Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rock and Roll Half....

Well... I picked a goal. (A very lofty one at that) and failed. But, I think I'm okay with this failure. I had picked a goal that would have required that I shave 13 minutes off of my previous PR for a half marathon....and nearly 17 minutes off of my last half marathon, which was Carlsbad, in January....

So I suppose I should be thrilled with 2:11:06... (my time at Carlsbad was 2:15:52) and I should keep pushing myself to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon... which I really do hope I can achieve in December, at the Rock and Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon.

Race day was far from what I had hoped or planned. The horn sounded, signaling that we begin running... my feet felt light, I was off to a good start. My goal was to maintain a 9:05 for the entire race and I was comfortably running 8:45 or less. I thought "wow, maybe I can do this!!" My husband at my side, good music in my ears... I was unstoppable. Around mile 2.5, Jason backed off (he hadn't trained enough and didn't want to try to keep pushing his pace... but I am so proud of him for doing it and trying!!)

The race course was different this year, and we circled around (and up and down) Balboa Park... Okay, not what I was expecting, but whatever... then we hit the 163 prior to going into downtown... Oh crap... this means they added more of the crazy angled 163...not fun. I tried to maintain my pace through the sideways road and up and down the hills. My heart rate shot up, though I didn't have it as a field on my monitor, but I could feel it - I thought it was going to explode!! SO I slowed down a bit, regulated my breathing, tried to will my heartrate to slow itself down... I finally got to the top of what I thought would be the last "hill" and saw some handcyclists flying down the hill, yelling "watch out" and then it happened - one of the cyclists slipped and skidded and ran right into a runner. He went flying, and crumpled on the ground, dazed and bleeding... right in front of me!! I started to tear up, but kept running.

My pace settled around 9:10, but I figured that I would probably be okay since I had been running faster at the beginning... and then it happened - I realized I really needed to use the restroom. I tried to ignore it, to will it away, but I had no choice but to stop. Dripping with sweat and my heart beating in my chest, I found a bathroom (right before the off-ramp onto Friar's road) and after I was finished, got really nauseous and proceeded to puke. Not sure if it was my heartrate, or the awful smell of that porta-potty that did it... or that I had just been pushing myself... Me? Running until I puked? Wow...

So the race continued, and I realized that ther was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to achieve my goal time, but knew that I absolutely had to (for myself) beat my current PR (which, by the way, was held at AFC half marathon, at which the first 4 or so miles are downhill) and so I continued a steady pace, trying to re-hydrate, re-fuel, and get back into the groove.

Jax had made us a "get moving" playlist, and I tried to just settle into the music and ignore everything around me. Funny thing looking back - I don't remember most of the race. I mean, had I been running with my eyes closed? Perhaps.

Running up and down Morena Blvd was awful. I really hated that part of the course.... though was extremely excited to hit Tecolote, and just SEE the finish line. I looked down at my Garmin and panicked... my feet started pounding the pavement, my heart beating in my chest... I push through until the finish chute and just sprint as fast as I could (per my garmin, my max pace was 5:23, and I'm assuming this occurred at the finish line) until I hit the mat. Success!! Well, sort of... my final time was 2:11:06 and my garmin said I had run 13.34 miles... which averages to 9:56/mile, which I should be happy with.

I stumble down the finish chute and there's Jax!! She gives me a hug, shows me her watch - 1:49 -- she DID IT!!! So proud of her!! I look at my own garmin and realize my average heart rate was 184 with a max of 238!! No wondeer I had felt like crap. We grabbed our stuff and waited for the rest of our friends/family to finish.

So many people PR'd today!! I am so proud of all of them... especially Jax for hitting her goal time ON THE MONEY... she has always been such a source of inspiration and support for me, and I would not be where I am today without her constant encouragement and help!! I am also very proud of my husband for completing his third official half marathon and not feeling horrible at the end...and Bobbie for hitting a new PR as well... and Nathan... for doing an insane brick on Saturday then ROCKING the run on Sunday... and Katie...and Randi... and everyone else who did it - you guys are all amazing.

I would also like to thank my coach, Bryan, for daring me to set goals and to push for them.

Am I bummed out - kind of. Am I horribly discouraged - not really. I supposed I hadn't exactly thought through the magnitude of cutting about a minute per mile off of my run time... and considering that when I started running in October 2008, I ran 13 or 14 minute miles, for SHORT runs, I'll settle a sub-10 minute per mile half marathon. But I'll get you yet, sub-2 hours... oh yes, I'll get you yet.

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