Chip Time: 1:50.56
Age Group: 34th out of 606
I have built myself a nest of everything I might need on my couch. I have no plans of moving, all day. I will soil myself on this couch. My legs hurt.
I'm trying to remember the last time I ran further than 9 miles. And, the 9 miles I ran two weeks ago was in preparation for this. Before that, my last long run...I don't even know.
Obviously, I've been keeping myself in shape. But, for the first time in a long time I hit limits on my legs. With all the speed work I've been doing, I've grown used to hitting my lung threshold while my legs are still a-okay. I forgot what it was like to feel fine *except* my legs.
Well, until this morning.
The only preparation I did coming in to this race was to be a bad ass. I've been tired and spent all week. And cranky. And rude. Mostly tired.
Why do I have so many excuses? Look at my race time. I'm fucking proud of that.
Beyond the pride, I have two overwhelming thoughts:
1. How stupidly was I training before that I could have a 20 minute PR without really training this time?
2. What am I capable of when I train?
I have another half in May. There's a lot going on in March, but I should, at the very least, have all of April to train. Which isn't enough time to, say, bring my A game, but it will give me an idea of what I want to do with myself. Maybe I could hit 1:45. That would be neat. We'll see.
Anyway, the race.
The expo: Ug. I don't understand why I have to drive 45 minutes each way and pay $9 to park so I can pick up a piece of paper. Charge me $20 and mail it to me. Please. Plenty of people will still go to the expo and buy shit, but I won't have to sit in a car for too long just to grab my bib.
The race: Parking was $15, and I am cheap, so I opted for the $5 satellite parking lot. My alarm went off at 6am. I was parked by 6:45am. It was a 1.4 mile walk to the start line, which was fine. It was chilly, so it was a good way to warm up. Added bonus of making small talk with other runners on the way. Mostly "why is it so cold?"
Start line was easy to find. I was in corral 3, which made me feel like a bad ass. I was nervous. My stomach was doing that first date dance. That "I'm already strapped in to the roller coaster but maybe I changed my mind" dance. Thankfully, I have joined the Garminions, so I had something to futz with and keep me distracted.
And then, it was go time.
My goal was to dance around 9 minute miles. The course was a little hilly, so as long as I averaged 9, I knew I'd be okay. It felt like a solid goal, while still stretching me out of my comfort zone.
I think I nailed it.
I kept thinking "slow down. You won't be able to keep this up."
When that didn't work I thought "oh well, at least I'm banking time for when I slow down later."
And, it felt like I slowed down. Constantly. Honestly, the whole race it felt like my watch was lying to me about my pace. It didn't feel like I was going "fast."
But, there it was.
In between miles 4 and 5 I realized this race would be made or broken by my hips. They'd been bothering me all week. They bother me whenever I push myself. I don't know why. But, after mile 4 they started to ache. Normally they don't hurt *while* I run (just after). So, there was that.
At the halfway point my right knee started to twinge.
I did what I do best. I ignored it. I kept going.
I wasn't really pushing myself. I was, a little, but, I wasn't trying to break any records. I kept waiting for my body to freak the fuck out, so I was banking energy, too.
Mile 9 hit me pretty hard. I was playing the "4.1 miles? ANYONE can run 4.1 miles!" game. Didn't help. I kept glancing at my watching. I could feel my legs, really FEEL them. I wondered how far I could go. All the way apparently.
I took a Gu at mile....9? Ish. I never took any water. I don't know why. I don't know if it would have help.
Anyway, final mile, final push. Finish line. Finished. Holy shit.
Water. Gatorade. A medal. And then, holy shit, a race blanket. For the first time ever, I finished a race fast enough to merit a race blanket. Mostly, I took it because it was cold out and I was in a tank top.
And then I hobbled 1.4 miles (uphill) back to my car, muttering "fuck fuck fuck" under my breath, but graciously smiling and thanking the people I passed. My legs hurt so bad.
But, I made it to my car. And took stupid pictures. And drove my cracker ass home. I crawled into the shower, then built a nest. And hit refresh on the race site to get my *real* time, since Garmins are liars, yo.