Sunday, September 13, 2009

The sprint before the 1/2 marathon.

On Saturday, August 29th I ran the Top of Utah 1/2 marathon with a couple of friends. The course was fast and beautiful. I would definitely recommend it if you fall into the category described by a guy I overheard in during the race:

"Who runs a 1/2 marathon anyway? These people are crazy."

I'll admit to being one of the nuts who seek the pleasure of the pain of running. I love it...when I don't hate it.

I used to get nervous before running a race. Difficulty sleeping and managing my stomach with TUMS were accepted as part of the routine but my days of pre-race jitters are past. I've taken care of race anxiety by preparing well the night before but mostly by embracing the reality of my performance potential! Sad but true. A little more concern about this race, however, may have actually been in order and helped me to do better...

My great running friends, Kellie and Ryan, and I decided we would leave Layton at 4:45 a.m. in order to pick up our race packets and numbers with time for calm and stretching before the run. I set two alarms and readied my race-day pile of supplies the night before. I went to bed too late and jumped out of bed when Kellie called and woke me at 5:04 a.m. I still don't know what happened with my alarms but adrenaline and my lead foot got us to Providence, UT in time to snag our numbers and a bus ride to the start.

I hate feeling rushed and racing that way is the worst. Everything was in fast forward. Trips to the port-o-potties barely occurred before the starting gun sounded. My GPS didn't have enough time to catch a satellite signal and without that, I didn't have a good way to judge pace. I also noticed that, in my sprint to the start, I had forgotten my energy gel I needed to take 2 times during the race. Sheesh.

Even though my GPS didn't load, I did have my stopwatch and remember a few of the mile marked times:
4 miles 37:35
5 miles 46:33
6 miles 54:27
7 miles 1:04:??
9 miles 1:25:??
Finish 2:12:47

I finished better than my initial PR this year at Salt Lake 1/2 marathon but slower than my eventual PR at Ogden 1/2. Not a bad time but disappointing for how good I felt starting out. If you cared enough to read this far, you'll notice that my pace dropped significantly after mile 9. Honestly, I would have been a lot happier with my final time if I hadn't experienced the wheels falling off soooooo badly. I had to beg Kellie to leave me at mile 9 as she was still running very strong . (And she finished in 2:06:16 AMAZING!) I gutted out the last four miles but walked waaaay more than I should have. Blah. I was spent. Ryan, Kellie's husband sped to a 6 minute PR and finished in 1:41:xx. Wow!

* Adrenaline expended by being rushed can't be spent again when you need it!
* Set three alarms the night before a race??
* Don't forget your GU. I hate the stuff but Gatorade and water only didn't give me enough energy to finish strong.
* Running is kind of hard when you're an old lady.


Kristen said...

Hey, at least you did it and can add yet another race to your long list of accomplishments!

You've also had a lot on your mind lately. Family tragedy will take its toll so don't beat yourself up too badly. You would have kicked THIS old ladies' trash but good!!

Colett's Corner said...

Rita, I think it's so great that you push your self and accomplish so much. You are such a wonderful example to so many people. You have a beautiful family and three amazing kids. In the marathon of life you are so far ahead of the rest of us but still stop and walk with those of us that go a little slower. You will always be first in my book. Love ya

Debbie said...

Good for you, Rita. Another big accomplishment.

Can't wait to see the photos of you with your braces off. I'm anxiously awaiting...

Amy and Brad said...

Good job, Rita! You are one tenacious, inspiring girl!

...and I loved Colett's comments about the way you run the Marathon of Life. Very well said and so true about you!

The Bullknitter said...

You may be a glutton for punishment (all runners are), but you're still my hero! Way to go.

Kellie said...

You forgot to add "Awsome" to YOUR time. You did incredible. We finished!!! (and got to treat ourselves to pizza) Also, to your lessons learned category: Don't start off too fast. We never learn our lesson - right?