Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon race report.

I wanted to run an awesome race and, in some ways, I did. I'd like to say I sailed smoothly over the 13.1 miles of the half marathon on Sunday but, honestly, I didn't.

I sailed smoothly for about 7 miles. But, then . . . well, then I struggled. I struggled for 6 miles, willing myself to run toward my A goal (1:46:58 or better!).

Fortunately, my day started surrounded by lots of friends and Strong Running Mamas. Here's a bunch of us at the start:

Go, Strong Running Mamas, go!

I lined up in the middle/front at the start line and told myself to run strong, but start slow. I have trouble holding back at the beginning of races and I wanted to try to rein myself in.

It didn't happen. See, I'd made a tactical error leading up to the race: I'd entered my recent 5K time into one of those race time predictor calculators and I'd seen what time I (according to the calculators) should be able to run a half marathon. Low 1:40s.

Low 1:40? Well, heck. If that's the prediction, shouldn't I be able to run 1:45, no problem? Should I make a new goal? Skip the A goal and go right to an A+ of 1:45???

1:45 . . . so tempting. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to sell myself short, but I also didn't want to run too hard and blow up at the end and miss setting a new PR.

After all the back and forth, I started the race like a fool.

7:51, 7:34, 7:42, 7:48, 7:37 . . .

The first five miles ticked by and I felt great. Great! Effortless. I loved every minute of those first five foolhardy miles and I foolishly led Foolish Self to believe that, yes, I could hold that 7:45-ish pace for-evah.

Running happy!

Around mile 5, I tried to take a gel and -- blech -- it didn't work. I got a little bit down but could barely swallow it and could stomach it even less. I guess I just can't handle gels during races. Lesson learned (for about, oh, the tenth time . . . ).

Anyway, mile 6 and 7 were still strong but I remember hitting the mile 7 marker and thinking, holy crow. I still have 6 miles to go. I might not make it.

I started doing the math and freaking myself out. 6 miles. That's 60 minutes, if I run the rest of the race at a 10 minute pace. One. Whole. Hour. I can't run for an hour! I don't have another freaking hour of running in me! 

No worries, Happy Runner! I replied to Freaked Out Self, You're running faster than that! 50 minutes. Just run 6 miles in 50 minutes. You can do it!

I could barely do it.

I was fading with each mile and by mile 10 I really needed a gel but couldn't risk it. By mile 11 my legs felt like lead and I was pretty convinced that my A goal was out of reach. I simply couldn't muster any more speed. 

And then I heard a cheer. It was my friend and Strong Running Mama, Melissa H. with her daughter, Mia. Melissa was not running because her body's working hard growing a baby -- but she was out on the course cheering. Hard. She put a smile on my face and gave me some much needed pep.

Not far from Melissa were two other friends and SRMs, Danielle and Melissa D. Another smile. A little more pep.

With maybe a tenth of a mile to go, I was locked in. I saw the clock and I knew if I pushed it I could get my PR.

Pushing it to the finish.

I got it.

1:46:17 -- a 42-second PR!!!

I was so happy. So. Wildly. Happy.

I ran a foolish race but still pulled it off. I couldn't even run back in June but I still pulled it off. I had doubted myself many times over the past month but I still pulled it off.

Pulling it off ROCKS.

And you what else rocks? Friends.

Like Bridget, who rocked the race to a HUGE PR of 1:58:

Happy PR runners!
And Janis, who didn't run but still came out to cheer and snap happy pictures of her pals:

That's me with great friends, Janis and Bridget.
And Jen, who ran her first half marathon; Darlene, who climbed back from injuries to run; Karyn, who put up a big PR of 1:56; and Karyn's SIL, Eileen, who drove up from Long Island to run with her:

Jen, Darlene, me, Karyn, Karyn's SIL, Eileen

And many more (like all those SRM in the first picture -- and the awesome cheerers!!).

But, back to the race. Overall, a tough race with a terrific result. Now, you can take a look at my embarrassing splits:

Mile 1: 7:51
Mile 2: 7:34
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 7:37
Mile 6: 7:50
Mile 7: 8:00
Mile 8: 8:13
Mile 9: 8:24
Mile 10: 8:25
Mile 11: 8:24
Mile 12: 8:35
Mile 13: 8:14
last .1: 8:03 pace

Tale of two races, huh? Yeah. I need to work on my pacing -- obviously!

Here are my stats:

Overall (net) time: 1:46:17
Pace: 8:07 per mile
Overall place: 121 out of 800
Age group place (F, 40-44): 6 out of 92

And with that, I'm resting up. My plan is to take the whole week off to ensure that I give my hip ample time to recover so I don't risk re-injury. I will probably run on Saturday or Sunday and then I'll see what's up next. I'm contemplating a 15K in a month but I'll decide on that later.

Thanks for stopping by!


Christy said...

Congratulations on you PR!!!

Flaming June said...

Wow! that is fast! Congratulations :)
PS - I have to know... did you already know what color the medals were before you chose your socks for the run?? You look so color coordinated!

patrick voo said...

great job - and thanks again for sharing that oh-so-important lesson about not going out too fast!

Darlene said...

I had the same experience. An good first half and a sucky 2nd half. Unlike you, I wasn't strong enough to will myself to PR.

You are my hero.

And yes, do the Stockade-athon!

Melissa said...

I am so proud of you! You went from injury with a side of Lyme to PR this summer. That is amazing! I would have never guessed you were struggling when I saw you. You and all the SRM's that passed looked great. Congrats and enjoy that PR! I agree with Darlene, do the Stockadeathon, it's a great race. You will rock it!
PS-if you figure out that whole pacing thing can you fill me in? I make that mistake in every race:)

Amy @ Juice Boxes + Crayolas said...

Congrats! That is awesome! Isn't that the best when you are pushing SO HARD that you are ready to die, but then get that PR and it's all worth it?? Way to go!

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations on your new PR! That's exciting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...