San Juan Island Half Marathon

What do you call the person who graduates last from med school?

Finished with a time of 2:14. Again, goals of 1) Don’t die 2) Finish 3) Don’t walk were achieved. This was a miserable, miserable, beautiful run. 10/10 will never, ever, ever do again.

I had heard this was a hilly run. We went out there in February to see how bad it was before I committed to it. It turns out that driving the course in an Outback is far easier than actually running the course. I should also mention that I’m specifically forbidden to do hills. My primary cardiologist says if I’m going to run, don’t do hills. I actually agree with her on this, but it’s kind of hard to avoid in the Pacific Northwest.

We took our dog, Sir Remus Valentine of the Lone Star and stayed at a B&B the night before. It was a small crowd, maybe 300 people. The race starts at South Beach, heads west for a little bit, then meanders back to Friday Harbor. The race immediately starts with a slight uphill slope.

Before even the second mile, there’s a 150 foot elevation gain. It then drops 150 feet over another two miles, rises 150 feet again, then repeat the cycle. Throughout the course, you’re either hugging the coast or running by vast farmlands. If you can get past the misery, it is an incredibly scenic run. At the mile 9 water station, the volunteers cheered. I cried out, “I’ve made terrible life choices, and I regret everything.”

After that station, there is a long downward slope followed by another freakin’ sharp hill. In the last races, I pick up the pace in the last mile and empty the tank. However, in this race, I was just trying 1) not to die, and 2) not walk.

Part of my pre-race ritual is that I get a doppio right before the start. On the way to a cafe that morning, Gene Loves Jezebel’s Motion of Love was on Sirius. It psyched me up, so I programmed it into my phone. I started the song as I crossed the starting line. I was so focused on surviving the first two miles of uphill, I never changed it – for the remainder of the run. Two and a quarter hours of Motion of Love on repeat.

I imagined seeing my dog at the finish line excited to greet me. Nope, he was too busy sniffing around the beach. I grabbed a couple of free bananas and found the result station to check my time. Guess what? Third in my age group! Third out of five, but still, I get a special medal for it! What *do* you call the person who graduates last from med school? You call them “doctor.”

I’m going to take a couple of weeks off. First week to rest, a business trip to Chicago after that, then back on keto. I’ve decided to basically follow Hal Higdon’s Marathon training program. Let’s just see how it goes. I expect to have to stretch things out longer as my body adjusts to performance under fat adaption, but why not. Let’s see if I can actually get to marathon distances.

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