Two weeks ago we went to Lisbon for the half marathon. To make a long story short, it was probably for the best that I screwed up, missed the fork where the half marathon course diverged from the the 7K course. Through the first 2 miles, I was telling myself I could do it if I just kept the 14 minute mile walking pace. I was motivated and doing well although I was starting cough quite a bit more around mile 3 so when I realized I was approaching the finish line of the 7K, I was extremely frustrated but also a tiny bit relieved. As my race luck would have it, after recovering from an ankle injury, I came down with the world’s most impervious cold. I tried everything we could find to include Hot Toddies whenever we stopped for coffee & tea.
It was slightly embarrassing to order a shot of whisky with my lemon tea at a cafe but it actually helped so later we picked up mini bottles of Jameson so that l could add it to my hot peppermint tea later. It helped and it helped me sleep and on race day I felt ready to… well, I felt ready to walk but I wasn’t ready to run.
We had been planning this since November so when my ankle injury from our Christmas ski trip resurfaced in February, I decided to train light and give it a try anyway. This was no different. I made a promise to myself not to let injury or illness keep me out of another race and I’m glad I at least gave it shot!
Race day was awesome. The weather was fantastic, the course was very flat and the atmosphere at the start and finish were worth the effort. Race starts are always interesting to me. Runners are a diverse group of people. The running costumes, outfits and legit running gear alone are interesting to watch. Pre-race rituals are fun to watch too! The group of Portuguese commandos here on the left ran 13.1 miles in fatigue pants, berets, and combat boots. There was a guy in a banana suit, several girls in cute tutus and sparkly headbands, plenty of men in too tight tights or too short shorts and lots of fun, bright socks, laces, hats and headbands. It’s always fun to see the race apparel!
Kate, Julie and I started off together but quickly lost each other in the crowd since we were all running at different levels. Running across the bridge was awesome. The Lisbon bridge was designed by the same architect who created the Golden Gate Bridge and the very long, high bridge made for a fun start.
The finish line was at the beautiful, palatial monastery. This made for a very pretty end of the race. Kate and Julie also run through some pretty, historic areas along the coast line during the half marathon. This is one of the great benefits of running in Europe!
I found Ryan quickly. He had made me an awesome sign to welcome me at the finish.
When everyone had finished we rested for a bit then found a cab and headed back to the hotel to clean up and quickly get out for a late lunch and sangria. Even though I only finished the 7K run, I had fun and it really motivated me for the next half marathon in April. The added bonus that I didn’t expect was that Ryan said he would start running with me! And he has!