Running another 13.1 ; 1 week post race day; 5-8 weeks till race day

It’s been another crazy week. I think right now they are all just going to be that way for awhile.

Last Saturday I ran my 2nd 13.1.  2:58.    It was an inaugural women’s only Half Marathon aka 13.1 miles, as in you can’t pick M as a sex and get a bib.  We saw at least one dude out on the pavement though, had to pass him just to be sure. It didn’t bother me,  but I did wonder why some dude would be so set on running a women’s only race.  I’m much more embracing of the rebel inside of all of us these days, so while I wanted to check out the proverbial balls on this dude,  kudos to him for having them.

The first  Half Marathon I did was with The Husband and a big deal in our area. There are bands all up and down the course, local, but still the entertainment is much appreciated.  There are tens of thousands of runners and walkers and there are thousands of people cheering for you as you make your way through the course.  Last weekend I found out what a real race is like.  Less than ten thousand people and not very much outside encouragement along the way. The fantastic thing is that those who do stay or come out to cheer are quite dedicated and every little bit of encouragement helps along the way.

It was due to be record breaking heat and the race started in the dark-ish at 7:05am. There were water stops at every single mile and I think we took advantage of them all.  NOTE to self, while pouring water on my head at every stop felt awesome, not noticing it was weighing down my skirt until mile 8 and it was too late was not fun.   an extra 8 water stops of a few ounces of water dumped onto your body at mile whatever feel like 20X the amount of weight by mile 11. Next time I will keep a better eye on how much of that water is going to start weighing me down.

We started out together all three of us and had a few delays and mishaps along the way for the first 4 miles.   The first step I discover I have very little sound in my ear  buds.  My job is the intervals it’s my iphone and Runkeeper that  coach us for this.  They have back-up watches, but literally it’s the VERY beginning.  We have to solve this problem.   I yank out the phones and ditch em in a trash can by mile marker 1, this means I will no longer have ANY music for the next 2.5 to 3 hours.   But our intervals will be intact.

The great headphone debacle was followed by some intense calf pain in hood running buddy that needed physical and emotional attention.  This is always frustrating at the beginning of a race, because it is when you are the strongest both emotionally and physically and every second you are not GOING while you have this strength is another second added on your finish time.   I had a goal of 2:45, this doesn’t really matter in that moment because to me getting everyone simply TO the finish line is the most important part of the day.  We didn’t train this hard to not push through it. So between the 3 of us we analyze and work to solve the problem, finally around mile 4 we are back in business as a happy group.

A nice surprise at Mile 6 is our friend who plans to meet us at mile 10 and see us home.   It’s also Gu and  Sport Beans time, we fuel as we walk an interval.  She checks in  and heads to 10 to wait.  Only 4 more miles to 10 we think.  And then we settle into the business of getting there.   They run faster and I can typically walk faster so we take turns pulling and closing distance between us during the next 4 miles.   The general runner etiquette is if you are stronger and I am not,  go.   We have had some practice with this arrangement on the two long runs all 3 of us made as a group.   This makes for great fun starting at about mile oh 9 maybe when I start to get tired and the girls  get ahead of me by about 30 yards and stay there.  Finally I just tell them they are on their own for intervals. Sorry to any of you ladies in that race that had to put up with me shouting walk now or run now at you but not FOR you.

Other than that this race was pretty uneventful. At Mile 10  our friend met us and they stopped, but I pressed on knowing I was getting close to really tired and loopy walking time. When I get tired I actually walk faster than I move in run posture. Even The Husband has to jog to keep up with my fast walk.    By 11ish the group catches up to me and our friend stays back with me so I have company.   I’m having a great race emotionally, but I am quite pleased for the extra boost of someone to actually talk to because I have had no music of any kind for the entire race and man sometimes that just sucks.   She walks and runs and talks with me until we come around the corner for the finish. Having her there made the last 2+ miles go super fast.  I get geared into running posture and she stays with me till the last tenth or so of the race and sprint across the finish line at 2:58 alone.    My 2nd medal is hung on my neck, I get a little teary eyes but hold it together since there isn’t anyone there to cry about it to anyway. My Husband and kids didn’t make it time for any of the race or finish.

Within an hour I’m showering at Lefty’s to go away for  a fabulous weekend of relaxing.

The next race is either 5 or 8 weeks away depending on which one I do.  I have completed 2 now, I suppose I can say  “I’m a runner. I run Half Marathons”…..

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