Sunday, April 18, 2010

Race Report - Earth Day 1/2 Marathon



Yesterday I ran the Earth Day 1/2 Marathon in St. Cloud for the third year in a row. I think this is a fantastic race - fun course with lots of spectators, well organized, and not too far away. Last year I ran in 2:02:31, which was a big PR and I was really wanting to go sub-2:00 this year.

My mom, Sophie, my running partner Jim, and I drove to St. Cloud in the morning and met with Jim's niece, who had picked up our packets. His niece went on to run a 1:53 PR - congrats Jenny! Her husband was wearing a pair of socks that I MUST HAVE. Lightening bolts. Awesome. Must commence shopping.

Anyhow . . . we had just enough time to hit the porta potties and then line up for he start. After a little bit of walking to get through the jam at the start, we were off running. I tried to be really careful not to go out too fast and keep my miles right around 9:00. This worked perfect, and the first few miles were coming in around 8:55. I felt good, but at the back of my mind I just kept thinking that I wasn't going to be able to beat 2 hours. I had a lot of negative self talk: "You're tempo runs haven't been that great." "You're still sick." Blah. I tried to tell myself to shut up, but I never do listen to myself that well.

At mile 5 I took a Gu and felt a nice burst of energy. I picked up the pace a little here and passed the 9:10/mi. pacer. The course winds onto a paved trail about mile 6-ish or so. I started to feel really tired at mile 7. I wanted to be off that trail. The 9:10 pacer caught up to me and I told myself to tuck in behind her and just stick with her. This worked for several miles - every time I felt tired, I reminded myself to stay right with that pacer.

Nearing mile 10, the course comes off the trail and up a steep hill. That hill really took it out of me. There was a water stop at the top of the hill and I stopped. I took two cups of water dumped one and my head and drank the other. During this little break, the 9:10 pacer pulled farther ahead of me. The negative talk really took over here and I was convinced I wasn't going to be able to make my goal.

I tried really hard those last few miles to just keep pushing. I would speed up, only to feel like I couldn't possibly go any further, and then slow down. So frustrating! There is a big downhill in mile 12 and I looked at my Garmin and thought if I could take advantage of that hill and really run a speedy last mile I still might have a shot at breaking two hours. After the hill, there are several turns until you get to the finish. I have a really hard time when I can't see the finish line - even if I know it's only half a mile away. My feet were just dragging! I looked at my Garmin and saw 12.75 and 1:59-ish. I knew I wasn't going to make it. I told myself to suck it up and push to try for a teensy PR. I really did push as hard as I could coming down the last stretch. When I stopped my Garmin it was 2:02:08 for 13.20. A 23 second PR. :)

As I crossed the finish line I heard someone saying my name - it was Julie. I had a chance to chat with her (as I was coming out of my post-race, halfway ready to puke phase - probably wasn't too coherent) and she walked with me to find my mom and Sophie. It was great to meet another blogger. Julie is a sweetheart and ran an awesome race!

So the sub-2:00 hour dream lives to see another day . . . I think my head needs more training than my legs!

23 comments:

Alee said...

Congrats on the PR! Any progress is awesome...you should be celebrating! You're so close to 2:00, just keep up the awesome work!

MCM Mama said...

So close!!! Congrats on the PR!

are you running the madison mini in August again? I'm trying to decide if I want to run that.

Running Diva Mom said...

congrats on the PR -- yeah for you! It's so close -- you WILL go sub 2 hrs next time -- you WILL!

skinnyrunner.com said...

congrats on a PR! you'll break 2 soon enough if you keep it up.

DRog said...

Almost! Keep working...you are right there!
Last year at Grandma's I missed by 1 minute 8 seconds, so I know how that feels, but you ran the race and hung in there for the PR.
Have a great week
-Derek

Kristin said...

Sounds like a hard race! You did a great job!

Jamoosh said...

You got a PR and you are ever closer to breakin' 2:00. It will come soon enough!

Diana said...

Congrats on a great race and another PR!
Starting to get fired up for the Green Bay 1/2 next month!

Julie said...

Hi Heather,
Congrats on your PR!! You did great:) I really enjoyed meeting you and chatting with you for a bit. Your little girl Sophie is such a cutie:) That was really a fun race and a nice course...I am doing this one again next year!

onelittletrigirl said...

Congrats on the PR! sounds like a great race and you got to hang with Julie :) You are totally going to break 2:00!!!

Sarah said...

A PR is still a PR...congrats!!! You'll get the sub 2 next time. :)

Jeri said...

I HATE when you can't see the finish line. It's such a mental boost, that it sucks majorly when you don't get that. CONGRATS ON THE PR. You absolutely have a sub 2 in those legs, just tell the brain to peace out. ;) I've added this HM to my 2011 race list. :D

Christy said...

Congrats on your PR! I found you through Jill who I met this weekend! I'm running my first Half next month! I'll definitely be looking to your page for motivation!

LMC said...

Congrats on your PR! You did a great job despite those hills. (I hate/loathe/abhor hills!) Enjoy your accomplishment. You will definitely break 2 hours. Have a great week!

I Run for Fun said...

Congratulations!!! You PRed on a tough, hilly course...that is awesome. You will definitely break 2:00 soon.

Heidi said...

Sorry to hear you didn't quite reach your goal. But you did PR. The mental part is tough. Congrats aon a good finish!

Anne said...

Great job on the PR!! I can only dream of running that fast :)
...you are so close to sub-2h00, it'll happen soon I'm sure.

Marlene said...

Congrats on the PR... closer and closer to that sub-2!

I know that feeling of speeding up then thinking you just can't go any farther. Way to hang in there and give it all you had!

The Happy Runner said...

Congrats on the PR -- you'll get the sub-2hr soon!!!

Lisbet said...

nice job! sub 2:00 will come, you're so close. Probably just need to add in some (more) speed work and you'll hit it.

Beth said...

Congrats on your PR! That is great! A friend of mine ran that race and she stopped to give a guy CPR that was having a heart attack. Messed up her time but saved his life! It sounds like a great race and I'll have to keep it in mind for next year. Way to go on your fantastic race!

Teamarcia said...

Hey PR is still PR. The sub 2 will come. Congrats! And how cool you met Julie!

Katie A. said...

So sorry I'm late! But congrats on the PR lady! Whoo hoo! And I don't know about you...but I like having those times hanging out there like a carrott to keep chasing! You've got it in you, don't worry!