Well, it’s all over but the soreness tomorrow. I have to say I feel decent at the moment. Not sorry I did those 13.1 miles, but not planning on another one. In fact, I told The Husband he is welcome to drag a rusty knife across my throat if I so much as mention the idea.
I am glad I did this one (it was on my bucket list) and the timing was good, given the lack of live races during the pandemic. And for the first eight miles, the weather actually cooperated. Mid-70s, overcast, and then…Mother Nature went into full rage mode.
I’ve lived in Florida over 40 years, and never can I recall seeing (or running in) rain like that. The skies let loose like we haven’t had rain in months (actually, it is the dry season, and we haven’t). The race course flooded fast, running shoes became sodden weights, and the power of water from above actually stung your skin and eyes. Troopers (or fools) that we are, we kept going, and as far as I know, most everyone finished.
Then I had to drive home, mostly in that rain. We’re talking a whiteout deluge where the location of other cars, road signs and foliage cannot be accurately determined. I am grateful to my dealership for those new tires, recently installed, that kept me on the road, even if the water’s roar beneath them was unsettling. I am grateful that I had the forethought to toss a full set of clean, dry clothes in the trunk so I had something to change into before heading into a Wawa near the race venue for very large and very cold soda beverage for the road. I got the largest one that would fit into my drink holder. I gave up diet soda years ago, but just this once, I thought I was worthy and deserving (for the record, I do not buy it, nor keep it in the house).
But mostly, I am grateful for one more chance at a half-marathon. I am done with that distance now, moving on to concentrate on triathlons, swimming and shorter race distances, including some trail racing. It’s been a good, if painful ride, and I took the opportunity to do what so many others cannot or will not do. I respect anyone who looks at that distance, or its bigger cousins the marathon and ultras and says, “Oh, hell no!” It’s not easy, and training is often miserable. But the payback is lording it over your couch potato friends. Because what we lack in humility we make up for hubris — and good health.