01 December 2012

The (Sort of) Half-way Point


When I started this blog, I had two goals: Finish every Hugo Winning Novel in as many weeks as there are awards and at the same time, finish a marathon.  As of last Sunday at about 10:30 am, I have officially completed half of this two-part blog challenge.

I am officially a marathoner.

Sometimes this combination reading/running challenge has resulted in some pretty cool experiences.  Sometimes not.  Most of the time I wondered why the hell I would try to mash these two things together but now that it’s said and done, I’m just happy I’ve done something I’ve always wanted to try.

I really wanted to post more about the whole experience over the weekend, but my nerves and/or emotions and/or muscles were so jacked-up throughout the entire weekend that it was really hard to focus.  I tried to keep track of the highlights where I could so enjoy:

Regular Time SAT 12:15 pm We leave Grandma and Grandpa’s house and decide to take the rural route to Cocoa Beach as it’s only about a 4-hour drive compared to about a half-hour more on the interstate.

RT 1:30 pm MOMMYDADDYI’MGONNAGETSICK!  We stop on the side of the road and look at the cows.  Of course, she doesn’t get sick but she does pull a good deal of my hair out.

RT 4:45 pm We arrive at the Kennedy Space Center to pick up my Race pack and after everyone punches or pinches someone else, we pile out of the car and (more hair- pulling) try not to look homeless.

RT 4:46 pm Emmeline tells an employee with cornrows that he has crazy hair.  Um...


We made it!

Danger you idiot!

I now have two handfuls LESS hair than before.
Should've listened to the robot.

Taking a moment to breath.

We could totally go to the Moon!
Well, we would fit anyway...

RT 6:00 pm We almost didn’t make it out of the Space Center alive but somehow make it to an Italian restaurant for dinner with a friend who was running the Space Coast Half-Marathon.  This happens in a haze pretty much.  It’s loud enough in the restaurant that no one (including myself) can hear the children and my head is pretty much swimming anyway.

RT SUN 4:40 am I switch on my computer to “check stuff”.  Actually I think I’m just doing something familiar for the nerves as I have nothing to do on my computer next our tiny hotel bathroom.  I see Neal’s comment reminding me the first marathoner died and the brief moment of levity nearly picks me up and sticks my head through the roof.  Time to start breathing deep.

RT 6:15 am The marathon begins to a simulated shuttle lift off and music off the Star Wars soundtrack.  Freaking sweet.

Me and my Dad, just before the start.
It was cold...for Florida.

Marathon Time 47:00 Hundreds of gulls sitting on a dock, squawking, “mine”.  I increase my pace.

MT 57:01 10 Kilometers.  Not my fastest 10K, actually pretty slow.  I realize I’m feeling great and running slower than necessary.  I increase my pace.

MT 1:11.00 A spectator, approximately 12-years old, does an amazing robot on the sidewalk.  We exchange glances…and both laugh.  Probably one of my favorite moments from the run.

MT 1:34.00 “Katherine must go.”  I had very serious anxiety over some technical difficulties which kept me from finishing Green Mars during the marathon.  Instead I went back to Fledgling by Octavia Butler, a book I started for the RIP challenge in Sept./Oct. but was never able to finish.  I’m not gonna lie, I started to lose my shit when I realized my planned listening materials were not working out but it turned out alright because I’m now almost done with my first book by Octavia Butler despite what has been a hectic reading schedule of late (for me anyway). 

MT 1:57:15 Half-Marathon complete, I see my parents, who were a really awesome support team, and hand off my MP3 Player to my cheering Mom.  I increase my pace.

MT 2:20.00 A spectator is holding a sign that reads, “Let the Wookie Win!”  Too true. 

MT 3:02.04 20 Miles.  Every step I take after this point, I am running further than I’ve ever run before.  A dolphin surfaces on the banks of the Indian River.  My foot pain is causing me problems.

MT 3:30.00 My foot, the right one with plantar fasciitis, is officially going to break in half and I can feel my pace slipping.  I try to fall into step with a guy in a red shirt and tell him I’m running with him.  He just says, “misery loves company,” and that’s all I need to hear, so random guy that I chose to force myself on, Andrew from Washington, I hope I didn’t ruin the end of your marathon with my grunting and chattering.  And thanks!

MT4:14.30 After much pain and then also some more pain.  I cross the finish line.  Ali (Wife) runs up from behind me and literally right after she snaps a photo we both start crying and just hold each other.  It was an amazing feeling and I didn’t realize how important the feat was going to be until just then.

My Stats
Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach, FL
Training miles 303+ (I didn’t keep track of these very well, but this is what I logged on this blog)
Finishing time 4h 14m 30s with a pace time of 9:43
Placed 358 of 886 overall and 23 of 31 in my age group

After finishing the Space Coast Marathon, Green Mars, and Doomsday Book this week, I am feeling pretty drained, and at a loss for words.  A great marathon and two great books in one week has left me mentally, emotionally, and physically drained, but it also means that the only thing that stands between me and the end of this entire ridiculous challenge is 20 Hugo Award winners.  Holy crap, I can totally do this.  I think.


  1. It was an awesome feat to witness. We are so proud of your accomplishment.

  2. wow! congrats on finishing the marathon, and with the foot pain! what an accomplishment. have another marathon in your sights?


    1. Thanks. For a week I didn't want to think about running at all. I'm starting to get the itch again already though. I kind of love the idea of running another marathon, but it's the idea of all that training again that makes it hard to say when/if I'll run another. But I'm sure a Half is in my very near future.

  3. Just catching up on old posts. Congratulations on still being alive! I've been thinking that some day I need to try to end a marathon alive as well. But maybe I'll wait a couple decades to muster up the courage.

    1. Do it like a band-aid. Do it now. Do it fast. :-)

  4. This was a great pleasure to read. I was feeling your pre-race anxiety, slow start, and ending pain as if I was there with you, and that is just from me running my first half recently. Still don't have the oomph yet to give a marathon a try. Maybe after my next half in early spring. Yours sounds like it was great fun to participate in. Anything that starts with Star Wars music has to be a good thing, right? So very psyched for you in both of your goals, the reading and the running.

    1. Thanks Carl! The space theme made it so special for me/crazy fun and the Imperial March right before the start had my body tingling really bad. The whole experience was great and everyone's support and congratulations have been awesome.

      I've been enthralled by your own running progress so if you do give one a shot, I'll be anxious to hear about it. Good luck training for your next half!


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