Last Saturday was the big day. I wasn’t sure what to expect. After the horrible run I had had the previous Saturday, I just wasn’t feeling super confident about the run. That said, I was excited to be doing and I was really excited to be running it with my brother and sister-in-law. And by “with” I mean that we would all be running the same course…
We had to be on the buses to get to the starting line by 8:00 am for the race which started at 10. Last year, this was MISERABLE. It was so cold I literally wasn’t sure I was going to make it. But this year…20 degrees warmer and it was totally manageable. The one concern was the wind. And it proved to be a serious issue.
The routine, pre-race, is to have this super yummy protein shake that Cherity makes and a half a banana. Right before the race, Cherity gave me some pills that are supposed to help with lactic acid build up or something. (It’s a good thing I was never a club girl because I’m sure if someone had handed me a pill and told me it would give me energy, I probably would have taken it.) I popped some ibuprofen, as well. Normally, I bring some with me too, but I just didn’t want to this year. In fact, the only things I had with me were Shot Bloks and a Red Bull shot…both of which zipped into my shirt.
The first two miles were misery. Seriously, I’ve never struggled with muscle pain, but my calves were on FIRE! I was really worried. And really frustrated. But then, somewhere during the third mile, the pain finally went away. Maybe that’s when the ibuprofen kicked in?
While the wind sucked (12 miles of headwinds with only the occasional–and very minor–breaks), the temperature was perfect and it was just a little overcast. Ideal. I don’t know if it was the Red Bull shot or the pills I popped, or just some will power, but during the first 10 miles I was able to keep a great pace. I was averaging exactly where I wanted to. At the 10 mile marker, I figured out my time should I continue to run at the same pace. And then I watched as that time slipped from my grasp.
By mile 11, my feet were really hurting. I knew I had at least one blister, and while it was manageable, I just couldn’t keep going at that pace. So I slowed down. And then I walked for a while. Then I ran some more. And so an so forth… My dad, sister, and my brother’s two kids were all still hanging out on the street outside our condo when I walked past (there was no saving face at this point…I had to walk for a while). It was so fun to have them there and be able to say hi.
When I got to the last mile, I was determined to run it. And then that determination just went away. I was exhausted. But I managed to pull it together for the last quarter mile or so. Yeah. It was rough. But I finished. And I finished at exactly the time I had said was the maximum I would be happy with. Exactly 10 minutes faster than last year. And a PR for me on this course!!!
And, by way of information (and because I was curious and couldn’t remember) I looked up my time for the fastest half I’ve ever run; 24 minutes faster than what I ran this one at. This is my new goal for the third half I will run this year. I’m not sure when or where I’m going to run the third one, but that’s my goal and I really think I can do it. As for the number two…it is eight weeks away in Philadelphia and I will be doing it with the lovely Anne. My goal for that…cut 10 more minutes. I know that sounds ambitious, but I have a plan. Wish me luck!
ETA: A quick shout out to my brother and sister-in-law. Cherity cut 13 minutes from her time last year (beating my all time PR)! And Justin cut 29 minutes off his time!!! Talk about super stars! I’m so glad that they were willing to do this with me last year and I’m so proud of my sister-in-law who I remember saying at one point in time that she never had any desire to run that far. She’s amazing!!!