Today was the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Philly and I ran it with none other than my best friend
This was my first race of the fall season, and I planned on using it as a tester for how the MCM might go in October. But knowing I have to deal with 26.2 in less than 60 days, I wanted to make sure I ran conservatively so I started slow. Running by feeling, and not by GPS, I noticed that around mile 2 I got this lovely nagging pain in my left leg. And it stayed with me.
For the remaining 11.1 miles.
And it was tough. It sucked. I had to fight for each and every inch of progress I made. It was slow, and I had to walk frequently, but I kept going. I fueled like I needed to and hydrated well, but that stupid pain wouldn’t go away. It was my hip flexor, reminding me that I might be piling the miles on a lil too fast. Call it determination, call it idiocy, but I kept going.
Around mile 12 I came across a runner who seemed to be struggling. Turns out she caught a bad cramp which made it near impossible for her to run, let alone walk. Several runners came to help her, and myself and another runner decided to stay with her. We walked, jogged, crawled, and cried our way through that last mile together. Complete strangers. United by a love of running and the understanding of how hard it can be to dig deep when you feel all alone.
We crossed the finish line together. Hand in hand. And it was beautiful. Running is as much a communal sport as it is a solitary one, and that is one of the many reasons I love the sport.
Right now I’m resting…my next race is in a few weeks and I’ve got some longer runs to deal with in the meantime. Today wasn’t about a PR…it was all about heart, soul and guts…LOTS of guts.
Oh, and rock n roll.