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My first HM

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It was a pretty good run for me. I definitely learned a lot. I continuously have to tell myself that I'm a runner. I still don't see myself as one. I feel like such a rookie and some of my choices yesterday prove that I AM a rookie. And that's OK.

My antibiotics had kicked in. The fever and body aches were gone, but I was still a little sore. I hadn't slept well all week, hadn't worked out all week, nor did I eat the greatest fuel foods the day before the race. Let's just say I was not in my best shape. I changed my outfit the morning of the race, I never made a race playlist and I didn't get around to making homemade protein bites for before the race. I was breaking cardinal racing rules all over the place and I paid for it.

Since I was sick and it had been a rough week, I knew that I should throw my goal time out the window. I ran the 10 miler in 87 minutes (8:44 pace). So my goal was to finish in under 2 hours. Ideally around 1:55. As my DH was driving me to the race he gave me a little pep talk and then asked about what I thought my time would be. I said, "You know I wanted under 2, but now I guess I don't care. I just want to finish." He laughed and told me I was lying. He was right. I still wanted under 2.

There weren't corrals for this race, just banners with pace times. I liked this better. I made my way up to the 9 min/mile banner and stood a little bit in front of it. I was surprised by how close this was to the start line. I was surprised by how fit and runneresque all the people around me looked. See? I still don't see myself as one of them. I was giddy and in awe. I hope I never lose that starting line feel.

I saw the 9:00 pacer. I told myself to stay in front of him for as long as I could. I thought that if he passed me I would do my best to keep up and that would get me a 2:00 time. I felt like it was a realistic goal since this was a speedy course. Mostly flat and lots of downhill.

It was a beautiful morning. We started at the Cathedral in St. Paul.

I am happy to say that I did not make the racing mistake of starting out too fast. I ran at a pace that was comfortable to me and tried not to let all the people passing get to me.

The first part was down Summit past all the old mansions. I felt great and had time to take in the gorgeous fall views.

After the initial high wore off, I missed running with my husband.Then my pants were starting to fall down, which didn't make sense because I was wearing my favorite running capris with a drawstring. Then I realized that the cute orange & black polka dot knee highs that I bought to be festive, were pulling my pants down!! No, I hadn't worn them running before. I planned to wear them on an easy run on Thursday, but I was sick. I knew better than to wear something new on race day, but I did it anyway. rookie mistake! I had to jump onto the curb at the first water station to pull the stupid socks down. And, duh!, Target knee-highs are not made with moisture wicking materials. So my feet were too hot and then too cold the entire race. And I got blisters, which has never happened before. I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson. I also had a little problem when I took off my throw away fleece and my ipod armband came off with it and everything got unplugged and tangled. Definition of hot mess right here!

Enough about my wardrobe malfunctions. Back to the race. I usually hit a teeny wall around 6 and I thought about that after the 5 mile marker. Then all of a sudden I was at the mile 7 marker. Things were going well. Somewhere after that I started to get tired. I had noticed 2 girls in hot pink shirts awhile ago and was doing my best to keep up with them. There was A LOT of self talk going on at this point. The pink girls got way ahead of me at times, but I kept them in sight. This is a racing tip from my dad.

I did not eat enough calories on Friday night or Sat morning. I was hungry and feeling spent and we were only at mile 10. I took Powerade (which I hate) at a water station just to give myself something. Another racing no-no. Don't drink things your body isn't accostumed too. The last 3.1 was super tough for me. Every step was hard. I was pushing as hard as I could at mile 12 but I wasn't going any faster. I did manage to pass the pink girls, which felt great, but I couldn't sprint to the finish line. When I saw 1:57 on the clock I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride.

I never saw the 9:00 pacer. That meant I ran a consistent race at my pace. I don't have a Garmin (wish I did!) so throughout the race I had no idea what my time was. When I saw that finish clock, I felt amazing. I also felt awful. I was shaky and a little dizzy and immediately gobbled up a banana. My body was spent.

I am addicted to racing. There is a St. Patrick's Day HM that I will be signing up for. I love the energy of a race and the feeling of being part of a running community. I learn a lot with each race and know what I need to do so the next race goes better.

Chip time was 1:55:02. (8:47 pace) I am overjoyed. I cannot believe that I met my original goal after the craptastic week I had. I need to experiment with fuel during runs. I clearly needed something at mile 10. I'm not going to play the what if game with myself. Instead I am going to focus on what I can do to become a better runner and make sure my next race is even more enjoyable.

wow, this got long. I will reread this before my next race so I will never make the same mistakes again. And maybe someone else can learn something from this. If you're still reading, here's me in the ridiculous socks.

At least I can wear them to school tomorrow and the kindergarteners will love em. And that cutie is telling me to run like a witch!

Happy Halloween sparkers!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • FLGIRL1234
    How inspiring that after everything that went wrong you still pulled it together and rocked your goal time. Total inspiration.
    2352 days ago
  • TREP13
    Congrats on running your first HM!!! I ran my first a month ago and I made the rookie mistake of having a new iPod armband on. I fidgeted with that thing almost the whole time. I will never make that mistake again! Congrats on reaching your goals and logging an excellent time even with the distractions of your socks and your crappy week preceding the race. You rock!
    2360 days ago
    Great job!!! emoticon
    2362 days ago
    Congrats! You did terrific! I love the energy of a race, too. I just finished HM #2 & have #3 coming up. I learn from each race, too! Anyway, I am so happy for you. Great job!
    2362 days ago
    Great job and great time!!!
    2363 days ago
    ...Good for you, that is an awesome time!! I completed my first HM ( Many years ago ) in 2:08 so that time is fantastic, esp seeing as you were sick prior to!!! Loved your blog, I have to start doing HM's again, I'm in much better shape now!
    2363 days ago
    Way to go!!!! You looked so cute in your outfit (even if it did lead to wardrobe malfunctions)... Your little one is also adorable in their halloweeen stuff...
    So impressive that you ran this, despite being under the weather, and did so well too!

    2363 days ago
    You totally rocked it! I never even saw you because you were waaaay ahead of me. Glad you got the mile 10 station - I thought there would be more tables and I missed it entirely then suffered the last 5K myself. Great job!
    2363 days ago
    You really make me want to be like you! So many people would have given up if they'd had a week like yours. I'm glad you didn't, because I know how much you really wanted it. Congratulations on an incredible race! And just think about how easy the next one will feel in comparison.
    You look great and your little witch is a super cutie!
    2363 days ago
    You amaze me, crappy week and all and you still rocked out your time. You're awesome. And your daughter is a cutie girl! Congrats on your super HM time.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2363 days ago
    You're amazing! I was going to say that I can't believe you ran your first HM after such a crappy week in such an awesome pace, but actually I can, because you're a rock star!! Definitely experiment with fuel during long races, I use energy gels that I mix in with water and carry on a belt and that works great for me. I know exactly what you mean about belonging to a running community and the energy from races, it's totally inspiring and wonderful! Congrats on a great race, and here's to many more! emoticon emoticon
    P.S. I love those socks and your daughter is simply adorable! emoticon
    2363 days ago
    You ROCK girl!! What an awesome time despite you have such a crummy week before. You continue to inspire me!! I can't wait until I can run a half! So happy and proud of you girl! emoticon emoticon
    2363 days ago
    WAY TO GO! I think I learn something every race! Love that you caught the race addiction!
    2364 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/30/2011 2:33:01 PM
    Awesome! If that's what you do after being sick I can't wait to read about a race when you are healthy. You totally rocked it! Congrats!!
    2364 days ago
    Dang girl, Even with all your issues you had a GREAT finish!! Now that you learned what not to do you need to run another one. BTW, you definitely are a runner!!
    2364 days ago
    Wow!!!!! Congrats!!!!!! That is an amazing time!!!!!!!!:-)
    And, by the way, you are very fit and runneresque!!!!!!
    2364 days ago
    At least the socks are super cute! I can't believe how fast you ran despite all your circumstances! That really shows your true athletic mind set. You are so strong! You should feel amazing! I am also ranting to sign upbfor every half I see! Definitely gonna do a Shamrock one here in the Sac. area. Your little one is freakin adorable! emoticon
    2364 days ago
    Wow, great job! You did so awesome making your goal time even with all of the obstacles! And never beat yourself up about mistakes... there is no better way to learn what works and what doesn't!

    So glad that your first half marathon was such a good experience!Congratulations!
    2364 days ago
    So awesome! You met your goal in spite of a lot of issues this week. Maybe the rest from being sick and not running was actually helpful to have what you needed to do this. Who knows. But anyway congratulations on such a great even!!
    2364 days ago
    emoticon Well done! I'm super proud of you going out there and getting it done and you killed it!
    2364 days ago
    BTW- will you please think about coming back for Round 18??
    2364 days ago
    OMG, Maura, you have DONE IT AGAIN!!!

    What a great race, and blog and the cherry on top is you did it coming out of a craptastic week (I am gonna steal that phrase - as I have had a few)

    I agree with not playing the "what if game" and focusing on what you can do to become better,


    PLEASE celebrate THIS ONE simply for the success it was!!!

    2364 days ago
    Woah!!!! That is super fast u rock ! Sub 2 !!! So impressed u rock my friend and first HM!!!!!!!
    u inspire me
    2364 days ago
    I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to take some of your running inspiration and apply it to my bike......!!!!!

    YOU ROCK, MAURA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2364 days ago
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