I’m Out. Probably.

April 30, 2012 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This was a bit of a bittersweet weekend for me. I received news that I’ve been assigned to a PDL soccer match this Saturday night. I should have been ecstatic, right? I was, of course. An old dog like me isn’t going to get too many chances to officiate at that level.

Unfortunately, that pretty much rules out my participation in the Lincoln Half Marathon the following morning. After all, it would be pretty difficult to run 6-8 miles on Saturday night (along with the corresponding stress that accompanies officiating a soccer match), drive three hours home, get five hours sleep, then run 13.1 miles. Some people could do it. I’m not sure I’m one of them.

In a way it’s a relief. I ran a “test” half marathon last week. It went poorly. My enthusiasm for race day was pretty low. When I first signed up for the race I had high hopes for myself based on a level of fitness (and youth!) that I just don’t have any more. The longer I trained, the more I realized that my actual pace was going to be a huge disappointment. Which is silly, because I was still on pace to finish in the top 15% or so. That’s pretty dang good for a guy whose body is not built for long distance.

With the weight of the half marathon off my shoulders, yesterday I went out and ran an absolutely phenomenal 8.75 mile interval workout. It was the most fun I had had training for the race since ... well, since I realized just how much slower I was going to run than I had hoped. Once the burden of expectations was removed, I was free to run for giggles. It was fantastic.

I haven’t completely ruled out running on Sunday. I paid the money and put in the miles, after all. If I can find a way to physically recover in the few hours between the end of the soccer match and the start of the race, then I’ll be there at the starting line Sunday morning. If not? Then look for me cheering on the runners at mile 5.5—with a Lamar’s donut in one hand and cold milk in the other.

By the way, we referees receive a couple complimentary tickets to the PDL games we work. If any local soccer fans would like to make the trip to Des Moines on Saturday, let me know and perhaps I can get you in for free.

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The Comments

Mike April 30, 2012 at 4:34pm

That is too bad.  A suggestion: I had some friends who were signed up last year and had a myriad of things that prevented them from training, so they ran until that exact point at mile 5.5 then stopped.

P.S. Don’t publicize that location. My family wants the prime curb spots to cheer me on…

kim April 30, 2012 at 8:27pm

You paid for the shirt, so at least pick up your packet, or have someone do it for you with a proxy form. And I agree with Mike, start it and run to a specific point, then DNF. I’m walking the half and didn’t train very much due to surgery in December. But I slogged 13 miles in the rain yesterday and feel like I can finish it again this year. I wish Lincoln could figure out the will to open the race and allow folks who have to drop out swap their bibs legally. They capped at 10,000, sold out in 18 days and have a huge “wait list” of disappointed people…and yet I know at least a dozen who are no longer going to participate due to injuries or other things coming up.

Fletch May 1, 2012 at 2:28pm

I think you should still start the race, and see how far your legs take you. Go slower than your goal and just enjoy the experience. Definitely have someone pick up your packet on Saturday (I’d do it for you if no one else can). Run as far as you can, and then just be a walker (staying to the right and out of the way of slower runners, naturally). Bask in the glory of coming into the stadium and get your medal. Enjoy a bagel, some fruit, and a Gatorade. You earned it. The positive is that you’ll now have a slower baseline time that you can plan to beat when you run it in 2013. I am sure your “awful” pace will still kick my butt giving it all I can (calf permitting). And anytime you want to complain about being old, I’ll go toe to toe with you on that one, young man.

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