Monday, October 24, 2011

Not What I Was Hoping... (Half Marathon Recap)

Today was my first half-marathon. (*Note the lack of an exclamation point.) I ran the Houston Marathon in 2010, but have been struggling to get back into running since then. Even during that training series I never actually raced a half marathon because I was out of town when the race happened so even though I've run 13.1 miles, it's not the same. So I was excited! Was.

Everything seemed to be starting fine - I woke up early, had my usual breakfast, made it to the Katy Fit tent with an hour to spare and made sure to get into the portos before a line formed. Then I realized I forgot my Garmin. No big deal in the grand scheme, but it still rattled me. And it was humid. A lot more humid than most of us were anticipating. Still I felt good overall and ready to run.
I started with my usual running group, but noticed that I was starting to fall behind around mile 6-7. An unexpected need to pee and I lost 3-4 minutes waiting in the porto line and ended up alone since let's be honest, everyone needs to run their own race. And I never recovered after that. Whether it was the break, the heat, possibly didn't hydrate enough this week, maybe didn't cargo load like I needed - who knows. I finally had to walk at mile 10 and mentally knew I was finished. I couldn't find any energy - I was drained.

They say the battle in a race is won depending on your mental state - it really does impact you more than you realize. And despite telling myself to run, to stop walking, to finish strong, I hobbled between a walk/run for the next 3.1 miles beating myself up on why I was so stupid - why I thought I could run with my usual group anymore, why I thought I could run another marathon next January, why in the h*ll was I asked to speak at work on Life Changes when I obviously haven't been able to accomplish them considering I can't run this race and I have definitely gained weight since my knee surgery that I just can't seem to shake. Did I mention that I was running alone too since the bathroom break so I had no one and nothing to break me out of this phunk? Not that I would have been great running company anyhow at this point...

My sweet husband hugged me (and trust me he gets major kudos for that one since I was dripping by this point) and reassured me that I am not a failure. He even scolded me a few minutes ago when I tried to title this post "Epic Fail". Mentally, I know I need to shake this. I know that I need to believe in myself and trust in the training that I am doing towards the marathon. I need to accept that everyone has bad runs and races and that it doesn't make or break you - unless you let it. I KNOW where I need to be - it's just the getting there that's hard right now.

Did I mention I take FABULOUS running-action shots?!? (*Note - HEAVY sarcasm intended here.)
(This shows how incredibly desperate I felt...)

And here's when I realized Jason was taking pictures and I put on a good face. I did run in the last 0.6 miles with Doc Scott, the coordinator of Katy Fit, who kept me going and pushed me to sprint at the end. Too bad he wasn't there at mile 10! ;-)
(I promise to work on the midriff top was the fuel belt though. It's taking the blame on this one.)

And here's the finishers medal and shirt - not that I am a big fan of the reminder right now...

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