Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So, so, so THE RACE!! Its been 3 days of recovery since the half and I can happily say I have been wearing heels since yesterday. Sunday and Monday were kind of like learning to walk again though. Recovery aside, I’m sure you want to hear about the running!

So I ran the half marathon with my Aunt Beth. (Correction: she ran it much faster than I did). We had to be AT the field by 6:30am before the roads got closed off. Needless to say, it was a pretty early morning for me since I was determined to get my beloved Starbucks Misto before the race. Some “real athletes” would never drink caffeine or coffee before a race but its pretty much a morning necessity for me, and I drank it by 7:00 which left plenty of time to hit el bano prior to our 8am start time. At 5:30 am I woke up to my alarm (after not sleeping very well, and a dream at 2am that I missed the race but was still trying to get my Starbucks at the local high school) and a bunch of text messages from well-wishing friends. It was 44 degrees outside and very windy.

When Beth and I got to the starting field, it was still freezing and we were tired. We hung out mostly in the car resting. (And I did my hair.) (Yes, running requires doing hair. Its called bobby-pinning my bangs out of the way. [example shown in pre-race car picture] And no, it does not take longer than about 3 minutes). Well, finally 8am rolled around and we sauntered out with the other 3500 people running too. Although my finishing time goal was under 3 hours, I decided to try following the 2:30 finishing time pacer runner for a mile to see if I could keep up. Turned out, I could keep up. I even thought about passing her, but I did not want to fall victim to the “starting out too fast and running out of energy” theme. So I decided to stay with her for an hour and see how things went. By the beginning of the second hour (and my first energy gel) it was all I could do to stay up with the 2:30 group. I was starting to get bored of running and starting to approach my normal training run limits – 6 to 8 miles (and usually some walking along the way!) I held on to the 2:30 group until about 1:45 into the race. Then we had an uphill bend coming, so I prepped with my second energy gel. Once we got to the top of the hill, I truly unfocused my view and started just staring at the road in front of the pacers’ feet. Doing this blocked everything out and I began to slowly, slowly, slowly pull in FRONT of the 2:30 group. This kind of shocked me. At mile 10 (granted, my longest training run was 8 miles) I was probably about 30 seconds ahead of the 2:30 group but my legs were dying and I wanted to never run again. Somehow my best music started playing on my ipod and I zoned out again to that. At this point I was a little nervous because I didn’t know the way (although plenty of runners to follow) but most people around me were losing steam. I started to pass them, hating every step, but just wanting to finish. The last 3 miles, in retrospect, I guess seemed pretty quick and I sprinted the last .1 mile into the baseball field where the announcers and finish line was. I found out later that night my finish time was 2:27:24.9. I met all 3 of my ½ marathon goals: 1) to finish 2) to run the whole thing 3) to run it in under 2:30. I honestly was saving the 3rd goal for my second ½ marathon, now it looks like I’ll actually have to train tough to beat that if/when I do my next race.

I had blisters on both feet, but they’ve mostly healed now. I have been pretty unmotivated to do much – post runners’ high, I guess, but apparently this is decently normal after a big athletic endeavor.

So…I still like running…but I want to go back to more swimming, climbing, and racquetball too!!

Monday night I saw Tara, Kyle, and Kristin at the Placer House and we hung out a bit in the hot tub. Kyle is growing so much and is so hilarious!!


Melissa said...

Great job, Christy! That's a great time! The biggest challenge is not getting bored.

T said...

you are AMAZING!!!!!

i'm so proud of you!!

scandidancer said...

I am SO PROUD of you! You ROCK!