Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Little Piggy Went Running Instead of Going to Market

I was bummed when I realized that the first farmers' market of the season was going to be on the same Saturday as the Illinois Marathon – but probably not half as bummed as my friend Lisa who manages the market and had to deal with 15,000 people running rings around it, effectively land-locking it or car-blocking it.

Since the race started at the same time as the market, I had to choose between getting my hands on Prairie Fruits Farm's goat cheeses and Blue Moon Farm's spring greens or running 13.1 miles in the brutal, warm, muggy conditions of central Illinois. That was a no-brainer, and if I wasn't crazed enough by the start of the race, I was pretty well brain-dead by the end of it.

Still I achieved all of the lofty goals I set for myself: 1) don't die, 2) finish the race, and 3) break the 2-hour barrier. I cut this last one pretty close. My running buddy and I kept up a good pace until about mile 11, when the sun came out, my brains were baking in my head, and my heart announced that it was just about outta here. So I turned my running buddy loose and walked for a couple blocks, while I persuaded my heart to stay inside my chest. Then I started jogging again, and at mile 12 I was able to start running again, and when I got to the football stadium and saw that my time was 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 30 seconds, I gave it everything I had and sprinted across the field to the finish line. Beat my goal by all of 3 seconds. That's a .04% margin. Cutting it so close, I guess you could say I ran a cabinetmaker's race.

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