run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Race Report: Tom King Half Marathon

The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen. -- Rumi

Normally race recaps are easy for me. I come up with a list of excuses of why the day didn't turn out the way it should have and I post them in the most self-deprecating way possible and move on. This race report has been a little harder to come up with. (And I've also been impatiently waiting for Brightroom to hurry up and post their goddamn pictures). This time, there are no excuses... I put in 14 weeks of training, I surrounded myself with an incredible team: my awesome coach Tanya, my amazing running partner/pacer Steve, and my other friends and family who were all rooting for me.

Saturday morning was perfect. The weather was beautiful (not too hot like I had feared) and I felt good. Not great, but not nervous or anxious. I was ready.

My mantra before the race was simple... "hang on." I realized sometime on Friday that hey... this race shouldn't hurt that bad. It's not like I'm running 5k pace. I've trained for 8:15s to feel challenging, but not awful. I stood around and watched the 5k start and cheered for my coach and looked for other friends who were running. By the time the 5kers were making their way back around for their one mile mark and I saw my coach who barked at me... "WARM UP" while she ran herself to a Female Grandmasters award (hot damn!), I was starting to get a bit nervous. But, I still comforted myself with the the thought.. 8:15s shouldn't hurt that bad and that the race shouldn't be that hard.

Steve wore my watch, so I had no idea what our time/pace was at any point in the race. At the 2 mile marker, I asked him: "how are we doing?" to which he responded with... "how do you feel?" And I wanted to be like.. dude, I feel fucking awful. Who asks how we're doing when they feel good? NO ONE. But, instead of wasting energy on getting all angsty on him, I just told him the truth... "it feels a little fast." He told me that it was a little fast, but nothing to worry about.

He tried to lighten the mood, told me to relax, told me to take deep breaths, asked me if I wanted him to hold my long sleeve shirt. He was the perfect, cool, calm and easy going pacer. And as hard as it felt at times, his zen vibe somehow kept me "hanging on."

As we got closer to mile 9 (which I was dreading the whole race, because it was at mile 9 that we were planning on picking it up) I kept asking him... how are we doing? And his response every time was "perfect." I had no idea if he was bullshitting me or what. And that uncertainty kept me motivated.

By mile 11 and 12, I was hurting. Not anywhere specific, but my legs were not turning over as fast as I wanted them to. Those miles would turn out to be our slowest of the day.

As we approached the stadium, I caught a glimpse of the jumbo tron and I saw that it had a 1:4X on it. Just enough of a tease to not know whether or not I was going to make my goal, I still had a little less than a half a mile to go. Still a lot of time left to race. Too much time, possibly.

I kicked as hard as I could fucking kick and when I turned the corner and saw the clock for the first time, I couldn't believe it. It had a 1:44:xx on it and I knew, that with the chip time, I had a chance to actually come in sub 1:45. I ran harder and right before I crossed the finish line (like, literally, probably 3 feet from the finish line), I doubled over and dry heaved. I somehow made myself keep going to the finish line, where I immediately doubled over again and gagged and dry heaved. Lovely.

Official time: 1:44:40.


I'm still in disbelief. I mean, never in my wildest expectations (my secret goal was sub 1:47) would I have guessed I'd break 1:45. I was planning on training for that this fall!

But that time wouldn't have been possible without Steve or Tanya. Both are amazing people who selflessly put time and effort into helping me achieve (and overachieve!) my goal. I can't thank them enough!

I spent most of Saturday afternoon in a giddy daze. And the post race celebration was perfect! No shots of ex boyfriends or drunken race reports. Somehow, I was too excited and happy to really want to get wild and crazy (I know), but I did indulge in some tasty beverages and food with friends. The perfect ending to a perfect day. *insert unicorns and rainbows and puppies*

Tom King? Schooled.


Carina said...

Woo-hoo!!!! Congrats!!

Katie said...

WOW OH WOW! congratulations!!

Meredith said...

Fucking yeah!!!

chacha said...

Kickass job!

I love that he essentially was bullshitting you by not elaborating exactly how fast you were going. Probably because he know from all the training you'd been doing that it was an attainable goal.


Tanya said...

SEE!! You had one moment in time when you were more than you thought you could be!



LAPT said...

What WHAT! That is AMAZINGGGG! I am so proud of you. :-)

Perry said...

Very engaging race report and congrats on blowing out your goal.

Spike said...

Congrats on your Half PR. Even if you wanted to puke when done!!!

Stephanie said...

Yeah!! I knew you could do it. Congrats!!!

Cheryl said...

Amy, it's been a blast watching and being with you while you trained and worried and trained and gained confidence and trained some more and then KICKED ASS!! You totally deserve to enjoy your well-earned PR. What next, my friend? What next?!