Yesterday I finished my twelfth half-marathon. I thought I was going to run it alone, but BB’s calf improved and even though she hasn’t been running, she decided to go out and make a go of it. And she did. We ran 13.1 miles through Philadelphia (we ran the Love Run) at a 10:11 pace. Take out the portapotty pit stop, and we nailed 10 minute miles.
I had originally been training to be hopeful at running about a minute faster. My training was ok, not great. I worked with a coach who had great plans for me, but I struggled to keep up my motivation. I didn’t get quite to the 9 min/mile pace fitness over 13.1 miles. But pace and other goals of that nature are all less important that running with my partner and having that connection.
I have run 12 half-marathons and two full marathons with BB. I have never run either distance alone. Every step of every race longer than 10 miles has been run side by side with my partner. I’m glad this one wasn’t an exception. I will run a half-marathon alone soon. I’m running one at the end of the Atlantic City half-ironman race in September. But the road races we do together and I’m glad.
The paces I’m putting up these days put me in the bottom third of men, and men my age. I am not fast. I am not especially fit. There are many things I cannot do. There are many peaks I cannot climb. I accept that. Some things I cannot change. But what I am doing is meaningful to me. I run, and I compete, and I do the best I can, for the most part. It allows me to stay healthy. If I weren’t doing these things I’d surely be diabetic by now. I’m teetering as it is.
The best I can do is the best I can do. I’m not ashamed of it.