Saturday, April 16, 2011

Half marathons are so much easier when you train

(I started this post a few weeks ago, hazards of multi-tasking, sometimes things don't get completed.)

I ran in the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon several weekends ago. I got my third best time out of 6 half marathons over the last few years. I was pretty proud of myself. I came in at 2:37:45. Third best time is fantastic since I had started my training one week before the race and my longest run was just 5.5 miles. I know, I am crazy.

But here is the thing. I am busy. And it was cold. Those are my lame excuses as to why I didn't train. Oh, I knew I needed to train. I thought to myself months in advance, I should start running. Just one or two miles at a time. Then on the weekends I would think to myself, wow, I should be running longer runs. But did I? Uh, no. No, instead I starting running a week before and hurt my shins which made me not run for a few days. Then I bought new shoes...ran 5.5 miles and called it done.

After the run my friends and I went to breakfast. My friend Jessica asked me, "how do you feel?" My response...."Well, for only having trained for a week, I feel exactly how you should. I hurt all over. My hip hurts, my knees hurt, my shins hurt, my feet hurt and I can barely walk. Other than that I am good!"

Don't feel sorry for me though, I know I should train. I have all the intentions of training for races too. Before every race I think I will train, then things happen and it is so much easier to not train, until I am in the race and my hip starts to seize up and I feel like my whole body is out of alignment.

Note to self...schedule training.

The run itself was good. I made it to mile six before I started to feel like running was getting annoying. I had looked up the race course before hand so I knew mile 7 and 8 were on Mockingbird...I just kept thinking...when we get to Beverly, I am almost to Mockingbird...almost to mile 7. I made it up the hill on Mockingbird and turned down Skillman, mile 8 was in sight.

Every mile marker was an opportunity to review my time and calculate in my head my pace and how long it would take me to get to the end. Of course, running and thinking is very hard for me so I would have to go over this in my head over and over again. This used up at least a quarter mile each mile marker.

Somewhere around mile 10 I knew my hip was in bad shape. It was like the femur bone was not in the socket right or something like that. It didn't hurt enough to stop and truly, stopping to walk and then run again just seemed to make it worse. The mind is a powerful thing though. If you tell yourself enough times you are not in pain, that you can keep running, that the pain you do feel is all in your head; it is truly amazing, you legs keep going. Mental determination.

Mile 12 made me cry. I was so close, I just had to keep going. I started yelling at myself to keep running. One step at a time. Every step a win. Mile 13 seemed like the longest mile of my life. I kept running, waiting for the mile 13 sign so I could sprint to the seemed to never come. By the time I had rounded the last corner and I saw the sign, my legs were so beat I wasn't sure I would be able to sprint in. But there it was...mile 13, just .10 let to go. I told my legs to move fast and I gave it all I had, sprinting in to finish at for my third best time.

Never in my life did I ever think I would be a runner. Every race I do is a win for me personally.

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