Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Racing Day: 13.1 + Shoes - Garmin = 1st Place

In the words of the Backyardigans:

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not nervous pacing day.
Today's the day we race.

I'm ready to race a long, long race.
This race goes almost every place.
It's fast, it's long,
It's vast, it's far,
It starts out right here where we are.

But when the finish line's unfurled,
We will have raced around the world.
When we finish this long, long race
I hope, I hope I'll take first place.

So obviously I like the Backyardigans and Sunday was RACE DAY! So here is how it went....

I was nervous to say the least. This was my 5th half marathon (13.1 miles). I was on my own for the first time in a fairly large race...and when I mean on my own I wasn't running it with anyone in particular. Alot of my TNT running friends would be there but everyone was kind of doing their own thing. I kept thinking back to my 20 mile training run last fall trying to build up my confidence.

The night before I planned to meet up with Jessica. She was in corral 7 and I was in 8 and the only thing that separates a corral is some rope, so I went ahead and jumped in her corral. The faster you are the lower your corral number is (in most cases). I had put a finishing time of 2:15 even though my PR (personal record) in the half marathon was 2:32. I honestly thought I put 2:20 because that is what I was hoping for. On any given day Jessica is faster than me especially when it comes to race day...I wasn't sure if I could hang with her or not and I had no intention of holding her back. I just wanted a friendly face next to me when we started. I knew I would try to keep pace as long as I could.

I guess I should mention TWO big things:

1) I bought new Newtons (shoes) and decided to wear them for the race. This is a HUGE HUGE no-no. Nothing new is what the runner motto is...nothing new on race day, but I went against this. I've been running in Newtons for close to a year so the shoe isn't new to me but this pair was brand new out of the box. I went ahead and slipped on my shoe bling that Meg (one of my TNT coaches) got me last winter season. Jessica's mom snapped this picture at the start line...and I'm so glad she did!
2) My watch (Garmin) locked up! This is my running watch...its like a mini computer on your wrist that tells me my time, pace, heart rate, etc...and when I went to turn on the GPS...it just stuck there. I think Jessica thought I was crazy...I kept pushing the button harder and harder like it was going to do something but NOTHING HAPPENED. All I could say was, "What am I going to do...I'm not going to know my pace!" And Jessica's honest reply, "You'll probably run a better race without it!"

At this point there is no turning back...so off we went. Jessica and I ran side-by-side miles 1-8. There was no conversation...ear buds in...I could tell that we were both in the zone and I was perfectly happy with that. Miles 1 - 8 as you can see on the elevation map are a steady incline. It is funny that I only noticed this at two spots...the beginning and going into mile 8 which was on Mockingbird I believe.

At mile 8 Jessica's husband and mom were there cheering her on...since my Garmin was not working I quickly pulled off my heart rate strap and handed it to Jeff (thank you Jeff!). Because I knew it wasn't working it was driving me crazy. At this point Jessica and I separated. I continued to see her for the next mile or so in front of me. Right around mile 10 I saw an empty potty...I debated...I debated and then I dashed for it. Generally runners try to avoid any breaks but I'm awful at this...without being too personal I have a small bladder and that coupled with having to drink on the course to stay hydrated + running isn't always fun. So I took my chances knowing it would affect my time. I think it was the fastest potty break of all time.

Back on the road I felt good....I realized I only had 3 miles left and I knew I was doing well. How well...not exactly sure because NO GARMIN. There are clocks on the course and I estimated that I started about 10 minutes after the official start time so I was doing my best to take that into account. The best thing about the end is that it was all a slight decline. I have no idea of my exact pace miles 8-13...but I kept steady.

Rounding into the finish I saw the clock...it said 2:24 and I picked up the pace...there was NO WAY I was not going to make 2:15 if it was in reach. I sprinted to the finish and it felt good. Besides coming into the finish line at White Rock Marathon this past December...this was the best I've every felt during a race. FINISHED. DONE. HAPPY.

I didn't see anyone I knew. I remembered that Jessica said she was going to meet her family at family meet-up so I headed that way under the "W"...there she was (with her Dad) and I was so excited to see her. We hugged...I wanted to cry...she asked what I thought my time was and I said I hoped it was under 2:15 but we weren't sure. She showed me her watch...2:08:36 - she made her goal and then some...a new PR for Jessica! I was soooo excited and proud for her.

I was guessing I came in about 10 minutes after her...which would have put me at 2:18 but I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Jessica tried to look up the race results on her phone but they were updated yet. It was getting cold and even though Bret Michaels was going to be playing I decided to head home but not without a picture!

At home...I went straight to the computer. My time 2:12:46 - seriously I couldn't believe it. I immediately text Jessica.

Today I actually thought about running Big D half in a couple weeks to see if I could do it again...crazy I know, but I think its just the runner high lingering from Sunday. To me my 2:12:46 is my 1st place!

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  1. FIRST PLACE!!!!!! So now that we have completely surpassed our goals what's next? Arghhhhh! Just kidding. I think we need to bask in the glory just a little while longer.

    I am so proud! I knew you had that (and more) in you. So glad I got to share such a great day with you! Congrats again.

  2. Congrats on your PR! Amazing!