Most people are familiar with no drop runs. For those of you who aren’t, it means no runner left behind. This is a great concept since a lot of people are intimidated about being a slow runner and don’t want to have to run alone, particularly when they don’t know the course or area.
I ran the Iron Girl Columbia half marathon today. Prior to the race, I was concerned for a variety of reasons, but primarily because I hadn’t run that distance since January and my training runs have basically been 5Ks. Also for the past year during races and training runs, my hip/ITB would be in crippling pain by mile 8. Last May I could barely hobble to the finish line at the Frederick half marathon.
However, I have a secret weapon…my friend Kristin. She sets her run/walk intervals on her Garmin and then powers through to the finish. I figured I hang with her and somehow I’d make it thru the 13.1 miles. Our goal — just to finish. I told her I wanted to beat 3:30 since that’s what I did at the 2012 Frederick half. I figured there would be no way to beat my time at the 2011 Zooma half.
So, we’re running along having a great time and get past the half way point. I’m feeling really good (no pain, improved endurance, etc), but Kristin starts having problem with her hip and she’s really hurting and concerned. She’s gunning to do all three Iron Girl events and she just has to finish today’s race. I told her not to worry that I was sticking with her and I’d get us both over the finish line. All she had to do was dictate the intervals and I would keep us moving forward.
Well it worked. We stuck together and crossed the finish line with arms raised. A bonus about running so slowly is our names and bib numbers were announced when we crossed and the other finishers cheered. I felt like a celebrity!
To top it off, Kristin sent me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers as a thank you. They were pink and in a pink can. How thoughtful…thank you Kristin! You’re the best!
There is nothing wrong with splitting up and running your own race. But before we started, Kristin and I both agreed that this would be a no drop run. And I have a new standard for my half marathons. Talk about win-win!