Saturday, July 09, 2011
Before I get into the recap of today's race, I just want to take a second to thank all of you for your encouraging words of support. They really helped me today!
Okay, so in my last blog I ended with DLF>DNF>>DNS. Well, I did better than the ones who didn't finish. Oh, and one other person. lol. This race was the toughest one I've ever done. We had a huge storm last night that dumped an inch and a half of rain on the course. It was a muddy, slick mess.
The race started at 8:30. What possessed them to start so late, I'll never know, but the temperature was already a "balmy" 82 degrees with 93% humidity at start time. They didn't have us go in waves, which is what I'm used to doing at the White Water Center so there was a bottle neck getting over the start line and again when we entered the trail. First water stop was at 2.6 miles and Mel, I thought of you. They had Gatorade and water. I opted for the water, which I was glad about because I slopped it all over me. He he he. Right after the water stop, the 3.5 milers and the 8.25 milers split up. Would you believe I was STILL tempted to go with the 3.5 milers? Not to worry, I didn't. ;)
Once the 3.5 milers went their own way, it got very quiet and peaceful. There were 4 times as many 3.5 mile runners as there were 8.25. Just before the 4 mile mark, I was coming down a steep hill. So steep, in fact, that I slowed way down because it looked really slippery. A sharp curve was approaching so I put my hand on a tree to steady myself. Unfortunately, I lost my footing and that WET tree did diddly squat to prevent the face plant. DOH! I was covered in mud. However, I did a quick check to make sure nothing was hurt (and that no one saw my moment of grace, lol) and continued on.
Up and down and up and up and down...twisting, turning, slipping, sliding...it was crazy. About 6 miles in I had to start walking. There was a hill that I actually thought I was going to have to use my hands to help me climb. I couldn't find my running legs after that. And, truth be told, I wanted to stop. I didn't think I had it in me to go on. But I just kept repeating to myself, "Don't stop. No matter what. Don't stop. Walking is okay, but DON'T STOP!" And so I pushed on. It helps that I told so many people that I was doing this race and I didn't want to have to admit that I didn't finish.
I was running solo for most of the race, but at mile 7, I PASSED someone! WHOO HOO! Small victory, but it was just what I needed to help me find the strength to push on and run to the end.
I am happy to say that I crossed the finish line at a SPRINT--well, let me rephrase that, it was probably the slowest run you can do and have it considered a run, but it FELT like a sprint. He he he.
I don't have an official time yet, but unofficially, I finished in just under 2 hours. I had a secret goal to finish in under 100 minutes and when I realized out on the course that it was no longer mathematically possible for me to do that, I felt so defeated. That was about the time that I wanted to give up. However, I decided NOT to let that set back keep me from making it to the finish line. And I could still finish in under 2 hours! So I made that my new goal. I'm glad to say that I met it...just barely, but it's a big ol' GOAL MET! And just think, when I go to do this next year--because OH HECK YEAH I'm doing it again--I'll have a baseline to work to beat. All in all, I enjoyed it. I know what adjustments I need to make in my training (like running in the heat and humidity instead of just on the treadmill in the A/C!!!) so that I CAN beat that baseline next year!
Now, if you know me, you know that I see connections in everything so if you'll indulge me for just a bit more, I'd like to share with you the connections I've made between this race experience and my weight loss journey.
A) Don't look for the easy way out. Sure you might have short term success, but the hard work is worth it in the end.
B) You've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again...fall down 7 times, get up 8.
C) Don't be afraid to fail because even if you do, you're still further along than you would be if you hadn't tried at all.
D) Surround yourself with support. I think that at one point in my race, and at MANY points on my weight loss journey, I would've packed it in if I hadn't known that I had people cheering for me and encouraging me.
E) Don't let set backs stop you from reaching your ultimate goal. It's like the Itsy Bitsy Spider...she got washed out of the spout, but did she stop? NO! Because she knew that the sun would be coming up and drying all the rain, so she started back up that spout again. We can do that in our own lives with our own goals.
F) If something didn't work out quite like you'd hoped, rather than being disappointed, USE that experience to make yourself better.
G) It's OKAY to readjust your goals.
H) HAVE FUN! After all, if you're not, then you're missing out!