Great day. Fun to race again. Tons of thoughts about it and a race report coming soon. I guess I will write it completely for my own good because I don't think anyone reads this anymore.
So, fair warning up front that this might be long and really rambly. I don't even think I will proof-read it because I don't have time.
I don't know if I should start with the back story or the race itself.....ok....the race.
Woke up at 3:30 because I had to be at the finish to catch the bus at 4. Met Scott and we hung for a while and actually caught the second round of buses. That was nice because we got to wait longer in the valley and not in the canyon in the 38 degrees. I ate a piece of bread with peanut butter and honey at home before leaving. Then, I ate a banana sitting on the curb waiting for the bus. This entire race was a "do nothing that I have in the past" mentality. I didn't really do that on purpose, it just was what it was.
I am usually so methodical about races and preparing and this one was the opposite. Looks like you will get a little of the back story as we go. We signed up for this race on Thursday night. Decided to race Thursday morning instead of doing our tempo run. Scott and I are both contemplating a fall marathon and I decided it was time to test my legs. I also needed to test my mind. More on that later.
So, list of things I usually do for races that I didn't do
-sign up early
-train for the race in particular
-have a plan
-memorize my splits
-visualize the course
-run the course beforehand
-the list goes on and on
I had a goal of maybe running 6:20 to 6:25. I thought that would be a good barometer of where I was and what I would have to run come the fall in the marathon. So, that was the baseline goal, but I told myself not to be mad if I couldn't do it. I have not been training much and such would be life.
We got to the start and only had about 30 minutes until the start time. Used the restroom. Took a couple of salt tabs. I actually took one on the curb waiting for the bus and then another at the start. I have never used them for a half but I had some at home and I am 99.99% certain they were expired. Didn't care though, I wasn't doing anything normal for this race.
Scott and I ran up and down the road for a bit of a warmup, but I bet it was less than a mile total. I shed some clothes into my bag and dumped it into the overfilled pickup bed, fully expecting to never see it or those clothes again. I walked up to the start line with Miley Cyrus's USA song in my head because that is what they had blaring over the sound system. "Put your hands up....it's a party in the USA!"
Countdown and we were off. First mile was a 6:06. -----rewind a bit----- So, I had in the back of my mind since Thursday this thought that I could maybe run a PR and maybe even run a sub 1:20 (a long time goal of mine). I wouldn't have cared if it didn't happen, but I thought maybe the stars could align and it could happen. I knew the first mile was fast, but it was comfortable and had a decent drop. A big group pulled out in front of us and we just got in a groove.
I didn't really care what we were running. I just ran off of feel and every once in a while I would look at my watch and think, "ok, this is doable for now." I didn't know if I was going to hit mile 8, 9, or 10 and experience and epic bonk. I don't use the word "epic" lightly....or ever. haha.
We just kept cruising and managed to keep things pretty quick. The next few miles were a little slower, but we knew that some fast miles would be up ahead once we hit the steeper sections of the canyon. Again, I had not even considered splits and what I had wanted to run where or when. I just didn't prepare at all. It was just running and enjoying the race environment.
We started running a little faster when it got steeper and I just told myself to hold on. I started breathing harder but never faded like I have in the past on races. The last mile flattens out more and it was tough. I gave it my all and pushed through strong. I kicked at the end to pass one runner a few feet from the line. Was amazed to see the time on the clock.
Splits ended up being - 6.06; 6.21; 6.34; 6.17; 6.29; 6.10; 5.54; 5.52; 5.53; 5.44 ;5.50; 5.50; and 6.02
I might come back and edit this more later, but that is pretty good for now. I have a lot of thoughts about this one and the past couple years, depression and everything that has come with that. I don't really have any other place to write them, so maybe they will end up here.
This race really made me feel good. It put a smile on my face. Those have been few and far between.