Monday, May 10, 2010

i did it. and i didn't die!

the hippie chick half marathon was two days ago and i'm finally recovered enough to write about it! just kidding-- in all honesty it went great and i feel pretty good.

i totally thought i was going to bomb it. i thought i was going to be slow and hate it and be awful. but that isn't how it went down. i wasn't slow. in fact, i did the first seven miles at a pace more than a minute faster than my usual pace. i kept looking at my garmin and thinking how great (but unusual) it was that i was holding such a fast, steady pace. (now, don't be confused-- fast is relative. last year my average pace for this race was 13:50something. the first seven miles of this race: 12:30ish.)

i had a strategy: run to the aid stations. as fast as i comfortably could. this could have been a dangerous strategy as frankly, no pace feels comfortable and i wouldn't have minded a morning of sleeping in followed by some pancakes with bacon..but..that's not the point here. the point is i was planning to move my butt as fast as i could between aid stations and allow myself to walk through and briefly after aid stations. it turned out to be a great plan. worked like a charm the first seven miles. at mile six i remember thinking how much better shape i was halfway through this year than last. i didn't even feel overly hateful or jealous when i watched the quarter marathoners turn toward the finish line while i turned toward the second loop..toward ANOTHER 6:55 miles!

but then i started to fade. but it was a hopeful fade. hopeful that i had done so well so far that i could still come in under three hours. last year i was three hours, three minutes and fifty nine seconds. so coming in under three hours would be quite an accomplishment. i hadn't even considered it as a possibility until this point. but now that it was there, a real option, right in front of me-- oh man, i wanted it. but i was still fading. i had to walk. but i didn't get discouraged. i was still on a high over how well i had done to this point. and my positive attitude did me well. it carried me the next four miles or so of walk/run/walk/run.

around mile eleven i had to dig deep. i was really hurting and having an internal argument with myself. forget about the time, just concentrate on making it to the finish, i can't forget about the time, if i slow down, i won't hit three what if i don't hit three hours, just finish...why would i give up now-- i can still come in under three hours..

with a quarter of a mile to go i mustered all i had and started to move it as fast as i could. i really had a chance at three hours but it was going to be close. i rounded the last corner and there was my best friend. she had finished an hour ago (nice job, bf!) and was waiting for me. she ran with me for a minute or so. i told her i had my eye on three hours and she told me to stop talking and keep moving. that's what friends are for.

i'm not exaggerating when i say i didn't know if i was going to be able to make it that last tenth of a mile without stopping. i had put it in full gear a little too early and now every step was a push. my breath wasn't coming easy. but i was so close. i couldn't very well start walking while steps from the finish line. could i? i could see the clock at this point. i was only going to make it if i kept running.

my final time: 2:59:32. and i didn't die. i must admit-- i'm proud.

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