Today was the half marathon that I had registered for some time ago. It is called the Hapalua. And, if you are looking for a marathon experience but don’t want to actually run a marathon, this race is for you. It is fantastically crowded. Like the marathon. You get lots of fun stuff at the end. And by fun stuff I mean shave ice, a malasada and cold pressed juice from a local place. And of course, bananas and water. But really, everyone has that.
So I have been registered for this race for a long time. It’s not like I did not know that it was going to happen. I should have been increasing my distance up till the race itself. But I didn’t. Not only that, but on some of our long run days, I would tell my running buddy that we should just walk. And we did. It was really quite lovely.
I used to be the bossy one. The one who always wanted to go. The one who didn’t care if it was raining. Or if I was injured. And somehow, over the past few years, that changed. And I became more wussy. Less aggressive. “Walk” used to not be in my vocabulary and then I found myself advocating for it. And, for some reason, I still thought that the half marathon today could potentially be okay.
Well, that was a ridiculous assumption. It all started out auspicious enough. It was not raining. Because if it had been raining, I would have likely stayed in bed. It was humid but I was out the door on time to pick up my running buddy at 4:45 a.m. We found parking that was not dreadfully far from the starting line. The wait for the women’s room was blissfully short. I had gotten a new stick of Glide and applied it liberally to my parts that I knew would chafe. I was worried about my knee (which has been pretty janky for a while) and was hoping that it would hold out the entire time.
There were so many entrants that it took us a good couple of minutes to get to the starting line. And just as we started to pull away from the actual start line, someone behind my friend fell. Afterwards, she told me that she was thinking that she was just going to stumble and stumble and recover but then, she fell too. I helped her up and we pulled over to the side. Luckily, she was not really bleeding. She landed on her hip (surely to bruise later today) and only had a couple of small scrapes on her hand. I asked if she was okay. If she wanted to continue to run. If we should just go get breakfast. She said we should go on.
We ran together for the next seven miles. We never do that. But, truth be told, it was more for me than for her. The weather was humid and I knew that trying to run fast was not going to be the way to go. Finishing was the way to go. So we stayed together. She ended up having to go to the bathroom and decided to veer off by Ala Moana Beach Park. I decided to keep going. I knew that she would catch me up. I felt like if I actually stopped moving, that would be it.
I walked a bit near Waikiki. And then I realized that due to the fact that I am carrying around some extra weight, that I was getting chafed in places that I had not put Glide on. Because I did not know that I needed it. I ran again for a bit. I had to walk up Montsarrat Ave. which is the longest most awful hill in any race ever. I ran again and then when I got to Diamondhead, I walked again. My knee was not great so I was a little gimpy. I realized that I should look for my friend since I knew she was going to catch me. And sure enough, I looked up, and there she was. I didn’t want to yell but trotted up to meet her. We walked together a bit more and then trotted to the finish line. It was probably the slowest race I have ever done.
I am home now and, well, wearing underwear is pretty unpleasant so I think I’m going to stay home mostly today. I told my friend that in the future when we get together for our “long” runs on Sundays, that if I say that we should maybe just walk that she just needs to say one word to me, “Hapalua”, and we will be off for our run.