Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dowd YMCA Finish

Praise God! This was, by far, the best half marathon I have run yet! My pre-race prep really paid off. The information I received from the dietician about pre-race, race, and post-race nutrition really changed the way I train and prep. This morning, I did 3 Hammer Endurolytes electrolyte pills, about 16oz of Heed and 3 Blocks (electrolytes) en route. I did all of this probably 90minutes prior to race start. I felt like I hydrated really well over the past two days and didn’t want to go overboard with the fluids this morning. I have cramped badly in all of my previous half marathons. It is my understanding that it was my lack of electrolytes that may have contributed to the cramping. Sooooo, I may have over done it a bit with the electrolytes. However, I feel like it worked for me. I still wasn’t in a good place mentally this morning until I made it to the race site. I saw the finish line and I started to get into race mode. It honestly wasn’t until I saw my run group that I felt like everything was once again right with the world.

Unfortunately, my subgroup, the Elevens (11min/mi) didn’t show up; not one person. I was a little disappointed. So, I ran with the Twelves (12min/mi) I thought that I could run with them and at least get some miles in while having some fun. This group was a motivated bunch. A lot of 1st timers with big hearts! So we hit the road and I began chatting with them. I don’t run with headphones anymore because of USAT rules. So, the talking really mad it fun. I learned a lot about those guys. People I see every Saturday morning for run group and never said hi. Boy was I missing out!

The first three miles my left foot was hurting. This is the foot I believe has plantar fasciitis. After three miles, it disappeared; like nothing every happened. Here one minute, gone the next. At mile 6 there was a water stop. Most of the Twelves hung out there for a bit. I think the pace they were running was faster that what they were used to. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because of me. So it was now two people from the Twelves, me, and another random sweet old Asian lady running. She really was a sweet lady. At mile 8 the rest of the Twelves caught up! How the heck did that happen?! We were running a faster pace than 12min/mi but somehow they caught up. It was at this point I parted ways with the Twelves and yes that sweet old Asian lady (who really was sweet /smile).

Up until mile 8, I knew I was going to have to leave them at some point. I was feeling good, really good…almost too good. So, at mile 8 I turned up the pace a lot! I said a prayer to God thanking Him. I asked that when I run these last 5 miles he would use me to inspire others on the route! See, before I was a Christian I ran for myself, now I run for Christ!

I ran solid those last 5 miles! I was soooo grateful to have paced with the 12’s for so long. Traditionally, I would start my race super fast and really pay for it in the end. I was always told it is easier to start off slow and then pick it up. I am a firm believer of that race practice now.

My children have been at almost every endurance event! That is the best part. They call my runs the big race :) I love it when they say that. This time I didn’t want to have them just waiting and waiting and waiting for me to cross the line. I thought that it would be cool if they were handing out water! Even better, they could be at mile 10 which has been a headache for me in the past. It is for this reason mile 9 was my favorite! I knew at the end of it I would see my children.

As I approach mile 10, I called for Kealan and Isabella. Isabella was hard at work handing out water. My son, weellll not so much! He was being a boy and playing in the leaves. When I called their names, Kealan jumps up almost in a panic as if he’s not really sure what to do. I approach the aid station and grab water from Isabella. I give her a hug and a kiss and Kealan drops his head and says, “All man. I wanted to do it (hand me the water).” In an excited tone I said, “Kealan! I need another water hurry, hurry, hurry! I have to go!” He took water from the table and handed it to me and I hugged and kissed him. When they both handed me the water, their faces just lit up! It was one of my favorite memories! I love having my children there! It’s almost as if nothing is impossible! Thanks guys for being my biggest fans!

Although Dowd Half Marathon wasn’t my target race, I was really excited about my time. My goal was 11/min miles for my target race (Thunder Road Half Marathon) I’m not sure of the official time but I think I was a minute or two slower than my target time. I will take that! My goal for the fall half marathons is going to be 10min mile. I can do it! I know I can!

After crossing the finish line, I stayed to watch the Twelves finish. Again, this was most of the group’s first half marathon. To watch them finish was amazing! The emotions, the joy, completing their goals! Wow! I never did see that sweet old Asian lady who really was….

Sidebar- I bought a bike trainer and cant wait to try it out tonight!!!

Today was a great run! But just another training day. Because:
“…I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep”
(my favorite poet Robert Frost)

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