Sunday, April 4, 2010

21st "official" half marathon: speedy legs where are you?

dear queens 13.1,
I had a blast...thanks for the great race. I am, however, looking for one set of lethargic legs. did you find them out on the course? let me know.

indeed, despite my lack of leg speed and overall disappointment in my time, saturday's 13.1 marathon was truly a wonderful event.

a few odds and ends from the day:

I was leery to find out that there were no corrals, but was able to line up quite close to the front and the race thinned quickly and I was left with a broad path in which to pass (and be passed).

I also had my reservations about the course beforehand (the map online was downright dizzying), but it too proved to be lovely: easy turns, well-marked, scenic and varied enough that I never got bored.

after some difficulty locating bag check (signage people!) and finding a bathroom (gross underestimation of the number of port-a-pots needed), I miraculously got to the start on time...even to see the 5k begin before us.

I had no nerves for the race, because I had no expectations...of course once the gun went off, my competitive spirit kicked in.

I went out a wee bit too fast, but tempered my pace and started to cruise. I tweeted, I talked to fellow racers, I enjoyed the scenery (beautiful!). around mile seven, the pack really began to thin, so I kept my eyes on the women I could spot in front of me (and the men) and just kept moving forward.

I had the pleasure of enjoying a little mud running between miles eight and nine. after this fun diversion, I will admit that I began to look forward to hitting the last three miles (yes, lethargic legs...I hate you).

at mile ten I saw my coach...he told me to "go fishing" so I did...I began picking off a couple people at a time...mile eleven I was still hanging on and trying to catch a few guys in front of me. by mile twelve, I had no legs left in me. at this point my morale also fell...why was I running so "slow?" it was defeating...and then I couldn't wait to be done.

I thought for sure my pace would yield sub-1:36...I was on it...until my head interfered. the last stretch I gave it a little added umph...and across the line I 1:36:03. boo.

I said hi to a few friends post-race, but I was tired (I admit, I stayed up past 1am entertaining and drinking the night before), so I took off, definitely downtrodden. just a year ago I was running 1:31 with the same effort...what happened?

I know, I know...I'm training for an Ironman and I'm exhausted...and I didn't exactly give myself an easy week (hello 40 mile hill workout on thursday). but I'm hard on myself...

my dad called to hear my race stats...they really weren't bad...average pace was 7:19 and I finished 10th woman overall (out of 1455) and 3rd in my age group (and I didn't stay for the awards...silly me! hopefully they'll mail whatever they handed out). in a field of 2544, I was 76th overall, so my time might have sucked, but I raced hard and it was a really solid effort.

all this said, if they hold this event next year when I will only be focused on running, I'll be's a great course...and a great one to attempt to win.

so thanks 13.1...I wish it would have had more of a "party on the pavement," but here's to another stab at it.


Ian said...

Your progress against all the pressures there are in our daily lives is amazing and inspirational. I love the 'go fishing' call from your coach - i'll keep that one in mind when there is traffic ahead. Thanks for this post, hope the legs come back soon!

Psyche said...

Congratulations! 1:36:03 is fast! I enjoyed the race recap- it really sounded like you were in complete control the whole time.
I am in awe!

The Laminator said...

Hey E, I had the same experience you had! My excuse was that I got lost and extra extra mileage mid-race. Yes, I am THAT awesome. Not really. But congrats on 10th and 3rd AG. So ironic that I was 11th and 4th AG...

Revenge will be sweet next year!

baker said...

nice work on the finish! i know its not a PR, but you still crushed, esp for staying up so late the night before! next time we are out running the park remind me, i need to pick your brain on IM advice, tips and tactics.

PunkRockRunner said...

I can't wait until the day that I can be disappointed in a 1:36 half marathon.

I really hope you say hello as you lap me during the IM run.

You're amazing...


Amy said...

This is a very inspiring story to read, thanks for sharing more good thoughts. Nice blog too.