Appears courtesy of Amanda from There Are Two Sides.
Sunday Torture Workout – 13.1 miles. I stupidly thought that I may PR at this race. ZOOMG, I was totally wrong. Let’s try I am going to be so hot and affected by the humidity that I won’t even finish within 10 minutes of my previous half marathon time. And I am just putting this out there from the get go: We never even got to see the damn dam during this race. Poor choice in race names people.
We ran along along a path in a local metropark called the towpath. It is about 6′ wide and covered in gravel and small stones. The saving grace of this run is that the towpath is shaded by a multitude of trees. If there were no trees I would have died and shriveled up like a worm. This was an out and back course so I was lucky enough to get to see the runners who were SUPER fast (everyone) pass me.
The HUGE drawback to this race was that there was only 1 water stop. Since it was an out and back we passed it twice. Not. Enough. Water. It was in the low 80′s with 90+ humidity this morning making water a precious commodity. I tried to trade a packet of GU Jet Blackberry for a bottle of water from a hobo on the side of the trail but he wasn’t having it. Turns out he likes the GU Tri Berry flavor.
The course was one loooooooooong straight and level path. No twists. No turns. Just this:
And more of this:
Oh, I almost forgot to show you this:
So, the trail looks the same along the entire 6+ miles during the out and back. To say that this was a mentally exhausting race was an understatement. From about mile 6 after the people who were running in front of me passed me after the turn around I saw no one. Not a single half marathon runner. I had 6+ miles alone. Just me and my inappropriate thoughts about panda bears, chocolate/vanilla swirl pudding cups and Matt Damon. No one passed me. I passed no one. I had no idea if there were people still in the parking lot at the race end even.
This is what happens when Amanda gets bored on a half marathon trail run…
Why are their only 2 water stops in 13.1 miles?
If someone goes past on a golf cart I am catching a ride with them. This blows.
So I did run this stupid 13.1 miles in 2:58. This was 13 minutes SLOWER than my first and only other half marathon. Not every race can be a PR and after I realized that I would finish much much much much slower than I have in training and in my other race I started to get down. Even Greta gave up on me before the race began. I made sure she was charged and ready to keep my pace for me. But she had other plans. She would NOT connect to the Garmin satellite to save my life. So I ran the entire race not knowing my time, my pace or whether someone was going to jump out of the bushes and try and sell me knock off Coach purses. It was rough.
Being a slower runner isn’t very fun at times. The back of the pack never gets the medal, the cheering crowds welcoming them to the finish line, the first choice of race snacks… Slow runners are still runners. We train just as much as those fast runners. We stretch, we sprint (slowly), we struggle to get our mileage in during a busy work week.
The thing to remember is that we run. Running isn’t about speed outside of The Olympics if you ask me. Okay and high school/college track and cross country. But no one who wins a local half marathon is usually destined for stardom. Getting off of the couch and out of the house is the very first step runners take. This step is often the absolute hardest for many to take. Which, is why I am proud that I show up.
I train. I run. I hydrate. I do my best.
I may be last (or in today’s situation the 3rd to last finisher) but at least I am trying. Having had 4 knee operations, asthma and having the biggest ass bruise I have ever seen I am happy that I got out of bed today let alone slowly ran 13.1 miles in the obscene heat. So when I was beating myself up after my running photo shoot I remembered that 1 year ago I couldn’t run. I still hated running and thought it was something I would never be able to do or ever want to do.
After 252.49 miles year to date my mileage is only a drop in the bucket for most runners but to me it is 252.49 more miles than I have ever ran in a year. Or 2 years. Hell, even when I played soccer in high school I doubt that I ever ran near that much. I did, however, have a stellar GU/water schedule that I have mastered. I never once felt tired or dizzy or hungry. I am the master of my GU schedule (insert evil laugh here)!!
I am SO proud of myself. Even after a bad race.
ESPECIALLY after a bad race.