Sunday, August 19, 2012

OUCH Half Marathon

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!

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