To say that I am extremely happy with my finish time at Saturday's Race for Literacy 1/2 marathon is putting it mildly.
Here's the story in all it's glory:
Really, I had no aspirations for doing any great time on the course for the simple fact that Thursday's turkey trot was a huge PR and well, this girl just wanted to have fun on the run.
I woke up to cloudy dreary skies...but dry and it SEEMED relatively warm when I let the dog out first thing that morning. It just felt like 50 degrees and I had no doubt that I would wear shorts....and well just bundle my core like I always do.
I also couldn't help but feel just a little "weird" about the race because it was an inaugural event, it was out in a place I had no idea how to get to, I had no idea what the race route would be like, if there would be water, or how much support there would be on the course. Plus, I have been fighting a headache for 2 days and a bit of depression.
So, as I drove out to the race....and made a wrong turn....I said to myself "Self...this could be a bad day all together."
Luckily, with the help of Wonder Boy's reassurance and navigation, I was able to correct my wrong turn, loose no time on the drive and get to the race with 45 min to spare.
When I got there, parking was plenty. I saw the venue and proceeded to get out of my truck to get my number and WHOOOAAA.....burrrr....the wind was howling off the water and it was about 5-10 degrees colder than it was at my house.
Questions to self....Did you bring gloves? No.....Did you bring hat? No......Did you bring extra pants? No.... Will you freeze your nads off at this race? Uh...that would be a big fat YES!!!
Ok, just a tip for you all.....socks make good gloves. I had an extra pair of those.
Thank goodness I also had a windbreaker vest in my running bag.
So I sat in my truck for 40 min with the heat on as I waited for the start....watching all these people with gloves and hats and pants on. Damn. I figured I could hack the cold and wind for 2 hours right? I have been in tough conditions before. It was 45 degrees with a stiff North East wind.
I got out of the car for a warm up run and then hit the start line and my goodness...the field of runners was SO small. I figured...heck at best I could place 3rd in my age group. Hell, there were hardly any women.
The field stretched out fast and the freakiest part of the run was that at several moments on the course, I was completely alone with just traffic cones and I questioned where to go several times.
I started out very comfortable and I knew something fishy was up right away when mile marker 1 popped up and my watch said 5:45.....HA HA HA! In my wickedest wildest dreams....yeah, the course was not measured right for the first mile but it got back on target after mile 2 and I was showing 16:20 and that seemed right.
I was cruising man. I felt strong with the exception of shin pain for the first 3 miles....but it went away and never bothered me again. I figured it was from the Turkey Trot.
I hit all my mile markers just over an 8 mpm pace....I was grinning from ear to ear. I thought, if I can make it for the first half at that pace and still feel good, I may actually break my PR from Fleetweek.
Well, mile 6 came and went and I was still feeling like a champ and the watch said 49 min. Then my mind races and starts doing the math....I was on track for close to a 1 hour 45 min finish. My heart started to pound as I got very excited.
Mile 7 then mile 8 and all is still good in the legs, lungs and heart. Still doing some math in my head......
Now I'm on mile 9 and just a bit off of my goal time.....and I think ......can I pick it up for 4 more miles? Then, there was a head wind. Yuck....focus focus focus....
Then Missy and Beyonce came on the ipod just around mile 10 and I was feelin' the love! I kicked it up just a bit despite the head wind that followed me to the end.
I got to mile 12.2 at 1:38.......boy was I getting anxious....and my stomach started to churn.
As I got closer to the end....a very popular and local runner jumped out on the course and proceeded to pace me all the way to the mat and my official finish time was 1:46:16. Yipee skippy!!! I was happy but ready to barf.
Here I am ready to barf.....
Not only was my time great, I got second place in my age group....but then there were only 3 chicas in my age group! HA HA! I missed first place by 40 seconds....but I met the girl that beat me and I shook her hand and congratulated her at awards and she said to me "you kept me going-" Aww...snap!
So, I reflect on so many things today....particulary my readiness to actually train for a Boston Qualifying time for the next 17 weeks. I think I'm ready....I think I'm in a super amazing place in my running.
Just this time last year, I was struggling for 10 min miles.
For a girl who never believed in herself....I never believed I was pretty, or smart, or a good friend/girlfriend......I never believed I was strong or confident. I never believed I was an athelete or talented in anyway. I never believed I could......
But that is starting to change.....like maybe I believe I can do this. Maybe I am strong....maybe I am a real runner now.
Stay warm and dry on your runs my blogger pals.......