Friday, May 13, 2011

the wichita half. and the best finish line photo ever.

The Wichita Half. Yes it's been nearly two weeks since the race, yes I've procrastinated posting a report on it. But not because it didn't go well, it DID go well. Very well. I've been reveling in it actually. I just haven't found the time to blahg about it, plain and simple. I've had other priorities to focus on lately, but here it is. Finally, my Wichita Half race report. TA-DA!

So. It was finally my day interwebs. I got my goal PR! To perfection. I hit the exact pace I had intended to hit. An 8:15 minute per mile average. You know if there is one thing I like, it's a nice even pace. I like myself an even split.

Official time - 1:48:10

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.

Despite being calm all week and sleeping well, the night before the race I started getting nervous. My nerves kicked in once we got home from a wedding reception for my dear friends and running buddy Shelley and her husband. I got home, I started doubting. Thinking about how I had barely run the two weeks leading up to the race, had worn high heels a good portion of my night and hadn't eaten that great the past few days. All of which translated into restless tossing and turning and two hours of sleep the night before my big race. No pressure. I woke up around 5:30a and thought, I give. I'm not going to do it today. What a way to start, eh? But then I had a shower, some non-crappy coffee and people started showing up at my house to head to the race. My spirits were lifted; I was feeling wide awake and AMPED. I felt ready after all.

There isn't much to say about the race. I am thrilled with how I ran it, I am thrilled with my finish time and PR, I am thrilled I finished strong feeling like I could have run two more miles at that pace or faster. This gave me confidence to set my sights on my next half goal, to be announced. And to be achieved who knows when.


*around mile 5-6 along the river path with wichita's 'keeper of the plains' in the background*

Onto the good stuff, the race highlights. Including all the fantastic running company I had along the way. I had a running buddy lined up to run the last four miles with me, but I was about a half mile in when I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a "I thought that was you." This is the joy of racing in a smaller town, always running into someone I know! I love it. It was my personal trainer from a few years back. We exchanged excitement and decided to stick together. Until she blasted off at mile 5 and kicked some major butt. She was awesome.

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!!!

 *"pre lives" showing me up after shoving his elbow into my shoulder! please note AP's pink shirt... if that ain't a racin' shirt, i don't know what is*

7 comments:

Indi said...

I'm soooooo thrilled for you! I know how hard you worked for it and booyaa baby!! awesome PR! Can't wait to see you and give you a big belated hug!

Marlene said...

YEAHHHH you so did it! BEAUTY! Congrats! That finish pic is amazing.

tiffany said...

that. is. awesome. great job, fluff!

lindsay said...

Congrats on the PR!! The mid-race photo is a good one too, but that finish one - gee way to go PreLives. What a gentleman!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Funny story about Pre Lives. Love the pic at the finish line too! It's a great feeling to meet you race goal. Congrats on the PR!

Aron said...

CONGRATS on the PR girl!!!!! You did awesome!

lilmeg said...

Congrats on the PR! And that finish photo is definitely one of the best ever.