Today, my quads are begging to know why and my pride is busting out with “Because we DID IT.”
As you all well know (if you haven’t been reading, shame on you! Do your homework and catch up, then share all those previous posts for extra credit and come back and finish this post), I have been in training for the Runner’s World Hat Trick (5k and 10k on Saturday, half marathon on Sunday). My goals, as stated previously (because now you’re all caught up) were 30 minutes for the 5k; 60 minutes for the 10k; and 2:30 for the half marathon. Did I beat them?
Did you really have to ask?
I finished my 5k with a 26:59. Technically, that’s under 27 minutes, Readers. So technically, I did under a 9-minute mile. Boo and YAH, my friends. Boo and YAH. How did it feel, you wonder?
Well, I wanted to hurl.
Seriously, I felt *expletive* awful. My determination and fear of shame and failure pulled me through, but dear LORD did I want to vomit. Luckily, I retained my apple and banana safely in the confines of my belly and beat my goal time, once again proving the theory that I am awesome.
After crossing that finish line, I quickly acquired my running buddy for the 10k, the darling niece who pushed me into running in the first place. Donned in our twinsies SweatItOut logo tees, we were already pushing the levels of awesomeness to new heights, but we could not rest on our laurels. Her goal was 1:10 and to actually run the entire race. My new goal became 1:10 and to finish with my favorite running mate. We did run the entire course, including those nasty hills o’ Bethlehem, and we crossed the finish line with a time of 1:13:46, very close to our original goal. And, again technically, I got my PR. How? Because I’ve never run a 10k race before, crazy question-asker! So I consider this TWO goals attained. I have my 10k PR and I finished Thelma and Louise style with my niece. Although I was forced to explain the Thelma and Louise reference to the young whippersnapper. Bonus – the slower pace made me feel quite fantastic – a feeling which wasn’t to last long.
Post-races, I experienced a rapid decline. Perhaps it was the white flour bagel I chowed upon (remember, I’ve been 99% gluten-free for quite some time now). Perhaps it was all the running. Maybe a slight stomach bug. Whatever…I had a quite unglamorous throne to occupy when I wasn’t curled up in my bed watching alternating marathons of Roseanne and The Cosby Show (still the best show EVER after M*A*S*H). TMI, you say? I don’t care, say I. Newbie runners need this info so they don’t fall victim. Eat only what you’ve been eating on race days! Do not introduce new foods to your already taxed body just because you’re STARVING post-race. You want to be upright and celebrating your victories, not trumpeting your ailments.
I slept it off and was feeling mostly normal by the next morning when I began the half marathon. I was actually feeling fine enough to start pacing with the 2:20 crowd. My plan was to begin with them and conquer the first portion ahead of the game so I could add in a portapotty break (I always overhydrate and have intense relief desires) without altering my ultimate goal. Plus, believe it or not, this FitGal felt a tad nervous about making that 2:30 time. There’s something about an actual starting line that sends all kinds of doubts racin’ through my brain. Typically, they depart the moment my feet start moving.
This time, they hung around for the entire race. Well, the entire race minus the last mile.
Which sucked half marathon balls.
On any other day, I find my stride and my zen right around the one hour mark, and every step after that is gravy (not really…gravy is only for special occasions, people). Then there are those days that, despite my intense love of the workout, running just plain sucks. Unfortunately, Sunday was one of those days.
I spent the majority of those two hours and twenty minutes making little deals with myself, which is how I usually spend my first half hour. Those deals generally go something along the lines of “just run till that telephone pole, and then you can walk a bit” or “if you can make it for another five minutes, you can slow your pace.” I always keep running farther, thus requiring further deals to be made. You’d think my self would catch on, but she never does. Deal-accepting self isn’t the ripest banana in the bunch. There were a few moments when I actually relaxed enough to take in the beauty of the route (which was, in fact, quite impressive in its autumnal splendor and small-town charm)…but they weren’t enough to allow me actual enjoyment overall.
What I really enjoyed was crossing the finish line with a 2:19:05 time. In case you weren’t capable of the math, that’s just under eleven minutesLESS than my goal time. I also very much enjoyed the stopping. The stopping was good. (And I went on to enjoy my son’s first playoff win with the Bangor Junior Slaters flag football team and to further enjoy a solo trip – because I have the best Hubby in the world – to our favorite diner for a bacon cheeseburger deluxe, fries with mayo, and peach crumb pie. Race day spoils kick serious artery-clogging ASS.)
So, my overall time goal for the Hat Trick was four hours. My overall actual time for the Hat Trick? 3:59:53. That’s right. Because I came in so far under my goal times for the 5k and the half marathon, I STILL made my cumulative time goal.
And upped my awesomeness level AGAIN.
Don’t hate. You can do it too. All you need is a goal, a little training, and a serious determination to SweatItOut. (See how I did that? Pretty clever, right?)