This is why I run.

I finished my fourth half marathon of the year this morning, and after progressively getting one minute slower during the last three - 1:56, 1:57, 1:58 - I finally did something good. An hour and 55 minutes. Booyah.

I was mildly worried about this race, mostly because I've done nothing but slack for the past month-and-a-half, using marriage as an excuse. And television. And the heat. And the rain. And pretty much any excuse I could think of not to run. In fact, before this morning, I hadn't run in a week. I was on a roll.

But after stuffing myself with spaghetti last night, going to bed at 9 p.m. and stretching out my sore dragon boat ass this morning, I was ready to go.

The first seven miles breezed by. And, of course, by "breeze," I mean I was running and tired and ready to be done, but still plugging in miles under an 8-minute, 30-second pace. Runner speak for Not Too Sucky.

And then mile 10 came, then 11, and I was mostly spent. The sun was shining and I was sweating and, seriously? A hill? I'm sure. But I was still clocking in the miles under 9 minutes. I was definitely on track to break two hours, which was the plan.

I rounded the corner just before mile 13 and saw the finish, so I did what any eager beaver would do, and made a mad dash, which was stupid because .3 miles is a lot farther than you think after logging in a good 13 miles. So I was sprinting, and panting, and cringing and wishing the goddamn finish line would hurry the hell up and get here, and voila. There it was. And my watch read 1:55.


So that was that. No more races 'til the big one next month. But this one has left me feeling optimistic.

And I want to give kudos to my girl, Jenny, who finished her first half marathon this morning. She rocked it. And as we stood at the starting line she said to me, dammit, if I'd never met you, I never would've gotten this crazy idea in my head.

But this morning she crossed the finish line, and I'm like a proud mama hen.