Worth noting only for my own future recollection, about 48 hours prior to writing this I was almost half way done running my fastest half marathon.
I’ve been aiming, however vaguely that aim may have been, in the direction of a sub-two hour half marathon for the better part of a decade.
Two hours is this semi-magical number in the eyes of any half marathoner that separates the pack. Anyone who runs that (or any race distance) should be celebrated and held up to the admiration of all. Putting one foot in front of the other and carrying yourself a distance at a speed greater than walking is a feat.
But we do like to measure things.
And once you’ve run ten, twenty, or maybe more half marathons you start to think that “hmm, I might want to see if I can run them faster and better and break through some arbitrary speed barrier that makes me feel like I’ve reached some next level of running achievement.”
A sub-two hour half is a letter-grade improvement on your running marks.
If finishing is a pass, then sub-two hour makes you a solid B student.
I’ve been passing for a decade, and after months of (a) recovery and (b) gruelling and focussed training, I get to now risk sounding like an elitist, gatekeeping asshole and say I broke through the two-hour mark.
I ran a half marathon in one hour fifty-six minutes and forty-one seconds. A solid B-student grade.
And then I stood at the finish and clapped and cheered for everyone else, until the last half marathoner crossed the line and hung a matching medal around their neck, because every one of those runners has been me over the years and forty-eight hours ago I may have been fast, but I won’t be forever.
But I do get to tell everyone I’ve run a sub-two-hour half marathon now… and forever.