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First you need the history, I'll make it quick.<br><br>
I started running about three years ago when I topped the scale at 400lbs. Fast forward, a couple years and was talked into my first race ever, a half in February 2007, my time was 2:15. Second half I ran was in Fontana, a steep downhill course, time 2:10, my quads still hate me for that one. So yesterday was my third half and let's just say it ended up to be a humbling, learning experience. A few months ago I joined a running group and have been training with them; I ran a few 20 milers and some longer runs, so I'm more than ready to tackle a faster half, or so I thought. I'm 265lbs., about 20 pounds lighter than I was when I ran my second half, so about a month or so a go, I get the idea in my head I want to break 2 hours at Long Beach. I post for some advice in the PRT here at KICK and get a lot of sincere, well-thought out responses as to why that would be fool-hardy. I stiffened my lip and told myself, 'what do they know, they don't know where I've been and where I've come from, I can do it.' I also can be a dumbass from time to time, I should have said to myself, 'they are experienced runners who have been doing this for a lot longer than me.'<br><br>
The race.<br><br>
I like to start in the back of the pack, I'm embarrassed about being a big guy surrounded by tiny running folks, so I tend to migrate with the other 'big' people (who are more often than not I've seen, walkers) and start at th end of the line. This was the wrong race to do that and I knew it to. Going into it I knew my margin of error was slim to none to break two hours, that goal was lost during the first mile. The announcer is screaming, his voice is piercing, my muscles are tight but I'm feeling great. Mentally, I'm in the zone, I'm pumped, I'm screaming on the inside, let's get this bitch going. 'I've trained hard, put in countless miles and even ran 20 milers, I'm ready to kick this courses ass, there is no way I can fail,' the crowd lurches forward, I finally cross the starting line and start my watch, we're off, to walk. 'What the fuck??' Slowly, I move through people, up on the curb, dodge left, parry right, sprint through an opening, don't forget to shoot a dirty look back. The crowd is getting faster, mile one, awesome, look at the watch, 'I kicked ass weaving through people, I can't be that far behind.' Watch reads, 11:40, 'oh shit.' (I need a 9:10 pace to break 2 hours.) Quick math in my head, 'I'm 2 two minutes and thirty seconds off...dodge, weave, parry around some more folks...screw it, just run, get around these f'n people.'<br><br>
The next few miles are the same story, dodge, sweep right, reverse left, draw play up the middle, dirty looks all around. Then me and a few thousand of my most hated fellow runners are funneled onto a bicycle path along the beach, sand on either side. This makes my life even more miserable. I reach the halfway point, my watch time is just at over an hour, 'breaking 2 hours is out the window but I can still PR!!!' I surge with energy. 'I've trained hard, put in countless miles and even ran 20 milers, I'm ready to kick this courses ass, there is no way I can fail,' left, right, tailgate those that won't get out of the way, breath heavy, sing, sweat on them if I have to, just move out of the way! A few miles of this and doing everything to make up time I possibly can, by mile 8, I was in run/slog mode my knee hurt so bad, and thank gawd my knee hurt because then I would have to admit I was in run/slog mode due to being exhausted. My knee started hurting at like mile 4, which threw off my gait and made me all sorts of funky.<br><br>
At mile 10, both of my calves cramped up. I stopped and gave them the magic once over, I told you I can be a dumbass, and took off again. Only to have them cramp again and I almost hit the ground. This, combined with the knee and my frustration at not being able to get around people broke my spirit. I limped the rest of three miles in. As I was limping in, volunteers were cheering me on; almost there! you can do it! smile! I was completely embarrassed and even mad at them for cheering me on, 'just ignore me and I'll be gone in a minute,' or two or three minutes actually with my limp. Everyone I worked so hard to pass, passed me by, all of them, the cute girls running with each other chatting away, the not so cute ones, the dude with the mohawk, half of the nation of those rebuilding a nation, three-fourths of team in training, the full marathon leaders and finally, the old dude running with a cane. 'I've trained hard, put in countless miles and even ran 20 milers, I've had my ass kicked by this course, I failed.' I was pissed at myself, I was hurt physically, mentally and emotionally, disappointed and seriously thought even starting running was the stupidest thing ever.<br><br>
Then a funny thing happened, I started thinking about what a crappy race report I was going to post when all I had looked forward to for weeks was posting how I broke 2 hours and a big f'u thread to those of you who said I couldn't. I started thinking about all those imaginary people, all their heartfelt advice, their race reports, mostly amazing accomplishments but even these imaginary folks whom I hold with high regard, have had their bad days. Specifically what came to mind was EQ and his latest bout with the Equinox Marathon, anyone who has even been around coolrunning or KICK for ten minutes knows how much this race means to him. He trained ten times harder than I did and had to drop out like halfway through because he was so sick (he had got sick a few days prior but still decided to try), this had to be devastating for him, but he took in stride and has since PR'd at his last marathon, he didn't quit. I thought about arc and his quest for Boston; his indomitable will to push through pain and go faster and farther, always with a smile. I thought about orangeshorts breaking his hand and continuing on his ultra. I thought about Hippo and srlopez, the marathon maniacs, they run and push on no matter what. I thought about merigayle and muzicgrl, two amazing women who continue to push themselves to new levels of tenacity. I thought about hahaoya (I actually thought about her by her real name as I can not pronounce her screen name) always kicking ass and taking names and posting her progress and letting all share in her victories. I thought about Ileneforward, always the internet mystery but runs in like three running groups, is always looking to better herself technically and time and time again, brings home hardware from races and I'm not talking finisher's medals here people. I thought about the imaginary folks here who have shared their personal stories of triumph, overcoming alcoholism, quitting smoking, starting to run, running a first marathon, doing their first tri, attempting their first ultra, those that refused to surrender to cancer, serious injury and countless other ailments, those that have slipped disks in their back and are on the comeback trail, these folks are amazing. I thought about all of the love and support I have received from these people and was humbled. Sometimes this is more than just a website. I was a complete jackass through the entire race and needed some grounding. I was overconfident, rude and downright mean and that is more embarrassing than having my worst race ever.<br><br>
And so the things that were told to me by my imaginary friends when I first posted about wanting to break 2 hours, I learned the hard way. I need to take off more weight, I need a better training plan, I need to go out SLOW and not push in the first few miles, I need to be patient with my goals or I might end up hurt.<br><br>
So to my imaginary peeps, I stand humble and a little wiser, thank you.
 

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That was a great report Antag. You're story is inspiring in itself and I'm sure that you will reach your goals.
 

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You have a gift for articulating the way you come to realize things, antag, and we in turn can learn from that.<br><br>
Thank you for such a real report!
 

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Life is a marathon not a sprint.<br><br>
Humbling experiences will help you grow leaps and bounds. Nice job Antag, you'll reach your goal someday, sooner rather than later. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Way to go! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"> Sometimes those humbling experiences are the best ones of all...for learning. I think we have all been there in one way or another.
 

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Antag, that report was just awesome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> As long as you have faith in yourself you will be able to do whatever you want with your running. And weight loss. With whatever you put your mind to.<br><br><br>
Can I cheer you on at your next HM? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/hello2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1">
 

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Antag - Great report. Very inspirational. I've enjoyed following your progression as a <i>runner</i>.<br><br>
You are very wise my young Padawan. The Force is getting stronger in you.
 

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Antag - Brotha Clydesdale -<br><br>
Life is about learning lessons - I hope you are much more smart than me and this one leaves a lasting impression - I seem to have to relearn the start too fast (Believe the fantasy of how fast I want to run the race) once each year.<br><br>
This race will set you up beautifully for the next one - Recover well, get a little more desire in your training and run the next one conservatively early. I find 1/2 marathons really tough to run well.<br><br>
Thanks for posting - I always post the Good, Bad and Ugly - I just wish there was a little more good to post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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It is really hard when you start too far in the back. Even when you should start in the back, just not <i>that</i> far back. It should not throw you off that much. But it does.<br><br>
I'm sorry you didn't PR. That doesn't mean you haven't made remarkable progress. I'm still trying to "run like Tag."<br><br>
All my best,<br>
Billy
 

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Antag -<br><br>
I am humbled to be included in your race report.<br><br>
Hey, you came up short of your two hour goal. But think about how far you've come. A few years ago, when you weighed 4 bills, I bet you never thought you'd run a half marathon AT ANY SPEED! I know my friend, I used to weigh 3 bills myself!<br><br>
You have done a remarkable job dropping the weight and getting yourself into a healthier frame of mind.<br><br>
By your own admission this course kicked your butt. You know what? Sometimes that's a good thing. It teaches us lessons we can use in future races, and I have NO DOUBT that you will do just that.<br><br>
As for your 2 hour half marathon, I want you to do me a huge favor Anty, I want you to remember something...you didn't fail to achieve the two hour half. You just haven't achieved it yet. You will. I have no doubt.<br><br>
As I close this post Anty, I'm going to pass on to you what another runner passed on to me when I bonked and didn't get my BQ in 2005. I was ready to hang up my running shoes until I saw this:<br><br><i>Some people try, and they succeed.<br>
Others try, but short they fall.<br>
I tip my hat to both groups,<br>
'Cause most people never try at all.<br><br><b>THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IN LIFE IS THE FAILURE TO TRY</b></i><br><br>
You tried. And you'll get 'em in the future! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Hey man, hang in there. Your report was great, and your story is a good one and it's inspiring. Don't beat yourself up too much. You're doing well, remember this is a long journey, not a sprint race. The rewards aren't immediate, but they are great. Remember, you need to have fun doing it. It may not always be fun, but try. Keep the faith!
 

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maybe we're twins, Taggy. I had a kind of similar day on Saturday, only I'm a slacker and don't have a race report yet.<br><br>
Some days it's just not happening. For me on Sat it started to suck at mile 2 and just steadily got worse... for 60 more miles. Some days the only goal left is "I didn't drop." I've had to content myself with that a lot, lately. You did OK too.<br><br>
I was like 3 hours off of my goal, so don't feel so bad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> You'll learn to content yourself as I have with "I didn't drop, on a day when others did."<br><br>
Now for both of us comes one of the biggest tests of mental toughness: how to pick ourselves up and prepare for the next one.
 

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That was quite a report, Antag.<br><br>
I didn't know your back story, but it's amazing to me from how far you've evolved as a runner. Part of this continuing process is obtaining the maturity to put things in perspective when a race doesn't go the way they want. It looks like you've reached that here.<br><br>
I think you'll break two hours for certain - you know what you need to do, and I believe you have the determination and desire to make that happen. Now it's just a matter of going out and doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words and support!! You all are the best.<br><br>
On a side note, did no one find my humor in 'three-fourths of team in training' and 'half of the nation to rebuild a nation,' passing me?? Are these national organizations, if not, my wittyness may be lost.<br><br>
Oh well, I'll just stick to f-bombs, I like them better anyway.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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You have a way with words, particularly the four letter variety.
 

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Yeah, I got that...we have those folks around here. I thought it was funny. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Good humor makes for a great report no matter what the result was. Thanks.
 
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