Last weekend's half marathon wasn't my best. I didn't PR. But I learned a LOT about where I'm at as a runner and where I need to go from here.
At this same race last year, I did set my PR. Interestingly enough, I'm in better shape and better trained this year. But I believe the Vitamin D deficiency has raised it ugly head and is attempting to show me who is the boss.
For about 8 months this was the race where I wanted to do a big time PR. I wanted to run a 2:15-2:20. I had started working on this back in November, dedicating myself to gym time, learning about strengthening my legs and core. But when I broke my foot on that beautiful December day, my training got put on pause, for 6 weeks.
Luckily, though, because I had committed to my 5k groups, I did get get back out and running faster than I would have, had I been left to my own devices. I ran a lot, in February, and I was running faster. Both of my 5k group is stocked with ladies who love to burn rubber. This means my average mile time had dropped, during training runs, 1-2 minutes per mile. That's a huge chunk. But I hadn't had enough distance training in me, so I wasn't sure how that would carry through in a big race.
I found out last week.
I started in a faster corral (more on that later), with the 1:55ish half-marathoners. I was able to keep pace with them for about 1.5 to 2 miles, but then pulled myself back. I still hit below a 30 minute 5k, and when my 10k time was 60 minutes, I knew I was running too fast. Sure enough, the 2 hour pace group passed me shortly thereafter, and by mile 7, I felt like the wall was coming. At mile 8, which is up a hill, I hit my first wall. My body just slowed into a stop, without my intention. Thanks vitamin D Deficiency. I walked a few steps, but was able to get back into a run. This happened again at mile 9. And 10. But at mile 11, I needed to walk more than a few steps. I may have walked the entire mile 11-12. This is something that I just do.not.do during races. But I had NOTHING in me. My legs were crampy. I was exhausted. My joints hurt. It was hot. It was humid. And I ran my first 10k TOO FAST.
At mile 12 I somehow bribed myself to run. And I did...I was able to get my shit together and finish out my race, coming in at 2:36. At the finish line I had nothing left in me. I ran everything right out of me. Which was a new experience, and something I'd always wanted to do.
Considering I ran a 2:33 last year, and ran the entire race, it's obvious my overall "pace" was considerably faster this year. Crikeys, I walked an entire mile and was only 3 minutes slower?
Now I'm dealing with hindsight. "What if I wouldn't have walked? I could have PRd!"
But I'm okay with it. I'm a better runner now than I was last year. No matter what the time says.
I shaved 15 minutes off my January half marathon time and 5 minutes off White Rock time. I'll take it!