I can't believe that I'm so far behind in my blogging about races. I can partially attribute this to a crazy schedule with my teaching job, or perhaps it was from the stress of having finished my ph.d. Regardless, I'm really far behind. I have a long list of 10 different races that I still want to write about, and the only way that I can seem to focus is if I plan to do them chronologically. Unfortunately, this means digging into memories that are over 4 months old at this point. And being not-so-fresh, I can't imagine that I will remember the same things that I would have had I taken the opportunity to write back then. This always seems to happen when I write in a journal, which I have been doing since I was a very little girl.
I was super stressed out that weekend as it was only days before I was scheduled to defend my doctoral dissertation. My phone died on the 4+ hour drive to Cocoa Beach, and because it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, this threw a wrench in the works for me and made me even more stressed than I normally would have been. I still wasn't fully up to speed after the injuries to my feet, and I felt like I had caught some kind of respiratory/sinus thing while at Disney a couple weeks before. I was NOT in my optimal performance. The weekend weather was much cooler than I would normally prefer as well, but ultimately that wasn't really a problem.
When we arrived at the pre-race check in, it was a huge to-do, one that I am familiar with at the Space Coast event. many of the national and international running groups like Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs, 50 State Half Marathon Club, Mom's Run this Town, and Black Girls Run set up big group photos to take place before the race. It is like a mini-reunion of runners that I have met all over the country, and I love this opportunity. This is the photo from the half fanatics group
But before I knew it, it was time to go to the start line. We listened to the national anthem, and the race began. Husbeast was running the event with me, but he was seriously undertrained. When he quit running almost 2 years ago, he said he would only do one half marathon with me per year, and this is the one he chose. But he didn't ever want to do the maintenance runs or the training. So while I knew he would complete the race, I wasn't sure what shape he would be in at the finish. We decided that if we split up, that was ok. Around a mile into the race, he came trotting up beside me, barely winded. And I got angry.
It drives me crazy that I can work so hard to keep my maintenance levels up, that I can be out there putting in the training miles, and it doesn't seem to get any easier. I still get winded, I still feel exhausted, I still have moments when I question WTF I am doing to myself and my body. And it drives me batty that he doesn't put in the same amount of energy toward training and he still does better than me.
I didn't want him running next to me. I kept envisioning myself sticking a leg out and tripping him. I know he's my husband, but I was frustrated. I tried to speed up and he matched my cadence. I tried to slow down to force him to go around me, and he slowed down. I don't even know that he was conscientiously trying to match me, but he was driving me bonkers! Finally, around mile 5, I told him that enough was enough and that he needed to speed up or let me go on without him.
Sometimes I like to have someone to pace with. But I don't like it when that someone is my husband. I don't think its healthy for either of us.
So anyway, I was on my own from there on out. Lately, I had been feeling like I was missing some of my running mojo, so it was nice to just be out there and connect with an activity that I enjoyed so much. But soon, the weather started to get to me. It was in the low 60s for the previous two days, but during the race it was heating up into the 80s. This is a never fail trigger for my asthma. Plus having been sick recently, and with such a big day coming up for my doctoral program at school, I knew that I needed to be gentle with myself and not push it.
I felt myself slowing down around mile 7. I fought my asthma for the last 6 miles. Someday, I would be able to run a half marathon and break my PR, but that wasn't the day. And I was smart enough to know it. I slowed to a walk at mile 8 and vowed that although I was experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing, I would take advantage of every moment that I had out there on the gorgeous course. I chatted with some other folks who had also slowed to a walk. We told stories, we enjoyed the beauty of the day. And we finished.
Some days you run to beat a record or a time, other days, you slow down to get your money's worth out of a race. No regrets.
But you can bet that I will be back in November 2015 to race that course and shoot for a personal record!