The best advice I ever received? See title. It was a meme on Runner’s World and it was seriously the best advice for me.
The day of the half marathon, I was getting picked up around 5:30am, so I set 2 alarms for 4:40 and 4:55. I had a list of things to do when I got up: make coffee, wash face, apply sunscreen, get dressed, drink coffee and water, eat bagel with peanut butter, get drinks out of freezer, warm up. Well, none of my alarms went off. Scratch that, they did go off. But my alarm decided to only make noise when my phone wasn’t in sleep mode, so I didn’t hear any of them because of course my phone was in sleep mode after me being asleep for 8 hours. I was tossing and turning and heard on the TV, “Next up at 5am…” and jumped out of bed. Thank god I wasn’t actually that late.
We got to the race. The start time was delayed due to approximately 200 runners in line at the port-a-potties. Once I did that, I got in the back of the 11 min/mile pace group. Lots of people around me had in headphones, so I went ahead and started up my music. A 3 hour playlist on shuffle of only power running songs. Then I turned on MapMyRun and set the Facebook updates to every 2 miles, so that FH had an idea of when to expect me across the finish line. The race started and off we went. Walking for a bit because of the amount of people.
My plan was to make it two miles before I started to walk. Walking during a run is like breaking the seal for me. It has to happen at some point, but you want to delay it as long as possible. Because once you do break the seal, you can’t remember a time when you didn’t have to pee…err, walk. So, I did as planned and did not take a walk break until the 2 mile mark. When I hit the 3 mile mark, my brain started sabotaging me. “In 4 more miles, I’ll be halfway done.” That is a terrible thought. I regrouped my thoughts to run the mile I was in and made a decision that I would run one mile at a time and walk at each mile market. That really worked for most of the race.
I was amazed at how consistently people can hold a pace. I obviously cannot, with my run/walk strategy. There were people I would pass uphill because I have to take hills fast. It hurts more not to. Then they would pass me on my walk breaks. There was even a power walker who kept passing me. I was waiting the whole time for the 3 hour pacer to pass me, but they didn’t.
I also stopped at every water station (most coincided with a mile marker, so it wasn’t extra walking). I ran the best 10 miles of my life. Passed the 10 mile marker at 1 hour 58 minutes (11:48min/mi). And then I died.
I think once I passed 10, I felt like I was so close to being done. But, 3 miles is still 3 miles and I was not running the mile I was in. I was stopping to walk every 50 ft or so, because I kept thinking I was close – forgetting that 3 miles is still a far distance for me (especially after 10). While I wish I had finished strong, I’m damn proud of my 10 miles.
I ended up finishing in 2 hours 39 minutes! That is way faster than my goal (3 hours) and I am super proud of myself. If I can do that having only started running again 11 weeks ago, what can I do when I do the recommended amount of training? 2:30? 2:15? 2:00?!?!
I think my next goal will be 2:30.
I fell when I got out of bed this morning. My thigh muscles don’t work anymore. But, I haven’t experienced any tendinitis issues. My hip is killing me, though. Hip strength to even out my form will be paramount in my next training cycle.
But, I finished my first ever running race!!!