Many, many months ago we thought it might be “fun” to do a family half marathon. Mr. Moe and I have managed two in the past and didn’t die. So, we thought, what is one more? The months fly by, and life happens and we haven’t been out for one run. Not. One. We jointly decide to blow off this race. Miss Moe already dipped on this long ago and refused to participate. No amount of bribing or cajoling was going to put her on the start line with us. We justified blowing off this race because it was the Hershey Park Half Marathon, and each ticket came with two free tickets to the park. We thought, heck, we’ll just go to the park and enjoy the weekend. Then, they released the medal – which was a glorious Kit Kat; and finally – the clincher, the bib numbers were assigned. My bib number was the same number as my Powderpuff football number in high school. I took this as a sign and decided we would just do it. So there’s the back story about how we got to this point, untrained and ready to tackle this beast. We are an active family (hiking and biking), but no official running in months.
Before the race, I tried to research good strategies for going in to a half marathon cold and found next to nothing useful about doing this (since it isn’t the smartest idea). Mr. Moe swore he wouldn’t kill me, and that he would keep the pace. The pace requirements were 14 minute mile; which sounds reasonable, until you are staring down 13.1 miles at this clip. Our singular goal was to complete this race, get our Kit Kat medal, and move on with our lives.
The day before, we go to the parks to enjoy. I’m thinking fries and funnel cakes are just what the doctor ordered for carbing up. Mr. Moe discourages this and I get Brussel sprouts and pierogis. Yes, you read that right. At a theme park, I get Brussel sprouts and pierogis. While I’m impressed a theme park with candy themed carries this sort of fare, I’m pretty sure they were pretty old Brussel sprouts; and I feel like the guy scooping these sad little things in the bowl didn’t even know where to find them. I’m pretty disappointed at this point and look longingly at people’s funnel cakes and mutter about the injustices of my life – but knowing this is the right thing to do if I have any hope of crossing the finish line. Many hours go by, and I’m on a ride that terrifies me. I immediately insist on an ice cream once off the hellish ride where I swore my life flashed in front of my eyes several times, it’s not funnel cakes, but Turkey Hill chocolate and peanut butter ice cream will do.
The night before I’m up and down all night with nerves and some pretty serious regrets. Now, phantom pains spring up (is that my hip that hurts? Why does my foot hurt right now? I’m pretty sure my leg just fell asleep…. etc.). After a pretty restless night for the both of us, we wake up and it is raining and dark…. Nothing in the forecast said anything about rain. We are too far gone to turn back now and decide to press on. We gear up and head out. About 45 minutes and a filthy, FILTHY porta-john later (what do people do in there anyway?) we’re lined up at the back of the 14 minute pacing corral and we’re ready to go. It’s cold, and somehow at this point, I’m ready to begin this run.
And, we’re off to the races.