Sunday, April 25, 2010

Get In Gear Half Marathon Recap!

Saturday was my second Half Marathon, the Get In Gear! 

I had 2 goals: 1) Not to walk and 2) to come in at 2:05: 00 which is 8 minutes slower than my first half, the Monster Dash in October. My training was less intense this time around especially my interval training so although I wanted a time goal, I cut myself some slack! 

I did a little VLOG before I left my house to show you the rain I got to run in and my strategic outfit for it! 

Meghan picked me up and we stopped and picked up some trash bags to wear -- we didn't know what size we were 30 gallon, or 39 gallon? Sizing these days, ya know!? 

We took off to the shuttle buses to get to the race, check our bags and line up! We were JUST in time! 

Crazy happy face, rainy face!

It was raining but it wasn't cold, so I was feeling pretty good when we started. I ditched the trash bag and found my pace, I was clipping right along, but there were over 7,000 people participating. (I can't find the exact number, but added up the finishers!) I was navigating from curb to sidewalk and street, moving around people trying to keep my pace when 

WHAM, I hit the ground! 

I hit with my knee's hard, my chest and my right hand knuckles. I jumped up, even wetter, dirty and confused! A nice man grabbed my arm and asked if I was ok, I said Yep, I'm fine! and took off. I was limping for a few steps, but sucked it up!! It wasn't till a few minutes later that I looked down to see that I was bleeding! 

So much for my socks and skirt plan to feel light and not soggy when I ran. I saved a pair of pants from certain tearing, but bloodied myself up good instead! I have no idea what I tripped on (curb, my own feet, crack in the road?) but it didn't matter, I wasn't even at mile 2 and nothing was stopping me. 

It was very nearly pouring rain as we ran over the Mississippi River around mile 3! 
I got trapped on the bridge behind groups running three and four across with headphones on. I tried maneuvering around them, but with little luck. I started to yell, On your left! like I was a cyclist and IT WORKED!! People started to move over a bit and I was able to pass a few. 

Do you think running crowds should function like traffic and leave a passing lane?  When they don't it's a pet peeve of mine! 

After the 10k and half marathon split, about mile 5, things really calmed down. There were only 900 half marathoners, so for the last 8 miles, there were much fewer, quieter spectators! 

I was feeling good, my knee was the least of my worries and I had a less populated road to try and make up time. This race was me against the clock! 

I pulled out my snacks: dried apricots and Cliff bar Shot Blocks! I was feeling strong and happy and once I saw the elite runners turn around, I started watching for a few people I knew! It helped to keep my focus on something for a while! I saw friends Chris and Doug each before the 9 mile mark and it pumped me up!! 

The whole race (especially after my spill) I focused on my form: 

  • Shoulders back
  • feet moving with quick, light steps
  •  mid foot strike to forefoot strike
  •  I pretended my legs were little rubber bands:  feet touching the ground then springing forward and up as soon as they touched. 
  • I leaned forward slightly
  •  I kept my arms pumping forward not across my body. 

I actually had people yelling: nice form, good form--it was SO encouraging! I felt like yelling back, Thank you, I have been working on it! 

A few of my favorite things people yelled: 
Go, I <3 the lakes
Go cupcake
Nice Skirt!

I had such a good finish! I felt strong and turned it up a notch at the 10 mile mark. I think to myself, it's once around Lake of the isles! You eat runs like that for Breakfast!! Telling myself I have less than 30 minutes allows me to really give it my all and bring it home strong! 

Stepping across the finish line, I saw my clock time and that was 5 min less than my goal. But knew that my chip time was faster, so I was happy!!! 

I think the 4 mile and 10 mile splits are swapped!

OFFICIAL finishing time: 157:03, 41 seconds faster than my last half! I was overjoyed, it was unexpected! 

I grabbed a ton of post race food like yogurt, banana's, nut rolls and of course Chocolate milk! 
I changed into a few dry things, put on another plastic bag (it's all the race fashion) and headed home on the train. That's when I took inventory of the knee injury! 
* WARNING-Gross pics dead ahead! 

Hmm...scraped and bruised, but I think it looks worse than it is. I am glad I didn't wear expensive Lucy running pants like I planned on. A woman at the race kept trying to get me to go to the first aid station and I told her no, I had to get pics first!!  

Cleaned up at home: just 2 scrapes from the fall, not so bad! 

I pulled out my Minnesota Rollergirls First Aid kit and fixed myself up so 
I could head out for a post race brunch with La from the The Curvy Life! She ran the 10k and it was her first race, she rocked it! Head over to her blog and check out the recap! 

Wouldn't you know it, I step outside and it's beautiful!! 

We went to The Bad Waitress and I had the Death Valley Veggie Omelet and a Velvet hammer (espresso and brewed coffee!) 

It was fantastic!

La and I hung out and talked for OVER 2 hours. She's the best. 

It was the perfect end to the race day! I met both of my official goals, I FELT great during the race, I had a good time and I learned a lesson:

We can't control somethings that happen to us, but we CAN control how we respond to them. When I wiped out even before mile number two, I could have looked at my ripped gloves, bloodied hands and knee and said, "Na, I can't do this." I could have gotten angry or cried because it slowed me down and ruined my race day and hurt!!

OR I can stand up and say "This is my race, and I will finish!" I trained for it, I had CONFIDENCE I could run it, and I knew I couldn't quit. You know, on facebook the night before I ran, I dedicated this race to my older brothers because I love them-- and I believe that they have great purpose in life! I wasn't going to let one little trip up, ruin that --I was dedicating my success to their successes and one fall doesn't mean we can't still brush ourselves off and still win!

 Sometimes things that are out of our control happen, sometimes in life we fall down, we hit bumps in the road, ones that weren't supposed to happen. I hit bumps for 8 years trying to get my crap together in life, but I didn't give up! We stand up and say, I am starting from here, again. I count points again from here. I will find love again, I can have forgiveness and be new again, starting today!  I want to point out that after my fall I focused more on my form and it paid off, I felt great and my time rocked.

Don't let the setbacks you face in life, KEEP you back. Use them as stepping stones, as learning experiences and build your way up despite them, climb over them and look ahead to the finish, you can win that race you are running today.

Congrats to Doug F. Chris,  Julie, Meghan, La, Carly, Ann, Sarah, Ellen and anyone else I missed who ran & rocked the Get in Gear! 

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