Thursday, November 1, 2007

My First (official) Half Marathon

I run through the woods
The distant cars sing to me
I am so tired

It's been a long time coming, but last Sunday I ran my first official half marathon. This blog entry is here to tell (and show) you all about it. Here's what I did; I took a ghetto digital camera with me and filmed various moments throughout my run. Consider it a series of "video vignettes" depicting my 13.1-mile epic saga. I call it an epic saga because my jogging pace was that of an old man's and the video sequence documents pieces of my three hour experience. I came up with the idea to film my run the night before we drove up to Humboldt County (where the run took place). I quickly MacGuyvered a camera mount ala Survivorman and off we went to the race!

These first three videos took place in the car about an hour before the start of the race. It was about 45 or 50 degrees outside so we where trying to stay warm.

Me talking about my gear...

Some pre-race Q and A, conducted by my beautiful wife.

The start of the race!

This one is very short. It mainly shows the crowd running in front of me.

Here is the first video shot on the infamous "camera mount". I don't say anything in it because I was running next to some lady and I was a little tentative about talking to my camera in front of her.

I'm already rambling at the beginning of mile 2.

At this point in the run I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed. It passed, eventually.

This video starts with me trying my first "Double Latte flavored Shot". I don't want to give away my reaction. Also, you can't hear it too well, but I wanted to capture the insanity of half a dozen people yelling, "WATER!" at me. As I passed the "aid stations" I had run by one already and thought it was hilarious that the people were so insistent--also that they all felt the need to each yell it when I had turned the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth ones down.

Oh, one more thing -- a six-year old little girl copiously blew her whistle as I passed her at the aid station. I could hear her high-pitched squeal for half a mile before I reached this station and half a mile after.

This (in my opinion) is where the story starts getting good. Every great story has a protagonist and some kind of antagonist. In the story of My first Half Marathon the antagonist is The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra. I don't know it yet but this woman eventually becomes my bitter rival.

We should file this video under "Thought it was a funny idea at the time, but turns out, I just made an ass of myself". I should have known that not everyone likes to hear people singing randomly--especially when they're running at imed race.

So, at this aid station they offered both water and Gatorade. I think that there might have been a little animosity between the waters and the Gatorades because the Gatorades sounded angry.

It is mile 8 and I am rambling. I don't really have much to say about it except that it makes me laugh when I mention The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra again. I'm obviously still hanging on to the fact that I passed her at mile 5 even though I hadn't seen her since then.

I'm screwing around--what can I say.

This one is interesting to me because at this point I tried to remember the words to Eye of the Tiger but couldn't. My mind was drawing a blank. My depleted energy level prevented me from multi-tasking.

After a couple of minutes practicing off camera, I remembered how the song goes... sort of.

Here, I am commenting on the way I feel at mile 11.

At an attempt to keep my mind on something other than how long I'd been running without stopping, I decided to write a haiku. It only took me a minute or two to compose it but it took me like ten minutes to will myself to say it correctly with the camera on.

This is the last video--me, crossing the finish line!
I was pretty much hobbling through miles 11 and 12. Then I noticed my foe (The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra from mile 5) just caught up with me from out of nowhere! She tried to pass me in mile 13 so I really started bookin'.You can see her struggling to pass the guy with the PVC camera mount dangling from his body. If you watch my face closely, you can also see the moment that I saw my wife waiting for me at the finish line.