It seems like the whole world raced a half marathon yesterday. I wasn't so sure I had it in me. But I ended up doing Wrightsville. I love the race. I love the people, the town. It's always a great race, even on days like yesterday when I totally tanked it. Tank as in worse than a training run. UGH!
I wish I could say: I failed because of X. But I can't because it's not so simple, at least to me. But after much thought I think it was a combo of:
*My 10th (or around there) 95 mile week. Actually, I taper down to 91 by skipping a double. I really thought it would make a difference.
*Running my easy runs slightly sub 7 in the week prior.
*Being too cocky and thinking I could do it all.
*Giving up at mile 1 because it wasn't what I wanted.
In all fairness, I have been able to kill my tempo workouts all winter. I show up, put my fast shoes on and my legs move. So, I figured I would put the damn flats on and I would go. Wrong-o!
Let me rewind, because the set up for this race is so excellent that is makes the fail almost delicious!
|Legendary Olympian Frank Shorter|
I pretty much decided last minute to commit to this race. So I had to hurry to the expo and get my stuff. I knew Frank Shorter was going to be there so I was excited to meet such a legend. He was really cool though. I stood in line and waited. It was almost my turn and I realized I had no idea what I was going to say! Awkward!! I ended up shaking his hand like 3x and gushing over his glory, reciting his races. To which he was like, tell me about you. I'm thinking, who gives a shit! Let's talk more about you!
So he gave me advice on Boston. He actually said trying to PR in WB was a bad idea. That I should save it for Boston. Ugh, not what I expected. But overall, a great experience and cool guy.
While in line I met another runner. We talked for a while. He then said he was the local sports writer for the Sun Newspaper. He asked if he could use me in his Frank Shorter Article. I said yes, after reflecting on all the dorky things I just said. But so cool to be in an article with a legend and my local friend
Dawn also hustled to make it to the expo and just barely caught Frank on his way out the door. Afterwards Dawn and I gushed over meeting Frank. Shortly after, the Sports Writer for The Sun, Dan found us and asked us some more questions for his article. Very cool! Raleigh represents!!
|click here for full article|
So I left the expo and I see that Frank changed into shorts and headed out for a run. I had to get all stalkerish and get his pic. I saw him later and told him he was a beast. He chuckled.
Fast Forward to race morning. I had a 4 am wake up to make it to the buses by 6am for a 6:45am start. Not too bad. That went very smoothly. Then I hung out at the starting area for about 30 minutes pre-race and saw some old friends, chit chatted with Frank again and met Melissa. A super cool blog follower who recognized me. We chit chatted. Then someone asked me if I was "the elite" doing the half. They were referring to Laurie Knowles I believe but it was such an awesome question to receive! My ego thanks you repeatedly!
Next the gun goes off. It was a slow start. My first mile was 6:20ish. I was horrified. My first mile in this race is always 6:10ish. My second mile was even slower. I was beside myself. I thought I would click of 6:18's in my sleep. Then suddenly, I coped an attitude and said screw this. I ran the remainder of the race at marathon pace. It wasn't hard. It required zero thought. I figured if I feel like it, I would negative split it. That time came and I was still clicking off 6:35's. My legs wouldn't go. They didn't die. They just never had it. And in the back of my mind I hear Frank Shorter saying, "don't kill WB, save it for Boston!" My final time was 1:27:23. But honestly, it didn't matter. Meh.
One of my favorite parts of this race is seeing the runners who started at 6:15am working so hard at their slower pace. I love cheering them. I see their fight and tenacity and it inspires me.
So, I finished. I saw the rolling results. I noticed I was first Master. 8th female. 44th overall. 1800 finishers in the half. Quite possibly my worst effort ever. Initially, I was pissed at myself. But later on I took solace in the fact that I ran marathon pace, or slightly faster, for a half. I feel I could have done that for a full. If this was a regular Sunday I would have been happy.
Afterwards I saw Dawn. She ran nearly 8 minutes faster than expected for the full while looking like she just finished shooting for French Vogue. Go Dawn!! All my friends did well. I left and finished to get 20 miles for the day. Marathon training must push on!
So with that I shrug it off and move on. 5 weeks until Boston! The show must go on!
Thanks for reading!!