BUT I HAD A PRETTY DECENT RACE SO THAT COUNTS RIGHT?!?!?!
Here's the story.
To preface, the last couple weeks have been hard for me. Which is, at this point, how I seem to start many of my blog entries. For whatever reason, unexpected normal but tough life occurrences that many people seem to handle with grace and calmness have the tendency to send me into a tailspin. And then I can't stop ruminating, lose interest in just about everything external, and end up barely hanging on.
The good news is that not being able to do anything works well with a taper.
So the day before Mountains To Beach, a half marathon that I actually trained pretty hard for (mostly on the treadmill!), I was laying in bed mid-afternoon, wondering if I should just call it off. I knew getting up to Ojai and being with friends would make me feel better so I told myself that it was cool to jog it if I wanted, and to just go have a fun girls weekend. So I dragged myself out and that's what I did.
Turns out the whole area is pretty freaking beautiful. Even though Ventura / Ojai is only an hour North of LA I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing it in a long time.
|Totally Stolen Pic but this is what it looks like!|
Race morning arrived at the time when most college kids are going to bed for the night before: 3:45 AM. It was rough. Sarah, Kristee and I went to go pick up Robyn from her hotel and we started hunting for parking at the start. This hunt may or may not have included going the wrong way on a road, and some strategically moved cones. No pics, so it didn't happen.
It was a serious looking crowd at the start of the half, with a frighteningly small amount of matching outfits and tutus. I imagined the scenario where I would finish in last.
Kristee and I agreed to run together for the first couple miles of the race and then see how we felt. (We're about the same speed in longer distances although she could kick my butt x1000 in anything shorter than a half marathon.)
The gun went off, and I fell into a pace right by a couple nice dudes who introduced themselves to me and said they were gunning for a 1:33 or 1:34. I figured that was a little fast but it would be great to have more people to run with.
Mile 1: 7:25
Just warming up. I wanted this to be between 7:15 and 7:25 and then gauge from there.
Mile 2: 7:13
Kristee starts telling me that she can't breathe well (allergies). I worry but we keep going.
Mile 3: 7:13
Just steady, easy.
Mile 4: 7:17
Mile 5: 7:07
Mile 6: 7:09 I am feeling amazing at mile 6. I start contemplating gigantic PRs. We pass a water station playing Gangnam Style and I start dancing to it. The crowd goes wild (ok not wild but they laughed!).
Mile 7: 7:07 Kristee tells me again that she is not feeling good. I think that she is running pretty darn good for someone who can't breathe!
Mile 8: 7:16 I am starting to feel it.
Mile 9: 7:11 DON'T SLOW DOWN NOW DON'T SLOW DOWN NOW. LIGHT ON YOUR FEET STOP STOMPING.
Mile 10: 7:18 I tell Kristee that it's only 1 mile and then a 5k, but I am really trying to comfort her and myself.
Mile 11: 7:19 I am struggling. Kristee says "after this turnaround we're mentally there". I believe her and it helps.
Mile 12: 7:24 I started mentally counting down the distance in track terms. Just 3 800s at 3:37 pace? Come on, that's simple.
Mile 13: 7:30 I am obviously slowing down and Kristee looks strong. She runs ahead while telling me "these people are passable" about the 5 or so people just a few yard ahead. They must have been dying because I manage to pass them.
I also start thinking things like "Think about all the things that make you angry. Yeah! Screw them!" It feels good.
|Edited in after original post because let's face it, this picture is amazing.|
Kristee finished in 1:34:55 and I finished in 1:35:05.
(I believe I was 16th female and 3rd in age group.)
We high five each other and discuss how it would have been so much harder without being able to push each other.
The cherry on top was seeing Oual's smile after she told me she broke 1:40 just a few minutes later and seeing my friends Gisele and Mason PR as well.
I PR'd by 45 seconds and I am happy with any PR at this point. (All of my PRs are now at least a year old). I'm happy to see the work I put into training for this pay off.
So many times when I race, I remember why I run. And it's a different reason every time. This time, it was for the relief. Being able to get out and run with an old friend, forget about everything, and just leave it all on the road is priceless.
And it's probably just a little more priceless when you happen to finish near the beach and see your hard work pay off.
(Thanks for reading).