Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tom King: My Race Recap

1st half: 11/2011 2:04

2nd half: 10/2012 2:02

3rd half: 2/2013 1:59

4th half: 3/2013 1:57

In case you suck at math, that's a 7 minute PR since my first half with 5 of those minutes being within the past 5 months. That's good, right?!? Well, I think so. And I'm not even all that awesome of a runner (compared to lots of super speedy road runners out there.) This race made me really happy. I like that feeling. I like it so much that I wanted to share it with you. I don't want to bore you with details, but I probably will. And it will probably be long. You can stop reading now, if you want. Just don't tell me :). Also, if you find grammar errors I will blame it on the fact that I ran 13.1 miles and haven't had lunch, yet. Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch!!! Okay, I'm going to get me some of that first.

Tom King. Course is super flat, which is one of the reasons I've been so excited to race it. My legs and lungs don't like hills, because they don't ever train on them. Even though I know it makes you a stronger runner. Blah, blah, blah. I still don't like them. Maybe I'll learn to love them like I love half marathons?...Doubt it.

I wasn't sure how this race was going to go at first, seeing that I've been injured AND sick the past few weeks, but my stubborn self knew I would push through any pain if I had to. The lead up to the race is pretty mundane: Stretch, use the restroom, walk around (decided not to do a warm up run), sit in the car. Dang it, I gotta pee again! Go to the start line, jump around to stay warm (or maybe to shake the nerves out? Or both?) Say a little pra- oh, crap that was the gun?! Apparently, they don't do countdowns at this race. A little heads up would have been nice, but it is what it is. Funneled through, and off we went. 

Now, the very first thing I thought about when I started running was "how does my knee feel?" And I don't know if it's because it was a race, and adrenaline was flowing, and I was ignoring it, or if it actually didn't hurt. Turns out it was the latter, which was good, good news! I knew at that moment it was going to be a great race. 

I started out with the goal of averaging around an 8:50 pace, but I felt good at 8:30-8:45 for the first 5-7 miles, so I tried to stay there for most of the run. That didn't really go as planned, because since I had picked up the pace (without really preparing to do so) I stopped. A lot. More than I should have. More than I stopped during last month's race on a hilly course. I stopped THREE times during mile 3, not because of pain, but because my STUPID HAIR KEPT FALLING DOWN. That annoys me so much. I've got to figure out a better contraption to keep my hair up on my head. That caused my average to slow down. And that sucks.

Side note: I have long, thick, wavy hair. You know, the kind that everyone just looooves, except for the girl who has it, because YOU know how much of a hassle it is? Yeah. Pretty when it's fixed, not so much when it's not. And a pain in the butt when you are running. I seriously use three hair ties to keep my hair up on top of my head when I'm running. You'd think it wouldn't go anywhere... So, any suggestions are greatly appreciated! :)

Anyway, I took my Power Bar gel at mile 7 and it kicked in for a little while, but the last three miles were brutal. All I wanted was for Chris to be by my side pushing me along. I desperately needed that extra nudge. Actually, I needed someone saying "suck it up, Kayla, and RUN!" I got a "you're almost there, keep pushing!" from one girl, so there was that. Thanks. But I was needing more of a literal push. Like, someone behind me pushing my back, or pulling my arm. That would have helped a lot! I didn't get that help. Then I saw the stadium! I'm almost home!!! And I STOPPED. Ugh. Less than a mile to go and I stop?! But I did. My mind won. But I regained my strength and kept moving. We ran under the stadium and out onto the field. I saw the jumbotron, and I have no clue if they announced my name, but if they did, I didn't hear it. I just thought, "If I trip and fall with my face up there on that big screen...I'm never coming back to this race again." I crossed the finish line, and was DONE. Hallelujah! 

I don't know what my time would have been had I not stopped all those times. Better, duh. Maybe I would have been able to run a 1:55? (kind of made up that goal during the race - a little late, I know. But it was doable!) All I know is that I'm proud of how I did.

I know I'm always improving, and I know I have room for lots more improvements, and that's motivating for me hear and to realize. Regardless of my "setbacks" I will continue to run, race, and improve. 

Yay, you made it to the end of my post! Sorry, there's no prize, but thanks for reading anway. :)

Lookie, it's me on the Titan's Jumbo Tron! 

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