2 Timothy 4:7- I have fought a good fight, I finished my course, I have kept the faith.
You never know when that really tough run is going to sneak up on you. Sometimes it is in the middle of your training, sometimes it feels like those tough runs come in groups, and sometimes it happens during a race. Whether you are prepared or not, when you hit the pavement you never really know what you are going to get.
I think my husband said it best when he said, "You've been taking these half marathons for granted. You don't really prepare for them and you just expect to go out there and feel great." It's so true.
The only thing I really prepared for during this race was my costume. Bad idea. I don't care who you are- running a half marathon is HARD. I took the difficulty of the race for granted and I didn't prepare by running any downhill, and most importantly, I didn't prepare mentally. So by mile 10, I was ready to throw in the towel.
I didn't. I kept going, of course. I don't know if it was the brutal pounding from the extreme downhill in the first 4 miles, or if they were still fatigued from Ragnar last weekend, but my legs felt like cement. I tried to jump in the race picture at mile 10 and FELL! Oh man. I was laughing my head off, but at the same time I was totally shocked.
I ran with a guy for the last mile or so and he was ready to give up. He was groaning and breathing really heavy. For some reason it was easier to keep him moving and focus on him rather than myself- so that's what I did. I acted like the cheerleader I was and encouraged him right up until he sprinted past me towards the finish. I was proud of him because he definitely was able to do more than I was at that point! He found me after I finished and thanked me.
When you are struggling sometimes the best answer is to look outside yourself and pull someone else up instead. It's surprising how much it will lift you.
In spite of what felt like a constant struggle- from a side ache in the early miles, to cement legs, and gagging on Gu- I was able to pull a new PR finishing the race in 1:37:39 with a 7:26/mile pace. I'm proud of myself that I just kept pushing trying to run as fast as I could. I ran a good race. I finished. I have faith in myself that I will be able to run a better feeling half marathon in the future. I will just prepare better next time!
It was still a great race filled with some great memories- here's some snapshots to help me remember.
|Me with a runner's best friend- Garmin 305! :)|
|Cutest Kitty ever- Kalie Rae. She pulled a new PR- beating her previous time by 6 minutes!!!|
|L-E-T-S G-O! Let's go! Let's go!|
|The PR crew- Jill, Katie, Heather, Kristen. Every single woman in this picture pulled a new PR.|
|Mindy and me at the top before the race. Gorgeous start to a gorgeous course.|