What a fast and furious weekend!
It was literally an out and back road trip; averaging 10 hours each way. The boys handled it like champs and Ryan and I are slightly worse for wear from it, but hopefully will recover by the end of the week 😉
Why do I chose far away races?
Bozeman is where my family lives! The boys have all of their cousins in Montana and I get to see my older brother and younger sister. I love that no matter the time or distance between these kiddos….they never skip a beat! Family is truly the best in our world and I am forever grateful to have them in our lives.
So, if I am to race then I want to be where my family is and that means finding a half marathon in their home town.
This last weekend was Bozeman Marathon Weekend.
They offer a 5K on Saturday, and on Sunday a full, and half marathon. I would love to try the full one of these years…but, I was prescribed a half so a half I did.
Sunday morning I woke up about 6 am.
Our start was at 8, but I had the fortune of staying with my sister who lives 2 miles away from the starting line…I didn’t have to get up as early or feel as rushed.
I made a breakfast of sweet potato and almond butter.
I might have added a bunch of vegan butter on top too…I can run well on higher fat than maybe most…so as long as it’s at least an hour and a half out…I’m golden.
I ate my breakfast and nervously chatted online with a great friend I’ve made through my running coach. She is an inspiration to me in more ways than one and is a great cheerleader…I don’t know what I would do without meeting this lady!
My sister and her kids woke up and joined me for pre-race jitter time. I was going to run to the start to shake out my nerves…but, my sister insisted on driving me up to the start; she knows best and I love her for that!
I made it up to the start 15 minutes before the gun went off. I had just enough time to warm up and shake out the nerves. Surprisingly, for feeling as nervous as I did days leading up to the race; once I was at the starting line I felt cool, calm, and composed; maybe this was a good sign?
Called to the start.
Head phones in; I don’t like to run with music all the time, however, this was going to be a tougher than normal race for me and it was windy…I needed something to give me an extra push.
Gun went off.
Everyone in the front started fast; stupidly, I followed.
I was told to check my watch frequently and hit my pace by mile 1. I looked down at my watch at 3/4 mile…feeling really good, relaxed, 10 seconds faster than my prescribed pace….I thought I was okay, (we had talked about using the downhill to my advantage). WRONG! my watch beeped at mile 1…I was running my 5K pace.
Thankfully by mile 2 I was at my prescribed pace, but we were also hitting an uphill as well as the wind.
Miles 3-5 I was able to hang on to a pace slightly slower than my goal pace and then I just went into survival mode. My legs were on strike and I had nothing I could do to make them go faster…now all I could focus on was finishing; I MUST FINISH.
Thankfully, I had a guy named Nicolas next to me, (or at least all the college guys who were cheering along the way for him, called him that 😉 ). He was great and I think used me to keep himself going; I’ve been on the other end of that scenario so I kind of knew what he was up to….I was okay as long as he was okay that I went into survival beast mode.
Miles 6-10 were better after I had my first huma gel…but, my speed was proving to never show again during this race.
Thankfully by mile 10 I had my cheering entourage to greet me! They all were surprised not to see me with my usual smiley face. I was all business and looked pretty angry with the world, (I was already super disappointed in myself at this point).
3 miles to go and I told Nick that I was going to try to keep us under a sub 7 mile…but, I couldn’t make any promises. In my mind I felt faster, but in my gut I knew I had tanked it and all I could do was cross the finish line and accept that this was not my day, it was not my race.
I crossed 5 minutes slower than last years time! It was a hard pill to swallow. However, I shouldn’t discount that everyone was feeling the struggle that day. The first place female came up to me to say that I ran a great race, she said this was one of the toughest days she ran, and that made it a lot easier for me to walk away feeling better about myself.
I know it is silly for me to complain; after all, running 13.1 miles in itself is a HUGE accomplishments. But, if I were being honest, which I am, I have worked my BUTT off to be much much faster and this showed that I am far away from being a smart racer. I can train well all the live long day, but if I can’t execute well…then, all that training will never amount to the success I know I am capable of.
The take away:
- My family still loves me; that truly is all that matters.
- I got to meet some great runners who inspire me to keep pushing beyond myself and to realize that I will get it someday!
- The half marathon and I are not friends right now! give me a 5K, 32 miler race, a marathon, but spare me 13.1.
- I still placed 3rd female and 8th overall…if I am to complain I would be discounting those who finished after me and worked just as if not harder than I did…I still did great and I am proud of myself for finishing as well as I did, (perspective!)
- I am learning that I love being coached, but I also love being inconspicuous…I do better when I know no one cares. I am not saying I don’t want to be coached, I am just not good at being under pressure…How I can blend the two…any suggestions would be appreciated!