Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Half Marathon Sub 2 Hours! Rock On!

1:58:34 and 60 out if 260 in my age bracket of women.
Payday came at the Sarasota Third Watch Half Marathon after a trip to Disney with the family—entailing horrible processed food that I will not go into details of the gasteral effect if caused—and NOT getting much of a run in all week, referring to all that walking around at Disney my taper.

I am still in a bit of an awe that I was able to pull this off. It has been a goal for some time now. Going into this challenge I knew that this race would be my best chance to PR this year in a half since I need to pull my speed back for the Ultra training in the next few months. It would be a now or never mindset and although I have been faithful to my speed work I had never ran 6 miles in a 9 minute pace.

The Journey
I set myself up in the corral near the 2 hour pace setter and didn't allow him to get more than 50 feet away. The area was a little more crowded than I had experience before. So I had to watch my step to not get bumped or stepped on. This run was a mental struggle the entire time to convince myself that I was alright and still breathing well. There was one hill bridge that we crossed—twice. I had to keep saying "Believe." Mile 6 I felt pretty good and relaxed but by mile 8 I was glad to hear Josh Wilson's Carry Me on my ipod.

Being on a family vacation with my little ones, I was feeling pretty undeserving after constantly trying to keep them in line, behaving well and telling them "no". Maybe it's a a mom thing. Guilt seems to go hand in hand with being a parent. So Lord have mercy and let me be the best I can be at this moment. And seriously, please carry me across that line.

It really is amazing what the body can take and what the mind can feed it. I was fearful of bonking thru much of the race. And I kept thinking that I was just impressed to last this long. I fed my head a line I had heard over the past few months from my Jillian Michaels DVDs, "You have more to give." I certainly did this day even though I had visions of walking...I couldn't make my feet go any faster and walking or slowing down would mean total defeat. The GU station was at mile 10 and I really needed it at mile 5. Mental note: do not  depend on a race to bring the GU to the correct spot. That is also about the time when a sweaty man brushed up against me going around a corner and slimed me… eeeewwww!

When I hit mile 11, I knew getting to the last mile would be epic. Almost to the last glorious mile where I could indeed hold this pace for just one more mile. For the first time ever I had a surge in the last half mile to the finish line. Victory was in front of me. And that man with the sign for sub 2 hours was just a couple strides ahead and somewhere we had lost many of the people that once crowded. I wanted to harness the surge and stretch it out. Feeling this moment was the best finish ever. I saw my family cheering on the side and waving animal balloons—they were happy. I sprinted what I had left to get under the clock's 2 hour mark.


Almost immediately after I crossed that finish line my body readjusted to normal like I hadn't done a thing in the last 2 hours. Amazing.

FYI: The Sarasota Half Third Watch Marathon consists of around 2600 marathon runners and another 1000 in a relay. There are some beautiful views along the route, but watch out for face planting and ankle twisting on the bridge. I saw one woman take a full swan dive and skid across the pavement. I could hardly believe that she stood up and kept running.

Sarasota has a well organized event with free family entertainment and food & beer for the runners. It is the first time I have seen free face painting and balloon animals at a race! I can't say enough about their amazing dolphin medal.

Now, back to our regular program: I have slightly modified my training program in the last two months with moving onto Ripped in 30. I am sticking to week three in the DVD as it has a more intense quad workout—it hurts a lot! And, reminds my of the pain of  running down hill sides.

I have been following the Train Like A Mother "Own It" marathon plan which folds nicely into my 50Ultra plan.