Well, another half in the books!
This makes something like 23 or 24 (at least according to my race recaps page.)
Six years ago, I could barely run a mile or two; today I ran a half just for funsies, chatting the entire time.
I was actually really nervous, though. I just haven’t been running much in the past few months, and the ten-miler last week wasn’t easy. So, I decided that distracting myself by meeting Anne for a drink and then going to another bar for a friend’s birthday was a good strategy.
I tried to eat as plainly as possible last night to be nice to my total jerk of a stomach.
I woke up this morning filled with panic and dread. What if my stomach was a jerk again? What if my legs were too exhausted from ___ (I don’t even know what, but I haven’t felt fresh legs in a long time)? Just why was I running this race that would be so far from a PR? Did I really want to notch another slow-for-me finish on Athlinks? I won’t lie – I love being able to say I’ve finished another half, but I’m also pretty competitive with myself. I really contemplated staying in bed, but
My stomach was a jerk before leaving this morning and I was lucky enough to wake up with my period, so I was really dreading things. I took a cab to the start to meet with my Junior League friends, almost started tearing up walking to meet them (yay hormones), and finally pulled it together in time to get in the corrals.
Two loops of the park. How many times have I done that??
Mad props to my friend Pamela for giving me this Rockstar 26.2 headband at the expo.
It was my friend Karen’s first half, so I took one for the team and abandoned my second-corral start to hop back to her corral so I could start with her, and our friend Alison. Karen was cool as a freaking cucumber, and I was really surprised, especially since even 20-something races in, I was still nervous. For a race I’d already run three times. (2011 | 2012 | 2013)
This is not an easy race. You run two laps of the park and then a little bit of the bottom part for a third time. Hoda Kotb was announcing at the beginning of the race, and I yelled HODA!!!! at her, and pretty sure we made eye contact. Yeah, cause I was the crazy who had just screamed her name.
For the first six miles, Alison, Karen and I stuck together, no easy feat in such a big crowd. We got separated from Karen at the mile-6 water stop, and I prayed I wouldn’t lose Alison. Right around here is where they told us to get to the side so Deena Kastor could get through, and win.
I’d just interviewed her on Friday, for work, so I was so excited to see her come through. I KNOW HER!
We were coming up on 7, and I told Alison my mom would probably be there at the end, and that I’d wished she’d be there at 7, but I didn’t want to push her, since it was so early to get into the city…and there she was! I ran over to her and gave her a big hug. GB was standing right by Columbus Circle, and my goals just became to get to GB and to get to my mom.
Before I knew it, we were at mile 9. Okay, I can do this, I thought. I thought of every time I had a long run and broke it up into pieces to get in a race or run with a friend. That’s all 4 miles was. And really, how many times had I run a freaking half? I should also note that I’d completely run out of any kind of gels or chews and realized this just before the race, so I bought Swedish Fish, and they worked out just fine as fuel!
My only real goal was not to make a bathroom stop. At several points in the race, I thought I might have to, but I tried really hard to breathe through/into the stomach cramps, and it helped. My Garmin died in the first mile, which was a huge blessing. I didn’t need to obsess over my time!
Just before the finish, I saw Erica, and then my mom, and then we were done. 2:11: more than 20 minutes than my PR, but I had a good time out in the sun with thoustands of other ladies happy to be running through the park.
Karen finished her first, and Mary PR-ed!
And my mom was at the finish line to give me a big hug. Perfect.
Do you ever run races just for fun? Are you a little obsessed with your Athlinks account too?
Thanks to More | Fitness for providing me with a free race bib!