This last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting my brother in Lincoln, Nebraska, as we finished a months-long plan to run the Lincoln Marathon. (I would run the half. He would run the full marathon.) Mom and my little sister came along to cheer us on, so I got to see them as well. My brother and his girlfriend (who is a lovely young woman, by the way) hosted me in their apartment.
It was nice to see them all.
Alright, so the day was very gloomy. There was a lot of rain along the way, from heavy mist to a quick-but-intense downpour. My brother lined up to run in the 8-minute mile group while I lined up at the very back of the pack, where I always line up. That way, I will always be catching up to people, especially the walkers.
It took a good half hour for me to get to the starting line, but, once I got there, I started running at a good clip (about 12-minute miles, which is fast for me) for the first half mile. Then I slowed down to a jog/walk. I would repeat this until mile number ten. That was my strategy. I wasn’t going to run myself out the whole way. I was there for fun.
Except that mile number nine had a big hill in it, and the road was a little worn out. So I managed to twist my left ankle a bit. From there to mile 11, I walked more than I jogged. It was around that time that my brother’s girlfriend notified us via instant messenger that he was a couple of miles away from finishing, so I decided to turn on the afterburners. I ended up finishing strong.
The course was nice and flat for most of the time, except between miles nine and eleven. Then it’s a big of an upward push, which, at that distance, you feel like it’s more inclined than it really is. The rain and the low temperatures actually helped a little bit by keeping us cool. If it were a little bit warmer, and just as humid, it would have been intolerable to run this race.
All in all, it was a good run. I’m very proud of my brother for achieving his first full marathon, and I’m proud of myself for finishing really strong… Even if I did end up waking up that night with an intense pain in my foot which may or may not be a stress fracture. (I’ll heal soon enough.)
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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