Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Year's Day Half-Marathon Race Report

Note:  This was originally posted on DailyMile, but I am reposting it here so it can be counted toward my Run for the Bling of It Challenge. Go check it out - the goal is to run 12 races in 2011, of any distance. I definitely got a head start with the New Year's Day Half, a race I plan to make a yearly tradition. If you already follow me on Daily Mile, it's the same report. If you don't, why not? Come find me & friend me there!

Damn. That one hurt. But it also felt FABULOUS to break through the mental pain at Mile 11 and keep going when it would have been so easy to slow down, to walk it out, to just quit giving 100 percent. And that is all thanks to Suann, my wonderful friend and amazing pacer, who kept me moving when I hurt, when I wanted to walk, when I was whimpering because it was hard.
My PR at this distance is 2:09:35 at Big D back in 2005. I have only run one additional race faster than this, and that was Cowtown, also in 2005. At that time, I had only run one marathon, and was a good 15 pounds lighter (and six years younger) than I am now. My two other halves this year were pacing races, so I really had no concept of what I was capable of at this distance. I had an inkling because of how I did two weeks ago but the knee failing on me at mile 10 kept me from really pushing at the end. So while I thought I was capable of pulling 10:00s all way through, I wasn't sure.
It was cold. Check out Suann's awesome arm panties!! 
It was very cold at the start, colder than my weather widget on my phone said. I wore tights & a long-sleeved shirt, and brought my gloves, knowing that once we got moving it would be fine. I got to see Lesley at the registration table, but didn't really get to see anyone else because it was too cold to stand around and I hid in my car until about 10 minutes before the race start.
I honestly don't remember much about the course, except that it was nice to not have to dodge traffic. It was well-marked, and volunteers were handy at every place there might have been confusion. I was thrilled to see my friends Katie & Kevin at the first water stop, and excited to have Mark pass me at the first little loop-de-loop and give me a high-five. Right about then we caught up to Lesley and her friend, and then Erin came up & introduced herself to us. Then later on, a mystery man ran by us and said "hi, Mama C!" but we didn't catch who it was, despite the names on our bibs. We spent the next half-mile trying to figure out who else we knew was going to be out there!! But honestly, while I was glad to have so many friendly faces, I was really focusing on keeping to my pace. So, sorry, Jim, for not recognizing you out there - so glad we met at the end, though!!!
Those of you who have run with me know that I talk when I run. I talk a LOT. Let me tell you how hard I was running yesterday: I did not talk from about mile 10 to the finish. At all. I whimpered at one particularly rough uphill, at which point Suann turned around and told me I could cry at the finish. I did a patented Mama C under-bridge primal scream. Twice. First time because it was a bridge, but the second time because I was hurting. My knee was taped to kingdom come so it was holding up just fine, but my right glute was screaming after about mile 7, and my PF was flaring just a bit in the last mile or so. I mostly just hurt from going hard for so long. I haven't held a 10:00/mile for more 10 miles, much less 13.1, in the past 6 years. But I did yesterday.
More importantly, with Suann's help I conquered that point in the race where my mind tried to talk my body out of what it was doing. I hit that point after the pancake song at mile 10 where I looked at my watch & do the math in my head and think, "I can still pull a 2:15... 2:15 is ok..." Or, "I can just walk a bit and stretch out that knot in my ass..." But those thoughts didn't win out this time. With Suann's help, I kept going, and actually bore down and WENT FASTER!
Coming up this little incline to the water stop and hearing my name being yelled by Katie & Kevin was so helpful. I don't think I did much more to acknowledge them but grunt, so sorry for that. It was so nice to see Michelle at the last turn before the finish, too. But again, I don't think I did much more than grimace at her. I was just working harder than I have in a LONG time. People, I passed four runners in the last mile of this race. I do not do that. I am the one getting passed. I am the one who gets juked at the end because I am walking and hurting and yesterday, I was the one doing the passing. It was AWESOME.
Twitpic!! @livnstrong, me, @ladysuann & @mlindsley
In the end, I missed a PR by about 2 minutes. And I am totally fine with that. I earned 1st place Athena, and also, had I entered in my AG, I would have had 4th AG. Suann also reminded me that I had surgery six weeks ago. Oh yeah!! So, yeah, I will totally take this 2:11. On the first day of 2011. Yeah.
Many thanks to Libby for putting on a great race on a good course, and with great swag & a beautiful medal. We got TWO shirts, both technical, long-sleeved and short-sleeved. It was a wonderful way to start the year.
Splits, courtesy of Suann's Garmin:
1 0:10:16
2 0:10:09
3 0:09:27
4 0:09:52
5 0:09:57
6 0:09:47
7 0:10:15
8 0:10:12
9 0:09:36
10 0:09:43
11 0:09:32 - DAY-UM!!
12 0:09:56
13 0:09:47
.3 0:02:50 (9:33 pace- again, DAY-UM!!)

1 comment:

Jenn (DisneyGirlInNJ) said...

wow awesome job and congrats! :)