Monday, April 2, 2012

Sometimes you try...and that's all you do.

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 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!