“Embrace the Suck”

This is Jena and I’s official race motto as taken from a sign seen on the race course.

According to urban dictionary:

embrace the suck
often used by NCO’s in the military. The term would be used when an individual or a group must complete a task that is pointless, tiring, and/or lame.

NCO: Hey gather up, we need to mow the grass before we are released today.
Soldier: That’s bullshit, we had all day to do that.
NCO: Well then just embrace the suck and get it done.

embrace the suck

Here is about how a conversation went after embracing the suck for quite some time:

Jena: We are almost there.
Me: Not close enough. I can’t see the finish line yet.
Jena: Look! It’s “Embrace the suck” girl again!

We laughed (or tried to), and I continued trying to spot the finish line.

But I did embrace the suck. Well, kinda.

Here is how it went down.

Let’s start with the stats, and let the numbers speak for themselves.

Women's Half Splits
Official Finish Time: 2:07:59
Place: 961 / 4746
Division: 128 / 567

Milles 1 to 6 were strong. Miles 7 and 8 were not as fast, but Jena and I were still in the game. At Mile 8-9 it is clear things took a turn for the worse. And oh my! Look at mile 11-12. We were so close, yet so far away!

As you can clearly see, I only hit one of my goals – finish strong. I’m okay with that though. There are always other half marathons. Now, I’m looking ahead and going to focus on healing this little injury that crept up on me last minute and just enjoying the sport. I am signed up for a Jingle 5k with some friends in December which will be fun, and I’m looking forward to Tri season in the spring.

So why didn’t it go as good as planned? I think it was a combination of being under-trained and injured that contributed to what transpired this morning. I was (pretending to be) mentally there to tackle a sub 2 hour half, but when I started to feel pain in my “injured area,” I freaked out a bit. I had an internal dialogue with myself and seriously contemplated walking up the steps of my hotel as we passed it at mile 6 and calling it a day. Being injured seemed like a good excuse to throw in the towel.

I turned to Jena and said, “you can go ahead.” But she responded, “We trained together. We are finishing together.” That really meant a lot to me.

So, I started to count down. We slowed our pace, walked through water stops, and took a second to stop and stretch.

And we crossed that finish line together.

jena carolyn womens half

The course was beautiful, and the Women’s Half Marathon – St. Petersburg was really a well organized race. The swag bags were good, the race shirt fit was decent (but pink!), and the expo was plentiful.

The course was long though. Or maybe I need to learn how to run the tangents better; however, I was conscious of our running and always tried to hug the inside of turns. Oh well.

So, how do I feel now?

After a big lunch, a nap, and googling, “feeling like shit after a half marathon recovery,” I decided that a wannabe ice bath might do me good. That was immediately followed by a vegan chocolate chip cookie and a glass of chocolate soy milk. Best cookie of my life, by the way.


Vegan MOFO, Take 15

The pain I was experiencing last week is no worse that it was at it’s peak, but I’ve picked up a few aches and pains since the run. My lower back hurts, so I’m walking like an old lady, and my quads are a wee bit sore (as expected). I’m hoping to get a massage tomorrow night.

So there you have it folks. Not quite as I dreamed of, but I am truly happy I made it to that finish line with Jena by my side. Thanks Pal.

Live well,



November 21, 2010 · 8:50 pm

9 responses to ““Embrace the Suck”

  1. lifeisbeachykeen

    Great race report. I will be stealing your split chart & that pic of us, it’s a good one!

    I enjoyed running this race with you, even though it was a pretty big pile of suck.

    As you said, there will be other half marathons to conquer (March maybe?)

  2. I think you did awesome! especially considering the injury.

  3. I’m almost positive my life would be incomplete without urban dictionary. Actually, I am absolutely positive it would feel that way…

    Nice work on the race. Finishing is a big accomplishment in my book. I hit a wall about the same time in my race a few months ago as you did. It’s rough!

  4. Ed

    Top 20% is pretty cool. Injured, under trained…whatever. You can do a Sub 2 easy! What is next?

  5. Love the picture of you two! Congrats on finishing the race and running a strong time. You definitely finished ahead of a ton of other runners. Hope that injury heals up quick.

  6. enjoyed your recap! I saw that sign a couple of times too. Did you wear a Garmin during the race? Mine showed the course was .2 of a mile long, but then again, I need to learn to run the tangents also.

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