Well, race number six of seven is crossed off of the LU Race Team list. Yesterday was the OUCH Half Marathon. I'm happy to say I reached a PR of 1:57! The course was actually short by about .27 miles, but since it is an official race, I'm counting it.
I talked Adrienne into running the race with me, and we both had excuses before the start of why we were going to run slowly. Adrienne had pulled a side muscle and I had allergy stuff up the wazoo. We decided to make this a training run and aim for a 9:30 pace. This is a slower pace for both of us, but you know how it goes when motivation isn't knocking at your door. I wanted to set a low goal so that I knew I could make it. What generally happens to me is that I have strong training runs and then I fall apart during the actual race. I work myself up so much, stressing out about my time, how I'm feeling, if I drank enough water the past two days - you name it. So for this race I expected nothing.
Neither Adrienne or I had run this race before, but luckily my dad told her the route. We started at a slow pace and made our way from Trinity into my neighborhood. (If I had known the route, I could have told David to walk 1/4 mile and cheer us on.) Adrienne stopped to use the restrooms at Middle Park, which cost us at least two minutes. But I didn't care. I grabbed some Gatorade and watched people go by. A high school girl came out of the bathroom and her friend said, "Come on! Half of the race just passed us!" I laughed, but then I realized she was right. Just then, a group of four runners went by and I looked down the bike path --- no one else was there. The end of the race just went by! Adrienne popped back to the table and I told her we needed to get going!
The miles ticked by quickly and we were able to talk until we reached Belmont Road. This was the beast I was waiting for. My car can barely make it up this hill. Seriously. I have to turn off the air conditioner and pat the dashboard. I remember when I got my Giant and Dad wanted to take us for a bike ride. We ended up riding UP Belmont and I thought I would die (or fall over). Well, the trek up was not as bad as I thought it would be. I kept my knees up and pumped my arms.
The worst hills, in my opinion, were the ones on Middle Road and 53rd Street. Adrienne and I were able to talk until mile ten, when I had to focus on moving my legs and she had to focus on getting to the finish so she could get to a bathroom. It was around mile ten that Coach Troy popped in my head and I decided I found my new mantra: "Now's not the time to slow down! Now's not the time to quit! Now's the time to dig deep and show some character."
The finish continued the story of my life - Adrienne dropped me going up the last hill and finished 20 seconds ahead of me. Honestly, I'm okay with that. I came around the turn and some of my former students were cheering for me, and once I saw the clock under two hours, I attempted to kick it into another gear (which turned out to be pretty much the same as the gear I was in) and finished under two hours. That's all I was going for.
Okay, so that was the race. Now I know that I am capable of going faster in the middle of the race, so hopefully I can PR again at the Quad Cities Half Marathon in September. My goal for this week is to get up three mornings to run.
David needed to do a five mile long run this morning, so Sam and I decided to join him. I can't say it was a good idea, but he was able to run much faster than he has been running. However, now the world knows that he can run faster, so he's a bit disappointed that he can't run super slow and just have people think that's as fast as he can go!