Yesterday I ran my 5th half marathon.
It wasn’t my best race, in fact it was quite the struggle, but I am proud of my finish and even learned a few things throughout the run. Despite my desires to be a natural born
cage fighter runner, I’m not. If I want an “easier” race I have to prep myself by training. My training for this half was sub-par, and not a single long run was successful for me.
I made a plan for one month. My weekday runs were decent (always 9:30-9:40 pace range), but when I got to my 8,9,10 mile runs I had to walk..too much. Mentally I just couldn’t focus and I caved when my mind told me to walk. I didn’t complete the month.
Fast forward to race week. After a pathetic excuse for a 10 miler, I went in to the race yesterday with the hopes that adrenaline and fellow runners would carry me to the finish.
Pre race we had to wait for two hours inside a building built for small planes. My one and only complaint about this race. Everything else along the course was beautiful, and while the hills kicked my under trained ass, it was lovely and I would definitely do it again.
They won my heart when they provided us with food and coffee.
Here’s what I learned while running this race:
- When they tell you to never buy brand new shoes the day before a race…listen to them. Blisters on blisters on blisters.
- When your body says, “I HAVE to go!” You stop..even when it adds 6 minutes to your official time. Trot, trot, TROT.
- When your legs, knees, back, and joints start to physically hurt..it’s OK to walk.
- When you puke while running…you’re officially a bad ass.
- Sometimes listening to your body outweighs finishing with a certain time.
- A finish, is a finish, is a finish.
- I am not a super hero. I can run a half marathon (as can YOU) on minimal training and dead legs, but it won’t be pretty, and my ego will be bruised when I walk.
- It is possible to buy vegan treats and not want a single one of them.
- Not every race will go as planned, but every finish is something to be proud of.
- Running can always relate back to life. If you want something you have to work for it. If I want a new PR, or to run (mostly) pain free, I have to train. Simple as that.
I bought new running shoes much too late, and although they were the newer model of what I ran in before, they hadn’t been broken in and gave me blisters.
I had stomach issues for nearly the entire run (I’ll spare the details) and my legs were dead by mile 3 (this was ridiculous.) I walked…a LOT, and stopped to use the Randy Can which took literally 6 entire minutes (I def stopped my Garmin).
While waiting in line I decided (mile 6) that this was a race I just wanted to complete regardless of my time. Stopping made my “official time” and my Garmin time different, but I’m going with Garmin. I also ran another .2 mi after I stopped my watch. Longer course.
I may sound like I’m complaining, but really I am quite humbled and I’m not at all upset about my performance. Overall I had a good time! I embraced the slower pace, I was able to run across the bridge I have been wanting to run for years, and I finished strong when I wanted to crawl. That’s what I call success. I’m a slower runner, and I finally accept that!
While I am most proud of my first solo half marathon (which holds my current PR), this race I’m proud of myself for not being too critical and embracing another finish!
OH, and did anyone catch what I said about the treats? You know your stomach is in shambles when you buy FOUR treats from your favorite bakery and don’t want ANY!
Q: How do you handle humbling experiences like this?