Friday, May 13, 2011
What a relief. It was the perfect day for racing, cool and cloudy. As always there was a stiff breeze of about 17 mph, but it was nothing compared to real Kansas wind or what I've dealt with in past races so it didn't bother me a bit. The course was mostly shieled from the wind, so it was only windy for small portions of the race. Which was run around and beside our River area, it's a great course, nice and flat, plenty of spectators for a race in this town.
I ran the next four miles alone, three of which got pretty rough. I just wasn't pushing like I could have... like I should have. But I didn't want to run out of gas, I was being careful. And with each passing half marathon I'm learning more and more how hard and how far I can push. Hindsight is 20/20 and I won't fault myself for the way I ran even one mile of my race. I reached mile 9 where my running pal AP was waiting to jump into the race. I wasn't feeling great (i needed some cliff shots) so his excited jumping and waving in a nice pretty pink shirt that said "Feed Me Ice Cream, I'm Pregnant" boosted my spirits and my pace. He was waiting with Edder and my mother-in-law, I grabbed my fresh Gatorade and gel from Edder, AP jumped in and we were off.
AP had strict instructions to keep me at an 8:15 average. I won't lie, there were times I wanted to just rest into a comfortable 8:30 pace again like I had done for a few miles there, but he wouldn't let me. I wasn't in the mood to talk, so he made up a game for us to play. And that my friends, was the most brilliant thing that has ever happened to me in a race. He told me I had the rest of the race (about 2.5 miles) to pass 10 people. He was all, "I'll count them down, but you and me, 10 people." I nodded but was thinking there was no way I could do it. There wasn't a runner close enough to easily pass. There was a big pack a bit in front of us and I thought I couldn't catch them. But we did. I passed more than 10 people. That strategy worked, it distracted me, it gave me a way to push myself and it was highly gratifying. I picked up the pace the last two miles (8:03 and 8:01 splits respectively) and crossed the finish line running as hard as I could. And it felt amazing to look down at my Garmin, hit stop and see a 1:48:08 (pretty darn close to the chip time)!
This is where the finish line photo awesomeness comes in. Oh yes. In the 'passing game' we ended up chicking quite a few dudes. I passed mostly men, which I didn't really think about at the time, I just wanted to PR. Badly. Apparently one guy, who I now affectionately call "Pre Lives," decided he wasn't a fan of having me 'chick' him. Right. So he did the manly racing thing and sped up. Fair enough, I don't fault him a bit, good for him for picking it up! But apparently this dude also thought it totally acceptable to elbow a girl at the finish line too. Not so commendable, actually kind of lame. Note to male runners: you know, just to make sure a chick doesn't beat you that one second across the timing mat, elbow her. Manly.
However, due to the sheer fantasticness and hilarity of the finish photo? I can't be mad. I PR'd, I got what I wanted, so meh. Even though I was less than thrilled at the time his elbow shot into my shoulder. Again, looking at the picture... the headband, the shirt... all of it? Made me laugh. A lot. Well played sir. You didn't get chicked. And the look on my face is clearly saying, WTH?! Awesome. I'm deeming this my most priceless finish line photo in the history of my racing. I might get this sucker framed... PRE LIVES!!!
Posted by Being Robinson at 12:06 PM