Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rock the Parkway Recap Part 2

Okay race morning, I was up at 5:30 to fuel and caffeinate.  I was starting to get nervous but I kept telling myself that even I got 2:08, that would be a PR and a PB from last year.  It wasn't as warm as last year, but it promised to heat up quickly according to the weather reports.  I had elected to wear shorts with compression socks and a tech T with arm warmers.
We got to the start line and parked early and the sunrise was beautiful.  I didn't take any pics during the race, because I didn't want to mess with my phone.  That is probably the only downside to sticking to a plan, you have to concentrate on what you are doing 100%.  I also didn't do much high fiving of crowds, and I missed that as well.  Oh well, a PR is a great feeling too, so I will dwell on that instead:)  I had signed up for this race last year, when my PR was still pretty close to 2:10, so when I signed up for this race, I put that down as my finish time (I was still rehabbing an injury at sign up time as well).  Unfortunately,  that put me a wave behind the 2:05 pacers.  Waves were let go at 2 minute intervals, so I did believe i could catch up, and I did have a pace band as well for 2:05.  On the insistence of a few running friends, I moved up to Wave C corral (and felt super guilty for breaking the rules), but stayed at the back of that wave.  I could see the pacer's signs and made it my goal to catch up with them, but not kill myself in the process.

Mile 1-3 went very well (9:54, 9:42, and 9:35).  I was following the pace band paces, and they had us going out conservatively.  The hills started almost immediately, but I was able to stay strong.  Around mile 3, I caught up with the 2:05 pacers and put myself in the middle of the pace group.  I took my chomps at mile 4 and was able to hold with the pace group till almost mile 10.  Splits for 4-9 were 9:04, 9:25, 9:25, 9:18, 9:54, and 9:31.  Not sure why mile 8 was so slow, possibly because I did walk through the water station and did gel, which slowed me down a little.  Mile 8 on the pace band had us at a 9:43 anyway, probably due to the hills in that section.  This course was hillier than it looks on the chart for sure, BUT i will take the last few miles down hill any day as compensation:)
Around mile 10 or so, I hit a hill that just kicked my butt.  I started doubting myself and started negative talking in my head.  I had to repeat over and over, strong, strong, strong.  I was tired, it was getting hot out, and I was sweating salty.  More and more people were walking and I saw my first runner down being worked on by paramedics.  It was from then on that I took in water at each water stop, and also poured the remainder of the water over my head and down my shirt.  I think that helped me stay cool and finish strong.  I got my mental mojo back, and even though the 2:05 pacer was ahead of me at that point and my miles were getting slower, I was able to finish strong (9:41, 10:06, 10:01, 9:25).  When I started seeing 10s on my watch, I just reassured  myself that I would still get a big PR and that I was going to be super close to 2:05 something.
Official time was 2:06:00.  I WILL TAKE IT!  Huge PB since my last try was 2:15 something and another PR from my last half two weeks ago down from a 2:09:10.  I was SO excited to almost hit my goal.  I am not disappointed at all.  I gave it my all, every mile.  203 out of 564 in my age group, and 2173 out of 7 K overall.  YIPEEE!

I love this girl! We had so much fun shopping and eating and talking (and going to bed kidless, ah)  I am going to miss her so much as she is moving to the DC area this summer.  She is so supportive and so wonderful.  She did my first heartland series with me, and even though she couldn't do the half today(she is preggers), still came, walked the 5 K and cheered me on at the finish!  I met Amanda on FB through the I Run For program as she runs for a kiddo too.  Her son is a little older than my little red and super cute.  They live in manhattan, so we don't get together as much as we should but we try to do lunch and races together as much as possible.  

It will be interesting how next weekend will go.  While I would like to do better than I did last year at the Garmin Half, I do have to be smart about recovery.  I would like to try for a good time at Running With the Cows in may, so the smart thing to do is probably take it easy.  Well, here is to another week of recovery!!  Slow easy runs and a trip yet again to KC on friday for expo and race on saturday.  

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