Wicked Slow 1/2 Marathon

27 Sep

All week I have been racking my brain on how to turn this race into something positive, something I can learn from.

It’s not working.

The only thing I learned is that sometimes you run fast and sometimes, when your time is actually recored, you run slow. I can’t quite get anything positive out of this race except it’s making me want to push a lot harder for next  1/2 marathon in a few weeks. 2 hours will be broken. Come hell or high water.

This race started out great. I woke up super early and surprisingly I wasn’t tired. My stomach felt great, we got to Salem with plenty of time to stretch and get ready and I was just the right amount of nervous. This race should have gone well.

The first half did. Not sure what happened the second half.

The major downside to this day was that it was very warm. 80 degrees and 100% humidity. Apparently we are in Florida again. The air was muggy but I was just happy it wasn’t raining. I was optimistic.

The first few miles flew by pretty quickly. The first mile was crowded and annoying, just like any other race. But I found my groove pretty quickly and settled into a good, quick pace. I made a very large mistake I would come to regret later in the race:I passed up the first water stop at mile 2. I wasn’t thirsty so I didn’t want to stop and throw my pace off. Que: If I could turn back time. In Jack from Will and Grace voice, obviously.

I spent the majority of miles 1-7 passing people and feeling fast. The views were great and the hills didn’t seem bother me too much. Then mile 7 happened. I’m pretty sure I blocked out of my memory how tough this portion of the race was. I got slammed with hills that never stopped coming, most of which just leveled off at the end. I saw Suzanne around mile 7 1/2 and she told me Jonathan was doing great but was worried about me. I was glad to hear he was doing well, but the fact that he was worried about me stressed me out. Was I slowing down more than I thought? She also told me the rest of the race was downhill. She lied. Miles 7.5-9 are entirely up hill. Don’t worry Suz, I still love you.

As the miles ticked by I could feel my pace slowing. I also watched most of the people I passed early on start to pass me. I was getting frustrated but couldn’t get myself to pick up the pace.

I was also really thirsty. In between each water station all I could think about was downing water. I kept dreaming of crossing the finish line and chugging the closest water bottle in sight. I read somewhere that once you actually feel thirsty during a run, there’s not much you can do at that point. You are already dehydrated. Fail.

Although I was slow, I never felt too tired or that I needed to stop. I rememeber when I ran this three years ago wanting to die at mile 10. I remember how long and agonizing those last three miles felt. I never felt that on Saturday. At least I have that.

I turned the corner on the last brutal hill and could finally see the crowd around the finish line. They didn’t have clocks at all during the race so I had no idea what my finish time would be. I silently prayed for it to not say 2:15, please God do not let it say 2:15. I picked up the pace, sprinted past the girl who had been my pacer for the last few miles, gave a high-five to Jonathan and crossed the finish line. You don’t actually see your time until you come up to the finish line. I looked at the clock and my heart broke. 2:01:58. 10 measly seconds faster than my previous time and 2 minutes off my goal time. 2 minutes. I almost wished it said 2:15. I grabbed my metal and choked back a few tears of frustration. If I had only pushed a little bit harder. 2:01:58, I hate you.

Jonathan looks tired. I look like my soul was just crushed.

So that it’s. I had a less than stellar run but it never felt awful or painful. Just plain slow. And frustrating.

Jonathan and I run the Boston 1/2 Marathon in two weeks and I plan on crushing it. I will not hold back this time and I certainly will not pass up any water stops. I am also hoping for some non-fake Florida weather. I like Northeast weather in the Fall, especially when running. I will also break 2 hours. And if by chance I don’t, the post-race blog post will be super awkward. I apologize in advance.

Here’s hoping.

I love sweat. I hate 2:01:58.

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2 Responses to “Wicked Slow 1/2 Marathon”

  1. Elisa 09/27/2011 at 8:05 pm #

    I just have to say that I am so proud of you anyways!! You will do great in the next race and then in Philly!! Love you both!

  2. Melissa Hanaka 09/28/2011 at 1:47 am #

    You guys are awesome and doing great! AND, I must comment on big red. HOT shorts!

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