Some random thoughts about last Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon while my quads gently scream (with apologies to the late George Harrison):
My dear close friends and family, who are almost all nonrunners, marvel at my half-marathon “achievements” (some don’t even know the difference between the half and the full marathon). They make it seem like I’ve climbed Mt. Everest! Being more of a slogger than even a jogger, it’s kind of embarrassing; it probably makes my running pals, all of whom are much faster than me, roll their eyes when they read their lovely Facebook comments.
While I do appreciate the adulation, here’s the total truth: Unless you have physical limitations, anyone can finish these events (heck, several blind runners led by dedicated guides completed the marathon). It’s a simple process: Train for the distance for four to six months. Then on race day put one foot in front of the other. Repeat until you at least cross the finish line. Bam! They put a medal on you! Bask in the glow while your body pleads for mercy for several days.
Finishing a half or full marathon is an awesome accomplishment. I recommend crossing it off your bucket list next January in Houston!
I thought about my former college roommate Jan during Sunday’s event. Given her nursing background, it was no surprise that she had posted on Facebook hints for avoiding the flu. One biggie? No hand contact. So what did runners see along the route? Lots of spectators wanting to give us high fives. Ugh! I’ve had the flu shot, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get sick from someone else’s germs . . . no matter how well-intended the gesture is.
Around mile 10, a guy held a sign that read “High Five 4 Power.” I gave him a virtual high five . . . and stayed very far away. Love our wonderful supporters’ spirit and enthusiasm. Just not their potential viruses.
Don’t Mess With the Course
I hate to say it, but some runners are selfish slobs. Too many of them drop their excess wearables, especially trash bags that were worn for protection against the rain, on the ground as they’re running without any concern for those behind them who could easily trip over these discards, hurting or ending their own race. I figured it was just the guys who were guilty (having lived with three males who forget that hangars do exist all these years) until I watched a gal toss her sheddable jacket behind her as we neared the finish.
How hard is it to run to the side of the road and put bags, gloves, hats, and jackets there? Or drape them on a cone? Please take the time to keep your fellow runners safer!
Thinking about who you’re running for is a great distraction during these long-distance races. In the latter stages of the half marathon, from mile nine on, I tried to concentrate more on my family members who have battled heart- and stroke-related problems than on how cold, wet, and miserable I felt. It actually helped!
You still can donate to my Run for a Reason cause, by the way. Just click on this link: The American Heart Association. Thanks for making a difference!