Well, here’s a powerful reminder to actually think about the race choices I make. Monday night before my half marathon I got asked whether I’d like to replace a team member at an obstacle course. An easy 8k. Nothing too bad. Not that any of the team members had done that race before.
I thought about how I’d actually like to make it through my 21k on Sunday and then did the thing that any runner running for pure fun and enjoyment would do: I said yes.
So here’s what I thought I’d do: let’s say the running takes me around 50+ minutes, throw in a few obstacles and a hill, maybe some waiting time and we’re at a duration of 1:15h max. Didn’t sound too bad or strenuous before my half. All good then.
Aaaaand here’s what really happened:
That was the toughest race I’ve ever done. Ever. No matter the distance. Oh. My. God.
It started out easy enough. Crawl under some obstacles, climb a wall and jump off, get into a pool filled with freezing mud, all good to get the heart rate up but nothing too bad. The run around the other half of the court was great and then things started to get… jungle-y. It was all hills up, hills down, here’s a rope so you don’t tumble down that slope and use your hands to climb up the inclines and hold on to roots to get yourself up there. I think I actually ran less than a kilometre, the rest was up and down and up and down all over again.
At km 1 I literally wanted to cry. A frickin kilometre has never seemed as far is it had that day.
At km 2 I cut my hand.
At km 3 I was more than excited to see food and drinks.
At km 4 I was not entirely sure I was ready to do a second loop.
At km 5 I was doing it. (Here’s to being stubborn and not giving up.)
At km 6 I heard the winners were safe and sound back at the finish line. Great for them.
At km 7 my left knee was over it. It was painful at every step that I took downwards.
At km 8 – and a crazy 2:11h later – I made it to the finish line. No pauses, no energy left and no spot on my body not covered in mud.
Also: I was super proud that I fought through it and excited about the medal that was also covered in mud shortly after.
Apparently, one of the girls on our team won the race in an incredible time of 1:21h – training for an Ironman gives you supersonic speed as it looks like. I’m totally in awe and incredibly impressed.
That night, I joined my running girls for a pasta party and was so exhausted that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Whoa. That was new. I’m never not hungry. Seriously. The gloriously sweet panna cotta brought some life back though.
At home, my knee got some nice tape work after my shoes and I enjoyed a loooong hot shower. The start of my half marathon was less than 12 hours away by that point and looking as unlikely as ever.