The awesome medal lights up! Really nice bling. The AG award was pretty sweet too.
If you've been following me lately, you know that my runs of late have been tough. Heavy legs, heavy breathing, just overall feeling burned out...I wasn't exactly looking forward to this last spring race.
|This picture is from his F/S match today. Another stellar performance. More inspiration.|
|Karen, me, and my lucky sweatshirt|
|Michelle and me...clearly orange was the color of the day for race gear!|
I struggled with pacing and breathing until about mile 3, just like I did at my 10 miler a few weeks ago. Reminding myself of this and of my promise to my son to be inspired by his performance, I sipped on my Tailwind, shuffled along, and tried to get into a groove. After mile 3, I started to relax and enjoy the race a little bit, but it wasn't until the turn around at mile 6.5, that I really started feel loose. I'm sure it was psychological. Knowing that I was halfway home was a huge boost for me. My legs began to feel lighter. I saw Michelle and greeted her with a side five.
At mile 7, I stopped at the water station to refill my bottle. I poured my Tailwind into the bottle, and the teenager who had been helping me said, "oh, you have your own potion?" I replied "yes, best stuff ever", and he said, "Hey, as long as it doesn't make you poop!" I busted out laughing, and told him that's the reason I use it. I headed over to the one portapotty, and as soon as I got there, a Race Guard hurried in ahead of me. I waited for a minute or so, and she didn't come out. I asked her partner if they were timed for this race, and she shrugged her shoulders. Maybe I was a jerk, but I made a comment that they should let the racers go first. I was wearing my race face, and I wanted to get moving again. She just started at me, and I said "f--- it" and headed back to the trail. I kicked myself for even stopping, and realized I lost about 2 minutes between filling my bottle and my futile portapotty stop.
Interestingly, my legs continued to feel light, and I moved along the path. I caught back up to the people I had been running with prior to my stop. How did that happen? I began to pass most of them too. It was really hot, but I kept sipping, and I felt good, so I kept on moving forward. There was one guy who would not let me pass him. When I did, he sped up to get ahead of me. I was smiling when he did that, and at mile 11, a woman told me I looked so "strong"! She couldn't believe I was smiling. If she only knew why...
Mile 12 and I knew it was going to be bad. Since this was an out and back, when we started, this was mile one. A nice long downhill, I knew on the return trip that it would be painful running back up. And it was. Most of the runners I passed weren't running up the hill, they were walking. I passed my guy as few times on the hill, but once we got to the top, he passed me again. Of course. I picked up the pace about 500 yards before the finish time, but so did he. Ok fine, dude.
|Best volunteer, evah! <3 And a really awesome friend!|
We waited for Michelle to come in, and while she PR'd, she was disappointed that she didn't sub-2. On a day like this, a PR was pretty awesome. I was happy with my finish time, in spite of the conditions, but still mad that I wasted all that time at the portapotty. Funny thing, at this point, I didn't have to go anymore. I didn't feel very good, and sipped on the bottle of water Karen found for me. Teri came in about that point, and she too was disappointed with her finish time. It was so tough with the heat. Since it has been so cold this spring, there was no way to prepare for this. Karen told us that several runners were taken away by ambulance.
|Teri, me, Michelle, and Karen|
- I did a great job fueling and hydrating for this race. I drank 24 ounces of Tailwind prior to the race, and 24 ounces each hour, for a total of 3 bottles.
- I paced myself well. Those first 3 miles were hard, and they were at a slower pace than I have been training at.
- I wasted precious time at that portapotty, and I should have just sucked it up and kept going.
- I dug deep when the going was hard, and shut down those thoughts of quitting. Second race in a row where I had to do that, and I'm really proud of myself for doing that. I thought of my son, and how disappointed he would be (altho he'd never say anything) if I quit. Don't even get me started on how I would have felt telling my oldest that I quit. Nope.
- You can never have too much chafing cream. TMI, but I was scared to take a shower when I got home. I didn't scream but it was pretty painful.
- These smaller races are the best. Besides the AG finish, which turned out to be first place when all was said and done, there was no weaving, no issues with getting stuck behind people. Yes, more portapotties would have been great. But that's my only complaint.
- Running friends are the best friends!!! Races are so much more fun with friends to celebrate and commiserate with.
The Great Western Half is a great race. The course is scenic, the limestone path is a dream to run on, and it is extremely well organized. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks to the Fox Valley Trail Runners for such a great race!
What's next? For now, two weeks of active rest. No running this week. I'll be doing some yoga and cycling. Next week, I'll ease back into running with a few short runs. More yoga and cycling. Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to it!
Official finish time: 1:55:37
2/43 in AG
I'm linking this post with Tara at RunningNReading for the Weekend Update!
Also linking with The Silver lining and Destination Awesome for race recap link up!