Official stats –
30th overall out of 625
3rd female out of 221
My stellar husband got up with tweedle dee at 5am, so I could sleep.
I slept until 6:30 when little cherub #3 came looking for me, and got to it. Of course I was not prepared and did not have coffee. Once again, aforementioned husband comes to the rescue with an iced coffee from the best little coffee shop this side of the Mississippi. or the Connecticut River. either one. This ensures things move on out smoothly before the race. That, combined with my staple pre-race breakfast.
quaker instant, flax, peanut butter. stick to your ribs breakfast
I usually add a little protein powder to the mix as well. I’ve been trying to get away from the pre-packaged oatmeal, and have been doing well with eating the real oats. but this was a special occasion. This is what I eat before any race. I was not going to mix it up today in the name of clean-er eating.
Typical morning followed – made breakfast for the crew – scrambled eggs, cereal, whatever else they demanded ordered asked for. I got myself ready. showered, makeup’d – I absolutely put on complete makeup before a race. it just so happens that I ran out of just about all of my makeup, and I have yet to replace most of it. the makeup today wasn’t super nice. but then again, I wasn’t going to walk the red carpet, so it wasn’t the end of the world.
This was the original wardrobe plan for the race:
decked out in lulu. those are the wunder under legging pants. not made for running specifically, but phenomenal. did not budge. and the only pants that go to my ankles. in love. will talk more about them in a lulu post. I may have bought some other things. that I could not live without.
I really liked the 10am start time. We didn’t leave the house until about 8:45, and we were still there pretty early. another thing I get crazy about – getting to the race with PLENTY of time. We were parked and unloaded by 9:15. I like to be on the early side. This gave me plenty of time to get myself to the little ladies room, and make sure my laces were tied and my pants were on. Last minute, I grabbed a long sleeve shirt and decided to change into it. It was REALLY windy out. the weatherman did not lie. the wind definitely came out to play today. I think it was about 40 degrees, but felt a lot colder because of the wind. I was happy I grabbed the shirt, but I would have been ok if I stuck with the short sleeve. I actually wished I had kept the short sleeve on about half way through, and then when the wind almost blew me sideways off the road, I was glad I had longsleeve.
don’t mind me. just digging in my goodie bag for my sport beans and my gu.
The night before the race, my husbands cousin decided he would run with me. This made me really happy. FYI- he runs a 2:50’s marathon and a sub 7hour, 50 mile ultramarathon. He has put in 90 miles this week, before the race. no big deal. and I also met up with another friend of mine that I didn’t know was running. happy day.
The race started right on time. 10am sharp. straight into the wind. I think it was about 25mph. no exaggeration. and the wind continued head on for probably about 75% of the race. The course was a big loop. Let me refresh you one more time on the elevation map of this course. because you have only seen it twice this week.
The hills definitely joined the half marathon party today. I could not imagine them away. I wasn’t even able to downplay them into smaller hills. They were every bit as horrible as they look in that map. I really try not to exaggerate, but I would dare say they were worse than they look. They were steep and there were a lot of them. Hills within hills. The race ended on a 2 mile climb with a significantly strong headwind. That many hills should not be allowed in one race.
I took my first powerade gel, I think it was tangerine, at mile 5. I’m surprised I didn’t gag it back up. I usually can’t do gu. This wasn’t horrible, but I try not to let it touch my tongue so that I don’t really have to taste it. I took sport beans around mile 11 – this was hard because they are just hard to chew and swallow without aspirating them into a lung. especially while I was chugging up a hill.
I was definitely the idiot who stopped running before I actually crossed the finish line. everybody was yelling at me to keep running the 15 feet to cross. I could have sworn that the mat I ran over 10 feet back was the finish line. apparently not.
The race was very well run, but very boring. and I don’t need to tell you again it was hilly. to put it mildly. there were no spectators and it was basically running on roads through the woods. there was a bit of it on dirt/rock roads. back country.
We bolted right after the race. There were no medals, no t-shirts, no rewards. Nothing. This was great. I really don’t need another race tshirt that I wont wear, or a medal that my kids will fight over. Unless I’m going to get 3 medals to pass out to the littles, I don’t really need it. It only cost $12 to run it, and it’s a not-for-profit race. I think there was a lot of food for those who stuck around, but after running and my husband trucking the kids around, we were ready to go -after a nice little shot with my cheering crew. It took a few to get a half decent one. no one wants to look at the camera at the same time.
this is just a hot mess. and get a load of that forehead vein. in full force today.
missing Alex. hello again vein.
as good as it gets
The nice thing about a half, is that you still have the rest of the day. to not relax, go to birthday parties, play with children and go to the 99 for dinner. My first choice was Red Robin, but the 99 was closer. 99 won.
I got a nice cobb salad, hold the bacon dressing on the side. good stuff. I really don’t have too much of an appetite after a long run.
and now I am replenishing the muscles with a nice big bag of these. and some dark chocolate.
After the race, my husband asked me, “So, what did you learn???” I like this question. As with anything we do in life, there are things to be learned. About life, about the particular thing we are doing at the time. About ourselves. Growth can happen. growing is good. I love to run. I love the introspection and life reflection that comes with it. I love how it allows me to dig in and figure out what drives me or what doesn’t drive me. I love the physical challenge of it. I love the results, physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. This run kind of kicked off my racing for the year. I was excited about this. I have 49 days until my first marathon. I have A LOT of work to do to get sub 3. This is good to delve into my thoughts and figure out what’s going on with me. Here is what I have come up with so far, to answer my husbands question.
Physical – hills are hard. I respect the hill. I am going to run a lot more hills. Physically, I conquered the hills today. I took the challenge of this hilly race, and finished it. Physically, I am capable of a lot more than my mind lets me believe. I felt great at the end of the run. My legs felt good, my breathing was good. I had no knee pain, or pain anywhere. This made me very happy. I think one of my underlying concerns is always injury. I’m always afraid that the next run or the next race will end in injury. Physically, I am strong. I want to get stronger to help prevent injury, and I can put that fear to rest. I have also put on about 10 lbs since my last race in the fall. 10lbs fell from the sky and landed on my hips. I am a female and my body kind of does what it wants. I call it my winter weight and my I’m almost 30, I have little control over my weight, weight. I was probably about 3-5 lbs under an ideal racing weight this past fall, but I felt good. Now, I feel I am about 5 lbs above an ideal racing weight, for me, and was having anxiety leading up to this run about how it would effect my running. I got rid of the scale. Out of the house. I have plans to do a post on this topic on it’s own, but this was something I was holding onto leading up to this run. Regardless of the 5 or 10 extra lbs, physically, I felt great today.
Mental – I have a great respect for the power of the mind over the body. My husband said that my biggest challenge is not running a certain time, but overcoming the mental boundaries that I let determine my physical capabilities. I wanted to win today. I also wanted to PR. My last marathon PR was a totally flat, fast, ideal weather race. I thought it would have been a challenge to PR today. It also would have been a challenge to win. I wanted to win more. Today, at mile 5, a woman passed me. She was no more than 10 seconds ahead of me at any given time. She won. In the last half mile, another girl passed me up the last hill. She got 2nd place. I got 3rd. 14 seconds behind her. At some point between starting the race and mile 11, I let my desire to win go. Getting a PR was enough. And I am beyond happy that I took over 1 minute off my previous flat half, on an unbelievable hilly, cold, windy race course. That is a success. But I still let something else go that was within reach because my mind was stronger than what I knew I could physically accomplish. I do this over and over – I am ok with 2nd, or 3rd. I don’t want to be. I look at the results and grow increasingly aggravated that I didn’t push it harder at the end. 26 seconds between me and first place. That’s less than 1/10 of a mile. I let my mind settle for something less than I am capable of doing. Last year, I wanted to run a sub 1:30 half. So I ran a 1:29:36. For the race today, I wanted to PR, by running less than a 1:29. I ran a 1:28:26. I let my mind limit my body. Those are the results below for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place women. I’m on the bottom. I don’t want to be that close and be at the bottom. I want to be on the top. I can do it. I need to stop letting my mind get in the way.
27 1007 Katie Libby F 1/35 F3034 1/221 33 1:28:00.19 6:44
29 378 Molly Evak F 1/30 F2529 2/221 29 1:28:12.12 6:44
30 187 Katie Edwards F 2/30 F2529 3/221 29 1:28:26.59 6:46
Emotional – there is a process to everything. I guess I still kind of consider myself a ‘new’ runner, just starting to move out of the ‘new’ stage. I didn’t seriously start running until after I had Luke. I ran before, but I didn’t put the time into it like I have in the past 2 years. I have run more races in the past 6 or 7 months than I think I have run in the previous 3 years total. I am still figuring out how to run and what works for me. I definitely go into races, especially these smaller ones, wanting to win, or at least win age group. I think it is going to take a certain amount of time and some races under my belt until I figure out how to really want it. Like I said above, I tend to settle into certain goals, play it safe and let certain goals go when someone passes me on a race, and default to the next best while the first one is right within reach. It’s going to take a certain number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th places until I’ve had enough of that and find the push to take more. I’m in the process. I think we are all in the process of something. whether it’s actually the running, or the working out, or the job, or the family – whatever it is. We are always figuring it out and getting ready to take it to the next step. I have 49 days to keep training for the next race, physically and mentally. running is not my life, but it makes up part of my life, and it is important to me. Running certainly helps balance the other parts of what makes me move and groove.
I’m always happy with the race. satisfied. on a runner’s high all day from running well. As the day goes on after a race, and I reflect on how it went, I quickly realize there was more to give. satisfied is not enough for me. This is why I run. It’s always a challenge – in many ways. After I finished today, my daughter runs up to me and says, ‘Mom, you won!’ I said well, I got 3rd place for the women, and that’s great. She said, ‘yeah, you won, you got 3rd place!’ and she’s right. I ran. I finished. I won. It’s always a win when you run, and you finish. no matter what the place. It’s always a win when you get out there and do something. find in yourself what your winning something is and make it happen.
I would love to hear about your race stories and personal wins! Race season is coming up and I’m sure a lot of you have races coming. Feel free to share, and I would love to mention you on the blog! Also, feel free to email if you would like to read about a certain topic or have questions you want answered.
What is your biggest challenge in running?