The View from Corral 11

I’ve been trying to get back to normal lately — of course, “normal” is a highly subjective term.

Last year, when I decided to give running a try, I was inspired by a friend of mine to run the Rock and Roll Half-Marathon. Ok, inspired may not be the right term, it was more like if he can run 13 miles, then apparently it ain’t that hard. A different band every mile – what’s not to love? I looked up the Rock and Roll Marathon Series, but there weren’t any that fit into a decent schedule for me.  This year, however, I made it a point to sign up for the one in Miami that was held this morning.

You might be saying: But didn’t you just run a 1/2 marathon on Halloween? Aren’t these a little close together? (This is actually a conversation I recently had with a athletic professional…read: PE teacher.) Yes, and probably yes. But when you are juggling jobs, kids, hubby, and home, it’s really just easier to keep them on a training schedule for an extra 2 weeks than to stop and have to start it all up again later. And in reality, with the exception of weekend long runs – all of my runs are done at o’-dark-thirty while everyone is still sleeping anyway. (I’m at mile 3 by 5 a.m. – do the math.)

This was by far one of the biggest race I’ve ever participated. The expo was on the beach, with tents everywhere. I splurged on new headphones, compression leg sleeves, and some race swag. I couldn’t wait to try them all out.

This was the first time I was assigned a “corral”. The references to livestock notwithstanding, I was trying to take in all the officialness. My previous races I just saddled up in the back, looking for someone who was either holding – or just looked like – they would finished around 2:45. Then we just all kind of shimmy towards the start together – usually getting to the line within the five minutes of the official start. Today I was roped off with the other Corral 11 Runners.

Now don’t get me wrong – I might wish to bump up my time a little – but I think Corral 11 are my people. They either trained **really, really hard** just to get here, or they didn’t train at all. I’m in the former camp – with other weekend warriors, running pals, and a few ladies dressed as Lola Brigida. Many of my friends are in the latter camp, calling themselves Team Zero Training and their conversation usually goes something like this: “Hey, what are you doing Sunday morning? Wanna run a Half? Sure, I’ll just be sure to leave the pub crawl around midnight on Saturday…”

I love Corral 11. No one here is going to win. We are Completers, not Competers. Like stretchy pants – iz just for fun.

My feet are begging me to take a little time off. I’ll rest for a few days, and then return to some normal mileage – you know, single digits. I finished strong – didn’t turn into jell-o at mile 12 (well, thanks in part to my official HELLAgoodTIME beer check). The last mile was actually fun. I could have gone for a few more. Not that I ever want to run a full 26.2, but today I actually thought that one day I could.

One thought on “The View from Corral 11

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