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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Post-race thoughts

Well, I did it.

I managed to finish another half-marathon this morning.

I had a goal when I started out, and I was determined. It was cold and damp and dreary and windy, which made it hard to get going, but once we got moving my psycho running partner and I had a good pace going. We both wanted to hit that 3 hour mark, and we wanted it bad.

We kept it up more than halfway through, and then I started to struggle. I had a shooting pain going down into my knee that thankfully didn't last long, but it was enough to knock me out of my groove. Then I just got tired. And I had to pee - lord, did I have to pee. I debated stopping at the next jiffy john but I knew that if I stopped, I'd be screwed time-wise.

I kept watching our pace, even as she pulled ahead of me a bit, and as a not-quite-second wind hit I was able to make up some time. With about 3 miles to go, I knew that I had a shot - albeit a slim one - of making my 3 hour goal. So I kept pushing. I found myself having to walk a few times a bunch but I just kept going.

I knew going into the last mile that I wasn't going to make it, but it was going to be close. As frustrated and angry as I was, I kept going and managed to pull out one last strong run for the last 100 yards or so to the finish line.

Long story short, I didn't make it. I missed it by less than 2 minutes. Looking back at how things played out, I know that it was more of a mental loss than a physical one. The mental battles that I continue to fight every time I run, whether it's for training or for a race - those battles are the hardest.

So for now, the sticker will not go on my van. It had gotten mixed up with some stuff that I was carrying outside yesterday, and so I just stuck it in the trim beside the door in the laundry room so that it wouldn't get lost. And that's where it's going to stay until I can get under that 3 hour mark. And it's in a place where I'm going to see it every single day. It's a visual reminder not only of how far I've come, but also of how far I have to go.

I'm disappointed, yes. No doubt about it. But at the same time, I did get another PR by about 3-4 minutes. I'm still improving, and that's a good thing. I know the things that I need to work on, and I have a plan - it's just a matter of making it all happen.