Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ok, for real this time... Marco Half Marathon Recap.

Miles today: 5.11 miles, 50 minutes recovery run
Miles in 2013: 249.17 miles

My knee hurts again. I am icing. More on this later.

I don't even know where to start. I have been super busy and sorta, maybe avoiding writing this recap for the past 2 days. I am glad I got up and went and raced by myself (and the 100+ people that happened to show up too...) but I was definitely disappointed in my race and myself. Yes, we are taking the train to crazytown, where you complete a half marathon but feel disappointed. 

Friday night we went to see Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley in concert. (Dierks, if you are reading, call me!) Amazing concert. Love them both. Oh, and by the way, I was super grown up and was the DD. (No, I am not pregnant - as you will obviously know in about 3 sentences) 

Saturday morning I made brunch for a few friends and family before the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. I was up at 7 cooking and getting the house ready.

Green, cheesy grits. My favorite part of breakfast or brunch....or anytime really.

We had mimosas and then rode our beach cruisers down to the parade, to continue the party.

Bad attempts at taking parade pictures

I have no idea how I got this angle pic of Larry.

Good times! Too much fun. Way too much fun (and Kettle One vodka) for the day before a race....

Getting up Sunday morning was rough. I was in bed very early Saturday night, but I was still not well hydrated or feeling 100%. I got up, did my pre-race routine and was out the door a few minutes after 6. My stomach was a little upset but I couldn't tell if it was nerves or residual booze. 

The race was very small and started about 20 minutes late. The first couple miles were rolling hills and I crushed them at about a 8:23-8:30 pace. I knew I should slow down a little and settled into a comfortable pace or 8:45-8:50 until mile 7. Up until this point, I had been thrilled with my pace and how I had been feeling. I really just wanted to keep my pace under a 9 min/mile.

Partially through mile 8, I had a stomach-dropping knee pain on the left. I tried to slow, but had to stop to walk for a few seconds. I tried to walk it off, but ended up walk-running and that mile slowed to a 9:52 pace. I was pissed, but struggling both mentally and physically. I put in my music early and put my head down and tried to get to work. The knee was nagging me and a stopped at a couple of the water stops to walk for a few seconds. 

Mile 10 went over a good sized bridge and kicked my ass. I was feeling low. I think one of my issues with not hydrating and eating well the day before, (read: drinking too many green beers) is not adequately being able to mentally push through the really tough times. I wanted to quit so freaking bad. Luckily, I had some good running friends cheering along the route right before and after the bridge. 

I struggled and ran 9:20-9:30 miles the last 3 miles. The hills were tough, but I know I could have done better.  My heart sank as I watched the clock those last couple of miles. I tried to pick up the pace, but just couldn't push through . I finished in 2:02 with a pouty look on my face. 

I am proud of myself for running the race and not totally giving up, but deep down I left myself  give in. I should have pushed myself harder and absolutely know I have a (much) faster race in me. This was a tough course, my knee was hurting, and I was not feeling 100%, but those are weak excuses. Bottom line, I feel like I let myself down. 

Happy it was over...

I have a little recovery week ahead of me. Ice, stretching, and hip/knee/quad exercises to hopefully be followed by some hard training. Looking forward to a couple shorter races before the next half marathon in April. Optimistically, I am hoping to absolutely crush the 10K  and 7 mile bridge race coming up in the next couple of weeks. I have never run a 7 mile race, so that means an absolute PR!