Racing season is only a few short weeks away for me and Coach M decided it would be a good idea for me to run a half marathon. Just to see where I am at and to kick of the new season. We have really been taking it easy with the running to help my leg heal. (Which isn't happening by the way.) So to say I felt unprepared is an understatement. I knew I could go the distance but I also knew that it would most likely not be very much fun. I was hoping Coach M would say that she would like to see where I am at when I go 80-90% but no such luck. I was to go hard and give it everything. Within reason, of course.
Since St. George is one of my favorite places to train and race, I chose to run the:
We had a nice little HT Training group racing and supporting which is always super fun. On top of, that my wonderful and gracious hosts, Adam and Colleen Rue, happened to be in charge of sound and the entire finish line. I really had no choice but to come and be part of the festivities.
The race was rather small (400 runners) which is just the way I like it. Rode the bus to the start, got in a nice warm-up, hung out with friends, got off to a decent start. Coachie happened to be right next to me at the beginning so we chatted away for a while. I have been training without music (unless I am stuck inside for hours) and I left the iPod at home for the race as well. In which case I like to talk because I'd rather not be thinking: Oh my. Are you serious? Only Mile 1? 12 more miles of this? And so on... This certainly wasn't the race where I was going to go hard at the beginning and then see when I would die. I wasn't interested in anything remotely close to dying.
Stuart, Coachie, me, random girl
Stuart, another HT athlete, joined us as well and we had a nice little group run going. That lasted until Mile 9 when Coachie decided to turn on the jets and speed ahead. I told Stuart: We are on our own. Let's do this! So we did. We had been running consistently and I was really enjoying the course. Ups, downs, flats, rollers. Nice and honest. Coach M told me that I would probably get tired around Mile 9. I agreed. Considering that I haven't run more than 10 miles in a really long time, that made sense. So of course my legs suddenly felt like lead at Mile 9. Wait a second! What's the problem here? Is it my legs or my mind? Am I really getting tired or is my mind telling me that I am supposed to be getting tired right now? I contemplated this for a mile or so and then decided it didn't matter. Let's just get this over with! The faster I run, the sooner I'm done!
With one mile to go, Stuart and I were still side by side. I had never met the guy before but suddenly he as my best friend! I looked at my watch and told him: 1:22. Then it registered and suddenly I got really excited: We are going to make it! We are going to break 1:30! Go go go! So we went. I had figured that if things went well and the leg behaved I could run a 7:00 average pace. And if things went very well maybe, just maybe, I could sneak in under 1:30.
Good news: My time was 1:28:16
Bad news: My leg was in pain the entire time.
Sitting in the car for 6 hours the day before the race made my leg very unhappy and it decided to let me know just how mad it was. Well, guess what? I am done with that leg. Sorry, dude. But I have been paying attention to you and babying you for a long time now and I've had it. You can either behave or not. I don't care anymore. I will take care of you just like I take care of the rest of my body but that's all you're gonna get. Take that! Yep. Certainly not the best approach but I need a break.
And then we went for a bike ride...
I got to stay in paradise for 6 full days and I had a blast. But that's a story for another day...