Monday, November 4, 2013
Zeitgeist Half Marathon
We did it. We did it. We did it. We did it. WE DID IT!
I'm so relieved to say that my official training for races in 2013 is finished. Thank goodness. This weekend we ran our fourth race of the year, the Zeitgeist Half Marathon (we also ran the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon in May, the Sawtooth Relay in June, and the City of Trees Marathon three weeks ago in October), and I'm just so relieved that it's all finished. I will still run now and then... but only if I want to, not because I have to.
To be honest, with all the training for the full marathon we just did, I thought we were going to kill this race. Seriously, I thought, "Oh, it's only half of what we just did... this will be a breeze!" Boy, was I dead wrong. Let me tell you what—there's a BIG difference between running a marathon on an almost entirely flat course and then trying to run a half marathon that is uphill for the first 8.5 miles. BIG DIFFERENCE. It was rough!
Mom and I started the race together, but instead of staying together the entire time, I ran ahead just after the two-mile mark because I was feeling really good. This was the first steady uphill portion of the course, and I normally am able to cruise through uphill inclines, so I high-fived mom and wished her the best of luck with her race and took off to find my pace. I was chugging along the steady uphill until about mile six when I realized that I wasn't even halfway and that my ankle was killing me (still hurting from the marathon) and that sheesh—I was tired already! It was at that point that I regretted departing from Mom, but hey, what could I do at that point? So I kept on going and pushing ahead, crawling up the last steep hill at mile 8.5. I did run the whole thing... but it was a slow run.
As soon as I hit the downhill portion of the course, I started going fast—too fast—and within a couple miles I had lost the feeling in my legs and knew I was close to fainting. I'm such a wimp, guys, I tell you what. I went from cruising through the downhill at a 7-minute-mile pace (I was on track to PR with a finishing time of 1:45) to barely being able to keep up an 11:00-minute-mile. All those people who I had passed in the beginning were now streaming past me at what felt like lightning speed, and I was just trying to stay on my feet. I was dead. I kept looking behind me, hoping that Mom would catch up to me and we could finish together... but before I knew it (and after what felt like a lifetime), the finish line was in view and I found my kick to finish strong. I crossed the line at 1:56. As soon as I finished, I felt just fine—figures, right?—and I ran back to the start of the flags so I could cheer Mom through. She came over the hill just as I got to my cheering spot, and I cheered her right through the finish. Mom crossed at 2:01 and we both rejoiced at the fact that we were finished!
We quickly tossed on our finisher t-shirts for a photo, grabbed a warm slice of apple crisp, and shivered until our lips were blue as we took forever and a day to hobble back to the car. The weather had been a perfect and sunny 40 degrees (though very, very windy) during the race, but just as we finished the clouds and rain set in. We warmed up our bodies underneath the chilly rain in Stephen's hot tub, stretching our legs and laughing about our ugly runners' toenails and how this race was just not what we had expected. It killed us!
Lessons learned for us in the past couple weeks: 1. Don't sign up for any races after just running a marathon. 2. If you're feeling good at mile 2 but the whole rest of the race is still uphill, that's probably not the best time to "see what you can do." 3. NO MORE MARATHONS.
I've been running non-stop since the middle of May, and for once I'm looking forward to kicking up my feet and taking a day (...or thirty... or forever) off.
Mom, thanks for being the best training partner over the last 6-months. Though the long runs were sometimes painful and terribly, well, long, I wouldn't have traded one mile for our story-swapping, laughs, or time spent together. How many moms get to spend every Saturday for 6-months running for 2+ hours with their daughter? I'm not sure... but I hope they enjoy it as much as we did. I love you, Mom... here's to some awesome races together, some killer matching outfits, and to no more marathons! Woo hoo!
// MORE SAUCE