Hey there! Happy Hump Day, and I hope you’re making it through this week a little better than I am. Last week was fairly easy in respect to getting back into my regular work routine and I think I got a little cocky because this week has hit me like a ton of bricks. As in, the alarm went off this morning, and all I wanted to do was lay there and cry. Or, you know, go back to sleep. I saw this meme on Facebook yesterday, and all I thought was, “I feel ya, bro.”
So some of you that follow me on social media may have noticed that I ran another half last weekend. You just thought I was done for awhile, didn’t you? So did I, but, apparently, I have a sickness.
I’m not going to leave you in suspense. I’m going to be up front and tell you that this was not my sub-2:00 half. The good news is I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be. I’ve gotten in several runs since Indiana, but I also took it easy and didn’t push myself. Then I came down with a pretty intense cold right before I went back to school. My body was in rebellion, and I knew that I wasn’t healthy enough to really push for a sub-2:00.
Despite all this, I headed down to Dad’s house last Friday so we could run the Resolution Run Half-Marathon in McKinney, Texas Saturday morning. Luckily, the race was only about thirty minutes from Dad’s so we had a break from what has become our standard long drive and hotel stay.
Start time was at 8:00 at McKinney Boyd High School, and let me tell you it was cold! While it didn’t touch Birmingham in terms of temperature, it was much cloudier with a heck of a lot more wind making it seem like the coldest race I’ve yet to run.
This was a very small race with only somewhere around 100 runners, and I appreciated the laid back feel to whole thing. We took off right at 8:00, and almost immediately turned onto a paved path in a residential park area where the entire out and back run would take place.
I had a little trouble with my breathing at the beginning which was no surprise given the cold temperature, but I got it under control (by my standards) pretty quickly and was pumped to find that my legs had not forgotten how to run fast. We settled into a sub-2:00 pace (Dad said he was going to pace us for it until we couldn’t maintain it anymore), and I cruised along for a few miles.
Unfortunately, just after mile 3 the whole race ran into some problems. Due to some recent rains, parts of the path were covered over in water, and runners were forced to either go through it or slip and slide through the muddy grass on the side. All of the sudden, I had flashbacks to last year’s rain apocalypse in the San Juans. Let me be clear-I HATE RAIN! This section was not fun, and we continued to battle small sections of it here and there for the rest of the race.
Despite that, I managed to stay in front of the 2:00 pacer for the first half of the race. I wasn’t getting any illusions of grandeur-I knew I wasn’t healthy enough to maintain that pace for the duration. However, I started to think that, perhaps, my time wouldn’t be as bad as I feared. It was a nice thought 😉
Just before the turn around, I felt my knee start to give a little twinge, and that’s when I realized I had made a rookie mistake. Before every race, I take an ibprofuen and then pack two in a Ziplock bag to take during the race if I need to. This time I had forgotten.
Of course, that means that my knee plagued me for the rest of the race, and all hope of a respectable finish went out the window. Even though I had spent the whole preceding week talking myself into not being disappointed by whatever finish I managed, I couldn’t help but be a little aggravated with myself. Had I not forgotten this very basic pre-race ritual, I would have done MUCH better.
So we crossed the finish line at 2:08:16 to cheers from my step-mom, Alex, Caite, and Justin. I have to say it was so nice to see all those familiar faces at the end especially since I was kind of bummed. Side note: If you’re not a runner but you have them in your lives, do not underestimate the power of a great spectator. I will say it until I’m blue in the face-seeing familiar faces out on the course is a HUGE pick me up, and it makes all the difference.
In spite of health and course problems, I will say I really enjoyed the actual race. I loved the smaller feel (those are nice every once in awhile) and I thought the course was really peaceful if a little bit on the flat side. I would really like to do another race there!
The sub-2:00 still eludes me, but I have a feeling it’s not far off. We’ve got the Fort Smith Half and the Cowtown Half coming up next month so keep your fingers crossed!