Last weekend I ran the 2013 Talladega Half Marathon at the Superspeedway in Alabama. After years of competing in athletic events, I’m glad I haven’t lost the ability to surprise myself with life’s learning curve. Here are a few new things I’ve picked up:
I love barbecue, but please, please, PLEASE believe that my body paid severely for my decision to eat barbecue (for not only lunch but dinner too) on the day before a race. I should also mention that the post-race meal was sponsored by Jim ‘N Nicks Barbecue. And, after curling up into a ball in our hotel tub for nearly an hour after the race until I felt better, we ate barbecue on the way home. Some people never learn.
Drinking a beer at mile 11 of a half marathon sounds like a great idea. There isn’t much that beats a frosty beer when you feel like you’ve truly earned one. That is, until it mixes with the 8 lbs of barbecue in your gut. Think: Intestinal Hindenburg.
It is important to summon everything you’ve got–mentally and physically–for the last .1 mile of any run. The camera doesn’t distinguish between whether you’re actually running or race walking toward the finish unless you’re moving down the course like a wild animal.
When you run in Alabama, it’s best to embrace the song “Sweet Home Alabama” as your running mantra. You will hear it over and over and over and over and over again. And then, you’ll hear it one more time.
I have now completed two states out of 50 toward my half marathon goal. And, as my husband (kindly) said, there are 48 more chances to improve.