Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Double Half Marathon - Just do it!

I have been working since Thanksgiving to try and PR this race.  I hired a running coach - Adam - to help me with speedwork and stuff so I could hopefully reach my goal.  Before this, my best half marathon time was last May when I ran a 2:20 at the Patriot half in Rockwall.  I wanted to hit a 2:15, and if not that, I really, really wanted nothing less than 2:19.

So for about 6 weeks, I did everything he said - even when at times I thought he was crazy when I read the schedule for the week.  I thought maybe he was giving me a little more credit than I deserved if he thought I could run as fast as he was telling me to.  I may have referred to him on multiple occasions to my girlfriends as my crazy, crackhead coach...but I couldn't tell him that I couldn't do it either.....I think I might be a little hard headed...Don't ask my husband or father about that. I have a feeling they would overwhelmingly agree.  Anyway...

A few days before the race, I started getting nervous because the weather was supposed to be 40 and raining...Fabulous - because I LOVE cold - NOT and rain - NOT NOT!  I would rather in 100 degree weather! But what was I to do.  I looked up the weather from the last White Rock half marathon we ran in 2011 to see how it would compare - because that weather was MISERABLE! Guess what, it was 40 and raining...Niiiice.  I also went back and read my race report - apparently the race was so bad for me because I was stupid! I ran that one in a short sleeve shirt, shorts, NO undershirt, NO tights, and NO JACKET!!!! What in the world! And my friend Catherine let me!  She claims she didn't know me well enough to tell me to change clothes...I think she is a big liar - she herself had on a short sleeve shirt and capri's and no jacket.  What were we thinking? Rookies...

So after that, I felt better - I knew I had 2 rain jackets I could choose from, and I was definitely wearing tights and a long sleeve shirt.  Now I just had to get up and do it.  I figured if I could PR in that weather, I could do anything.

I had my plan. Adam had said - slow in the beginning, faster in the middle, and fastest at end if possible.  I needed 66 min loops.  I had it mapped out. I knew exactly where on the course I needed to be at 33 minutes. I also decided to GU a little earlier because it was colder and my body would burn more energy.

Got up on race day, drove to the park.  Get all lined up...change my mind up last minute on the rain jackets. I went with my long sleeve one and I am so glad I did.  I wore it off and on just tying it around my waist when I didn't need it.  Left my gloves on most of the race - I had two pairs of throw away gloves on because that is what I hated about White Rock - my super cold fingers!

Coming back in on the first loop I saw the kids and my husband. They were running the 5k. It was so neat!  We ran together for a bit and I had to keep going.  I came in on loop one at 65 minutes! Perfect! I was one minute under. Saw my peeps at the finish line area and got some much needed cheering and went back out for loop 2 feeling energized.  I got to about mile 9 and started feeling my stomach cramping up - immediately went into don't pants my poop mode...ignored it and kept running and decided that I would not take my next scheduled GU.  Made the  loop at the back portion of the course and headed back.  When I did, I saw my friend Lisa and she asked me, "You getting your PR?" and I was so excited because at that point I had done the math and I could do 12 minute miles and still PR so I could happily answer her "YUP!" That felt good!  About mile 10, I could feel both IT bands starting to really tighten up, and I felt like I was running much faster than my Garmin was saying - Dang it! Then about mile 12.5 I got some much needed encouragement from DK and Ninja when he jumped out and ran with me the last 1/2 mile in - FAST.  You have to understand - Ninja is super fast anyway and he was in jeans and a belt buckle :-) and smokin' me!

Flying Ninjas!

I just tried to chase him and then finished! It was awesome!  I got my PR by 6 whole minutes! I came in at 2:14:01!  It was so much fun!  It was the first time I had really worked toward a set time goal and focused only on that. I knew the distance was attainable, the speed was another beast all in itself.  I went into the race telling myself that I had run EVERY run the last 6 weeks for this one race - the weather could not be a factor. I had to be focused and not stop and run through the pain. I read Chrissie Wellington's book a few months ago and there were a couple of things that she said that I loved - one was about how your mind will try and stop you because it is trying to protect your body, but you can push through that to a point. Don't stop because your head is telling you to.  That has been my focus the last six weeks.  I knew I wasn't going to die so I had to just keep doing the work.  The other thing she says is to "Finish with a smile."  I love that!

Lisa, Me, Fi, Elaine, Catherine, and Shannon
After the race warming up!

Coach Adam and Ninja
These guys are awesome!
So that was New Year's Eve - Day One a wonderful day for me but the better day was yet to come....

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