I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really mean it – I’m totally unprepared for the Houston Marathon happening in 11 days. My longest run was 12 miles on December 19th. I only ran once during the 2 weeks I spent with my family over the holidays, plus I was mildly sick for most of those days, so I was more focused on not getting sicker instead of running. I’m back in the city now, and finally feel mostly not sick, but it’s now negative 1,000 degrees outside and it’s too late to do any training that matters anyway.
It was a hard decision, but I decided to transfer to the half marathon (although I haven’t yet fully admitted I’m changing my 50 States goal to “half or full,” but it seems inevitable). I logged on yesterday to pay the fee to make the switch, but I was greeted with the message above instead. Turns out I missed the December 30th deadline! I called the organizers today and a nice woman explained that the bibs and whatnot had gone to print, and with 25,000 runners they had to adhere to a cutoff. While I totally understand that, it’s also a major bummer. She explained that I could simply run the half course which splits from the full at mile 8, but I’d be disqualified. That means my time couldn’t officially “count” for anything (plus I think it would show up online as a DQ, which is slightly alarming – I don’t want people to think I’m a Rosie Ruiz!). I’d also only be able to get the full marathon shirt and medal, which again makes sense because of the numbers, but I’d still feel like a super huge fraud collecting them.
Since I’ve already purchased my nonrefundable airline ticket, I plan on going to Houston and making a game day decision. That’s right, I’m going to decide at mile 8 whether to turn around and do the half and get a DQ (or a DNF, as long as I don’t cross the finish line), or run another 18 miles for the full marathon and all the painful glory that would entail. Odds are good I’ll turn around even if it means a yucky DQ/DNF. It’s funny how much a simple official transfer would have made me feel so much better, even though it’s just a meaningless time on the internet. I guess without the transfer it feels like I’ll just be doing a lousy training run instead of a race, and I’ll feel apart from the other runners instead of heading towards a common goal. Plus, of course, I would have gotten a legit bib, medal, and shirt.
This whole thing has gotten me a bit down, of course. 2015 was never going to be a good year of marathoning for me regardless, but now it’s going to be abysmal. I’m slowly coming to terms with a major goal change (from completing a full marathon in every state to completing a full or a half), and that’s also depressing. Plus of course I’ve been sick, not running, not posting, and now freezing.
My relentless optimism will still get me to the starting line in Houston (my first time visiting Texas!), and I’m excited for the overall experience regardless. I always learn something new from every race, and I’ll certainly learn a lot from this one, whatever happens.
Did you think maybe this post was going to be about Dairy Queens in Houston? What’s your favorite thing to get at DQ? Have you ever cut a race short and/or had a DNF? Share in the comments!