First off I have to say that my coach Angie deserves a huge congratulations. She had a stellar race at Clearwater yesterday, coming in 7th in her AG!! Way to go coach!!!
So…the Last Chance Half… Given that I really didn’t train for this race there was no way I was running for a PR. I didn’t want to risk getting injured, and despite the fact that I am uber-competitive with myself I knew trying for a PR would not be a good idea. There was something that I did want to focus on though. During too many races I have allowed negative thoughts to creep into my mind and have let it affect me. I’ve placed a lot of expectations on myself this year in races and I’ve had times when I’ve cried and times when I’ve wanted to quit. I really need to find those positive mantras that will get me through tough times, especially as I approach Ironman! So my goal was to stay positive the entire race!
It was supposed to be 8C (46F). I prefer to underdress rather than overdress, so I went with capris, a long sleeve tech top and a short sleeve top. What I wasn’t expecting was the wind though! I stopped to get gas on my way to the race and was surprised by how windy it was. Hopefully the wind wouldn’t be too cold and I’d be dressed okay! I got to the race site, managed to exchange my medium shirt for a small with another racer, and hung around waiting for the race to start. People were dressed to the nines!! Running tights, jackets, gloves, woolly hats, you name it! Oh well, I was committed to my outfit and it wound up being the right call for me.
We took off from the Eau Claire Market and headed west along the south side of the river. Just as the race started the winds really picked up from the west. They were gusting up to 50 km/hr (30 mph). My goal was to keep my pace in check for the first 3 mi and the wind definitely made sure that happened! We crossed the river, went a bit farther west, then turned around to run east along the river. I planned to take advantage of the wind at my back and I was feeling awesome! I sucked down a mint chocolate Gu and it definitely gave me an extra spring in my step. When we got to around the zoo…probably about 7.5 miles in…the pathway got to be a bit more hilly. We hit another turn around at 9 mi and my energy was starting to flag. Probably no surprise given that my longest distance in awhile was 8.5 mi. Time to really turn on that power of positive thinking! I imagined the finish line, and thought that there was a big string extending out from the finish that was tied around my waist and pulling me back in. I kept thinking that I was so thankful that I was out running today and enjoying the race. Just one foot in front of the other…that string was pulling me in…I was doing it and I was feeling great!!! (Or at least that was what I kept telling myself…)
So sure…definitely no PR…but I felt like I really did work hard on positive thinking and it helped me out a lot today. After I stopped running I did feel like my body absolutely hated me though! My legs were functioning…barely…and when I coughed it just hurt all throughout my torso (there is something about exercising in cold weather that seems to induce a bit of a cough once I stop moving). I put some sweats on, grabbed my breakfast, then headed over to the Y to stretch. And since I haven’t been to the pool for ages I then swapped out sweats for a swimsuit and knocked out 1500m. Then home with my feet up for the rest of the day!
Chip Time: 2:12:47
Overall: 355 out of 452
Females 30-39: 79 out of 107
Females Overall: 177 out of 257
**And in addition…this was actually my second fastest half marathon of the year. Although the two slower halfs were at the end of a half Iron distance triathlon…so…. And sadly my ankle was a casualty of those nasty timing bands. I have a wicked wound on the back of my ankle from where the timing chip cut in, along with a few spots where it looks like I’m allergic to the band. Pretty, eh?