The Casual Runner

Accept, Adjust, Advance: The Checkdown

So this is a very different article than I expected to be writing. You see, my week leading up to the 2016 Run and Ride Race weekend at Kings Island was filled with a geeky excitement. You see, not only would this be my 4th Run and Ride half marathon – amidst some awesome roller coasters no less – but it would be my 30th half marathon! That’s right, my half marathon career would be crossing the big THREE-OH! And I would be celebrating by riding some of the coolest coasters around.

IMG_0236But as, we say often on Casual Runner…not so fast my friend!

48 hours before I was to toe-the-line at my 30th half marathon, I woke up with the flu. It sucked, big time. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but at one point I went to the basement to change the laundry, and was so wiped from the flu bug that I decided that it would be a better idea to just stop and lay down on the steps for a while. This very much confused the puppies, especially Bentley, who came to lay beside me on the steps. (Gabby couldn’t be bothered, I’m sure there was a bone that she found much more interesting than my present plight).

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My trusted buddy, Bentley.

So yeah, Friday sucked big time. Saturday I felt better, but it was one of those things where i would feel better, do something, and then pay the price by being wiped out for a while thereafter. Candace and tried a light shakeout run, but kept it to a mile and a half instead of my customer pre-race 5k. Oh yeah, there was no way this half marathon as happening. The shakeout run destroyed me.

But still, the allure of number 30, let alone #30 AT Run and Ride, tantalized me. Heck, I’m the guy who ran a half marathon on a bum ankle, why would a little thing like a nasty flu bug stop me? Yeah, I am not always rational when it comes to running races. (Do as I say, not as I do, right?)

So I made a deal with myself. Since Candace was running the 10k, I would see if I could transfer into that event on race morning. If not, well, we all know what I would do. So the alarm went off at 4:30 am, we packed the car and headed down to Kings Island for the race. We got there, and, well, lets just say the Run and Ride race team could not have been more accommodating or supportive. Seriously, they were wonderful and proved yet again why their reputation as a runner friendly-race series is so well-earned.

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When I went to race morning bib pickup, I asked the young woman if it would be possible to transfer events. She asked if I was sure I didn’t want to run the half marathon. I told her that I really wanted to run the half marathon (I could sense Candace looking at me, thinking me the fool who would actually try to run it), but that I was fighting a flu bug. She understood and made the transfer, I would be running the 10k, #30 would have to wait. It would be nothing but smooth sailing…not so fast my friend!

We got back to the car to get ready for the race, only to learn that the battery died. Well, nothing we could do about that before the race, we would just have to stick to our mantra: Accept. Adjust. Advance. 

So Candace and I toed the line together and I did my best to tough it out for the 10k. Not only did I have an amazing experience (the course is a great one!), but I managed to turn in a pretty good time under the circumstances.

After the race, we called Kings Island information and they quickly dispatched a service vehicle to give us a jump. We were soon on our way to an auto parts store to grab a new battery, and still managed to make it back to the park during the early admission window for race participants! We rode several roller coasters before my body told me it was time to call it a day.

Seriously, everything was conspiring against me that day, but I was determined to enjoy myself, so I did. It would have been easy to just give in and call it a day, even record my first ever DNS (did not start). But I found a way to salvage this experience and avoid my first ever DNF (did not finish). I am appreciative of Candace and the Run and Ride Team for being so accommodating and understanding, allowing me to make this happen.

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Its like they say, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. Had I given in to the circumstances, I would have failed. But I was determined to enjoy myself, so I did.

If you want more coverage of the Run and Ride Kings Island races, check out some of our other great content!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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