Saturday was the Grand Island Half Marathon. All my dreams came true for weather. A light wind, beautiful sunshine, and good company. I was pumped for the race, because as my training partner so eloquently put it, “It is only a training run”. I had awesome hopes. I was gonna PR, run easy, and enjoy the rest of my day not being completely spent. After all, it was only 13 miles. Lesson learned. Never discount a race as a training run, and even if you have done the distance before, never say it’s easy. 13 miles is still 13 miles. That being said. I would have gladly taken the 17 of last week again instead of the hellish 13. There was nothing wrong with the course, the weather, or the equipment. It was me. Pure and simple. My lungs were in knots (probably from having dinner in a room that housed a smoker), and my stomach threatened to crawl up my throat. I was literally afraid of tossing my cookies on the course which has only ever happened once before. I got dehydrated for some reason also. My pacing buddy came back, and made me push a hard sprint for the finish. Finish I did. With 27 minutes of my previous personal record (PR).
I even got a stylish medal for my trouble….since after all I am a material girl:
As I sat drinking my chocolate milk and was feeling better, it went to hell again. Another race friend who has been running for years (she is 70) had a seizure right in front of me. After scrambling around looking for an EMT, I sprinted my hardest back up the horrible hill to the finish line, about 1/2 mile away, to see if there was one there. Not finding an EMT I booked it back to the picnic tables and they called 911. She was eventually cleared to be driven home, but the damage was done. My quads and knees were shot to the point where I didn’t even want to walk. I came home and laid down in my shower for a long time, wondering what had happened.
Yes, I made a PR. Yes, I helped a friend get medical attention. Yes, it was a beautiful day (and I have sunburn to prove it). But somehow I was less than impressed with my performance. I was running the mental marathon out there and wanted to quit around the 5th mile. That never happens to me in a race. I always want to finish. It worries me, because I am now less than 4 weeks out from my goal race. The marathon I have been training for since January. It is coming and I am still sore from a half. I don’t feel ready anymore after Saturday’s performance. I know I am stubborn and I know I can finish the race, but I wonder how much recovery it is really going to take when I am done. Both mental and physical. I guess I can only hold on tight and hope to get through it. My race schedule is packed for the rest of the year so hopefully a marathon won’t destroy my spirit. Or maybe it will be stellar and I’ll never doubt myself again…..only time will tell.