Slowly I started to gain some progress. It was painfully slow though. We had both originally registered for the full marathon but after my injury and him getting burnt out, we both decided to change our registration to the half marathon. Even with the long run miles cut in half, I found it very hard to get through the training runs. Prior to the injury my easy pace was in the 9's and now I found 10's to be hard to keep up with. That is so very hard to accept.
Week by week we ran through the miles. Week by week I was let down by my ability to feel good during a run. Week by week I felt helpless.
I never did have a good training run this cycle. Not once. They all felt very hard.
And then race day arrived.
I had put the miles in, although not pretty. I decided to go into this and just see how I was doing. To see how much I had lost. I didn't feel very nervous on race day. I really seem to have this "Don't take it serious" mentality down. Almost all of our running friends were running as well and oddly enough, we were all in a similar mind set.
As soon as the race started, I stuck with what I know. When you run with the same people all of the time, you really do get comfortable with that. The first few miles felt a bit hard. We were trying to all stick together and when the first mile went by, I was happy to hear that it was a sub 9 pace. The same for the next few miles. That's when our faster friend took off ahead of us and we got into our pace. I was really surprised at how good I felt. I felt comfortable. I had not felt this good during a run since June. It was amazing.
We were still early in the race though and I figured it would catch up to me. It just never did. At points of the race that I remembered being a mental struggle previously, I felt great still. I let Matt set the pace and when he needed to walk or eat, I'd walk or eat. It just worked.
|Busted eating and walking. Chews really get stuck in those teeth.|
I never did get overly tired. By the end, I knew that I was going to be happy with our time. We were on track to be right in the range of my "typical" half marathon time and with the way that training had gone, this was awesome for me.
We finished in 2:08 and while it isn't my fastest half, it's not my worst either. I now feel like my sub 2 is still completely reachable next spring.
Afterwards we got in warm clothes (brr it was cold when not running), got massages, and hung out watching the full marathoners finish (Yay Rachel!). Then we went down to the bar for the free tacos and beers that the PaceSetters members get and watch the Packer game. Perfect ending.
But wait! I need to brag just a little bit here. See this cutie?
The girl, not the guy. That's Katelyn doing the 5k the day prior. She set a new PR for herself and ran so strong to get herself a time of 26:39. That's almost a full minute faster than her previous PR. The girl doesn't train. She just goes out there and runs.
She also placed for her age group!
She is amazing.
More amazing than me :)