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    FITFOODIE806   52,555
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HM #5: Lake Minnetonka hills

Monday, May 06, 2013

"You don't get better at running hills by walking them."

I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago and used the line often. My running has not felt great since HM #4 7 weeks ago. I won't bore you with excuses. I've struggled through a fair amount of runs and have taken far more walk breaks than normal. But not on the hills. One day I even said it aloud as a trugged up that hill. whatever it takes.

I was getting very nervous about this race. Maybe DH is right and I do this to myself. I woke up Saturday morning and felt crappy. Cold, runny nose, yuck. I decided to skip an easy swim for the day and rest. Well, cold meds kicked in and I started to feel better, got some energy from packet pick-up and next thing I know I'm painting the living room. Seriously. I don't know what's wrong with me!

Felt better, but not perfect, when I woke up Sunday: race day. Took some cold medicine and started to get pumped for the race. I love racing! Immediately I went into a good mental space telling myself of what a great race it was going to be. I went back and read last year's Spark blog about this same race. It gave me another boost. Last year's time was 1:54 so the obvious plan was to beat that. Last month was 1:51:28. Of course I wanted to beat that too, but I knew it would be tough because of how hilly this course was.

I lined up right in front of the 2:00 pacer. I started slow. The first hill hits you before you're even at mile 1! youch!!! Lean in to it. use your arms. drive knees up. maintain pace. work it! And that's basically what I did for the next 13 miles.

I don't think I've ever been so focused in a race. I pushed myself. And then I pushed myself some more. And when I wanted to slow down, I kept pushing. This was mental. An intense mental battle. And Spark, you help at moments like this. I wonder, what do you want to write in a blog? Thank you for keeping me positive and inspired.

I wasn't so in the zone that I missed the fun. I high fived as many kids as I could. I gave my prayer of thanks for health at every bridge. This course is stunningly beautiful and I soaked it in. Even on a cold, windy, gray morning where the green bursts of Spring have not yet made their appearance.

The hills kept coming. And I kept attacking.

I saw the 1:55 pacer around mile 3, but didn't rush myself. Reminded to run my own race, which is a sign I'm growing as a runner. I know I would've immediately sped up to pass them a year ago.
I finally did pass them between 5 and 6. I felt really good until this point. Took a GU and actually felt more energy. Took a second GU at 9.5 which is more than I usually do but i wanted to experiment. I think it was a good choice.

Like the last HM, my legs were done at mile 10. But this time, I told my legs, "too bad. Pick up the pace." Mind over matter.

There were 2 guys, both in gold shirts, that kept trading places with me and I just wanted to lose them. I pushed and then we turned onto a trail at mile 11. 1.5 miles on gravel road. Not that big of a deal, but kinda a deal. My pace slowed. The golden boys passed. They even ran on either side of me and then came back together, essentially cutting me off. Oh, no, you didn't!!! Now I'm pissed. I waited a few seconds and blew past them.

At mile 12.5 we turn back onto the road and I feel like I'm flying. And who comes right up beside me??! I look at them and say, "Ok, we've been trading places for miles. Let's go!" They both smiled and we all picked up the pace. They faded for a teeny bit, let me think that I lost them, and then as I'm running into the finisher's chute, one of them tries to pass me. Again! oh h$llllll no! I have never sprinted like that in my life. Beat him by a second and we high fived at the finish. After getting my pretty medal I walked over and thanked them for pushing me. What a fun race. They laughed and said ditto.

Clock said 1:54 at finish so I was thrilled. Knew I beat last year's time, but didn't know by how much. Chip time is 1:51:06. yes! yes! yes! It's not the 1:49 that was my original goal. but! It's 22 seconds faster than the last one. On a much, much more difficult course.

I proved a lot to myself on the course. I have more mental strength and tenacity than I thought. Man, I love racing.

We were all spent and it was not easy to climb those suckers for a podium shot. (I'm on the right) And I am so very sore today and know it'll be worse tomorrow. I chafed fairly badly for the first time. holy pain! all worth it.

When I got home my daughter said, "Mama, you were fast and strong?"
"Yep. And I had a blast."
"That's most important, right?"

Member Comments About This Blog Post:

    Oh, how I've missed you and your blogs! I wish you would have gotten a picture with the golden boys. That would've been a fun one. Great race, my friend!

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    Wow! Congrats on the PR and getting it done on a hilly course - very inspiring!

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CAVEPRINCESS65 5/15/2013 9:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon job as always!!

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CRYSBROWN1 5/15/2013 7:00PM

    WOW...your finish time was incredible! You did really well and with HILLS that mean you did REALLY well!

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WINDSURFNERD 5/12/2013 11:56PM

    Wow, what a fantastic blog!! And what a great race, it sounds so challenging an beautiful...and how it brought out that fierce competitor's strength and speed in you, WOW!! Congratulations on your podium finish and running a terrific race!!

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OPTIMIST1948 5/12/2013 8:52PM

    I love reading race reports. They are always so inspiring! I have some nerves about doing my first HM in sept. This makes me feel like its possible.

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SUGIRL06 5/9/2013 9:45PM

    Congrats on a great race!

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NUOVAELLE 5/8/2013 7:20AM

    I loved reading your blog! And I loved the hills' quote! Definitely true not only for runners but for everyone.
Fast, strong, and you had a blast. I'm so happy for you!

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LISAINMS 5/7/2013 2:49PM

    Whoop whoooop! Loved reading this blog. It is all mental in the longer races. And I, too, appreciate the hills for what they do for me. I am a much stronger runner and cyclist because I don't quit on the hills. Way to go on a new PR!!

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WORTHEYMOM 5/7/2013 12:26PM

    goosebumps!! amazing job girl! Those gold shirts do make it more fun! Keep inspiring us all!

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PINKBEANBOO 5/7/2013 11:45AM

    How awesome is that!!!
When you are racing you think about how people like those gold shirt guys tick you off but in the end they can be a huge help.
I'm proud of you for eating those hills for breakfast!

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GINGERHAWK 5/7/2013 11:08AM

  I am SO freaking happy for you! You make women proud everywhere, thanks for representing us so well time and time again! You rock!

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 5/6/2013 11:12PM

    Love, love, love this blog! I always enjoy reading your race blogs but this one was exceptionally inspirational and moved me to tears (maybe it was your sweet daughter's comment- you raise her well)! I love the "Be a Hill Seeker" quote too! Way to go! Amazing as always! emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 5/6/2013 11:00PM

    Wow, love this blog! You describe it so well.
I felt I was there with you! Awesome job! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHSTATE 5/6/2013 10:37PM

    Awesome job!!!!!!!!!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 5/6/2013 10:06PM

    emoticon yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! great job friend!!!!!

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BASEBALLMOM410 5/6/2013 9:36PM

    Awesome blog! I am so proud of you for pushing through. Getting over the mental is the hardest part I'm learning. You did awesome!! Way to go girlie! emoticon

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