The outcome of the Hippie Chick Half Marathon today was not what I had hoped for. I am feeling disappointed and pouty and am consoling myself with margaritas.
Before I share the details of my race, I want to first say that the event itself was FANTASTIC, as I expected. This was my first time running this event and it was well-organized, the staff, volunteers, participants, etc. were wonderful, the route meanders through farm country which is beautiful and I love the comradery, celebrating mothers and friendships.
As a creepy side note, I also was awe-struck by being in the presence of Paula Harkin, founder of Run with Paula Events. She is an inspiration to me and just being near her was an honor. Yes, I’m a total creeper!
Yesterday I was feeling doubtful about whether or not I was going to even be able to run as hard as I wanted to. Without going into detail, lets just say my body threw me a couple of curve balls. For the most part, just the usual “girl” kind of stuff. I spent a lot of time considering that maybe this run wasn’t the one to attempt a PR or push myself. But then when I went to bed last night, all I could think about was how capable I am, how well-trained I am, and how badly I wanted to prove that I can exceed my own expectations. I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of confidence that I could at least PR and hopefully finish within the top 50.
Okay, so here is how my race went down. originally I wanted a 1:40-ish finish, which would be a 7:37 pace, but decided to take a more conservative approach. I set my Garmin to a 7:45 pace and lined up at the start with the 7:45 pace group. I’m horrible at running negative splits but was hopeful that I’d pick up speed later on. (Yeah, I’m asking myself why too!)
The first three miles were AWESOME! Ran all three under 7:30. I started to slow a little during mile four and continued to slow over the next four miles but wasn’t too worried because I usually am pretty good about picking up the pace again the last few miles. Then at around the 8.5 mile mark I got a pain in my left leg that I haven’t felt for months. (I had trouble with this back in January.) I’m not 100% certain that it is my IT band, but the pain started at the outer backside of my knee, and from what I’ve read, is the closest explanation. It quickly got worse and the pain started to shoot up toward my hamstring. I slowed. I limped a little. I fought back tears and started pleading with the powers that be to make it go away. I was determined to run through the pain. I was not giving up!!
After about two miles, the intensity of the pain subsided a little and I held on. I’m so grateful to the sweet gal who I’d been pacing for a while to say to me “lets finish this” and we chatted for a few minutes before we turned silent as we struggled toward the finish line.
Blown out but captures how happy I am to be nearly done!
As I entered the stadium I saw my daughter. I was so happy and grateful to see her. She joined me for those last few meters and crossed the finish line with me. Very cool! I finished in 1:44:05 and placed 51st, overall, and 16th in my age division.
7:29 / 7:27 / 7:29 / 7:40 / 7:35 / 7:49 / 7:55 / 7:53 / 8:04 / 8:29 /8:14 / 8:08 / 8:06
Had I not had the IT band/leg pain flare up, I know I would have finished quicker. I also know that sometimes, no matter how much it is desired or how well-trained I am or whatever, there could potentially be some hitch that derails my attempt. As they say, shit happens.
Brooks’ Cavalcade of Curiosities was there!
So, I’m shaking off the disappointment, celebrating that I was pretty darn close, and feeling grateful for the experience. The margaritas help too. ; )
Post run refueling sportin’ my Hippie Chick cap!
Happy Mother’s Day!