I cannot believe I ran this race just under 2 weeks ago – it feels like a distant memory (so much for a detailed race recap). After running the half on Sunday March 20th, my husband and I boarded an early Monday morning flight to Seattle, then traveled up to Vancouver on Thursday, finally arriving back in Texas on Monday afternoon. The past few days have been a back-to-work whirlwind of catching up, laundry, groceries, returning emails, and trying to acclimate to “real life”.
I ran a half marathon 11 days ago? Really?
On the one hand, I was really excited for this race. Unbelievably, it’s been an entire year since I last ran a half marathon, the Washington DC Rock n Roll half. I enjoyed the Washington DC race (with the exception of the weather, and awful 2+ hour journey back to the hotel), and the course map looked intriguing. I’ve run several races in Dallas by now, but none crossing the Trinity River.
On the other hand, my initial excitement and confidence about a potential PR was undermined by the training maladies I’ve encountered over the past couple months. First there was the pulled back muscle, which led me to cancel my January Houston half marathon entry. Then there was the bronchitis in January that led to another week off.
I haven’t had optimal training, is my point. Physically, yes, but also mentally and emotionally.
And so it was I found myself in the early morning hours, shivering in corral 10, wondering what, exactly, I was thinking when I decided to begin my spring break in what has been a very stressful and exhausting year with a little 13+ mile jaunt around the city of Dallas.
in the corral before the race. I look more chipper than I feel.
The first 7-8 miles, I felt great. The energy of the crowd was high, the signs were entertaining, and the sun coming up over Deep Ellum and then downtown Dallas was gorgeous. My goal for an average min/mile was 10:45 (would get me to a solid PR), and I could tell I was hitting that.
look, I even smiled for the photog
Then I hit mile 9.
In reviewing my training log, I only did 4 long runs of 10 miles or longer in the 2 months leading up to the half marathon (1 10 mile, 2 11 milers, and 1 12 mile). My monthly mileage peaked at 77 miles in February. I just wasn’t sufficiently prepared, and my body knew it.
I got tired.
As I slogged my way through miles 10, then 11, then 12, I could tell that I was still going to come close to a PR. Not the solid 5-6 minute drop I was hoping for with my goal of a 10:45 min/mile, but still, I could tell I would come close to breaking the 2:26:26 that was my current best race time.
Dang that long .34!
The tough part about racing, versus the hypothetical mathematical equations we play with when trying to calculate a PR pace, is the intangible race day elements. For example, my current PR distance (if memory serves) was 13.22 (side note: does anyone, ever, finish a half marathon having only run exactly 13.1? I hate that. Yes, I get that it’s part of it. It still offends my sense of justice.)
As I was explaining it to my husband (who, ironically, ran cross country in high school, so *should* be more of a runner than I am), he goes, “Oh, well, then you got an unofficial PR.” Me: “No. My unofficial time is 2:27:18” (the time on my Garmin. Which happened to be only 1 second off my official). Him: “But if you had only run 13.1, you would have a PR. So it’s like an unofficial PR, right?”
Me: “THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.” (as much as I wish it did).
- Mile 1: 11:04
- Mile 2: 10:33
- Mile 3: 10:53
- Mile 4: 10:26
- Mile 5: 10:32
- Mile 6: 11:06
- Mile 7: 11:02
- Mile 8: 11:06
- Mile 9: 11:44
- Mile 10: 11:30
- Mile 11: 10:56
- Mile 12: 11:16
- Mile 13: 11:33
- .34: 3:37
Official time: 2:27:19 448/996 in my age group
Still, I chalk it up as a great race. Really. I still scored my 2nd fastest half marathon time (this was #5), and the race was a lot of fun. I even felt well enough to head out to brunch afterwards. The weather was gorgeous, and I headed into vacation with *slightly* less guilt about the calories I was about to consume over the next week.
PR or not, a medal is a medal
So how about that triathlon I’m supposed to do in 2 weeks and 3 days? Have I ever been less trained or ready for a race in my life?
Blog about that coming soon…