VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon

September 7, 2019

Bull Run Regional Park, VA

I have a confession: I should not have run the Women’s Half this year. The Women’s Half is such a special event. It deserves better than a half-alive marmot. Even if I knew I could cross the line first. It takes more than that to win.

I had good intentions:

  1. The WHM is one of my all-time favorite races. Where else do you get to take tequila shots and runs with giant stuffed bears?
  2. As a women-only race, where better to celebrate being a new mom who’s still lacing up, no matter how sleep-deprived.
  3. The image of all the new WUSsies piled into the baby thunderdome was pretty irresistible.
Furbutt gets a lift.

But I have never felt so physically ill at a race. That includes running the Boston Marathon with bronchitis. That includes running the Alexandria Turkey Trot with severe morning sickness. There is something about eastbound jet lag from Asia that just makes you want to crawl in a hole and die.

There are actually biochemical explanations for why jet lag following eastward travel is so much worse than westward travel. Physicists have shown that the cells in the brain that regulate circadian rhythms respond differently based on the direction of travel. The flight schedules make it even worse, with flights from Asia arriving in the morning in the United States, making it impossible to resist a massive daytime snooze.

At least Singapore was crazy beautiful.

Sprinkle a little eastbound Asian jet lag on top of the baseline sleep deprivation a new mom gets in her baby’s first year, and you get someone who’s not likely to enjoy running a half marathon.

I tried so hard to fake happiness for the wonderful folks at Juanita’s Cantina aid station

Top 3 finishers. Way too jet lagged to know who anyone is.

I did try to show up. I did my best to race well, and managed to eke out a win even if the time was a bit shabby. I snuggled with Whitehouse Tom’s adorable Australian shepherd puppy at the finish line until my head stopped spinning and I got enough good vibes to no longer be in danger of tossing water on people (sorry, Keith!).

Bjorn and Knute: the Scandinoovian Mafia plots its next move.

I did get to see all the adorable WUS babies: Knute and Skye and Cora. And even if they’re not quite old enough to interact with each other, it still gives my heart a squeeze to see them all in one place.

But, I solemnly swear to myself, I will never again underestimate the blow of eastbound Asian jet lag. And honestly, I have to admit that I can’t do it all the way I did pre-baby. I’m so accustomed to grinding my way through anything, but I have to go easier on myself, and know that being physically capable of crossing a line first is not the same as being the winner.


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