back.
I’m getting old. My shoulders have wrinkles. Elephants are cute, non??
Later, my girls and I tried out a new State Park and gave our mountain bikes a whirl.
Notice I have not mentioned my pace. I have a lot of work to do. I have never really done speed work to prepare for a race. It is time. I am within a minute of my average half marathon time but I have a PR to get in Miami in February. On a full. Full heart, Full Life. Full marathon. All the same. Such is the mystery of life and running.
So I swam today I taught my precious yoga and thanked the good Lord over and over for my breath. My very life. I love people.