Half way there, again.

11 03 2014

It’s Ohio. And its cold. I have just about finally given up on ever opening our pool this year. Let alone using it for a pool party post race day. At this rate we will be lucky to have the snow melt on it.

 

Ok, I’m being dramatic. But its been BAD.  I’ve been excited to join a group run hosted by the directors of the half. They start early on the weekends once a month, and the stars have not aligned for me to be able to join, until this month. The choices were anywhere from 2 miles to the entire half marathon course. Starting at 7:30am the morning after spring forward. Lovely. Oh yes, and it was going to be a balmy 20 degrees, and dark at the start. AWESOME.

I fretted over my attire, up until I put the car in reverse to leave the garage. I had 4 layers on up top, 2 lowers, including 2 pairs of socks. It had snowed the night before, but was not fresh enough that yak tracks would be necessary. Or so I thought. I had a fleeting thought of just getting the course turn by turn direction card and going home and waiting until later to run, but I didn’t. I kind of announced my super slow pace and 2 women immediately said they would start out with me as we had similar distance goals. I really wanted to get over 8 miles in, despite the sub-par conditions.

The course starts in the town square, which still confuses me every chance it gets. Honestly with a gun to my head I could not tell you which direction we set off . Well, that’s a lie. I could go find the course directions on my fridge and figure it out, but I digress. I followed the pack out of the square into a residential area. I was feeling good. Not too cold, not too hot. That was a huge win in and of itself. I found that one of the women had quite similar music taste and a similar affinity for language of the foul sort. Huge score there. I hung with her a good 4 miles. The berm was slick with slush and ice, I was not going to risk injury to go faster.  I confessed to her I would not be able to maintain that pace indefinitely (I had been honest about my pace and we were running a good 1:30-2:30 per mile over that) and urged her ahead. I was the last of the pack, and I was good with that.

This shows HUGE mental progress. In January on a particularly treacherous day, I braved the rec center on a Sunday  morning. I started on the treadmill and then finished my second 3 miles on the indoor track. There was a pack of runners who were very social, and kept passing me, over and over, on both sides as the pack would split around me. It really messed with my head after a while. It was a low point. I’m slow. I know it. But I’m a lot faster than I used to be, but its all relative.

So I kept on keeping on, along the very snow covered perfect-for-yaktracks conditions past the lake (holy cow that was beautiful, how have I not been to this trail?) and then uphill, from mile 5-7, much of it along main routes with narrow berms. I chose the 8 mile cut off option that opted for the asphalt multi-purpose trail back to the square. This again was snow covered and a bit slick. I had to adjust my speed once again, but I was still moving and had only walked maybe 30 seconds at a very icy part. I finished a bit behind a few guys who joined the route again (either had done the 10mile option or the full course, not sure) and I really tried to not look like I was dying as I climbed up into the square to my car. I felt satisfied, triumphant possibly even. My overall pace a good 30 seconds above my goal half pace.

I headed home, my ponytail thawing and dripping down my neck, thinking “I can do this again. ”  Until I turned the corner and my stomach started a long slow rumble.

 

 

To say I’m out of practice at hydrating and eating on a long run is an understatement. I’m going to need to re-read up on that.

So basically my entire day was a wash. I was miserable. Was it the lack of pre-run banana? Was it too little, too late that I drank water? Was it the mere one shot block I ate? The more strenuous pace I kept at the start (I’ve had it beat in to my head that negative splits are the way to go and I try hard to stick to that- I did not this time).  I hope to not find out as I’m going to read up on last years plans. Luckily, my plans were pretty loose for the day because texting was the most strenuous thing I could manage. I did however notice how beautiful the afternoon was . Seriously perfect running weather, of course.

I had a momentary fear of future long runs,  but that was put in my place by a few fellow running friends. I got back on the horse today on my lunch hour. Still a little tight from Sundays antics, and it was all but perfect. I felt strong, I had actually slightly overdressed (in my defense it was 35 degrees warmer than Sunday!) and the sun even made a quick appearance. I enjoyed my run a great deal. I enjoyed the run Sunday, just not the after effects. They say if all runs were good ones it would be boring. We need to bad ones to even it out and help us improve. I’m hoping I can stay on the upswing of that run for a good  long while.

 

 

 

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I’m a teal blob in there, somewhere on the left, huge kudos if you find me because I can’t!


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One response

12 03 2014
Melissa

You won’t need all those layers when you run with me in three weeks. 🙂

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