Last Saturday was a gorgeous day in Portland. It was sunny and nearly sixty degrees. While the other side of the country in New England was about to get another downpour of snow, there were folks in Portland wearing flip flops. I was not one of them, but inside I cannot wait for the day for my toes to spread wide and enjoy some warm sunshine. After a day of hopping around to a few of my favorite places in Portland, we came home so I could go for a run.
A little background — my treadmill died recently. Either I ran on it so much that I broke the main support bar, or Nordic Track just makes shitty treadmills. In any case, the only two options to fix it were to have a welder come out to our house, or for Nordic Track to replace the treadmill. Note to each of you that might be as crazy as I am, if you use a treadmill often, purchase the warranty. In October, we decided to extend the warranty. The treadmill fix it guy frequents our house a few times a year, and with the $150 a year warranty we do not pay for a single part or his time. If we had not paid the $150, we would have had to shell out the cash for a brand new treadmill.
So Saturday. Chris drops me off at home so I could go for a run, and he heads off to do a few more errands. I am in the middle of a really good book, and after hitting 8 miles, I feel great, Chris is not home yet, and I am loving the feel of my new treadmill. So I keep running. By mile 10, I am reminded that Sunday morning is a half marathon that I wanted to do in a neighboring town. I realize I never registered, and even if I had, I should be taking a chill day before a race. So since I have already run 10 miles I decide I might as well just keep going. Chris still is not home yet, and I still feel great, and I would love to finish my book.
Chris drives into the garage as I hit 11.5 miles, and cannot believe what I am doing. His happy, crazy wife. I finish my book at 12.5 miles and push through to 13.1 miles to complete a half marathon on my treadmill. Definitely easier than around the city, but still a good, solid workout. 1 hour 41 minutes is not too shabby.
We can complain about the Internet and how little privacy we have, and how much it sucks our time each day, but over the weekend I had another view. As I was preparing mentally for the half marathon I ran on Sunday, I did some online searching about what to eat the morning of the race, what to wear, what to expect afterwards, etc.
The thought crossed my mind about how easy it was for me to find information that I needed in a fairly quick timeframe. Now, I do not know how accurate the information is, but I had plenty of it to sift through. What would I have done 15 years ago?
Called many friends or acquaintances and asked about their experience (takes much more time than the Internet)
Gone to the library and taken out a few books or encyclopedia on the subject (even more time)
Consulted a running store, or found a local expert (time depends on how knowledgeable and accessible each are to me)
While we complain about how we spend too much time online, I wonder if we are actually smarter and if there are times when we save time. We do not have to wait long for answers to our questions or leave our homes. We can attain specific information without much effort, allowing us to spend more time making bread or whatever we deem important in life.
Yesterday I ran my first half marathon! I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I enjoyed it. I was a bit emotional at the start line because my stomach was not agreeing with me. I was worried about that, as I do not usually run so early in the morning, but once I got started I was fine. There was a slight drizzle, and a cold 42 degrees, but as the minutes passed, the rain chilled out. I was definitely grateful for my Nike running jacket, to keep the moisture away and keep me warm.
The strange part about the race? Trains. Yes, trains. About 1/4 of the way through the race, all runners were stopped. We had to wait at least 10 minutes to wait for a cargo train that was STOPPED on the tracks. You know what it is like when you are in a car waiting at the train tracks for a train to move, then when it does it starts going slowly. Except it was freezing, drizzling, and we had just started our race. It was a bit unbelievable.
After passing the Finish Line. #pooped
They have yet to post the times of the race. They said they would fix our times due to the train that stopped the race, so it is taking them longer. The clock said 2:02 when I crossed the Finish Line, so I believe my time was just over 1 hour and 50 minutes with the adjusted train time.
What would I do differently next time? Set up a play list so I would not have to scroll through Spotify on my iPhone while running.