In the way of a catch-up, a 15k, and a half marathon recap
First, let me state the obvious: I’ve been neglecting this little blog.
It’s not that I haven’t thought about the blog. I have. I also read a fair number of other people’s blogs regularly.
I started this as a way to keep myself accountable for getting into shape. While I haven’t been the best at writing about getting in shape, I have been working pretty hard.
Last summer and fall of 2013, I went through an intense love affair with spinning. I even contemplated purchasing spin shoes. I know, it was serious. I read about a bunch of the options online, I priced them out, and I visited them in a store.
In the end, I decided to wait. Which is good, because I basically got to the point where I needed to break up with spin.
I was attending a noon spin class during the week (since I wasn’t employed), and when I finally GOT a job, noon spin class, needless to say, was bye-bye.
In January 2014, I decided to dust off the running shoes and try to build up mileage again. My first exercise love is running. I started in high school, and have continued on and off through adulthood. Little known fact, I also ran cross-country for a year, but I had to stop for health reasons. I have had various injuries that have sidelined my running through the years. However, I always seem to come back for it.
Running, I just can’t quit you.
I started to run 3 days a week, and do Bob Harper DVD’s 2 days a week (to work on strength and flexibility). Pretty quickly thereafter, I decided to sign up for a 15k in March. I figured that would keep me motivated to continue, and give me a goal to work towards.
I finished the 15k in 1:50:20 (according to my endomondo app).
That whetted my appetite to try for something a little more lofty. My second half marathon. I completed my first half in 2008, which I didn’t really train for outside- I was running on the treadmill, doing spin classes, and other random stuff, with the occasional long run outside. I decided that since I had already built up to running 9 miles, what was 4 more miles?
On the very last day of April, I signed up. Race day was set for June 1st.
I wish now that I had kept better track of my running on this blog. I posted a plethora on photos on Instagram though. I had several “bonk” experiences, where I didn’t plan ahead, or bring enough water. I tried a couple of different water systems, and had to adjust when it got hotter. I learned quite a bit about my body, and could start to tell about what pace I was running without looking.
I have to say though, that no matter my running times, I appreciate that during training, it kept me sane at my job. Running gave me an outlet, a place where I felt strong and confident, it was a stress release, and I was beyond thrilled that my knee and hips were feeling good!
I felt ready and pumped to run the half. The first 9 miles were pretty on-target. I went out a bit fast, and turned in my fasted mile of the day at 10:30 (mile 1…). I started to reign it in a bit, but still went faster than I probably should have the first 3 miles. After that I started to find a rhythm and kept on moving. Then it got warmer. It was already humid, but the sun started to break through. I caught up with my pacer, and stayed with him for a little bit. He encouraged me by saying he’d seen me throughout the race, and was impressed at my consistency. We stayed together through a downhill that made my hip feel like it was on fire. Clearly I was started to struggle there at mile 10.
I started to question why most training plans for half marathons that I’d seen didn’t take you past 10 miles for the long run.
Clearly the above photo was taken during the golden miles.
I think mile 11 was where we went under an overpass, and there was a very loud DJ. I was wearing headphones and it still hurt my ears. There were also lights going, and it was a very bad combination for me. I was sweating a lot, and my body hurt, and the lights and sound just tipped it over for me. I just tried to keep moving and get through that stupid tunnel. I couldn’t wait until the finish line came.
I managed to pick up the pace a bit at the end, but I also thought at one point that I had crossed the finish line (the finisher’s chute was loooong and there were a ton of people lined up), as well as photographers on a lift over what I thought was the finish. However, I quickly realized that I had to keep going.
When I crossed the actual finish line, I lifted my hands up. Couldn’t help it. I’m no speedy person, but the sense of accomplishment I felt was immense. I always said I wanted to complete another half, and redeem that last experience, and I did. I even PR’ed by a minute!
A lady said “you need a medal!” and she put it around my neck, and someone handed me water and I found some type of electrolyte drink, some food, and chocolate milk (full hands by this point). I saw that official photographers were taking photos of finishers, so I hopped over there real quick since there wasn’t a line. I was also trying to spot my husband in the crowds of people. We didn’t make a plan of where to meet, so it was a little crazy. My body was also starting to revolt a bit (going from running for 2+ hours and then suddenly stopping made my body feel very weird). I needed calories and fluids quickly. The chocolate milk helped, and I ate a banana (very slowly). I found my husband and his parents, who had come to cheer me on- which was totally amazing, and made me feel like a million bucks!
I sat down and took off my shoes, changed my shirt, and continued to drink water. I started to feel better, and like I could get up and head back to the hotel.
Recovery time on this race was awesome. My last half I was sore for almost a week. Clearly I had trained better and smarter. I also wasn’t injured this time. Yay!