Saturday, July 24, 2010

Half Marathon Training - Week 3 - Saturday - Bix 7 Run and Result and Rain

Alright, well I am alive. My toes are still wrinkled and it finally feels good to not be in the rain. It rained and rained and rained. And then rained some more. Let me start with yesterday and work my way up.

Last night the kids had their race. Because Aiden is 5 and Addy is 3 they ran the same race. Prior to the race it poured with some severe lightning and thunder. I was thinking it was going to be canceled, but the rain stopped and humidity hit hard. Because Aiden is 5 they ran by age so we were one of the last heats. We stood there waiting for about an hour. It took FOREVER! However, Addy was well behaved and Aiden found a caterpillar so he was distracted. We finally ran and they had a good time and took great pride in their medals and Twinkies and hot dogs.

This morning I woke up at 4 am due to a loud burst of thunder and lightning. I planned on waking up at 4:30, but my nerves started to kick in and I decided to just get up. I made a pot of coffee and ate an egg sandwich, did some reading, messed around on the internet all while getting up and moving around about 20 times. I don't know why I was nervous, but in hindsight I think it was because I did not want to run poorly. Another reason was that it was raining and I have not trained or prepared to run in rain. This was a new weather element that I have been avoiding with all this heat. After going to the bathroom about 7 times I took off for the race about 6:45.

I parked about .25 mile away and walked in the rain to the RiverCenter to see where I needed to go. I went to the bathroom again(I never pee this much in a week!) and realized that it was now 7:35 and time to figure out where I needed to line up. I went to the gate where I thought I needed to be and it was wrong, so I had to hurry around the parking garage to my spot. I was in the massive horde of people in the rain waiting to go. By this point, I was already soaked and thinking to myself if I was really prepared to run soaking wet.

The race began and my iPod started acting up so I had to quick reset my Nike+ runner to get that back going. Then I was focused on the hill(see image of the course above). Where I started it was impossible to get into stride for about the first 1.5 miles of the race. I was running up and down between a 7:30 - 11:00 minute mile pace depending on the amount of people. It took forever to get up the hill due to all the people. I managed to get around some people and move to Kirkwood and at the point I jumped up on the grass median and ran. It was easier to get by people and not have to stop and go all the time. I am not skilled enough to do that so grass it was. I made a vow to myself to not look at time or distance until the turnaround. My goal was to beat my Bix at 6 time a few weeks ago of 67 minutes and some odd seconds. At the turnaround I looked at my watch and realized I was making good time. Much better than I thought. I was right around 28 minutes or so. I did not celebrate because the course sucks from this point on as you have to run uphill for what seems like forever. I kept on moving knowing that I had to focus in order to achieve my goal of beating 67 minutes. I really wanted to beat the time of 64 minutes. That was my goal and I knew I could do after my 7 mile earlier in the week of 61 minutes. However, I forget how hard that incline is over that long gradual pace. It really taxes you mentally. Being new to running I don't have much strategy. I tried to take it easy early on in the hill and then try to slowly pick up pace. I kept on chugging through and grabbed a water bottle along they way to rinse my mouth out to keep me fresh. I knew that once I saw the 5 mile sign I was in good shape. I knew the worst was slowly going to be over.

Finally, I approach Brady St. hill to begin the descent down to the finish line. Being my first time running this race and being tired I looked down the hill thinking if I just let my body relax and haul down this hill I will be good. I saw a big mass of people down by the bottom so I was thinking that was the finish line. So I take off and just let momentum take over. Had I fallen I would have been too tired to brace myself and would have been a mess. Going down the hill I was running around a 6:15 -6:30 mile pace which is moving way too fast for me. I reach the bottom and realize that the finish line is not at the bottom, but we have to turn down another street for about another 1/4 mile. I am gassed. I am dead thinking I am about to puke. I remember thinking I am not going to be able to finish this race now. But, I eased up, regained my composure and dragged this big old body across the finish line. I thought I was going to die. I was able to recover rather quickly despite having two very tired and fatigued legs.

So, how did I do? I amazed myself. I ran the race in 58:19. My iPod had me running 7.11 miles which is probably from the weaving up the hill. I was so excited with my time. I not only broke my own goal, but I broke a goal that I never thought I would reach by this point which was breaking the 60 minute mark. I was blown away. Now I want to run it again to beat 58 minutes which I think I could do if I was not so far back in the pack to start. I know, never satisfied, but isn't that what life is all about? Enjoy your goals and start setting new ones.

This has been a long post, but I am very happy with my current training for my half marathon. Every day I am loving running more and more. There is something about it that is slowly making this a new addiction. My competitive spirit is also joining forces and I want to do better every time and not even long after this race I was mad that I did not break 58 minutes. I leave you all who took time to read this long post with the following things I learned from this race because it is important to always take away lessons from all we do.

1. Sign up for the faster heats to avoid so many people
2. Rain is not fun. I never ran in soaking wet shoes and it was not enjoyable. Especially because my shoes were not running shoes as those did not come in time.
3. Believe in yourself. You never know what you are capable of achieving until you let your guard down and just go for it. Success is not guaranteed, but what a feeling it brings to you when you do feel success. I was so proud of myself today.
4. My training is paying off. I shaved 10 minutes off my time from running this course 2 week ago.
5. Go for it. Whatever you want to do, do it. Don't be scared. Don't think you can't because the only limitations in life come from your head.

I will post pictures of the race in a couple days when the become available and of course if I don't look too terrible. I leave you with two quotes and then I am off to take a nap.

The only limits on your life are those you set on yourself

There are only 2 types of people; energy takers & energy givers. You need to be an energy giver to attract energy givers.

Aaron a.k.a Coffeechug
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