Good morning, y’all!
Yesterday dawned super early for me. My alarm was set to go off at 2:35, but my internal alarm clock woke me up at 1:40. Grrrr. Oh, well. I decided to go ahead, get up and savor a cup of coffee before I needed to load everything up in the van.
I met up with several people from the running group at 3:50 and we hit the road to pick up one more runner. We had about a 2 1/2 hour drive south to Texarkana and we had to pick up our race packets by 7:15.
We sailed into town about a quarter to seven, picked up our packets, visited the ladies room and sat in the van to keep warm.
Now, my running mentor gave me the go ahead on doing this race as long as I ran it as a supported training run and didn’t try to race it. She asked me before the race what my plans were. Apparently she could read my mind and knew I had different plans. ::snort:: I told her deep down I would really love to PR and come in under 2:18.
I decided I would go for it.
My running buddy, Christi (who I run with once a week), had thought about going for a new PR, too (sub-2:00). She decided a little before the race that she didn’t really feel like it, so I jokingly said she could pace me to a PR.
We positioned ourselves in between the 2:10 and 2:15 pace groups.
When we started out it didn’t feel like we were running hard. Race day adrenaline. It’s far more potent than you realize.
When we hit 6 miles we were just barely over an hour. We were right about where we wanted to be.
Then, I began to feel our pace. It didn’t feel quite as easy as it had been.
About mile 8.5, I noticed my breathing was hard. Much harder than it should’ve been. Christie was trying to tell me something really poetic about trees and the sky and I interrupted with, “Dude. I think I just swallowed some vomit.” Niiiiiice.
::snort out loud::
Some time after mile 9, I forced her to go on without me. I needed to walk a bit and I hated holding her back.
As soon as she took off, I glanced behind me. I was hoping I would spot another member of our running group. Instead, I saw the pacer for the 2:15 group and he was coming up on me.
I made myself start running again.
I made it about half a mile before I stopped to walk again. Not a minute later, the 2:15 pacer come up right beside me and said, “Good morning!”
I squealed and said, “ACK! I’m trying to keep in front of you.” And then I ran off like a crazy woman. He probably thought I was a crazy woman.
Again, I only made it about half a mile before I stopped to walk again. The pacer passed me and I didn’t care.
At that moment, I gave up mentally. I lost the battle. I walked at least a quarter of a mile before I started to run again.
I wanted to be done so badly. I started thinking, “How in the world am I going to run twice this distance in two weeks? I can’t do it. It’s too hard.”
When I saw the time pass 2:18 on my Garmin, my heart sank a little.
I rounded the corner to the finish and one of the guys from the group saw me and ran it in with me. He had PR’d and I was so happy for him (three people from our group set new PRs yesterday!).
I crossed the finish line in 2:20:24 ~ an average pace of 10:43.
I would be lying through my coffee stained teeth if I told y’all I didn’t care. I really had thought I could PR. I thought I would be able to maintain a pace faster than 10:30 for 13.1.
But, I learned a couple of lessons from this race:
(1) I should listen to my mentor. She told me to run it as a supported training run. That’s what I should have always viewed it as. She told me later on the drive home that her concern was I would become discouraged and scared about running the marathon if I ran this race too hard and burned out. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what happened!
(2) I have to harness that race day adrenaline and keep it in reserve. I burned out too early because I started out too fast even though it didn’t feel like it in the beginning.
Despite not setting a new PR, it was a great day! I had so much fun, laughed, worked up a fair amount of sweat, finished my 5th 1/2, drank beer, ate too much Mexican food, and laughed some more. I know for certain I snorted out loud at least once.
Here are my splits for anyone interested: