My boss asked me last week if I had anything fun planned for my three- day weekend.

I’m running a 1/2 marathon on Sunday,” I told her, “So really, all I’ll be doing is eating a lot of protein, and getting plenty of sleep.”

“This Sunday!??!” She asked, “But it’s supposed to be hot! 80 degrees!  You can’t run in that!  It’s too hot!”

I thought about this momentarily and remembered that the first 1/2 marathon I ran was in 95 degree weather with about 90% humidity, my second one was 38 degrees, and third was torrential rain and gusting wind.  I started to perk up realizing that I technically would have ideal conditions for this race, and therefore, may actually be able to meet the personal goal I set of two hours–cutting of 33 minutes from my best time.

And then there were hills.

I live and run in Providence, and I looked at the course elevation map before:

but I was still ill-prepared for how much those hills suck.  I’m from the prairie; Fargo is possibly the flattest place in the world, and even though I did hill training in preparation for this race, I never ran up and down ten large hills in a single day. That was my undoing.

At first I was enthusiastic, none of the hills were terribly steep, so I practiced my lean forward and shuffle up the hill technique, which was working just fine.  Once I reached the longest hill known to man, started my shuffle, and then glanced up to realize that I couldn’t even see the top of the hill, I lost it, I walked, and I walked on the next one too.

Even though I loved the convenience of walking to and from the start line of the race, and seeing all kinds of new scenery in my own town (and neighboring Pawtucket), this race left me a bit underwhelmed.  Around mile 10, I just wanted it to be over, and I couldn’t get my running euphoria going.  It just wasn’t my day.  I think it might had have something to do with the fact that this was my first big run since my injury-plagued winter, and in the two days that I took off before the race, my leg was really stiff.  That made me more nervous than I’ve ever been, or again, it just wasn’t my day.

Overall, I’m disappointed in my performance since I had planned to do no walking of any kind, but I still cut at least 22 minutes off my previous best time, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much, but I feel like a bit of a pansy.  Am I a running wimp?

At the finish line, I had a free beer (the 5K was sponsored by Harpoon), and a couple slices of pizza, then walked home.  As I was trudging up the hill to my house I passed an old man loading stuff into his car.

“You look beautiful!” he yelled.

“I don’t believe you!” I told him, “I don’t feel beautiful, but thank you.”

Then I got home, took off my shoes and socks, and found this.

That is the twinge I felt around mile six.

I’m sorry you had to see it, but popping it was pretty awesome.

1452 ANDRIA  30 F 4312 PROVIDENCE RI 2:12:20.9 10:07 2:13:25.6