This Saturday morning when I woke up, I turned on the TV to WTHR, Indianapolis. Why? Every year at this time is the Indy Mini Marathon.
This half marathon is considered one of the best 13.1 runs in the U.S. Just about 35,000 people annually register for this race. So many more could, but they put a cap on the number.
One of the highlights for the runners, walkers and wheelchair racers is the opportunity to circle the Indianapolis 500 track, and people from all over the country participate. Of course, the Kenyans always finish far ahead of the field. Former marathon runner Frank Shorter attends, but no longer runs. Meb Keflezighi once again attended to motivate racers and watch.
Like I said, I watch this race every year on television. You say, "Why don't you get off the couch and do it?"
Well, let me tell you my own half marathon story.
In the spring of 2013, a group of friends and I began walking to lose weight, and we were losing weight. At a party, one had a terrific idea. What I thought I heard was "Let's do a girls' Disney trip with rum."
What was actually said was "Let's do a girls' Disney trip to run half marathon."
Apparently, my brain absorbed only what it wanted to hear. Didn't hear the half marathon part. So, I find myself signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon for 2014. Peer pressure and all, I had no choice.
We trained harder because now we had another goal--finish a half marathon. Where better than the happiest place on earth?
Five months before the race, I had foot surgery. Two months after the surgery, I felt great, except that after five miles, my foot began to hurt. I asked my doctor about it. You know that open mouth emoji? He looked like that. His response, "I cannot muster any sympathy for you because after this kind of surgery, most people take a full year to heal."
His advice was train at your own discretion. Apparently he thought I was a person who understand the word discretion.
Anyone who has participated in the Disney Princess race, knows you have to be in the staging area nearly two hours before the 6 a.m. start time.
A good thing it was February when Florida is much cooler.
This particular February, at 6 a.m., the temperature was 75 degrees with 91 percent humidity. That alone should have been a sign to duck the ropes, go back to the hotel, and crawl back in bed.
More than once in my life, I've proven I'm not that smart.
My corral finally makes it to the start line, and we are released to fulfill one more bucket item list. "I'm going do this. I'm going to do this" became my mantra.
One mile into the race, I had to pee.
Okay, now I'm going to do this.
I'm not sure how far I travelled, but I glanced over to the other side of the median and saw the woman in the lead in the home stretch. I did not cheer her triumph and amazing race. What I did do was consider crossing the road and having scoring a phenomenal time for myself.
But I didn't. I kept going.
By now, I was convinced I'd passed the halfway point and just didn't see the sign. Finally, I saw a sign just ahead with Mickey Mouse cheering me on. Congrats, You're at five miles. Keep up the good work.
Five miles. Five freakin miles. That began two-year old child tantrum number one.
To the left and right, the whole race, people were stopping and taking photos with the wonderful character scenes Disney created along the course and more than a few were staring at me. Actually, I thought the tantrum was internal.
It was not.
From that point on, I hated Disney. I hated running through Cinderella's Castle. I hated all of the workers cheering me on. I cursed myself for signing up for such a stupid thing.
Like usual, my foot began to hurt at five miles. At seven miles, I was in agony. My wish was that Disney would kick me out for language unbecoming to Disney. No one showed up to do that either.
At mile eight, I stopped at a med station and took one of my Vicodin pills I had leftover from the surgery, and a volunteer gave me some BioFreeze for my foot. A little relief.
By the way, BioFreeze only works for about two miles.
Back on the course, I came across another from our group so we shared our misery together.
We were at nine miles. I told myself I would finish this race no matter what, even if I dropped dead, I think the ambulance would have to drive the same course. So in theory, I would finish.
Closer and closer, my friend and I kept going. We started to hear people along the yelling, "Keep going. You're almost finished." What I now know is those people begin their cheers about three miles from the finish line.
After about the tenth round of "You're almost finished," I knew if I heard those words again and didn't actually see the finish line, then God help that person.
We passed a gospel choir signing beautiful music. At that point I hurt so bad, I truly thought I'd died and the entrance to heaven was at EPOT.
The pain in my foot was so overwhelming, when I finally crossed the finish line, it was very anti-climatic. Someone handed me a banana and bottle of water. I don't even remember if I ate the banana or drank the water.
I called my husband. He asked me how far I got. I burst into tears and said, "Expletive, expletive. I expletive finished."
In a period of five hours, I popped five Vicodin. Not recommended. Normally one of the pills knocks me out for hours. Five barely took the edge off of the pain.
I have constant pain in my foot now. I won't go back to the doctor because I don't want to hear "I told you so." He was right. I should have listened to discretion.
I'm not sorry at all I did it.
I will never do one again.
I've thrown away the bucket and now watch the Mini Marathon on television.
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