Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

St. Paddy's Half Marathon

Today was race day for me.  It is only the 5th time I have raced in the past twelve months.  Two times I ran with Susan.  Three times for just me.  And, finally for the first time in eleven months I had a great personal race.  Today felt like a big clap on the back for me and a huge sigh of relief.

I haven't written at all about running and/or even talked with it much at all with my friends.  I continue think that most people could care less about my early morning runs.  But I do very much.  The few people that hear about my runs are super important to me and I value their support and help tons!  I have been running 5 days a week consistently since coming back from my stress fracture which means 4 months. I finally within the past month feel like I am back in good running shape.  It has been a journey emotionally and physically for me.  Within the past 6 weeks I have started running really fun speed workouts each Wednesday and I know they helped me today.  Each of those workouts was challenging to me in a new way and pushed me to run fast when tired.  All the work pays off eventually and today was the day for me!

I have spent a good bit of time in the last month working on my mental toughness about much as my running.  I hate to fail.  I am not a big risk taker at all.  Those two things don't mix well when I have big goals I want to accomplish.  I may now be 40, but I know that I have some great for me running left in me!  So to achieve big goals I have to be brave.  Therein lies the need to be mentally stronger!  So, I spent some time searching out quotes that motivated me and spoke to me.  Things I could remember when I was running. I also spent time reading about people who inspire me.  It all kept me in the game today.
 After the crap half I ran in February this became my personal mantra.  It is good to know your opponent. 

Today this was me....I was all in for a personal best time today.  Simple stuff really!  And finally...

I couldn't be more "in like" with this if I tried.  I gave this quote to a friend of mine on a bracelet recently and I may have to return the favor to myself!   Susan reminded me of this last night and we both did a little flying today.  So, so, so true!

All week I was worried about the weather.  It was supposed to rain this morning and that meant humid as well.  I decided mid-week I couldn't care less about the weather. I can't control it at all.  I could only control my attitude about it.  It was not going to bother me.  Even with that positive I don't give a crap attitude I was super happy that the rain blew through yesterday and it was just cloudy and humid this morning.  Way better!

The race started on time at 7:15.  It was an out and back course with a little loop in the middle.  It was flat, well marked, and well supported with drink stations.  Everything about this race was well organized.  It was also small which I like.  Crowds at races are not my thing so 795 people is good with me. 

The first three miles were pretty fast for me (8:09, 8:09, 8:15), but I felt like crap.  My left shin hurt so badly and I thought repeatedly about wanting to cut off my leg, but realized that wouldn't be good for my running. It has been a little off this past week, but I was hoping it would be good today.  Finally by mile 4 (8:09) everything felt good and I was so thankful. 

Mile 5 felt like a disaster and it was.  I knew I was off pace, but didn't see my watch in time to know my split (8:25).  That mile still haunts me, but oh well now.  I knew by mile 7 that I was going to PR today.   I was thinking I could squeak in under 1:48 if I kept up my effort.  There was not one single second of doubt that I would finish strong today.  I just knew it was going to happen and that carried me through those last two miles.  Miles 6-10 were pretty consistent (8:13, 8:15, 8:08, 8:15, 8:05). 

The 8:15 mile annoyed me to no end and I worked hard to keep out of the teens.  Right after mile 10 I heard a timer call out 1:49 finish time.  I almost had a heart attack.  I was shocked I was so slow and that my running math was so bad.  I decided she had to be wrong.  I don't know what she was talking about because at that point I was thinking a 1:47.30 was really possible for me.  I am so thankful I didn't let that discourage me.  Mile 11 felt pretty good (8:08). 

The last two miles were the hardest as they always are.  I figured I had nothing to lose and just pushed hard. I had been running back and forth with the same guy all race long and I really wanted to pass him for good.  Around 11.5 I did, but could hear him behind me the rest of the way.  He was a good motivator to keep pushing all the way to the finish.  He did not pass me again.  Mile 12 was 8:06 and mile 13 was 7:57.  I ran the last tenth at a 7:08 pace.  The last two miles being two of my fastest make me beyond happy!  My official time was 1:47.09.  I was 4/72 in my AG so not too bad.

I finished and started crying.  I cried for those 9 seconds I lost in mile 5.  I hate that so much.  Just hate it.  I also cried because I had no one to share in my moment.  I ran a 1 minute 51 second PR and it was just me, myself, and I.  Then I got over myself and decided to get some green beer to celebrate that huge PR!
It wasn't good beer or a good pour, but it still tasted good enough
Pretty cool statue at the Sugar Land Town Square
Cheers to me!
So there you have it.  The very long recap of my 13.1.  This is definitely my sweet for the day! 

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