Monday, May 2, 2011

The Good Life

Yes, I have it; The good life.

Despite a little setback with my kidneys, which appears to be fine now, training appears to be going really well. I mean, I''ve taken my secret weapon out for 5am mile repeats on the track and came in at 6:12, 6:12, 6:12 and 6:14. And I've had some great long and hard rides. Judi and I did some good mileage despite getting caught in a dowpour the weekend before last.

Yesterday was, yet another, rainy day in Cincy. And also the day of the Flying PIg Marathon and Half Marathon. I partook in the latter. I had a goal in mind, but I was very afraid of this goal. Last year, I ran 1:33.40 and it was my first half mary. This was my second, but I'm running much better this year, so I wanted to go 1:30. It's a hilly course. And I had a good plan in place. 

But, as we all know, things don't always go according to plan. I started out with the 1:30 half/3:00 full pace group. And for the first 5 miles, things felt easy. And then, I got off track, mentally. I started thinking about how much it might hurt later, I got away from how I was feeling at the moment. I got a cup of water and the pace group gapped away. I totally panicked. I knew the big hill was coming and I knew i didn't want to surge, so I stayed back, freaked out. Marc was with me, and told me to just break the hill into sections. I did. My pace dropped as I watched my Garmin pace sink further than i liked. I gave a kid a high five on the way up the hill. I got to the top, no longer able to even see the pace group. At the top of the hill, I totally broke. My 1:30 was out the window. I knew it. Despite Marc's encouraging words and telling me we were going to "reel some bitches in", I stopped in the middle of the road, shouted "i can't do this. it's too much pressure". It was right before the full/half split. the girl right in front of me yelled back at me "Just run. I'm doing the whole thing". So I did.

I picked myself up, and started running.

Marc turned off to meet me later (he's doing Cleveland in two weeks, so he just had to be out there for support for his runners). The next couple miles, I just tried to regain my composure. I saw some friends cheering and then my dad (who took this pic - eerily similar to last year with the dark rain). I passed through mile 9 at a 1:33 pace and then mile 10 at a 1:34 pace. WTF? I got pissed. And then I just decided to enjoy myself if I was going to be slow. I thanked all the officers blocking traffic, I smiled at the crowd and just got in a better place.

Marc rejoined me and we went downhill. I focused on keeping my legs beneath me and just churned along, refusing to look at my splits, but feeling the vibration and beep with each mile that ticked by. Marc told me I was "smoking it", but I didn't know whether to believe it since he'd been telling me I was doing good all along. Once back into downtown, we had an out and back and i saw the pace group...not too far ahead, maybe a couple mins?

Before he turned off again, with just a few tenths of a mile left, Marc told me I was running 6:20s. WHHAAAAT? Really? I kicked it in as hard as I could and finished 13th in 1:31.31.

I have a lot to take away from this race. It was a PR, which I should be thrilled about...but I let my head get the best of me for a bit. The good news, I was able to regain my composure and get my head back in the game. So, I basically need to figure out how to not reach that breaking point.

I've talked to quite a few people about it today. My coach suggested I shout at those negative thoughts when they creep in. And my training buddy from IM#1 reminded me of just how grateful i should be to be able to do these things. A coworker just thought the whole things was amazing. And Marc let me know he's been there before.

We have good days and bad, but in the end, a good life is what it's all about. And even if every day isn't a good day, this is a good life.