Sabrina's 16 miles (25K) race DONE!!! (w/ pics)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

First—for accountability’s sake, here’s the last 2 weeks of training…which I’m not particularly proud of because I didn’t give it my all. I had planned for more but it didn’t happen. Whatever now!

Training Log
Week 7
8/16 Mon: 35 min circuit (BL LCW)
8/17 Tue: 2 mil/24 min Treadmill
8/18Wed: 3 mil/35 min Treadmill, 20 min ST (BL LCW)
8/19 Thu: Off
8/20 Fri: 30 min elliptical, 20 min ST (BL PS)
8/21 Sat: Off
8/22 Sun: Last long run of 10 miles scheduled—NOT DONE. DH got injured so I had to take him to the hospital.

Week 8
8/23 Mon: 5 mil/53 min out
8/24 Tue: 35 min circuit (BL BC), 20 min TJ Ab Jam
8/25 Wed: 3 mil/35 min Treadmill
8/26 Thu: rest
8/27 Fri: rest
8/28 Sat: rest
8/29 Sun: Sabrina’s 16 miles (25K)!

Race day
Went to bed around 8:45 pm the night before. Got up at 2 AM on Sunday, Race Day!!!! Most races in Puerto Rico are in the afternoon/evening. So, TWO AM!! is kinda crazy. But I was hyped! Had my coffee and a mini-cinnamon/raisin bagel with cream cheese. My friend picked me up. She was running the 5K and a couple from the neighborhood was walking the 5K. We left around 3am, got there around 4am. I had a banana and some Gatorade on the way there. There was bit of traffic in the area given all the hotels, clubs and restaurants in the area. It was funny to see all the clubbers, decked out in their outfits, visibly drunk. We registered, got our stuff. Of course it was still dark. The starting point was at a track very close to the ocean. In fact the entire race was along the shore. The smell was very pungent. But the sound of the shore was very relaxing. Until we took off and I put on my headphones. The stress and pressure of a race immediately went away. I had told myself that these 16 miles were just a long easy run. I said I would enjoy the pace and the sights. From the beginning I said I was doing this race solely for the experience, to get it done!

Me at the start waving bye!!

We started in Isla Verde, then through Condado (both hotel and beach districts), then up to Old San Juan – yes UP. There was a moderate hill right before the capitol building and just when I was recuperating from it, as soon as we passed El Morro Fortress, a steep hill!!!! Shorter but steeper! It took the air out of me but not as much as the view when I reached the top. Here’s an image I searched for on the web. What I witnessed was even more beautiful.

And here's the pic my friend took after her 5K near the track at Isla Verde.

Shortly after, the turn around point. Down the hills we went. At this part (and in a few others) we looped back so I got to see those ahead and those behind. It's entertaining and helps pass time. Some bits of this part of the course were on the cobblestone roads of Old San Juan. Uncomfortable for sure. It had also rained before the start of the race so the roads were wet. At mile 7 I had my pack of sport beans. We went back through El Condado, passed the start point (that’s when my friend took the pic at mile 10) and through Isla Verde strip of hotels.

I walked a little at 3 (of the many) water stops to get the Gatorade down without a mess. At mile 13, I was getting anxious and my legs were starting to feel like bricks. The scenery was no longer nice either—just cars, hotels and stores. Where the eff is the turnaround!!!!!!! It felt eternal!!! We turned around practically at the end of the strip. At mile 15, I clapped and woohooed!! And tried to speed up. Finally the beach and the track!!!!

almost at the finish line!

I DID IT!!! 16 miles in 2:47:15!!! I’ve never, ever run so far or so long!!!! I’ve never felt my legs so heavy! All throughout the race my breathing was in control, my heart rate too, no cramps, it was just my legs (and my mind) after mile 13 and I think that is normal. So I AM SO PROUD, SO HAPPY! I can totally DO a full marathon. I know I can!!! The only question is when, and I would definitely incorporate more scheduled walk breaks. I want to do this one again next year. I must say-- anyone who attempted and finished this race is a TROOPER!!! I saw all kinds of folks-- young, old, big, small-- and we all had one thing in common- TO FINISH. I loved the course and the camaraderie. Next year I’m packing my bathing suit and hitting the beach after!!!!!
This experience embodies one of my favorite running quotes:
“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of." Patti Sue Plumer

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