Clearly I’ve been underestimating myself 🙂
Quick recap and then on to the fun stuff!!
Wednesday – it was POURING out, so my first treadmill session in quite some time. But, I used it as a pacing practice for the race. Started under my goal pace and finished over it. 7.5 run miles with a 1/2mi cool down walk. Yes, 8 miles on the treadmill. My mind is often stronger than my legs. Lol
Friday – 5 mile fun run. Not going for speed so I left the garmin home. Ran solid with fartleks to practice getting around runners. This proved to be invaluable during the race as 800 runners trapped on the shoulder of a road makes for some tricky situations. 🙂
Saturday I hit the bike with my hunny – 12.77 miles with hills but no crazy pace. Got the legs nice and loose. Then lunch, bib pickup and driving some of the course (of course!). Which also involved finding an adorable park on the ocean. Will definitely head back there to picnic.
Now the fun part….my race recap.
The inaugural Narragansett Bay Half marathon. East Providence, RI. 7am start.
Cuz yes, it’s fun to get up at 5:30 on a Sunday. Lol thank goodness for coffee!!
On the drive to the race start we saw a rainbow. Not a full one. More of a rain stick. But it was beautiful and I took it as a good omen.
The race started outside of, and ended inside of Pierce Memorial stadium. I think it used to be used a lot more and now is just for special events, but it was really cool. Thinking about finishing on the track in front of the stands gave me something to look forward too.
I had a goal, based on training, of 2:12. I was fairly sure I could nail it. I had a dream goal of 2:10. Which, if all went well, I had a shot at. My last half (in June) was just over 2:15 and I felt stronger & faster so I wanted to beat it. I’ve still got a lot of work today to et back to my old 2 – 2:05’s. But progress is progress.
My plan was to hit the first couple miles right around a 10:00 pace and then let myself hit the groove and get faster.
I took off with the crowd and was pleased to find mile 1 was a 9:50. Then we got all shoved to the shoulder of the road and crunched in and mile 2 was a 10:05. Which felt slow.
So I started to make little surges where I had to (thank you Fartlek training) to get to where I could run my pace. Mile 3 was around a 9:30. Where I would stay for the next few miles.
The course was pretty – along the bay, past a golf course, past a park and a carousel. There were bands every few miles to liven things up.
At mile 6, climbing up a hill to the carousel I heard the band play Don’t Stop Believing. I don’t love or hate this song. But it seems to have made itself my motto this year. I have heard it during each of my races this year. And it made me smile. I flew up the hill with a thumbs up for the band.
At mile 7 the course turned and headed back to the start on the East Bay bike path. It’s pretty and has lots of water and herons and turtles and swans. Things to occupy you. I’ve biked this a few times so I know it fairly well. And I know that at some point ahead there’s gonna be a nasty hill. So I watch the birds and high five the old man walking past us all with his hand out. I smile at the musician playing Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.
And I try to not think about that hill. Lol til I saw it – round mile 10.8. And I dug in and slowly hiked up it. I refused to walk. And halfway up when I let out a “damn!” The guy next to me laughed and said “seriously!” I made it to the top and around the corner and kept moving. By now the miles are slowing a bit, but still sub 10.
By now I realize 2:12 is a definitely and 2:10 is looking really doable. I know there’s a turnaround coming and then it’s a mile to the finish. And as I start the steep descent to the turnaround I see the folks climbing back up that hill and go “I don’t wanna run that hill” and a guy coming up it yelled back “me either.” Humor…humor will get you through.
As I started up that hill it reminded me of Newton in the Boston course. Long and just steep enough. And I refused to walk it. I knew I could do it. Short steps. High knees and dig. And into my head popped the following thought “looks like walking, feels like running” lol
Crested the hill, saw the mile 12 sign and let out a groan. The guy just in front of me turned “you gonna make it?” “Of course. I run marathons. I just didn’t like that hill” I replied. Lol
Chatted with him for about a half mile. Nice guy – once did back to back marathons (crazy…oh wait, I ran goofy. Not that crazy. Lol). And at 12.5 i said to him “I gotta slow a bit – see you at the finish.” He replied “you’ll probably beat me there”. I didn’t. Lol but he was only about 20 seconds ahead of me.
At mile 12.8 I looked at my watched and had a “holy cow” moment. I was not only going to make 2:10, I was gonna be UNDER it. Like 2:08 or less.
And as I turned the corner to head to the stadium I got a “nice skirt. You’re our second sparkly skirt to finish” and I replied “thanks – it makes me fast”
Now was that time where you have to figure out exactly how hard to push. Enough to hit your goal, but not so much you fade at the end. I entered the stadium and held back, and held back until I was just shy of the corner and I sped up and I sped up and I hit the straightway and I kicked. Full out everything I had monster kick. And I saw the 2:07 and change on the clock and I threw my arms up and grinned.
I freaking did it. Wow… And then I realized if I stopped, I’d drop. Lol got my medal, got my water and walked til I could breathe again. And then jumped up and down and just let it out. Yes, this was not my fastest. But I had not only shaved 8 minutes in two months, but l had best my dream goal and ended up fairly close to the old days.
I feel like I won. And when I found my husband in the bleachers after and asked him if he saw me finish. He said yeah – watched you fly by me and then go amazingly fast to the finish line. 🙂
Aaah. That felt good.
Happy Monday – and Happy Running!!