Happy 4 year run-iversary to me! This is my 4th time running the Huntsville Half Marathon which marks ~four years since starting to run. Even with my 50k coming up, I couldn’t NOT do this race, it means so much to me!
(Photo by my friend, Maureen, who was volunteering with team RWB that morning)
It was surprisingly chilly that morning which tempted me to over dress. I wanted to go out in a full on parka and fuzzy tights and a hat and six pairs of gloves and three long sleeve shirts… I resisted the multiple layers, but I did end up in a long sleeved shirt which ended up being too hot. It’s always so hard to dress yourself for the first few cold races of the year! You forget how hot it gets out there even when it’s blustery! My original plan was to run the race with Colisa, a new friend of mine from the marathon training group I’m helping with, but she ended up not being able to do the race due to injury. I was really sad because I love running with her, but I didn’t want her to push it and potentially make things worse. So starting the race, I had no plan. I found my friends Heather and Tracy, and we decided just to have fun and run slow.
(Photo by Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville, can you see my pink gloves waving there in the middle??)
The first three miles were fairly decent, I kept waiting for my legs to wake up and feel peppy. We wound through a neighborhood and were chatting along with the people all around us. When I got to the middle of the third mile, I knew something felt off. I was averaging a very easy pace for me, around ~11:50 per mile, but my legs felt like they were working MUCH harder than that. Near mile four I thought for the first time, “I don’t want to be here…” What the heck brain?? NO! No negative thoughts allowed, you love this race, stop being a grouch! As much as I tried to stop it, every once in a while a little grumpy thought would pop out, and my legs just kept getting more and more tired.
Finally I hit mile 6ish and it was time for my favorite part of the race– at that point the course turns onto a paved greenway for a out and back section where you get to see all the other runners. I always enjoy seeing all my faster friends and cheering them on, and knowing this was coming made me a bit happier. Throughout the time on the greenway I ate two of my apple sauce packs (my alternative to gels since gels give me the POOS!), hoping that the extra calories would perk me up a little. I enjoyed seeing so many friendly faces up until mile 10, where we turned off the green way, but I just kept getting more and more tired. Even weird stuff was tired. Like my arms. And my back. And my hands. and I was getting HOT!
(Photo by Melissa Hopper via We Run Huntsville)
Complain city, I KNOW, but I’m just trying to keep it real with y’all. When I got to mile 10 I knew I would be able to finish, not that quitting was ever a REAL option (though my grumpy brain did consider it for a minute), but knowing I just had a 5k left was enough to keep me going. In the last few miles I took a few too-long walk breaks and I started to wonder how I was ever going to finish a 50k next weekend if I was currently barely making it through a half marathon… Like, seriously! What was I going to do?!
Finally it was time for the last mile. Thank goodness. I trudged around the corner and heard my mom cheering my name. I am pretty sure I gave her a big frown and a thumbs down, ha. Talk about bad attitude y’all… I crossed the finish line, got medal-ed, grabbed some water, and sat down on a curb and waited for mom to find me. Official finish time: 2:44:13
So. Needless to say, not my best race y’all!! Still happy I did it, but dang, I wish it would have gone better, ha. I really really REALLY wanted to have a dream race to set the tone for Dizzy 50k this weekend, and I got pretty much the opposite. I am trying to best to shake it off, tell myself that everyone has bad days, and that this in no way means my 50k is going to suck. Right? Someone tell me that’s right… please! 🙂