But spoiler alert!! I felt great & I am super happy with my time.
To be honest though when I hit mile 11, tears started forming in my eyes as I saw a guy, who I had been trying to keep up with the whole race, stop running. You could just tell it was his hamstring. This happens. It just does. I know because I have read and heard it everywhere. Not every race is a PR and not every race goes as planned and you will have some that just completely fall apart. I was reallly worried this was that race for me.
I can't tell you how happy I was that I didn't have to learn a tough lesson in this race, I know it is probably coming, but Saturday wasn't my day.
Running teaches us so much and as soon as I think I know the lesson I am about to learn, I learn something else.
For my first two half Marathons I feel like my lesson was primarily how freaking awesome my body is. Those races really helped me shift my perspective on my body and to start thinking like an athlete. My last half (you can read my race recap here) I found myself less focused on my time and more proud of small accomplishments, like the fact that I was able to run mile 12 strong. For this race I felt myself doing the same thing.
I think my lesson this weekend was that I would love to get faster and faster and PR every race but most race victories are going to be found in those smaller accomplishments, like running strong at the end when you couldn't before or even hydrating better without spilling Gatorade all over yourself :) . This weekend I celebrated that I was able to run when I thought an injury was going to hold me back and I didn't let negative thinking hurt me before I started. I was annoyingly positive. Those small victories are what keep us coming back. We aren't always going to have ground breaking wins and that's okay.
Ok RECAP time.
The great thing about this race is it started later. One of the reasons I hoped I would do so well. The start wasn't until 11:30. I was able to sleep in and have time to get ready. I was really calm because I wasn't expecting to do all that well and I was praying all morning that I would be able to just run every mile.
Jacob and I stopped at Mcdonald's around 9:30. I know, I know. But I told you I wasn't taking this seriously plus it was such a late start that I was worried my normal race breakfast (nature valley bar and pb banana) wouldn't keep me full enough. Well turns out, egg white McMuffin & a hash brown was perfect.
We got to the start and it was COLD.
The first two miles were great. I felt strong and not at all like I was going out too fast. My effort was easy. I was right around an 8:12 pace. And then it hit me. I had to go to the bathroom.
I didn't HAVE to but when the first water stop was at almost three miles and the website advertised every two, I knew I couldn't risk it. What if my next chance wasn't till mile six?
I still finished the third mile in 9:06, even with the bathroom break. So I can't blame not PRing on the bathroom but I can blame it on what I chose to do right after.
I sprinted to make up for the bathroom stop and right when I started to calm down and fall into a rhythm again, I hit hills. Lots of them. Overall it was a very flat course but mile 4 was full of hills and I wasn't prepared. I had just used all of my energy to catch my earlier pace. You live and learn. I should have studied the course more but I still held on to a 8:40 ish pace.
I took a GU right before mile 5, hoping it would help my energy levels (I took my second at mile 10).
The last 6 miles were way out from the town. If you love to smell cow poop and looking at hay bails this race is for you. It was lonely out on the country roads and the runners really spread out. At first this made me discouraged, bored and a little worried but then I noticed how quiet it was. All you could hear was the soft sound of other runners pounding the pavement. You could look out and see for miles. It was pretty in its own way. I was able to get back to an 8:30 pace & sit there till mile 11.
Mile 11 was hard. It was hard because the head wind sucked. It was hard because emotionally I couldn't believe I was still running so strong and I honestly I just felt really lucky. Maybe it was because of the cold but I remember my legs started to feel really heavy. My pace was fine but I just remember them feeling like lead.
One of the greatest things happened at the end. I spotted Jacob at 12.8 miles. He hopped right on the course & stayed with me till the last few seconds. It was honestly the coolest thing ever.
So overall it turns out I didn't PR. Official time was 1:53:39.
Jacob had a great race too! I am going to see if he can recap it for us this week.
I will end with this. There are no words for the lasagna at the end. I can't even describe how amazing it was.
I will be back next year just to eat it again.
Who watched the NYC Marathon???I spent Sunday morning in bed with my pumpkin pop tarts, watching all the coverage. I can't wait to run that race one day!
Did you race this weekend???
Run? Tell me about it :)