Monday, May 18, 2009
That's my dad and I getting ready for our big race.
In some ways, it went better than expected. In some ways it went worse.
There are lots of informational articles on runnersworld.com about race strategy and what to do or not do to your best on a race. If I had to sum them up, their tips would be:
1) Don't overeat the night before. Eat a small breakfast about an hour before the race.
2) Get a good night's sleep the night before the race.
3) Whatever you do...DO NOT start off the race too fast. Make sure you pace yourself.
Out of those three tips, I pretty much accomplished....ZERO! I didn't eat any breakfast since I was too afraid of feeling nauseous. Thanks to the Sweet Adelines (think really loud ladies who like to sing and laugh and whoop all night long) I did not get any sleep. And, I don't know, maybe it was the energy jelly beans or the crowd or the cold or the good music, but when I finished the first mile in 10:53, even though my fastest ever mile before that was 12:00, I knew I was going to be in some trouble.
Somewhere between 1.5 miles and 2 miles I had to walk for a little bit. I was pretty disappointed about that. I caught my breath and kept on running. At 3 miles, I was at 36 minutes and some seconds. I remember thinking "Wow! I could actually do this in under 80 minutes". The fastest I had ever done 6.2 miles in training was 85 minutes. I was hoping to beat 85 minutes. Beating 80 minutes seemed like a total long shot. My plan was not to stop running again.
Only my groin started to hurt. And, my legs were running out of juice. I kept trying to dig deeper. I kept trying to look for some song on the music player of mine that would help me. Miles 4.5 to the end were tough. I'm not going to lie. I had to do more walking than I would have liked. It didn't help that the race ends going UPHILL. I'm not kidding. Who does that? Who ends a race going up hill??
Besides first laying eyes on my children, I am not sure I have ever seen a more beautiful sight than the finish line. My official time: 1:19:33. Under 80 minutes. So, although I had to walk more than I would've liked, I finished under the time I thought would be nearly impossible. I averaged 12:48 minute miles.
When I was done I didn't think that it was all that much fun. My dad told me that as time wore on it would seem like it was more fun. He's right. I'm already thinking it was pretty OK and am looking forward to planning my next race!