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!