December 4, 2007

Tucson Half-Marathon

My sister got the idea a few weeks back that she wanted to walk the half-marathon portion of the Tucson Marathon. She called me two days before it and asked if I'd like to walk it with her. I said sure, but only with the understanding that I would try to get her to run a portion of it with me. She said I was free to run on ahead to get a better time, but I figured I wasn't going to get a good time no matter what I did, so I would rather stay with her and try to push her harder so that she could feel like she accomplished more. It's not that walking 13.1 miles is not something to be proud of. It certainly is. However, running a portion of it entitles you to tell people, "I ran in the half-marathon", dropping your voice a little on the word "in" so that they might hear "I ran the half-marathon".

My goal was just to run 1/4 of the distance. We did that mainly by running the first 1/4 mile out of every mile, then running from the 13 mile mark all the way to the finish line so that we could look like real runners. We never had to run longer than about 2 minutes, 45 seconds at a stretch, which was good for Elizabeth since she doesn't yet have any sort of endurance when she gets into that high heart rate/heavy breathing state. Yet, she was able to finish each segment of running without falling over, so that's good.

We finished in 3:20:45 which is nowhere near a good time, but is better than what I expected. I get a big kick out of the fact that I was dead last in my age division.

Even though I did so poorly timewise, I was pleased to find out that I actually won an award for placing third in my Clydesdale division. What I didn't know until a few days ago was that some races have a "Clydesdale" division for men over 190 pounds (and a corresponding women's designation). Apparently fat men get special recognition for hauling their bulk around the course. In the category of men weighing 211-224 pounds, I placed third, and the top three finishers in each category get awards. I'm quite certain that many other men of my weight finished faster than me. However, none of them must have checked the box identifying themselves as Clydesdales. So, I don't know if I get a plaque or a separate medal or certificate or what. I didn't hang around at the finish line to claim my award, since I had no idea I would have won one. Now I have to figure out how I can get them to send it to me. It may not be worth the effort, but it's likely I'll never win an award in an organized race again, so I want all the recognition I can get.

It's now two days after the race, and I'm feeling pretty okay physically. My muscles are a little sore, but not as much as I might have thought. My biggest problem is a sort of shooting/burning pain in the middle of my left foot when I step on it. It comes and goes; sometimes it's so bad I can't take more than a couple of steps without hobbling. I walked a mile and a half on it last night, then iced it a while, and it seems a little better today. So overall, I'm happy at the physical accomplishment, but I'm a little bugged that the recovery is eating into my normal running schedule.

A couple of other notes:

My Forerunner watch calculated that I burned 1726 calories during the race. That's a lot. I had about 500 calories of breakfast and 500 calories of bars and Clif Shot and stuff during the race, but I was still way hungry when it was over.

In perusing the results for the other divisions, I noticed the winner of the men's 80+ division and the women's 75-79 division were a couple that are both patients of ours, and that the husband beat me by about 12 minutes. I called him to congratulate him on having over 50 years of seniority on me and still kicking my tail. He was really excited to talk to me, and I got the feeling from him that he really appreciated the call.

1 comment:

Cathi said...

Aaron,
It is so fun to read your blog. Gordon complained that I never even read his blog.
I was reading about your half marathon. I signed up in 2004 or so for the St. George marathon in the Clydesdale category which for women is 140 pounds or more. I think that is ridiculous and says a lot about our American weight obsessed culture, but anyway. I got third place for my age group in the Clydesdale category and got a lovely plaque that we proudly display in a prominent place in our basement by the ping pong table. You should definitely get your prize mailed to you.
By the way, are you on a diet? I gathered that from how you keep track of what you eat and your weight and exercise each day. I still have about 15 pounds of baby weight that I have to loose, which I will begin to work on after the new year.
It is so fun for me to hear from you after all these years. I would love to see some pictures of you and Becky. Would you e-mail me some or tell me where some are online. Do you have any kids? How long have you lived in Arizona? What do you do for your job?
Let's keep in touch, ok?
Just to remember your zanny sense of humor from "the good old days" is so fun for me.
Love, Cathi