The first race of 2014 is officially in the books.
I have given up on ranking races. I feel like every race I run, I say it was the best race ever.
As I continue to train for triathlons as my goal races, the races I run just because are getting better and better. Kind of like an extra bonus. This awesome racing streak might come to an end at some time, but till then I will soak in every ounce of happy racing, PR’ing and floating experience.
Going into Gazelle Girl I had no expectations. No specific time goal. No nutrition plan (shh, I tried totally new nutrition during the race). Nothing except wanting to run below a 9:30 long run pace.
After 12 weeks of half-ironman training I have gotten use to training on tried legs. The first few miles of every run my legs feel heavy. Every bike ride my quads ache the first 10 minutes. Then everything loosens up and I am ready to go. I decided that I would give myself 2 low training days leading up to Sunday. Friday I swam an easy 2,500 yards and Saturday I ran an easy 4 miles.
Sunday morning I woke up to thunder and rain, which made me want to just stay in bed, drink coffee and read. None the less I got out of bed and went through my morning routine still half asleep. With coffee and toast in hand I was out the door by 6:45am.
Parking, bag check, and porta-potty lines were a breeze. So quick and simple. I was heading to the start corral with 10 minutes to spare.
On my way to the start corral a friend told me that she knew I would be running under a 2 hour half marathon. I immediately got excited and questioned her sanity. I had thought about what it would take to run a 1:59:59 half marathon, but did not really think about it. I settled myself in between the 9:00 min and 9:30 min pacers. I was running the race as a long run and would see what happened.
The gun went off and I started running and never stopped.
When I crossed the 5 mile mark at 0:47:00 I got excited. I turned up my music and kept running comfortably.
Mile 7 I started eating a chocolate peanut butter rice cake (Feedzone for Athletes).
Mile 8 I thought about if I would see my family. They had talked about coming down to the race, but I had urged them to not come because it was supposed to rain and I was not really racing.
Mile 8.5 I hear “here she comes” and look up to see my family. My heart soared! I was so happy.
Mile 10 I did some math and determined I only had 27 minutesish left of running. I smiled
Mile 12 I cursed to myself as I approached an over pass.
Mile 12.10 I repeated “you are strong” over and over
Mile 12.25 I took a deep breath at the top of the hill and relaxed going down the other side
Mile 13 I could not contain my excitement
Mile 13.1 I spotted 01:58:48 on the clock.
I hugged a friend with all my might as we shared our racing excitement together.
I had worn the blue Fellow Flower for the race. Yet I did not truly believe in my potential.
On April 24, 2010 when I ran my first half marathon I did not believe I could ever runner faster than a 2:22 half marathon. At the end of that first 13.1 mile I thought I would die.
Now on April 13, 2014 when I ran a 1:58:17 half marathon I still had a little squirt of juice in the tank.
It is time for me to start believing in my fullest potential.
Believe. To look within, to overcome. Loving myself enough. I have the will, the determination and the courage to defy the odds…and inspire. My challenges have made me a fighter – a survivor. They will not define me or confine me. I will run my own race. Different, beautiful and all my own. I believe in me and my potential. And I’m going to succeed because I’m brave enough to think I can~ Fellow Flower
A huge thank-you goes out to my friends and family for always supporting me during training and racing.
Congratulations to all Gazelle Girls! You rock!