Mermaid Half Marathon RecapPosted: May 15, 2011
I have started and deleted this post so many times…
I went into this race with completely mixed feelings: unsure of my training, not as confident as usual, excited to get it over with. Life proved to be a major training obstacle this go round. I knew that training for a race that fell immediately following the end of basketball season would be hard and it was.
I went into the training strong. Cross training. Strength training. Long runs early. And then our car broke down. Our sitter became consistently unavailable. Testing and evaluations really picked up for the big kiddo. Fundraising and end of the season events picked up for the Husband. The little kiddo decided he wanted to make the 2’s fun for EVERYONE. It was a constant state of overwhelming obstacles and challenges with very little reprieve. And all the while I was trying to push my body and mind further and harder than ever before and REALLY train for this race. Naturally, it wasn’t possible. Something had to give. It did. I got sick. Missed a full week of training only three weeks before the race. With the momentum I had gained in the weeks before went my confidence.
I picked up as much mileage as I could pre-race and woke up race day having no idea what to expect. Hoping Rachel, Melissa, and I could push through. Finish together. Watch Rachel get her elusive sub-2. It was COLD. And then the start was pushed back 5 minutes. Then 15 more minutes. Then 10 more minutes. I am not an elite, world record setting athlete but I time my meals and water according to the start time. Plan out my Gu stops and water breaks. It all helps the mental aspect of running. Type A personality: check.
Initially I thought I would hold back. Race for fun. Save the legs for the See Jane Run Half in three weeks. Put a bib on me, surround me with racers, and holding back isn’t something I can easily do. I had a game plan: sub-2, average sub 9 min/miles, and attempt to pick it up at the end. I am a terrible pacer. Have no clue what the minutes feel like and often just run with my body setting the pace. My splits are typically all over the board.
The three of us started out strong. Holding on to our 8:30-ish pace. We lost Rach, boo, no team finish. Melissa and I fell into a comfortable pace. And ran, and ran, and ran. It had to have been one of the most BORING courses I’ve ever run. I find my home route more interesting. And more FLAT. I did, however, find it inspiring to be surrounded by so many women completing the same challenge. All different goals. All different levels. All different stories, I am sure. But we were all THERE. Doing it. We all made it to the start line, which is a HUGE victory in and of itself.
I know there are women who run in spite of circumstances far more difficult than mine. I know there are women who are running who have far less time: Rachel and Melissa inspire me daily. I know there will always be women who run faster and further. But I also know that today, for this race, I was among them, running with them, running as far as them.
I hit a wall shortly after mile 10. My longest run to date before the race was 10 miles. I had no idea what to expect. I immediately began thinking of my boys. Repeating their names over and over. Repeating to myself that I want them to SEE a strong mom, one who works hard to meet a goal, one who doesn’t give up, one who can push through…and make it to the finish line. One who always finishes something she starts. I know they will face hard times, numerous challenges, they will have times when they want to give up and they’ll likely turn to me. I want to be sincere and true when I tell them to keep going. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Running has given me immense strength. Training for months on end is not easy. Running itself is not easy. But the rewards, the feeling as I turned the corner to see the finish line…priceless. And worth the pain, sacrifice, and hard work.
It was a very emotional finish for me.
I knew I had PR’d. I was happy. And so so so sore. As we were shopping away at the shirt table, the age group awards were being handed out. NEVER in my wildest dreams did I ever think my name would be called. Sure enough I hear an award going to a 32 year old woman from my hometown. And she even has the SAME name. Get out. Third place in my age group. Unreal.
Half marathon number six in the books. PR 1:50:01. 3rd place finish in age group. Don’t think I could have asked for more.
While I walked away giddy and excited, I also walked away mentally and physically drained. A long winter and fall at home, long three months of training…not sure what my next running move is going to be.