Marathon Week 3 Recap: We Don't Care if It's Ugly - We'll Take It

This weekend could have been one of the biggest racing disasters of the year. I got violently ill on both Friday night and Wednesday night, so didn't make my long run. I had two birthday parties to attend (one on Saturday, one on Sunday), barely had time to get groceries, had a study group on Sunday, everything was across town and I didn't even get a chance to put away my laundry because I was gone so much. I didn't eat great on any day of the week, although I weighed almost 4 pounds lighter at the beginning. On my way to the race on Sunday morning, I woke to find the puppy sitting in a lake of pee at 4:55am when I was already rushing to get out the door, then dropped my favorite to-go cup and broke the lid on it (thank God it didn't spill too much of my coffee!)

As I was leaving, I told myself, Geez. This is like the night before Baldwin Park. The dog had an accident, I dropped something, and I was running late - and then I PR'd by 18 minutes. I better PR today. I flipped on my iPod and started my pre-race playlist, which I hadn't listened to since June - and the first song was Four Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake. I had a quick argument with myself that went something like:

That would be a nice PR!

But you didn't come here to PR, you came here to finish. You're almost 20 lbs heavier than you were last year, you haven't run a 10k by itself in 2 years, and you haven't raced in 4 months. Just cross the damn line and call it a day.

Ok. Fine.

It was a beautiful, sunny, clear morning in the low 60's. I opted for a long-sleeved tech tee with no layer underneath and a running skirt. I should have stuck with a singlet as I got seriously hot, but it turned out fine anyway. The sun ducked behind the trees for much of the run through Celebration's neo-traditional neighborhoods. As I ran, I kept telling myself two things: pace yourself, and (Hector's infamous running advice to all of us in the club): Lean forward! You're running like you have a stick up your butt!

Leaning forward made me a lot faster. In fact, I went out way too hot on the first mile, which I ran in about 10:45. I got really nervous because I haven't been back to training long enough to maintain that pace, so I started to slow down a bit before the halfway mark, but I managed to settle into a comfortable pace after I reminded myself that this was just a pace run. My goal pace for the half marathon is 11.5-11.75 minutes per mile, or around 1 minute per mile faster than my fastest half. Still, the miles were flying by, even though I slowed down for water a few times. I didn't wear my glasses, so things were not as crisp as usual, but it seemed to make the time go by faster - in fact, I reached the 5k point in the same time it took me to run my second-fastest 5k. At the 4-mile mark, I started to really feel rough. My head was throbbing and my stomach was pretty upset: it was Friday night all over again. I looked at the time and realized that, even if I walked for parts of the next 2.2 miles to bring down my heart rate and relieve some of the discomfort, I would still finish this race with a PR. I told myself, even if I have to puke, I'll still PR.

So that's exactly what I did. The latter, not the former.

The last 2.2 miles zoomed by in spite of the nausea and walk breaks every few minutes. I hit the 5-mile mark in 59:40, just 40 seconds faster than my fastest 5-mile race. Around 5.75 miles, I stopped walking. From there to the finish chute, I increased the pace from a 12-minute mile to an 8-minute mile. That put me across the finish line in 1:13:50 - a pace of 11:52.9 My last 10k? 1:17:14, or a pace of 12:25.7.

A PR of almost 4 minutes.

How ironic is that?

The OUC Half Marathon on 12/02/2006: 2:45:04 or 12:39.7/mile. That's my half-marathon PR, which I'm looking to match if I can't beat it (anything's better than the 2:50:56 I ran in Jacksonville last year.) And, of course, the Philly Marathon sucked, so almost any finish time at the marathon will be a PR.

But a weird thing happened after the race. My ex-husband finished his first 10k in 55:30, 3 minutes per mile faster than I finished. But I was more excited about my own PB. All of a sudden, I don't care that I'm at the back of the pack. What's changed? It finally sunk in that, if all I do is worry about everyone else being faster than I am, I'm never going to be happy and I'm never going to improve.

I have another cold. Big shock right? I'm not even bothering with a trip to the doctor since they'll just tell me it's "allergies" that I don't have. I'm taking a second rest day today and I logged anothr 1.4lb loss at WW yesterday. That's a little closer to my weight PB of 25lbs less than I am right now.

Rock and roll.

5 tidbits of wizdom:

Wes said...

Yea, yea, yea!! Mind over matter baby!! Run till you puke cause it don't matter!! Way to go :-)

RBR said...

Hell yeah!! Awesome run! I had to LOL at your inner dialog prior to your race it is almost word for word like mine on Sunday! It is like were cosmically connected! And they we PR'd GO US!

Sorry about your cold! I hope you are feeling better soon!

Tea said...

Congrats on the loss! That takes alot of discipline! I am so proud of you. Stick with it. You CAN do this.

Alili said...

Rock and roll indeed! Nice PR! :)

Runner Leana said...

Fantastic PR - congratulations!