Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soaring Wings Half Recap

This morning started off dark and early. I actually slept really well and started waking up on my own around 5:20. The race was actually about 30-40 minutes away, so the plan was to leave by 6:45. It was so dark, and so cold. Jason brought his bike along so he could be my personal photographer and cheerleader (thank you honey!!!).

I was really worried about the cold and not having trained in it at all. Also, what to wear? I ended up buying some arm sleeves yesterday and cannot believe I have not owned any sooner. I knew that with those, I could slip them down my arm if I did get too hot rather than trying to peel off a layer while running. I also strapped on my iPod just in case I needed a pick me up (never used, but maybe I should have).

For the most part, I was fairly calm - as calm as you can be before a race I suppose. I made a pre-race pit stop at a gas station near where we parked then jogged over to the start. I figured the brief job would at least help me warm up a bit.

This race actually had pacers. I was torn between the 1:50 and 1:55 pacers. That's kind of a big time difference when it came own to the pace. I decided to start with the 1:50 group and figured I could lag back as needed.

The Blue Man

Just Starting - Sun Just Really Coming Up

Around Mile 5
I felt pretty good with that pace all the way up until around mile 5. I was a little behind them, but they were definitely in sight. I did think that I might actually get frost bite on my hands though. They hurt so bad at the start - forgot to dig out throw-away gloves.

The course started off deceivingly flat. The first couple of hills weren't "that" bad, but they just kept coming. I was literally cursing hills. Very rational I know. Despite the hills, I was still hitting the mile markers ahead of my last race times. I really really thought I had a PR coming. I felt really good despite the sciatica that started hurting around mile 4.
Just After Mile 7 - I Think That's a Smile
My hip flexors were a little tight, but nothing serious. And I was solid mentally. I guess I must have started to really falter around mile 11 because I hit 10 at under 1:28. But it was long hill after long hill with no recovery. I thought I was ok, but it was taking a toll more than I realized. And I did also end up with a terrible side stitch a couple of times, which I almost never have and it was more near under my lung area. The cold maybe?
Just After Mile 11 (side stitch again)

When I heard that the 1:55 pace group was nearing me, I got flat out pissed at myself. This was on yet another freaking hill at mile 12 - yes, mile 12 sign parked nicely halfway up a dang hill. GRRRR. I got a slight reprieve with a great downhill stretch where I tried to use the momentum for "free" speed. Apparently it just wasn't enough.

My hip flexors were a little tight, but nothing serious. And I was solid mentally. I guess I must have started to really falter around mile 11 because I hit 10 at under 1:28. But it was long hill after long hill with no recovery. I thought I was ok, but it was taking a toll more than I realized.
Coming Into the Finish

When I heard that the 1:55 pace group was nearing me, I got flat out pissed at myself. This was on yet another freaking hill at mile 12 - yes, mile 12 sign parked nicely halfway up a dang hill. GRRRR. I got a slight reprieve with a great downhill stretch where I tried to use the momentum for "free" speed. Apparently it just wasn't enough.

I just didn't have any gas left in me at that point. I pushed as hard as I could though - I really feel that to be true. I don't think I slacked. I do believe the temperatures and the hilly course (totally unprepared for) affected my run (probably hills more than cold actually).
DONE
I won't lie (I'm a terribly liar anyway), I was disappointed with my time: 1:55:47. I honestly thought I would come in closer to 1:54. Maybe I'm disapointed in thinking that my best just wasn't as good as I had though. I know, bad mindset.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting around moping or rehashing what I could have done different. I am happy with my approach. I am happy that I did push myself and try to go with the faster pace group rather than just assume I couldn't. So, I am proud of the accomplishment. I know it is a major accomplishment that I worked my ass off for.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Half marathon #2
  • Feeling sense of accomplishment
  • Pizza (gotta re-carb right?)
  • Mimosa (gotta celebrate)
  • The support and friendship of my amazing blog friends