In the spirit of trying new things, I thought that it might be fun to punish my perfectly adequate leg muscles in the effort to achieve running glory.

Most people= “A half marathon?  When the Bachelorette is on?  Um..thanks, but I just got my couch cushion groove where I like it.”

Me= “Yes, please!  I don’t like relaxing at home on my evenings and weekends!”

Hubby and I ran the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Sunday. 

My legs are still seeking vengeance.

It’s not like I didn’t train- I DID!*  I just kept waiting for it to “get fun” like so many runners told me it would.

Turns out that runners are a set of compulsive liars that enjoy pulling other victims into their world of pain and chaffed body parts.  They’re the vampires of the athletic world.

I admit that the first five to six miles were kind of fun- while it was humid, running on the streets of Chicago was a once in a lifetime experience.  The bands were better than you’d expect for 7am on a Sunday morning, the sun cast a golden glow on the classic architecture, and the other 24,999 runners kept my spirits up.  I could see how people get sucked into the whole zen mindset the vampires like to peddle…at least until mile 7.

Mile 7 found me approaching a Mad Max expanse of barren pavement on Lake Shore Drive, having to pee, desperately thirty because the Cytomax left a strange film on my tongue, and SWEATY.  We looked like one of those mass exodus scenes from disaster films.

Now, as much as I wish I was, I am not pretty when I sweat-hence NO PICTURES of my shame achievement.  Honestly, my face looks like a cherry tomato ready to pop and every pore is dripping like a faucet.  Lucky for my husband, right?  

Mile 9: Picture a leaky red rain cloud whimpering and swearing under her breath about the lack of water stations.

Mile 11: The red rain cloud holding back tears because it was suddenly convinced that it had died and was in purgatory because there was no end to the route- just coach after coach shouting that the finish line was JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

But when the cloud would turn the corner?  No finish line.


Mile 12-  The red rain cloud was lost in a haze of wondering if it was going to puke on the course or if anyone would notice if it just curled up under a tree and went to sleep for awhile.

Mile 13.1-  Stumbling over the finish line and almost attacking a couple of innocent volunteers passing out popsicles and wet towels.

Shame?  No room for shame when your face is melting.

Since returning to work, I’ve been asked if I would run another half.  I’m just barely resisting the urge to say, “Why don’t you join me?  It’ll be fun.”

* Sure, it wasn’t quite what Runner’s World recommended, but DAMN IT, I don’t think that pretty lady running so cheerfully on the cover of the magazine has a full time job, a house to keep up, and baby at home that wants to be, um, fed.

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