Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clueless

This weekend, Mark and I ran our first race together. The Hospital Hill Half Marathon. Word around town is that it's a pretty big deal. Widely regarded as one of the most challenging courses in the nation, it's something that you just do if you consider yourself a runner in KC.

Last year, however, I didn't know any of this. I knew I wanted to run a half. Casey commented that I should run HH...so I did. And it was a challenge. I noticed a couple of hills along the way. And I hurt for a few days.

This year, I went in having heard more buzz. I learned that those two hills I remembered were accompanied by several of their closest friends. Add to that an extra 20 degrees of heat radiating down on the streets of Kansas City and my need to compete with last year's time...I was pretty intimidated.

While running, I noticed each and every hill I encountered, I felt the heat and the humidity throughout the entire course (thank goodness there was cloud cover) and my time was longer by eight minutes. Not my proudest moment.

Mark's time was a little slower than he'd hoped, but still under two hours. While we were recovering from the big event, he and I concurred that it was a very hard run. While still sweaty and breathless, the thought crossed my mind that I probably didn't need to do it again. Of course, less than 24 hours later I'm reconsidering. I mean, I can't let it beat me, right?

I'm sure you've been missing the "lesson portion" in recent posts, so here goes: today's is not a lesson about the physics or love or cooking times...it's about me. I learned something about me. I am better off going in blindly. Last year I equated running the half to returning to school in a round-about way:
"...when obstacles come along, there's nothing like knowing there are dear friends and family who are cheering me on and wishing me well. Two hours of running is a far cry from three years of schooling, but as long as the wind is occasionally at my back and there's a sweet smile handing me a cool beverage every few miles, I think...no, I'm sure I'll cross that finish line."
This year, I'll amend that. The less I know about a daunting task, the more likely I am to tackle it. If I'd have taken into consideration all of the time and classes and finances that the degree in dietetics would demand of me, I doubt I would have taken that dive. Had I known how hard a course this half was, I probably would have found an easier run.

Don't think for a second that I'm recommending this way of going about things. I'm just observing that if I am passionate about doing something, it's probably for the best that I don't step back and analyze the decision. There's a lot of self-doubt inside this cranium and I'd hate to see it win over the tenacity in this heart.

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