Sunday, December 13, 2009
It's better the second time
That's what a Twitter friend told me. The half marathon is better the second time. And I have to say it really was for me.
My last blog talked about my determination to not make the same mistakes twice. And being the perfectionist I am, I didn't.
Ok, race details first.
I tried to hold back for the first 6 miles and tried for that negative split. I held back, but no negative split. That nearly 1-mile slight hill around mile 7 or 8 was pretty tough on me.
I tried to pick up the speed when I hit the Katy Trail, the last 3 miles of the race, but it also got more narrow and was difficult to pass people. With a quick look at my Garmin, I knew I was around 5 minutes away from the finish line, but I couldn't see it and really didn't know how far away I was since my Garmin was reading longer than the course was. Then by the time I figured out where the finish line was it was way closer than I wanted to go out full force. And again, a lot of people that I didn't want to get in the way of.
I finished two minutes better than my first half marathon with a personal record of 2:09:41. Wahoo! And this time, I didn't feel awful. My legs still felt good. I didn't feel like crawling up in a ball and laying in the outfield of La Grave Field. I wanted to eat. I was hungry! And I thought, about Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon that I'm signed up for in April 2010. I thought, I CAN DO IT. Train hard, be smart, don't stress and have fun.
In every race, I end up following someone for a good amount of time. I memorize what they are wearing, give them a nickname and try and keep up. Today, a gal wearing a pink sports bra was in front of me, so I named her Pinky.
Not exactly knowing how much is left, I looked at my watch at figured I was about 5 minutes out. Pinky stopped running. Flashback to Fort Worth last month. I stopped running right near the end. I could see the damn finish line and I was done. A gal who was following me for most of the race yelled at me, "Don't you let me beat you!" It was that extra push that carried me to that finish line. She kept yelling, "Go! Go! Go!"
It was my turn to return the favor. I caught up to Pinky and said, "Don't you stop now. You have less than 5 minutes to go. You can do this. You have to finish strong." She looked surprised for a second and started running again with a really forced smile. I grabbed her arm and said let's go, you're finishing strong. She patted me on the back and said, "Thank you. I needed that. You're really good to me."
One of the great people from my running club sent me a very thoughtful email yesterday. He had read my blog and said, "Always remember why we run. Listen to the birds, look at the sites, wave to a fellow runner - and when the day and opportunity arises, run for a PR."
I remembered why I run today. And I hope I made a difference in Pinky's race today.