Saturday, May 13, 2017
Half Marathon Number Six!
My race is done! It's so incredibly satisfying to say that. Was it the race I had hoped for? Not entirely. However, given the conditions of the day I am absolutely satisfied with my performance.
The forecast for the last week has been rain. Not showers, not intermittent rain, but rain...steady, growing stronger as the day progressed. I checked the weather like a maniac. Weather obsession was further fueled by my coworker who was also checking because her kids' birthday party was scheduled for the same day - outside.
You know how sometimes the weather folks predict something and then it doesn't happen and we're all over them about it? Not this time. They had this 100% correct; much to my dismay. So when I got home Friday from work I set about preparing myself for the race. Which included hacking a black garbage back up to serve as a pseudo poncho. Note: this was harder than it looked and it took me 3 tries to get the holes in the right places.
I got to the fairgrounds with about an hour to spare - checked in, sat in the car for a bit and then watched the marathoners head out. Back to the car to get my gloves - SUCH a good call - and the rest of my stuff. And discovered that I left the adapter for my headphones AT HOME. See, husband and I just got new phones - yay Iphone 7! - and my Yurbuds fit my old phone. Apple included an adapter which I had pulled out of the box and set on the table near my spike bag. And that's where I left it. NO MUSIC!!! I had carefully curated a speedy playlist just for this race. I was super bummed. Hubby offered to bring it to me, but that's bananas. I am a big girl, I can run without tunes. I ranted to my BAMR pals and the well wishes rolled in and quickly changed my mood. I was mildly concerned about whether or not my new hair would drip on my clothes as the color is a glaze and still washing out of my hair, but it didn't!
My secret goal was a 2:15. I printed a pace band for myself and hoped to run 10:30 splits the first half, and then 10:05ish the second half. I wasn't super ambitious about this because I know this course is super duper hilly and then with the rain on top of it, I was going to be happy with whatever happened.
After singing happy birthday to the race director's nephew (SO CUTE!) we were off! It was a steady, steady rain from the beginning. My four splits were pretty good, not exact but close enough to keep me happy. Mile 5 was slower - thanks hill number one - and mile 6 fell back into place. But then the hills really start. I knew 7-9 was climbing. And oh baby, was it ever. I actually felt really strong until about mile 9. I had tucked in with a group of women, and just listened to their feet. I did a lot of counting steps. Anything to keep my mind busy and my legs moving.
I just couldn't keep it up though. Miles 10-13.1 were my slowest. I took more walk breaks than I wanted and started fantasizing about quitting. I finally let that go and managed to to get into a better head space but I knew my goal wasn't happening. I just wanted to finish as strong as possible and smiling. Also, the rain - at this point I was cold, my legs felt mildly crampy and my clothes weighed five bazillion pounds. I was actually trying to wring myself out as I ran - but there wasn't much happening. My toes were squishing in my shoes and I was soooooooo ready to be done! As I approached the last half mile or so, the police officer was holding up huge lines of traffic. I picked it up the best I could and managed not to walk any of that stretch. No pressure!!
I crossed the finish line with a smile, grabbed some oranges, thanked one of the ladies I ran with - she ran in sandals! - and headed to the car. Changed in the backseat because I was headed to the aforementioned birthday party. Hung out there for a bit, came home and took the hottest shower I could stand and dropped onto the couch.
Was it my best race? No. I ran the same course last year a few minutes faster. I did not train for hills this time, and I let the head games get to me. That said...I ran 13.1 miles in the pouring rain, without music and I FINISHED. I could've decided to skip it entirely, but I didn't. So I am going to relax and enjoy my post-race glow in my really comfy race t-shirt!