The Texas Half Race Report
I am going to admit defeat in line 1 of this post. I think my body is telling me that racing pretty much every weekend of January (except for the one that I went to RRCA coaching certification class) is beating up my body. All of a sudden my body is not performing where I know it can. Now, as I admit that defeat, I'll still tell you that I still fully intend to run a 5k next weekend with my nephew, but then I promise to take a break for a whole 2 weekends before Disney Princess. This must be why coaches discourage too much racing. It's like doing double speedwork sessions all at once every week.
Anyhow, on to the race. I did not have this race officially on my calendar, but my favorite pace partner, Sherry, and my good speedy friend, Robin, were both going and had asked me to please consider coming. So on Thursday, after a nice workout at the gym, I got in my car and headed to Run-On to do last minute registration. I didn't know that while I was driving, Sherry was writing on her blog about not wanting to do this half alone. As soon as I got my bib, I texted a photo of it to Sherry...
She was thrilled! I love it... she seriously is the perfect pace partner for me, and pretty much anyone who's run within a 100m radius of me knows that I LOVE to talk while I run.
Robin and her family picked me up at 7am, and we headed to the lake. Not only did her awesome hubby drop us near the start, he also pulled the car up after so we didn't have to walk to the car. Super nice guy! And I love the in-car entertainment provided by Chloe and Ashley - their two little ones.
So in the car, I get a phone call from Sherry... and with all the crud going around, I'm worried she's sick, but no, she's just parked on the wrong side of the lake. So I work on navigating her to the right parking lot! Finally Sherry arrives and we get our mandatory pre-race photo.
I love this photo... look at our expressions!!! But be sure to observe our feet... I have my knee cocked to lean down, and Sherry is on her tippy-toes so we don't look like Mutt and Jeff... ha ha ha.
We here the gun go off, and I see people moving, but realize that no one in front of us is budging... I realize that we're standing in the middle of the 5k people that don't start for another 15 minutes. I quickly start plowing through the crowd, and Sherry grabs my arm and follows. There are advantages to being tall! And we're off.
It turned out to be a beautiful day, but my lungs didn't get the memo. We started out at a good steady pace. But I just never found my groove. I kept plugging along, though. Sherry and I even practiced some nerdy blogger stuff by taking photos of each other while running (although photos in motion does some weird things to the photos... my husband says I look like a hobbit in these photos)...
It looks like there was some weird concave lens over us... Strange. Oh well, it was fun... and I've run the lake a billion times, but never taken the cut-off that goes along the edge of the dam... and I loved it... thus we took those photos.
By mile 8, I was really in pain. My legs were fatigued, but fine. But my chest was extremely tight, and I just couldn't catch my breath. I can fight through muscle fatigue, but when it's breathing, it's scary. We only slowed a little and took very short walk breaks, but I still couldn't shake off the horrible feeling, unfortunately.
When we hit mile 10, we were right on track for Sherry to make a great PR, and I really wanted to see her accomplish that, and I didn't know how much more I could push. I told her to go on. She didn't want to because she's awesome like that... more concerned about me than about her time. But I really did want that PR for her. So she finally pushed forward (and really picked up the pace... I KNEW she had more in her that day).
I ended up taking a full quarter mile walk break. I know, that sounds like a really long walk period, but it was apparently the exact right thing to do. During that break, I was able to get my breathing back and get my chest to feeling at least somewhat normal. I was able to actually push through most of the rest of the distance ok, although I did slow my pace considerably to make sure I held up. I crossed the finish line at 2:22:17. And Sherry killed her PR... you can read about it HERE.
Half marathon #9 in the books.
**Side note: For those that I talked to via facebook or daily mile or personally... I wanted to be clear that I did not think my time was disappointing. A 2:22 is actually a really decent time for me. My disappointment comes when I can't hold a pace for the whole duration. I don't like to see my pace plummeting at the end. It means, in my mind, that I did something wrong. But then again, some days just aren't your day.
Of course, we needed our finish line photo as well...
And what do you do after you have a really bad day of running where it all just feels so hard??? You top it off by going home and officially registering for a race that's twice as long...
I had already mentally commited to it, but it was time to make the real commitment to Marathon #2. And want the cherry on top? Sherry may have done a little peer pressure on me to get me to do the Texas Half, but I think I came out the big winner, because Sherry just agreed to go to San Diego with me, and she officially registered last night, as well!!! So stinkin' excited!!!!!!!! (Also excited to get to meet fellow-blogger Jen who will be running RnR San Diego as her first full marathon!)