Another race recap edition of Workout Wednesday, comin’ atcha more than a month late! I’m so current.
This week, I get to bathe in the golden memories of the North Olympic Discovery half marathon. Michael’s sister, Michelle, and I did this race on June 2, and although it was literally the slowest 13 miles I have ever run it was absolutely the most beautiful and gratifying. I wish I ran with my phone, or with a camera, but I didn’t/don’t so I have zero pictures from the race itself, but here is a before shot…
Coming off of Ski to Sea the week before, I had rested for three days, ran a few “shake out” miles on Thursday and then walked both Friday and Saturday. My legs were still a little sore, and trying to rebuild glycogen stores, AND my toenail was in the first stages of sloughing off (so cute) so I went into the race not expecting a lot from myself. Michelle and I started the race together and I (stupidly) let my Garmin scare me. I felt great running with her, but when I looked down and saw that we had done an 8:20 our first mile and a 7:50 for our second I freaked. I just KNEW I was going to crash and burn, so I told her that if I was going to make it to the end I needed to back it off. At the first aid station (about 5k, or 24 minutes into our race) I walked through to make sure that I didn’t get “sloshy belly”. It was a very warm day and I wanted to make sure that I stayed hydrated. As I walked through, Michelle took off and I let her go.
I settled into an 8:50-9:10 pace for the next few miles, making sure to walk through the aid stations and get both water and electrolytes, and at the third aid station I grabbed a pack of Gu. Why did I do this? Because I had heard other runners talk about how it fueled them and I wanted to be part of the cool crowd. I had forgotten Racing Rule #2 “Never Try Anything New on Race Day” (#1 “Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia”… joking! Rule # 1 is ALWAYS “Have Fun!”) I took the Gu without any water and almost vomited. It was all over my mouth and hands and everything and I was losing control. Thank goodness for the multiple aid stations on the course – at the next one I took some time to clean my face, hands and shirt. As I was taking an impromptu shower in the middle of a half marathon, I saw the 2hr pacer guy trot by. After that happened something clicked in my brain. I didn’t want to waste myself catching up to him, and I didn’t want to make myself sick again. I wanted to enjoy every step of that beautiful course, and I wanted to do it joyfully.
I ended up taking a lot of walking breaks, definitely walking through every aid station, and thanking those who were out in the hot sun volunteering. I cheered on my fellow racers as I passed them and as they passed me. I chatted with a few women and one dude with a stroller (RUNNING A HALF MARATHON. WITH A STROLLER.), and basically just enjoyed myself.
I finished 243rd out of 715 females running the half marathon with a huge smile on my face.
I wish I could tell you that I was mad at myself for not pushing harder, or for not finishing under 2 hours, or for letting Michelle drop me but I can’t. I felt such a peace and so much gratitude for my body and for my environment that I physically and emotionally am choosing not to poison those feelings with any “what ifs”. There will be other races to push myself in, but in that moment I did exactly what I needed to do.
Official Time: 2:17:25
average pace: 10:30/mi
level of exertion: 7/10
level of soreness : 4/10 (other than some acute day-of exhaustion, I had little to no lasting soreness! that’s what happens when you don’t push…)
A few more pictures from our weekend in Sequim – thanks Michelle and family for letting us crash at your house!
Have a happy Fourth of July!