Rock n Roll Arizona: Race and Half Marathon PR!!!!

I previously wrote about how my pre-race jitters going in to this race were at an all-time high. I didn’t have my fuel, and I was a nervous wreck about breaking a cardinal running rule: Nothing New on Race Day. But, I figured a Huma gel was better than no gel, and I just had to deal.

Luckily, my husband and training buddies Ashley and Dallas were with me at the start. A calming presence for sure. Dallas and my husband planned to run together and Ashely and I would see how long we could last with each other. We’ve yet to finish a race together, ha!!!

My coach had given me a plan. Start miles 1-4 conservatively. And like a good student, I followed direction, holding my pace the first couple of miles. But when we turned the first corner, we were met with a head wind that all of sudden, made staying at half marathon goal pace difficult.

Seeing that 7:55 bummed me out, but I told myself to keep to the plan. Coach had said miles 5-8 needed to be slightly faster than goal pace and to move by effort up the big hill at mile 9. I slowly started to separate from Ashely as I tried to pick up the pace.

It was shortly after mile 5 that I found a buddy who is also under my coach’s direction. He was seriously a Godsend! I took the Huma gel and tried to just swallow that thing down. I could taste the tart strawberry and feel the texture of the chia seeds (way too healthy for me. Give me GU any day). But I was feeling okay.

We coasted along as best we could with the wind and slight upness when we finally reached it.

The hill.

I told myself not to freak out. Stay with Alex as close as I could. It was a short hill. I would be fine. After the hill, it’s down the rest of the way.

JUST GET TO THE TOP.

7:49!!!! Y’all have no idea how insane that looked to me. It was such a confidence booster seeing that split considering how awful I am at running uphill.

But my happiness was short lived once we turned to go down because WHAM!!!–headwind!!! I let out an expletive as I ran, so angry that I would have resistance going down hill.

But I had to deal. Nothing I could do.

According to the plan, once I reached mile 10, I was supposed to “Last 3, fast 3” as I’d been practicing during training. I wasn’t sure I could muster “fast” at the end of this long race, but I knew I had to give it a shot. I was cutting it close.

Mile 11 was a blur as I tried to concentrate on my form and moving my legs. I was expecting my coach and teammates after mile 12 but instead caught them right at the mile mark. My coach yelled out words of encouragement and I felt a rush of pride at how well I was doing–I wanted to show her I COULD DO THIS.

Her instructions had been to ignore the watch the last three miles, so I didn’t know at the time what paces I was hitting. All I knew was that I. Had. To. Move….FAST.

When I turned the corner at mile 13 and saw the time clock at 1:39 (I started about 30 or so seconds behind it) I gave whatever kick I had to the finish.

I was NOT going to let this opportunity pass. I ran knowing that it all came down to those final seconds and if I didn’t do it now, the chance would be gone and I would regret not giving it my all. Close but not succeeding wasn’t an option. I needed to get it done NOW.

I sensed two men increase their speed as I passed them and I hit turbo. NOT TODAY. NOT RIGHT NOW. This was MY time. I was going to be the fastest one to the finish these last few seconds.

I don’t know who this person is.

There was no picture of me stopping my watch. I ran that thing all the way through like a maniac. As evident by that 5:10 pace, lol!

Oh man, I was so happy. I was so happy when I finally looked down and saw 1:39. 1:39. I never, ever in my life thought I would be in the ’30s, that I would run a half marathon averaging 7:30 something. Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept reality–that I really am running the way I’m running right now.

I don’t take progress for granted. I don’t forget the long journey it’s been to this moment. I’m not sure how much longer the desire to continue to improve will last, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I’m so proud of how I’ve overcome negative thoughts, feelings of insecurity to get to this point. I am fast. I’m not bragging, but I need to tell myself that so I can accept this craziness that’s happening. That it’s not a fluke. It’s not luck. It’s freaking hard ass work I’ve done.

This was a hard race. But I know the real hard is coming next.

And I’ll be ready.

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2017 Scottsdale Half Marathon–PR!!

I love this course. I really do. It’s been sooo good to me and Ben and we’ve always done well here. It’s a pretty much a *flat*, fast, loop in Scottsdale, AZ–nothing majorly scenic, but it’s pretty in Scottsdale and even though you’re passing through businesses and residential areas, the landscaping is well maintained and pretty to look at, lol!

My goal was to sub 1:40. I hadn’t really been vocal about that goal (except here), but my marathon training has me doing tempo miles at that pace and I figured it was a good time to give it a go.

And I got close….

So close.

I wore my Shalane F*CK YES! Momentum bracelet because I was on a mission for a sub 1:40 Eff Yes moment. When I crossed the finish line, it was more just like, F******CK. Lol!!!

Turning the corner and looking at the clock tell me I didn’t make it.

And because I’m honest, my immediate reaction crossing the finish line was disappointment– and I wanted to cry. But because my team’s tent was at the finish line, I was immediately met with hugs and congrats and I couldn’t cry. I mean, I PR’d, how could I be upset? I didn’t want to cry and be a baby with everyone so happy for me. So, I put a smile on my face and rejoiced, even though deep down I was sad.

My brother ran it, too!

My MRTT/AZTNT crew

I know PRs are going to get harder now. So after I pity-partied a bit, I truly began to celebrate my accomplishment. I’m pretty damn happy. Sincerely.

I ran fast, and I ran fast from the very start. I went in with a goal and I wasn’t afraid to fight for it from the get-go. From beginning to end, I raced.

That is so freaking awesome to me. I’ve come such a long way in the mental aspect of running. I remember telling my husband after I first ran a sub 1:50, that I didn’t think I could top that. That I would be perfectly okay without bettering that 1:48. Well, here I am, a 1:42 and a 1:40 later!

I’m wanting to get faster. I’m not afraid of running fast anymore. I mean, I still sometimes get freaked out when I see myself running sub 8s, but I’m getting used to seeing them more often and getting used to making it my “new normal”.

It’s insane. I never thought I would run the way I’m running now.

4th in Age Group, what?!?

And to think that I want to run faster! That my race day mantra now is: Make It Hurt.

It indeed was a F*CK YES! moment. Who was I kidding! A 2+ minute PR!!!

Turn and burn!

Love ya, Scottsdale!

The road to Boston continues! And that’s the real goal 😉

–Do you have a favorite local race?

–Do you like running fast?

–When was your last F*ck Yes! moment?

2017 St. George Marathon Race Recap #likenoother

Oh man, what a race….

We drove to St. George, Utah on Thursday and hit the expo Friday morning. After, my training buddy  Ashley and I drove the course to check out what awaited us.

Me and Ash at the Expo #InBobWeTrust

There were SO many ups and downs, ups and downs that I began to worry if I’d even finish the race. I had not prepared for that undulation. And I knew me–hills are just not my strength.

This is NOT an all downhill course. Do NOT be fooled. 

Nevertheless, I knew I was there to get to the finish line and get there with a smile.

———-

Race morning had us getting bussed to the start. We took the earliest one as I like to have plenty of time for things to settle if you know what I mean. But I had some issues….and that threw me off the loop for a bit. Whatever, I had a race to run.

I ran alone and had absolutely no idea what my race strategy was going to be. I just ran and the first mile chimed in at 8:28. I was fine with that as even though I wasn’t sure what my goal was, I knew my PR average was around 8:30.

But as I ran, the miles kept getting faster. I only looked at my watch when the mile would beep. I was just letting myself run.

Early miles smiles

I knew Veyo Hill was coming at mile 8. I knew that there were more after that, and I knew that it was going to suck. The only goal was to NOT STOP, and I didn’t, but man it was getting hard to move.

Going into the halfway mark, I was in dour spirits. The hills had crushed me. Thoughts of bagging it started creeping in. When I couldn’t bring myself to quit, I told myself a sub 4 would be an amazing time and if I could pull that off, it would be an accomplishment.

But I knew deep down inside I wanted to PR.

So I began to fight.

The sun would throw a punch, and I would just keep going. The rolling hills would get in good ones, but I would just keep going.

I could start to feel myself wearing down and wanting to give the race the W.

But somehow I’d find the strength to keep punching back.

The 3:45 pacer caught up to me and I said YOU WILL NOT PASS ME.

The last mile I ran as hard as I possibly could. I was beaten. I was broken. But I was not defeated.

I ran and fought for it.

You bet I passed teal shirt girl.

3:44:43

I have never been so happy to match my PR in my life. I am not the least bit upset that I didn’t beat it, that I didn’t finish 18 seconds faster. I worked SO HARD for that time. So freaking hard.

I’ve come away from St. George ridiculously happy. I’ve seen how my mental strength has grown by what transpired on Saturday. I had so many outs. So many excuses to use to give up.

But. I. Didn’t.

I’ve come away motivated, pumped for the next one (Phoenix next year). I thought St. George would be a bust, a miserable race to end a difficult training cycle. Not even close. I am so, so happy.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your love and support. You all have no idea ❤

–Have you fought with a race and won?