Tuesday, December 10, 2013

RunGirl 13.1 -- Race Report

Parking was plentiful and right next to the start.  They had a banner up where tons of people were taking pictures.  Apparently everyone wanted to use the real park bathrooms instead of the port-o-lets so there were some epic lines.

The looped course made it fun to watch the front runners as I worked through the miles.  The course was well marked and patrolled.  The best part of the aid stations was the tissue box people!  I know it sounds prissy, but being able to grab tissue on a cold day made me so happy.  Luna had a sponsored cheering area with music and inspirational posters, like "Those pants make you look fast." or "You dreamt it, now do it."  My favorite was "Embrace your pace."  I really needed to hear that today.  Everyone at the aid stations was friendly. The only thing that wasn't perfect was that mile marker 9 was misplaced.

I didn't get to stay long because my kids were really cold.  There was plenty to eat (I managed to grab an egg burrito and some sort of rice/egg bowl) and there was a photo station with props that looked like it would have been really fun.  There were also raffle prizes.  You could also buy some of the previous years' swag items, which I did gladly.

My Race
I went out excited but trying not to go too quickly, only to find that my first mile (by course markers) was about two minutes faster than my usual training pace.  I figured I'd gone out too fast with the pack and just kept trying to keep my cadence up.  When the second and third mile came in even faster, I realized that maybe I could keep this pace up -- it's amazing what a race can do for you!  If I could keep it up I would definitely be under 3 hours.  I got to see Christian and the kids again just after mile 5 and was able to drop off the layers I'd shed.  It was such a boost to see them that I got my fastest mile of the day.  

At the halfway point I noticed I was at 1:22:06, which meant that if I didn't slow down much I could make a 2:45 finishing time.  I had set some goals for myself in 15-minute increments from 3:30 to 2:30 and wasn't expecting to get anywhere near my *fourth* goal until next fall.  With every mile I calculated how much I'd gone over or under my goal pace to finish at that time and recalculated what I'd have to average for the remaining miles.  What, you don't do math in your head while you walk? When I hit mile marker 9 I had a pace that was almost two minutes slower than my mile 8.  Instead of freaking out (which I wanted to do) I told myself that since I hadn't noticed any huge difference in my pace it must be the course and not me.  Sure enough, I hit mile 10 almost two minutes faster than my mile 8 pace and the split for that mile was faster than I'm currently capable of walking.  

With that resolved, I buckled down because my paces were drifting a bit slower and I was not going to give up on my time goal now.  This is when my legs really started to hurt, but I kept pushing as hard as I could.  When I went past the Luna cheering station the fourth and final time around mile 12.5, I started crying.  I have no idea why I was so surprised that I was going to finish, but it just felt so unreal.  I managed to stop crying before I got to mile 13 because I wanted to finish happy.  I also just barely had enough time to finish under 2:45.

With my elbows flying and walking as fast as humanly possible (if I am not running, I'm not running, period) I finished at 2:44:56.  I grabbed my medal and slowed down and my legs felt like they weren't mine.  A bit of very slow walking helped that, though.  I think my hips and knees aren't going to be the happiest with me for the next few days, but it was so worth it to find out that I was able to do.

What I Learned
My elbows really stick out too far when I'm pushing my pace, so I'm going to focus on keeping them in check while I train for my next race.  I'm also going to work on increasing my cadence.  I don't know if I'm going to do every race trying to push as hard as I absolutely can, either.  The second half was not fun at all.  Christian says I will get used to the distance and it won't feel so hard after I've done a few more half marathons.  We'll see if he's right.  

No comments:

Post a Comment