Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When Half is All There Is...

Well rested after the big Labor Day weekend? Not me. If I was in the Old West, I'd say 'this hombre is plum tuckered out.' If I was in The Big Lebowski, I'd say 'the human body is, like, not supposed to work like this, man.' If I was Vanilla, I'd say 'give me your house and your savings and your most pleasingly shaped kidney so that I can continue to feed the fires of my foreclosed live unicorn bonfire.' (Which is not at all relevant to this discussion. Odd, no?)

My legs are tired. My hammies are a little pissed. I tried to cram some extra hard running in this last week to make up for the week I spent eating free desserts and developing communicable diseases from greasy handled rides. Intervals? Yes, a couple sessions. A race pace 8 miler? Check. By the time I got to Sunday's 13 miler, I knew it was going to be a real Labor. (Honestly, you knew that was coming right?) Thirteen miles is no big deal, normally. But on the heels of a tough week, it felt like 20.

Another hard week awaits and then I'll probably pull back a bit to rest up for the big half-marathon. This is the first time in 4 years that I don't have a fall marathon on the schedule. Just a half marathon. A half marathon? Where's the satisfaction in that? That's like popping a ripe conical pimple only to find out half of the whitehead is still stuck inside. What a let down. That's like brushing only your bottom teeth. You don't go away with the same feeling of satisfaction of a job well - and fully - done.

I think the word "half" is not doing 13.1 miles the justice it deserves. A 5k, 10k, 15k, marathon, etc. get their own unique title. A half marathon gets a qualifier of another race distance just to let you know how inadequate it is. Oh, you're not a full marathon. Just a half? If you are doing a 5k, you don't say that you signed up for a half 10k. If you did, the first thing people would think is 'why isn't he just doing the full 10k? He can only do half of it?'

I don't know what we should call half marathons to give them the respect they half deserve. A triskaidekaphobiathon? A baker's dozen race? Nitmos' shoe sizeathon? (Admittedly, this probably won't catch on.) Something other than "half."

I'm not a half wit, there is nothing to be done about the title of my September 27th race at this point. I'll run it hard; no half assing it here. Hey, look at that last sentence. A semi-colon! A "half" colon.

Two and a semi weeks until my semi-marathon!

Happy trails.
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Last week, 8 miles @ 6:44 pace. This week, 9 miles at the same pace and a 15 mile long run. Oh, and 6x800 at 2:50 pace and 3x1600 at 6:00 pace.

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I always like it when the object of my teasing then appears in the comments. Hi Mrs. Beardsley, how are things?

19 comments:

The Sean said...

Good luck with your full 21k.

It is the most underrated, individually-special distance.

B.o.B. said...

No one is buying your shoe size buddy.

Morgan said...

Baker's Dozen just sounds like a race fat people would run to get doughnuts at the end right?

X-Country2 said...

Oooh your feet are so huge and manly! How do you ever find shoes to fit, Mr. Big?

Viper said...

The half marathon prefers to be deceptive. It might be a half marathon, but it will fully kick your ass.

Vanilla said...

Things that start with "Half" are awesome.

Half day at work? Awesome.
Half pounder hamburger? Awesome.
Half-Fast? AWESOME!

Spike said...

I don't see a taper in that schedule, do you have one, or does a half not deserve the respect that is a taper?

Marlene said...

It may not have a great name, but half marathons are the best!! You can run your ass off and don't need a month to recover.

Can't wait to see what you can do!

Ace said...

Just call it a marathon. You will be catering to the 90% of the population who believe that a marathon is any distance over two miles.

theloosemoose said...

I've never done a triskaidekaphobiathon. But seeing as how it rolls right off the tongue, I'm thinking I'll have to try it sometime.

Kristina said...

It is the Rodney Dangerfield of race distances, but my favorite use of a Sunday morning.

Irene said...

I've actually had a non runner friend tell me "oh, you ONLY did the half." To which I replied "when was the last time you ran 13.1 miles?" She shut up.

A baker's dozen race? Hmmmm. Doughnuts suddenly sound pretty good.

Richard said...

That day i'll be knee deep in a 1/2 Ironman. but the folks over there at Ironman changed it to Ironman 70.3 so there is no confusion. Just running a Half Marathon... wussy

Rural Runner E said...

Good luck with the 1/2 26.2 miler....I am sure you will do well and your hamstrings will be kind...

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Have a good race. And I agree it needs a better name.

BrianFlash said...

You obviously haven't heard the origin story of the Half Marathon. There was a great battle between the Monguls and the Germans, in 848 AD near the village of Half. A messenger carried the word of the German loss of the battle to his leaders. He relayed his message, "Get the hell out of here - the Huns are coming!" and then expired. It happens that Half is 21K away from where the leaders were camped. Modern runs, known as "The Half" started as a memorial to this unnamed runner. Some people erroneously refer to this race distance as a half marathon, but that is completely wrong.

Blyfinn said...

I like the baker's dozen race. You think you fooled anyone with the shoe size?

Mike G said...

8 miles at 6:44 is solid - nice work. I agree about the name issue with half marathons - it's the best race distance but with the worst name. I suggest calling it the 21k. Our culture seems to obsess over that age anyway so perhaps it would sound cool to a lot of people.

Adam said...

I was wondering how long it would take Vanilla to get a zing in there. You really DID set him up.

A lot of my family would just call it a marathon. "How, long is your marathon this weekend Adam?" "Well grandpa, this one is the full 26 miles"