My first half marathon and how my husband lied to me
Today marked a first in Cassie history – a half marathon. 13.1 miles to be exact. I had a goal of finishing in 2:15:00 but frankly, I would have been happy with just plain completing it.
Let me start by saying that today was windy. I’m not talking a slight breeze, either. I’m saying gusts of 35 mph. And it was cloudy and cold. I think my car said 47 degrees.
When we got to the parking area, we still had to take a shuttle (read: big yellow school bus) to the start. We stepped of the nice, hot, toasty warm shuttle we entered a big open area surrounded by a corn field on top of a big hill.
Personally, I’m a fan of 60-70 degree weather. I’d rather be cold than hot, though, because you can always put on layers. Once you’re naked – you can’t really take of any more, now can you? And I’d also like to think that having been born and partly raised in Minnesota made me naturally resilient to whipping cold wind.
Today tested me.
Having cold muscles leads to sore, achy joints. Then turning around and running a half marathon on them…well, it’s not a good combination. Once we got started, however, we warmed up quickly.
Matt and I use an app that keeps our pace called Run Keeper. It’s nice because it’s really no frills, but every 5 minutes it chirps in your ear your pace, time run and distance. Because we were both running together, I figured he could be the man and be in charge of it for a bunch of miles.
But I was wrong.
We got started at a nice pace, it felt good, it felt easy. I asked Matt what our pace was and he said, “Around a 10 minute mile,” which was good because I was hoping to run the whole thing at a 10:30 pace.
Around mile 3, I was starting to feel my hips get tight and asked him again what our pace was.
Matt: We’re around a 10 minute mile.
Matt: Do you really want to know?
Matt: We’re averaging 9:45.
Now, to some, 15 seconds doesn’t seem like much, but really, I swear, it is. Especially when you have mentally prepared yourself for a 10:30 pace for 13 miles. That’s 45 seconds faster. And if you want the math part of it, that’s 5 and a half minutes Matt was trying to shave off my final time.
Then I had to pee. I had to pee bad. Cold weather + mother of 3 + constant motion and bladder jostling = bad situation. There were porta-potties along the trail, but of course, as soon as I had to pee, they all went missing. FOR THREE MILES there was nothing. And this was one of the few times I really wished I was a man. I don’t know how many guys we passed taking a piss off the side of the trail.
Finally, when we found one, I squealed with delight because I a.) found a porta-potty and b.) managed to not pee my pants.
I kept my legs moving the whole time, which is pretty amazing and I came out of the porta-potty running. When we got back into our rhythm, I again, asked Matt what our pace was.
He answered his standard reply: “We’re around a 10 minute mile.”
Fine. Whatever. 10 minute mile.
I’m pretty sure I was known as the girl who sang obnoxiously. I sang my version of That’s Not My Name by the Ting Tings (however, I turn it into the Geno Malkin version,) Britney Spears, and of course, what race isn’t complete with out the Black Keys?
I spanked Matt at mile marker 1, 3 and 11.
I did my own version of Rocky Balboa’s shadow boxing.
There were many fist bumps.
Around mile 11 we slowed down. I know this because Matt told me so.
Matt: We’re slowing down.
Me: What do you want me to do? I’m going as fast as I can.
Matt: We’re down to, like, a 12 minute mile.
Me: No way.
The race course is fantastic. It follows a very scenic trail along a creek in the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet, rustic and at any given moment, you could get mauled by a bear. It’s also mostly downhill with the exception of the last mile, where you have to go from down on the trail to waaaaaay up high on the road. That means a ridiculously steep hill.
When we got into the town of Freeport, we turned the corner and saw the finish line. Matt kept saying, “You did it! Great job!” and I took off sprinting with a huge, cheesy smile on my face.
I did it.
We finished at roughly 2:11:22.
When we got to the end of the chute, Matt stopped his phone and looked at our pace.
Mile 1 was our fastest at 9:41.
Mile 10 was our slowest at 10:59. (Because of the pee break.)
12 minute mile my ass, Matthew John.
He pushed and pushed and pushed. He went a few feet ahead of me to try to get me to sprint to keep up with him. He lied to me about how fast we were going because he knew I could keep up with a sub 10 minute mile pace and he thought that if I thought we were doing just that, then he could make me go faster than that.
And because of this, I finished my first half marathon 3 1/2 minutes faster than my goal. (With my original goal being 2:25:00)
So thank you for lying to me.
But I’m still mad at you.