Woooop Woooop! Race day has come and gone. It was a fantastic ride.
I was super excited the night before..just like the last couple of triathlons. It was great because it didn’t start until 8:40 a.m. so I didn’t have to get up at 3:30 a.m.
We got a call night before from a friend who needed help with the clock on mile marker 5. Apparently the guy who was supposed to stand there and turn it on during the race start was sick. So, John kindly offered to volunteer in the morning. This kind of threw my plans off for the morning. I had expected to park, get on the trolley, and talk with John before the start. John had to drop me off and then race over to the 5 mile marker to get there in time. So I was left standing alone…
Did I mention it was freezing? It was probably in the low 40s that morning. Which for this pansy Michigander, is freezing. I didn’t want to wear a jacket or too many layers because I knew as soon as we started I would regret it. It worked out well having john at mile 5 because I just threw him my long sleeve shirt. This would never happen in a triathlon (get a penalty) so I was kind of excited about it.
I decided not to wear my heart rate monitor for the race. It had been messing with my head during training..so I opted to leave it home. I also knew there were going to pace clocks along the course so this would be helpful. The race started and I was moving pretty slow because it was such a large crowd. Once we got off Main street it started to thin out. As far as timing goes I was about a minute faster for the first 3 miles than I had anticipated. Which was not good…I needed to slow my newbie butt down. So I just settled behind some folks and cruised it.
I kindly asked one of the TNT coaches for some private coaching for this race since this was my first attempt at this distance. I didn’t want to be stupid and injure myself. So my wonderful TNT coaches/friends decided to help me out and meet me on the race course. Sarah met me on mile 4. It was a great time to have some morale boost at that mile. She stuck with me the whole way! We met Nicole around mile 9, so now I had a little group to cheer me on! I saw John at the mile 5 clock–which was great! I wanted to slow down to say hello but I couldn’t! After I passed John he quickly hopped in the car to meet me near the finish…it took him about an hour to get back downtown..with all that darn traffic–he is such a trooper.
So I was feeling pretty good for most of the race. I was getting my nutrition in just fine..which has been hit or miss during the longer runs. I wore my fuel belt because I wanted my own nutrition (which was great until about mile 12…more to come about that). It was about mile 10 or so that I was struggling. Thank God for Nicole and Sarah singing and encouraging me all the way to the finish. It’s funny because this race wasn’t really hilly but there are some inclines that are challenging. Around mile 9-13 it is most on an incline. My form (or my attempt at form) started deteriorating around this time..so then my hips started burning!! Lean forward, lean forward!
Around mile 12 I could not take the fuel belt any longer. It was driving me crazy. I was really ready to throw it on the ground and just cut my losses with the darn thing. Nicole kindly carried it for me. I was a bit embarrassed to have her take it…but she offered…so I let her! 🙂 Oh, it was so sweet to have that thing off. It felt like I lost 10 pounds.
I slowly shuffled closer to the finish line. With about .25 of a mile to go…I just sprinted to the end. The race finish was fun because it ran around the Greenville Drive field (minor league baseball team). So I got a chance to run on the field! Super fun. I really didn’t get a chance to take it in because all I could see was that sweet finish line.
My secret goal for finishing was 2:30. I figured that was reasonable for a first half marathon at my pace. I missed my goal..but not by much! I finished in 2:31:32. Not terrible.
Thanks to Nicole and Sarah for being my on course support! Definitely would have been much slower without you. Thanks to my hubster, ole Johnny B! He is the best sideline support a girl could ask for! Although..I think it’s time for us to buy him a cow-bell. hint hint. :p
I also ran a 5k the weekend after the half. I kind of kicked myself for signing up for a race right after a half marathon. But it was only 3.1 miles…suck it up. This race was super fun because it was very family oriented and not very competitive. Which is a great way to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun! I really didn’t have any expectations for this race other than beating by PR from the first 5k I ran in Dec. 2009. I finished that one in 39:46. I wasn’t too worried.
I again opted out of the heart rate monitor…mainly because my plan was to push it. I really haven’t pushed myself too much in the speed department so I thought it would be fun to try. I did my first mile in 9 minutes….what!? I didn’t think I was capable of running that fast..haha. Then I realized I need to slow down or I am going to be walking. So I did and finished in 30:34. About 9 minutes faster than 2009…can you believe that? I was shocked at the progress. It’s hard because everything in endurance sports is so incremental…that I always just feel slow.
I really couldn’t have asked for anything better. Two great weekends of racing and I was feeling great.
Right now I am taking it easy but trying not to lose all of my motivation. I really needed a break physically and mentally. I am not on a schedule right now with my workouts which is a problem. Starting soon I am going to make myself a schedule so I can stay with it. The fun thing in a little down time I have been practicing Bikram (hot yoga) again. A new studio opened in Greenville so I got a great promo deal for a couple of months. I love hot yoga. One more time…I love hot yoga!
Before you knock the yoga my friends…let me just say this. 1.5 hours of yoga in a 100-105 degree room with 47% humidity or so. Your heart rate is elevated just to cool off the body. Also, you are much more flexible in the heat. You sweat and it is amazing…the most purifying sweat you can get. Keeping sweat out of my eyes has been a challenge…maybe I should wear my visor in there? But is is making my legs, core, and arms stronger..so I am digging it.
John and I are staying in Greenville for Thanksgiving. We will be hopefully joining another couple and cooking a small dinner. We really need the rest, especially John and his crazy work schedule. I am really looking forward to it.
We also took Rufus on a trail for the first time last weekend. He did great! We let him on the extended leash….which he never gets. But he did great. He stayed right in front of us and kept looking back to make sure we were coming…love it!