with joy

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I could beat myself up over the fact that a person dressed in a furry unicorn suit is faster than I am.

Also, two of my co-workers -- who have never run a half marathon before and claimed to have undertrained -- outran me by two minutes.

But today's race wasn't about all of that. Like I said, my goal was to have fun, and that's exactly what I did. It was a gorgeous day in my favorite city, I ran stronger than I had expected and it really was pretty cool to compare this year's race experience to last year's. I ran a 2:09:48 this morning vs. 2:23:03 a year ago. Not a PR, but still huge!

And things were clicking -- all the little changes I've been trying to make in my running are finally starting to take effect. The hills feel different -- I've learned how to lean into them (thank you, ChiRunning) that it's like gravity is pulling my body up (which is an oxymoron, but I don't know how else to describe the sensation), instead of my legs doing all the work. And all the time I've spent on cadence and turnover showed today too -- the stretch on the Great Highway is still my least favorite part of the race (basically, it's a mindfuck where people start bonking, you get blasted by wind and sun, and the terrain is flat and boring yet peppered with potholes), but I pulled through just by keeping a rhythm going.

And I was in a better place mentally too -- it was much easier to block out other runners' conversations and not feel get down on myself if someone passed me. I also didn't dwell on little aches -- no "my hamstring hurts slightly therefore I should give up." Instead, I focused on the sheer joy of being out there. (Although I do have to say that I really thought about quitting after Mile 9, when paramedics were surrounding a pretty fit-looking runner who had passed out facedown on the left side of the road, while on the right side, some guy was barfing. I was so simultaneously freaked out and grossed out that I wanted to run off the course and as far away as possible instead of continuing on. But I hung in there.)

Overall, I am happy. True, if I had trained harder, I probably could have PR'd. But this was a good effort and a fun morning. And now I am looking forward to a little downtime before the next event.

1 comment:

Michelle Panik said...

It sounds to me like the race was a resounding success!

Once, in my early twenties, I got passed by a guy in his late seventies (I look up his age in the results afterwards).

And didn't you just do a marathon? You can't expect your body to already be recovered from that and ready to go at 100% so soon.

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