Monday, August 22, 2011

Race Re-cap

Nick and Becca were at Mile 11 and the Finish

My little track star...

My cheering crew :)

Holly and Me...can you tell we are tired?

The aftermath of running 13.1 miles :(

Sunday Evening---feeling less exhausted :)

Celebrating with Holly...drinking peach daiquiris!

Yesterday, I ran the Minneapolis Half Marathon as part of Team World Vision. Last year was my first ever half marathon; this was my second. Click here if you want to read last year's race re-cap:) I warn you...this re-cap is ALL OVER THE PLACE!

My emotions about yesterday are still all over the place. I oscillate from being ridiculously upset to being happy. It was no secret that my goal was to finish this race in under 2 hours. I followed two training plans for a total of 18 weeks, and I kept a pretty good running schedule during the school year. While I never ran more than five or six miles at a time during the school year, I went into this year's summer training at a much better spot than I did last year. Last year, I was a rookie. Don't get me wrong...I am still a novice runner, but I had WAY more experience going into this year than I did last year. But alas, I did not reach my goal. Official Time: 2.00:32. Yep. I missed my goal by a whopping 33 seconds. This is where the anger comes in. At mile 11, I will still on track to finish with a minute to spare. So with only 2 miles left, I crashed and lost too much time. I can blame a few things, one being that my watch failed me, but the reality is, I KNOW I could have gone 33 seconds faster. Because of that, I am mad.

Despite my frustrations with the time, I am still pretty happy with the race, though. In one year's time, with no professional guidance or training, I dropped over 9 minutes off of my time. I have two kids, teach full time, and go to school, yet for an entire year I kept up with running. Friends and family made it possible for me to raise over $800 dollars for World Vision. My fundraising page is still open for another two weeks, so if you want to, CLICK HERE. I also got my friend Holly into running, and she had an incredible performance yesterday!
I think I am most proud that I ran 13.1 miles without stopping to walk once. Last year I stopped to walk a few times for a minute, and I came to complete stops (only for a few seconds) at way too many water stations. This year, I only grabbed water at three stations, and I never fully stopped. Last time I thought I was going to die after the big hill around mile 6. This time around I thought, "That wasn't as bad as I remembered." Last race I thought I was going to have to stop and quit. This time around, I felt good. I was tired, and my legs were like jello by the end, but I never felt like I wasn't going to cross that finish line. So, despite the fact that I am disappointed in my final time, I can still hang my hat on a few accomplishments.

Here are a few things I learned from yesterday:
  • If you properly hydrate the day before, there is no need to grab water before mile 6.
  • I need to figure out how to go down hills properly. My knee KILLS when I go down hills. Going down a hill seems to energize other runners, yet it makes me have to slow down.
  • Dynamite is a perfect song for a pick me up!
  • Around mile 8 or 9 is a must for people cheering on runners. Seeing my family at that point really boosted my spirits.
  • Training primarily outside prepares you much better than the treadmill.
  • STRETCH as much as possible after the race.
  • In my head during the whole race, I planned to go ALL OUT the last .1 of the race. Bad idea. After 20 seconds of going all out, I almost vomited all over my friend Jill towards the finish. Instead, I plan to try and pick it up just a little for the last mile.
  • I am going to follow a slightly differently training plan next time. I need to finish with a 12 mile run as my last long run or do a few more 10 or 11 mile runs than just one.
Today is hard. My body is TIRED, and my knee is in more pain than I want to admit. Yet, I just sign up for two more races this fall, one 10K and one 5 miler. Running is a part of my life now. And I am happy that it is becoming part of Griffin's. On the day of my 10K, he is participating in a kid's 1K. He is pretty stoked to get a race bib and a t-shirt :) I am also already registered for this race in 2012. I am committed to breaking that two hour mark!

To all of you have helped make yesterday's race possible, I thank you. I want to especially acknowledge those of you who donated to World Vision. It was an honor to run with your names on my arms. Praying for each of you during the race was a great way to keep me focused on the big picture. It is through Him that all of this is possible.

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