Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jill: The Worst Race

Anyone who is remotely familiar with this blog knows that we don't particularly enjoy running. After all, it is the first rule of membership to our very exclusive club. One of the reasons we let this blog go dormant for so long is because we actually quit running for awhile. In a short, somewhat cryptic post, Habanero Cheddar mentioned our upcoming first half-marathon. And then there was silence. Lots of silence. For a very long time.  One of the things I didn't mention in my post about what we have been up to was The Worst Race, but one of the reasons we stopped running and blogging for awhile was due to that particular experience.

It started out as another great idea cultivated under the influence of some tasty beverages.  Smoked Gouda was the mastermind of this particular adventure, and she sold it well. It basically went down like this:

Hey! We should take a girls road trip to Nashville and do the half marathon race. It's part of the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series so there will be lots of bands playing on the course which will make it fun instead of horrible. Think of it as just jogging from band to band. I know someone who can hook us up with a place to stay that includes a pool and hot tub. It will be so much fun.

The rest of us agreed pretty quickly, poured another round of drinks and probably looked like this:

Then we trained. We weren't out to break any records or accomplish goals. Remember, we were there for the music, fun, food (shout out to Jack's Bar-B-Que), and the overall experience.  All of us were in good enough shape to finish even if we did a lot of walking.

We had a good time at the expo purchasing alcohol themed headbands and tech shirts with double meanings:

Stephanie's headband of choice

My headband. I love rum.

My shirt. I'm such a prude.

I also purchased a hat since the forecast was calling for rain on race day, but I had yet to realize just how much that rain would affect us.

Race day dawned early as most large marathons do which is hard for those of us who despise mornings in general, but we soldiered on. We got to the start and dutifully put ourselves in one of the last few corrals since, you know, we are slow. By then is was already raining. None of us are such lightweights that we were phased by a little rain, but that rain quickly turned into hard, driving, cold rain.  Kind of like this:

Ok, so we are generally positive people and probably would have been able to laugh it off immediately if things hadn't taken a turn for the worst.  First, the weather got worse.  By mile 8 or 10 the cold wind was picking up and there was thunder.  The rain never really let up the entire time, and did I mention it was a cold rain?  Basically, we felt like we were in this:

It wasn't a complete loss yet because there was music! Right? I mean, it is a Rock 'n' Roll marathon so there still has to be music.  There has to be a rain plan. But there wasn't.  Well, at least it wasn't a very good rain plan.  All of the big/recognizable bands weren't playing at all.  In one or two cases, a portable radio/CD player was sent up under their tent. In most cases, the tents were completely empty. A few smaller acts toughed out the rain with us, but they seemed to have conspired ahead of time to make the experience even worse for us. The first two bands that I passed were playing songs about....water.  Of all things....water.  I was cold, drenched and generally miserable, and theses folks who were dry under their music tents thought that singing Waterfalls or Sea Cruise would be a great idea. We didn't take any pictures, but I'm pretty sure I looked like this:

And that's pretty much how we all felt about running for awhile afterwards.  We all finished and enjoyed the hot tub that night after a yummy dinner, but when it came to picking our next race or just going out for a jog, we all stayed eerily silent for a long time. Other than our Girls on the Run practices, we just didn't run.  It was like the runner's version of PTSD.  I'm sure all serious runners have had experiences like that, but as casual runners, we didn't have the mental toughness to jump back on the horse quickly.

We have done other races since: a zombie 5k, a couple Girls on the Run 5ks, and I braved the half marathon again last year with the Queen Bee.  But as a group, we have had a difficult time getting back together to run regularly, especially with all of the life changes on top of our collective mental block. However, I am quietly on a mission to return us to our former glory.  Wish me luck!

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