Sunday, February 1, 2015

Half Marathon Season Wrap-up

[will my collection ever catch up to Meggie's from gymnastics?]

I remember when I first signed up for all THREE half marathons of the 2014-15 race season. I knew I could do it, but I wasn't sure how well. I wasn't sure how I'd feel in between them...and when they were all done: 
Depleated? Proud? Tired? Injured? Full of regret? 

I think all of those emotions passed through me at one point in the past 3 months but, as I stand (well, sit) here today, I wouldn't take back a single one. I will never get over the rush of the days leading up to a race. The small changes in eating, exercise and sleep, the expos, the nerves, all of it. And then, just like that, I'm crossing the finish line and, though my body is sighing in relief, my mind wants to run another one the very next day. 

I'll always love my 5Ks, I'll sign up for and tollerate the occasional 10K, but it can't compare to the gratifying feeling I get from half marathons. 

The Ole Man River was on December 20th. Just 3 hours after crossing the finish line, we were on the road home for the holidays. (Great way to force yourself to rest your body for 18 hours.) 

Just a week ago, I ran in a grand, nationwide marathon series---the Rock n Roll half marathon. During this race, there are several local bands camped out along the course, playing their hearts out just for us. Pausing the iPod while passing is highly recommended. 

The two races couldn't have been more different. 

OMR: busy work day + excitement about home + empty fridge from prepping the house for travels = ZERO pre-race fuel. What the hell was i thinking? Miraculously, I ran a PR. 2:02. Fumes and adrenaline. Also, this was a New Orleans Track Club race. Not a huge crowd. Almost the entire route is on water--either bayou or lake--and the spectators are few and far between.  This was the first half I ever did, however, and plan to run it every year as long as I live in NOLA. 

RNR: race on sunday meant I had all weekend to rest. full kitchen meant proper fueling. a month of knowing what I should do and what I should stretch and what I should NOT do and what I should NOT hip would not stop bothering me. Like clockwork, every time I passed 5 miles, there was that nagging pain. Worse, this was the last half of the season, so no do-overs until next fall...over 9 monts away! I had a choice to make. 

[check. check. check.]

[local races bring such small, intimate crowds. it's kind of cute.]

[the lake. the best part of the course.]

 [2:02!!!!! Whaaaaaa? ]

The goal was to break 2 hours, but this time was 3 whole minutes better than the race I ran two months prior. great improvement for such a small window of training time. I'll take it.

[work buddy. one of only 3 people I work with who will talk about running as much as I will. after a high five and a merry christmas, we parted ways and I went straight to the coffee shop to gulp some piping hot coffee and scarf a muffin and a banana--though not before throwing back a bowl of jambalaya in a manner that woudl put Garfield to shame.]

...and then, after a mere 4 week turnaround, there was the 
Rock n Roll Half Marathon
Though I was in the throws of the Whole Life Challenge, I managed to fuel on almond butter, banana and coffee...more than enough compared to my empty tank at the Ole Man River. 

Unfortunately, my hip had not stopped bothering me since my last race, so I knew my goal of breaking 2 hours was not to be. I told myself if was going to run this race, it had to be slow. My goal was to finish upright and with a smile. I honestly didn't care about the time, I was just glad to be doing it.

[being assigned to corral 10 of a race this big means 4 blocks of waiting. I crossed the start line nearly half an hour after the first gun]

[ready to start so I can finally get warm!]

[finally, it's our turn. go!!]

[quick selfie to the fam at mile 7 to let them know I'm still truckin']

 [oh, yea...she's got this.]

[after 8 miles along st. charles, we break into the city for a different view. look at that sky! we really couldn't have asked for a better day to race.]

[odds are they just caught me taking a breath...but, I kid you not, this is right in front of Cafe du Monde...I really think I was smelling--and longing for-- the fried, sugary treats]

[home stretch, baby]

[almost there!! + BONUS:  I had just gotten a text from hubs that he was waiting for me at the finish!]

[all done. I did it. again.]

[my stats]

Well. I didn't break 2 hours this season, but I came pretty damn close in December. I know my capabilities and my limits. I've also learned how not to schedule these events if I can help it. 

Here's to 1:59:59 in 2015-16!!! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you sis!! You did amazing and I'm in awe of your stamina and dedication!
    P.S. You look damn fine for a girl running her 3rd half marathon of the season. All smiles :) I love it!