Yay! for positive thinking! Yay! for gorgeous “winter” days, Yay! for friends who pick you up to accompany you and cheer you on at your race, Yay! for acupuncture, Yay! for beating your best time by 10 minutes! Yay! for me!!!
The race went well. It was very hard, more hilly than I was prepared for but somehow I did it and had a very good race.
It was a gorgeous day and good friends A and N picked me up for the hour long drive. I wasn’t really nervous but was perhaps a bit anxious. I was worried that my knee would not hold out and the trip out there would be for nothing.
I had to focus REALLY hard at the start to hang back and not go too fast. I really felt like I was at the very back of the pack. Everyone seemed to be going out really fast but I just kept checking my pace on my Garmin to make sure I was hanging around the 6:30k mark.
There was a 2:30 pace bunny who started near me and I was keeping my eye on her. My goal was to finish in 2:20 so I felt like I should ultimately be in front of her- but dag-nam -it if she didn’t keep passing me. She was doing 10’s and 1’s and I was not. So I would pass her when she walked and then she would wizz by me when she started to run. She was TICKING me off- but I restrained myself- and tried my best to ignore her.
I felt great after the first hill into the animal sanctuary (I saw zebras, giraffes, emu’s and wildebeest’s!) and was ticking along until I got to 10 k and my knee started to hurt- I kept running but was worried. For the next 3 k I was doing my best to focus on ridding myself of the pain and ever so gradually and miraculously it went away but then at about 16 k I hit a bit of a wall. The longest training run I had done for this race was 15.55 k – again I started to worry if I had it in me. Couple that with the fact that there is a HUGE hill at this point and I really started doubting myself. I motored up the first part of the hill- and my head began to feel like it would explode (this happens from time to time) I was hot, I was dying, so I stopped to walk and popped the 2 Advil I had with me- I turned the corner and began to run- and now it was all downhill- it was hard not to go “fast” so I went with it- and enjoyed passing a few people on the way. At the bottom for the hill and turning the next corner as the course became flat again my legs felt like lead- I was at 20k… so close… but I wanted to stop, I wanted to walk but I could not let myself do that- There were people walking around me and I shuffled by them. By the time I saw the finish line I was just trying to keep my legs moving- mentally I wanted to do the “sprint” to the finish line but my legs would not go any faster. I checked my watch and realised I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal and previous 1/2 marathon time. I don’t know what happened to that pace bunny- I don’t remember passing her- but I’m so glad I didn’t let her pace throw me off.
I gotta say even though there were a few “why am I doing this?!” moments I’m pretty darn happy with my results 2:12:54 And of course, I’m already plotting on how to train and better my marathon time- 9 weeks to go!