Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Amazing Race. Interrupted.

I remember walking through the expo at San Antonio Rock & Roll 2012 & seeing the poster board! An elevation map that would make you want to throw on some rollerblades and just coast downhill! 3M 13.1! Sign me up! Unfortunately, we were already going to be out of town.  Allen was running his first marathon in Houston. Yes, he ran two years ago, when the weather was cold & rainy.  Definitely, 2014!

Well, this past Sunday I finally raced 3M 13.1, it's 20th year anniversary of the race! As usual, race prep started the night before with a race plan call from Coachie.  Completely opposite of our previous race prep call from SARR 26.2, I was slightly giddy!  I was really excited to run a half marathon, but mostly because it was going to be downhill.  I had no idea what to expect from my legs, was it going to be easy street or would a whole new muscle group scream out in pain? So we talked about breaking the race down into four 5Ks +, trying to negative split each one.  Then I commented on how I've had some pretty strong intervals during long runs but I would never "risk" throwing down those kind of numbers during a race.  WHY NOT?, of course that's what Coachie would say!  Ok! Lets do it!

Race morning started early, I woke up at 3:30 to be out the door by 4:00 & at Orissa & Brian's house by 4:30, to pick up Linda by 5:00 & head to Austin by 5:45/ 6:00 am. Like clockwork we arrived at 6am, used the port-a-potty, dropped off our warm clothes at bag check, and headed to the starting line.  We made our way up between the 1:50 & 1:45 pace group, not planning on following a pace group though! 7am we were off! Brian & I settled into our pace, we had discussed "the plan".  Before the second mile I gave him a hand signal to reel it back.  Too fast, we were at a 7:15 pace, albeit downhill :-). I knew we had to stick to our plan of negative splits.  The first three miles flew by, I had adequately stretched so nothing was achy or tight, I felt great! The first split was faster than planned, but I just told myself to stay in the moment & give whatever I can.  The next 3mi, negative split!

We were half way there... when I felt, the grumble!  I said to Brian, next port-a-potty, I'm stopping!  Not to my surprise, he had to go too.  We ran up to the door with our hands on our Garmins ready to pause, when out of nowhere a man ran up and jumped in the port-a-potty before us! Tick Tock, Tick Tock... I just took a deep breath and resolved there was nothing I could do.  5min later ;-(  we were, back on the road with a vengeance!  We picked up right where we left off, negative splits!

I had no idea how long the potty break had cost me until I noticed we were gaining ground on the 1:55 pace group.  Ugghhh!!!  Time to dig deep & try to catch the 1:50 pace group in the next 4 miles.  Virtually impossible, but it didn't stop me from trying.  The last 3mi I went for it, Coachie didn't want me holding anything back.  The last three miles were all under 8min pace.  My interval pace for my training runs, which I didn't think I had the cojones to throw down during a race.

Although my official race time was 1:52, not officially a PR; my Garmin time was 1:47, a 4min PR! But it's not about the numbers this time... what I learned from this race was how to take a race devastating situation & shake it off mid-race & continue to smash myself! I also learned to just go for it... what's the worse that can happen??? :-)