I was about three miles into the Schaumburg Turkey Trot half marathon, feeling pretty awful, when I started pondering my life insurance coverage. It would be enough to take care of my kids right? Then I realized that's probably not a good sign. I didn't feel like I was imminently going to collapse and die, but clearly my subconscious mind considered the possibility.
Let me start by saying this is a well-organizes race, on a beautiful course through Busse woods in Schaumburg, and the weather was fairly close to ideal compared to the cold and snow of the last few days.
But I was not in ideal condition. The plantar faciitis that's plagued me for the last couple months has prevented me from running more than a day or two a week for some time. And after I do, it takes a couple days before the inflamation goes down. I know. It's my
own fault for not resting enough. Anway, to top it off, I had a runny nose, and was feeling a cold coming on. I worked late the night before, and as I drove home about 11pm, I was still unsure whether I would suck it up, and go to the race. Wah, wah, wah.
So, I went, but with extremely low expectations. And they were met!
Thanksgiving is a time when many of us overindulge at the dinner table. And for runners, it's a time when we have plenty of races, or Turkey Trots to choose from. There are more races on Thanksgiving day than any other day of the year. So I decided to overindulge on running this Thanksgiving weekend!
After running a 5k in a turkey costume on Thanksgiving day, I was looking forward to running in regular running clothes for Saturday's turkey trot. It was run in Schaumburg on a path I have run many times, not far from where I live. So it was a natural, except for the previously mentioned complications.
My running partner Tom, who has been injury free for the last several months, was targeting the Schaumburg half in his training. He was ready. We were blessed with a beautiful morning, and we started together. I managed to run with him for about the first five steps after we crossed the timing mat. Then I wished him a good race, and settled into a slower pace suitable for my lack of trainining.
After getting through the first five or six miles, I fought off the inner demons that were trying to convince me I ought to just quit. I resolved to finish, no matter how slow my time might be.
I've done a lot of half marathons. Last year I ran one each month. I've never been as out of shape for one as this. Nevertheless, I figured I would get to the finish line somehow. And I did. In a few minutes under 2 hours.
I don't recall gazing a finish line with as much relief as in this race. It was a mental struggle to get to that point. But it helped me to appreciate the opportunity to run all the more.
Running is normally a big part of my day. So when I'm injured, It's difficult to sit on the sideines. That's probably why I came back too early, to run this race. And I was determined to enjoy it as much as possible.
I finished a good 15 minutes after Tom. Under normal circumstances, we would usually finish within a minute of each other. But this day was about finishing for me. And yes, I probably overindulged on running for the weekend, but I was certainly thankful for the opportunity!
See you on the roads................