Total time: 1:41:25
A new PR for me by about 1:42 seconds
- 16th in my Age Group
- 48 in the womens division
- 155 overall
This is the race that almost didn't happen. I was so exhausted at 5:30am when hubby woke me up that I was ready to crawl under the covers and say "no, I cannot race today". Last week, I started my new job as a PE specialist at an Elementary school and that was kicking my butt (learning all the stuff that I needed to do) then I added the pressure of my RPM certification video and my stress levels went through the roof! I think I averaged that week about 20 hrs of sleep the entire week! I was sleeping poorly for the previous 4 days and I could feel it in my body. My legs were achy from the cycling and my body felt tired, my head was full of cotton and any noise just hurt.
As we boarded the bus at 6:15am, I knew that my legs were not going to show up to the party. I was tired, so I decided in the bus to just make it to the finish line in 2hrs. With hubby next to me, we got to chatting about the race and our previous races. I looked at my garmin's history for last years' splits for this race and I knew that I couldn't have the heart for it this time. The times just seem way too fast. I was cold--true sign that my body was tired--and I didn't want to eat my oatmeal that hubby prepared for me (a ritual before race). I decided to just forgo my oatmeal and instead swallowed a Hammer Gel.
The gun went off a few minutes past 7am and I waved my hubby goodbye. I knew that he had the legs to go faster this time so I let him go... if my legs hadn't been so tired I could have been next to him. That was the last I saw of him until the finish line. He really took off and had a fantastic race. Me on the other hand, I wanted to quit from the get go. At mile 3, I was huffing and puffing trying to match my times from the previous year and my legs were screaming with each step. I tried to find a good pace for me and each time I told myself not to worry about last year's time, I couldn't! My head will scream, you cannot go slower than last year--you were fatter and slower last year, you must do the same or better!
At mile 8, I was tired, the downhill was basically done and I was on the flats, I kept trying to run under 8min miles and it was hurting--my lungs were fine, it was my legs that were in pain, my quads and my hammies were on fire! I wanted to walk but I knew that if I walked that I would stop so instead I focused on something else around me, then at that point a song came on my iPod (it was a song that I put in my iPod by mistake "Cinderella by Steven Chapman*) that coupled with my pain almost brought tears down my face. I could feel them building and I could feel the ache within my throat that meant--crocodile tears are on their way. So instead, I focused on the people ahead, I picked a target and made myself run faster to catch them, btw, I also changed the song as I knew that I couldn't handle it.
Shortly after my almost-tears episode, I found a gal that was running at my pace and I stayed next to her. After a few minutes together, we started talking. We found that we had one more thing other than running in common--she was an instructor at the Gold's Gym (the one in Ogden). After chatting for a bit, she told me her goal for the half and I told her to go, put the shoulder to the wheel and just go for it. I told her to run ahead and try to get it. I stayed behind and saw her take off. At the next aid station, I stopped and got a drink of Gatorade and simply walked through and grabbed an orange. It felt great just stopping for a little bit but I started back again after about 30 seconds. At this point is where a lot of the residents in the area come out to cheer people and they were my saving grace. I was so grateful for their cheers. Seeing the little children's faces and giving them fives made the next couple of miles go a bit faster.
After mile 10, I knew what was coming, many runners start walking at this time, a slight incline, not much but enough to make the tired legs feel it and bring us down. I ran, I ran a little faster. Making sure to land on my toes and simply go! At the last aid station, as I stopped to get a drink, the young woman looked directly into my eyes and said "you can do it Isela, you are doing great!" I didn't recognize her but she recognized me and hearing my name just sent chills down my back. So I smiled and I said thank you and took off. Later on, I found out that it was my friend's daughter. She will never know the impact of hearing my name had in me at that point.
The last few miles are in my turf, I run it all the time. I know the roads. I know where it gets hard and where I can give it a little more gas. The last little molehill saw a lot of walkers but I dug in and gritting my teeth I went up it, turned into the main road and knew that I was on the home stretch with less than 2 miles to go.
As I crossed mile 12, I passed the gal from Golds Gym, she cheered me on and I continued on. I felt a twinge of guilt as I ran away from her. She had a goal of 7:25 mile pace and I know it is hard to see a goal get away.
Then, as we descended into the finish area, I could see the finish line. I knew I could do it. I had done what I thought couldn't be done that day. I was almost going to match last years time...even if I ran a 10minute mile for the last mile, I could get the same time so I closed my eyes for a second and prayed for strength and I gave it all I had til the end.
As I crossed the finish line, I read 1:41:24...I had done. I had ran just fast enough to beat last year's time. I was exhausted. My legs hurt. I had definitely worked for this time and my heart was telling me. My hubby came right away to see me and then I spotted my children with my niece.
My darling hubby finished in 1:36! He had a nice race he says. Great pace for him, leisure run! So since he was feeling fine, I told him to carry me :).
Thoughts that were in my head when running: would I ever be able to run the race without trying to beat last year's time? Can I do that? It seems that I just keep putting more and more pressure on myself. Next year, would I try to run faster than a 1:41 or would I be okay to just run and have fun.
*Song: Cinderella. This song always makes me cry. My daughter loves it and each time she hears it at home, she asks her daddy to dance with her. As I listen to the lyrics, it always brings tears to my eyes because one day, she will leave to live with her prince charming. The night before the race as I was prepping my shuffle for the race and I was adding songs, I guess I accidentally put that one in there.