First things first – I didn’t talk about it much recently because I was actually VERY nervous about my season opening race. I have not done a solo run race in a while and I started to freak out. I have been doing my long runs, my speed work but I’ve also been a little worn out from swimming and riding. I think this just contributed to my anxiousness. I wanted a PR but I just didn’t feel like I was PR ready. Instead, I just didn’t mention it but now that it’s over….we can talk…
Saturday was the Tom King Half Marathon in Nashville. As a local race, it is a great one. It is the flattest you’re going to get in these parts. The race organization is excellent, at least in my experience. Negatives, the weather usually sucks and this did not disappoint AND the scenery isn’t great. It’s a low key event with a GREAT after race atmosphere and buffet. Full on breakfast buffet action. Totally rocks. Anyway, the race.
Start, cold damp, and I’m nervous as hell. I seriously felt like I was going to barf. WTF?! I know I can do this it was just a matter of how fast. I want a PR but am I PR ready, I want 1:45 but am I 1:45 ready? I knew going in that 1:45 was going to be a real stretch for me right now. So, I settled on 1:47:XX as my PR goal in my mind. It was a PR by a minute or so and now was the time for baby steps.
I was hanging with my peoples before the gun went off, some nervous chatter, nervous pooping and random butt rubbing. My left cheek was already sore and I found myself just standing there, talking to people, rubbing my arse. Oh well, thankfully, they know me well enough not to care. One thing I will never understand, people shoving food down their pie hole right before the start, gels, bars, bananas. If I ate that much five minutes before race time, I’d barf. Guess someone told them to be fueled up. Anyway, we moved our way to the starting line – gun shot – scalded cat, I was off…
Mile 1 – 7:51 – too fast
Mile 2 – 7:51 – maybe not, I feel like I could do this all day. This IS a stupid thought.
Mile 3 – 7:53 – mmm, 1:45???
Mile 4 – 7:56 – maybe I can pull this off. I think this is about when my sandbagger friends, Will and Kathy blew by me like I was standing still. I’m not sure Will can prove it, though. A faulty chip….
Mile 5 – 8:08 – I better have some water. There goes Coach flying by on his way back ‘home.’ I know I yelled or grunted at him at least but he pretty much gets tunnel vision. I know he didn’t hear me.
Mile 6 – 8:00- if I just make it to mile 8, I’m home free. Why did I think this? That’s still quite a ways to go. Around this point, there’s a turn around so I get to see my peeps.
Mile 7 – 8:05 – It’s OK, it’s OK, you’re just settled in now.
Mile 8 – 8:09 – Crap this hurts, I don’t like to run this hard. If I make it to mile 10, I’m home free. Why did I think this again? That still leaves a 5K!
Mile 9 – 8:13 – Wheels are coming off, wheels are coming off. Shit, shit, shit, this hurts, I hurt, I don’t want to run any more.
Mile 10 – 8:24 - I’m at 10, yay, double digits. My junk hurts, my legs hurt, my muscles hurt. This has been hard work. Maybe I should drink something (foreshadowing).
Mile 11 – 8:30 - Holy shit, I should have drank more. My foot is crammmping, my right foot is going to give. Mind over matter, relax the muscles, relax the muscles.
Mile 12 – 8:32 - OK, drinking more now is not going to help my situation much. Foot, ow, ow, ow. Now I have tunnel vision.
Mile 13 – 8:13 - Hells yes, hells yes, I can see the finish line, I can make it around this damn stadium. The faster I go, the faster I’ll be done, the faster I go, the faster I’ll be done.
Mile .1 – 1:03 - OMG, OMG, I hurt, I hurt, I hurt. Wait, does my watch say 1:46:54? Clock, clock, it says 1:47something. Holy crap, holy crap, maybe, just maybe I hit my watch at the right time. (I did!) OMG, huh, huh, huh, I’m so glad that is over. Now, where’s the food?
Yep, I was thrilled with the outcome. Draw your own conclusions on my race plan and strategy. I thought about throwing in the towel more than once. Do NOT give in, Do NOT give up, even when you think the wheels are coming off.
Stay tuned…tomorrow….puppy fever!