- I beat my previous PR, which was 2:00:45, by more than 5 minutes! (On a much harder course, by the way.) AND
- I came in under 2 hours!!! My final time- 1:55:29!
So, how does this relate to yesterday's race? I had been having heart palps for the past few nights and was just hoping for them to go away before the race. I had a crappy run on Thursday and was feeling pretty off. I spent all day Friday making Firstborn's birthday cake and preparing for his party, not resting like I should have been before a race. No rest. At all. Not ideal but what are you gonna do, right? Anyhow, I went to bed at about 11:30-ish fully expecting to wake up and feel fine and go race. I woke up at 2:00 am feeling the palps. Nards! I went back to sleep and woke up again at 3:30. Still having palps. Ugh! I woke hubby up and told him he may have to run the half because I didn't think I'd be up to it. I was nearly in tears. I have never not showed up for a race. Heart-breaking. I said a little prayer and asked that I would have more surety of what to do once my alarm went off. I went back to sleep and woke up to my hubby getting up. I had about 3 hrs of really good sleep and the palps were gone! So, I told hubby he couldn't have my bib, I was going to race after all! (Sorry about the take-back, honey!) He was happy to let me run.
I got up, got ready and headed out the door feeling blessed that I was still getting to run. I had been a little nervous of running alone (I've done all of my long-distance races with Thai Guy) but I was just happy to be running! No jitters. No goals that I was stressing over. I felt good! Here's a pic Thai Guy took of me before I left. Rocking the shamrock socks and Bondi band. (By the way, I was the only racer to sport Shamrock wear. What's up with that?)
Not sure why I'm not looking at the camera.I live only 5 minutes from the race start so I quickly drove over leaving myself only a few minutes of having to stand in the cold before the race started. It was really cold! I probably should have worn pants but then no one would see my awesome socks!
As I was standing waiting for the race to begin, I heard someone call my name and I knew it had to be Whitney, a bloggy friend that was running Shamrock, too. Let me tell you, Whitney is every bit as cool and friendly as she seems in her blog. It was great meeting her and I'll plug in a pic of us as soon as she posts it on her blog and I can steal it. (I didn't have my camera with me!) We chatted for just a minute before the race start, gave each other some last minute encouragement and then we were off!
I took off at the start of the race and quickly settled into a good pace. I was pretty much trying to keep up with Blue Jacket Lady. She seemed to be running a similar pace and was steady so she was my pacer, whether she knew it or not. There was also this little, bitty, gray-haired guy (about 5 feet tall) in a blue shirt running in front of me. I was amazed with his quick turnover. Those tiny legs moved fast! As this wasn't a very big race (98 runners), there wasn't a lot of passing or being passed and I was with Blue Jacket Lady and Tiny Guy the first 5 miles. A couple hills in there but nothing noteworthy.
Soon after the 5 mile marker, I passed Tiny Guy going up a slight hill. He stayed right with me, though. I could see his shadow. Blue Jacket Lady was still up ahead. There was a water stop at mile 6. She stopped and walked a minute. I had my drink with me so I ran on ahead. Hmmm, now what am I going to do? Well, not even another 1/2 mile later Tiny Guy passed me again and I figured I'd better try and keep up. :) It was about this time that I realized that I just might be able to beat 2 hrs in this race and maybe by a pretty good margin. That definitely put a little pep in my step! There was one steep hill at about mile 8 that was tough! Definitely the worst of all the hills. Just after that there was a gravel road for about half a mile. (Seriously! What is up with all the random gravel roads in my recent races?!) I had to watch my feet but I was still able to keep my pace under a 9 min/mile.
The last 2.1 was all downhill or straightaways which made a negative split pretty much a guarantee. Don't you love downhills? My legs love downhills! Some people hate them and say it hurts their knees but I really love them. I lean into them and go as fast as I can. Felt so good! I have to admit, though, that the last 1/2 mile before the final push was pretty hard. I think I had mentally finished the race already so my body felt like it should be done. Make sense? Anyway, I came around the final bend and saw the race clock. It said 1:55:11 and I thought, "Holy crap! I'm going to finish in 1:55!!!" I kicked it in for the final push and finished in 1:55:29!!!
I was so thrilled and excited I could hardly contain myself! Sadly, there was no one waiting at the finish line for me (Thai Guy had to stay home to tend to a sick birthday boy) but Tiny Guy struck up a conversation with me and talked about how I pushed him. He was a really nice guy. His daughter was about my age. She was there supporting him. I told him it was my first sub 2hr finish and he said that it was a tough course to get a PR on. Thanks Tiny Guy, I think I'll call you Nice Guy now! Ha ha!
I watched the racers finish and cheered Whitney in. She did awesome, by the way. You'll have to check out her blog to find out just how well. I chatted with her and her husband for a few more minutes and then came home to get the house clean and ready for Firstborn's birthday party.
This is how I felt the rest of the day. So happy to have gotten to run in spite of my dumb body, thrilled to have gotten under 2 hrs and stoked to have another half-marathon under my belt. It was a great day!
Can't wait to read about all the other races from this weekend!