Monday, December 15, 2008

I owe my half marathon medal to Britney

A long post for a long run:

I ran the White Rock Marathon/Half Marathon yesterday. Half marathon, just to clarify. 13.1 miles is not an easy feat, but 26.2 miles is a whole other ballpark and I wouldn't want any of you thinking I mastered the marathon...yet. I'll think about that once my body stops retaliating against me.

You may ask, why would anyone want to run a marathon?! Well, I've always been a runner. I have no idea how. My sister once famously stated, "I'd work out if I didn't have to move" and therein lies the Cannon family's perception of working out. I think I can honestly say, without hearing any protests, that I am one of the only Cannon's, including extended family, who regularly works out. So wherever I got the idea to physically move for no other reason except to sweat and stay in shape, is beyond me.

I remember running The Mile in elementary school for the physical fitness test: I am running around the track, maybe the 2nd lap, when I realize I'm by myself. I look behind me, bewildered, thinking maybe I had zoned out and was running an extra lap by accident. (I was one of those ADD kids.) I see a mass of girls (boys ran separately, something about 'too big of a group to run together'. Sure.) and realize I am just ahead of the group. Ahead. Of. The. Group. Those are words I didn't hear too often. I was 'behind the group' in math, science, and pretty much anything that uses the left side of the brain. Reading was a big forte of mine, but, let's face it, a kid who brags about reading chapter books fast? That will make them popular. So, anyway, there I am, impersonating the Roadrunner, speeding around the track, gloating in my newfound talent, and then I spot Emily Pratt about a quarter of a mile in front of me. To make a short story shorter, she crossed the finish line first. I tried my darnedest to catch up, but she was just too fast. Maybe this is where I developed my fondness for running. Discovery of ingrained talent (yes, ingrained. Cause like I said, this is not a family trait. And 'ingrained talent' sounds cool.) + competition = destined runner.

Jump to 15 years later, December 14th, Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center, 8am, and my ingrained talent and I are ready to run. I have to admit, in the beginning stages of a race, it's kind of exhilarating. I feel so...important. National anthem is sung, countdown to starting time, confetti rains down as you and thousands of other runners slowly jog to cross the start line, people cheering from the sidelines, people watching from high rises, cameras flashing, running through's cool. It continued to be cool until, say, mile 6, somewhere near Greenville Ave. I was no longer on a "runner's high". My thoughts turned from jovial: "Woo hoo this is going great! Going at a good pace. Probably somewhere near the middle. Haven't stopped yet, yay!" to hateful: "Omg knees HURT...WHERE is the next freaking water station?! Get OUT of my way you slow person...Good grief this play list blows...I'm only on mile seven?!?!" Right as I started to hit the "runners wall" I found my saving grace. Get ready. It's.... Ms. Spears. That's right, it's Britney, b*tch.

I suddenly remembered I had downloaded her new CD onto my ipod a few nights ago. Now, I don't like, worship, Britney or anything. I normally don't even download her stuff--the radio plays it endlessly anyway. But for some reason, I had felt compelled to download the "Circus" CD. Maybe to help her get back on top since she's had such a rough time (Since I count so much). Who knows. Anyway, I fiddled with my ipod- sticky, sweaty fingers scrolling through the artists until I found her. As soon as the base started thumping on that first song the adrenaline rushed through my body and I was back.

I felt like I was my 8 year old self again, racing to catch up with Emily Pratt. Except this time I would beat her. I even was told to slow down several times by my boyfriend, who was running with me. Which felt great, by the way. "Oh, sorry, I'm running too fast for you? Who's the weakest link now, huh?!" We're say the least. So, Britney and I ran together for almost a solid hour. I listened to the entire CD (rave reviews, let me tell you. 'Mmm Papi' is a winner) several times and never lost momentum. The sun seemed to shine brighter. The wind seemed to lighten up. It seemed like a path was cleared for me each time I ran by a water station. Bystanders yelled my name and cheered me on. A little girl gave me a high five. When I slowed down a fellow runner ran past and told me to "Keep movin! I was pacing myself on you!! I need ya!" so I sped up, I was needed.

Crossing the finish line was just as exhilarating as crossing the starting line, except, much, much better. Minus the woman who puked next to me immediately after finishing. I have Britney to thank for the 1 hour and 53 minute time. I wish I had found her sooner so I could've made my goal of 1 hour and 45 minutes. Oh well. There's always the full marathon. I hope she comes out with a new CD in time for that...which is yet to be she has a while.


  1. Congrats on finishing the race! What an accomplishment. I'm stopping by from SITS.

  2. Thanks! I'm happy I did well but def glad it's over with!