Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am awesome!

I did it! I finished my second half marathon! I did it just under my goal of 2 hours 30 minutes, beating my previous P.R. by 30 minutes! Yes, it was a fast course: the first half was all down hill, making for some fast split times. I even managed an eight minute mile, which I haven't done since high school. I was shooting for an 11 minute/mile pace, but the first half of the race was under 10 minutes/mile. This allowed me to slow to just under a 12 minute/mile pace the second half. The faster times in the first half counter-balanced the slower times in the second half, and it all worked out. I ran it by myself, without a running buddy to help me through it, which was not quite as fun, but empowering. Knowing I can do it and talk myself through it was good. It was also a nice scenic course: we came down a winding canyon into a small farming community, and there was a nice breeze coming off the small river that paralleled the road down the canyon. Once in town, even with my sinus congestion I could smell the silage and cows, which brings back memories of the year in college when I worked at a dairy, milking cows (which I really enjoyed).

Some things I learned (ok, the first three I already knew):
1. Shot blox are great
2. Body glide is our friend
3. Adequate rest is very important. I haven't slept well all week because of my cold (I keep waking up because I can't breathe), and I was really feeling the lack of sleep the second half of the race.
4. More than two port-a-potties per aid station are necessary- I would have finished 5 minutes sooner if there hadn't been a massive line for the port-a-potties at the first aid station. I really, really had to go, otherwise I would not have waited around that long.
5. I'm going to get longer spandex shorts to wear under my skirt- I really don't like short shorts, and the shorts that came with the skirt are just short enough to bug me.

The damage:
1. Only two blisters- one large, one small. I'll wrap my toes for the marathon.
2. Sore ankles and fatigued feet- stability shoes do not have quite the cushioning I need, despite the addition of gel insoles, but I need the stability. I'll wear my shoes more and try to get more used to them, and look for more cushioned insoles.
3. Shins and arches not too sore (yay! these were the big worries).
4. Various sore muscles up and down my legs. I think they're from the downhill running and the unaccustomed mileage- I really have not trained enough, in the interest of not aggravating my shin splints, which would make it impossible to complete any races.
5. Running with a phlegmy cough is not a great thing. I'm a little worried that I might have bronchitis now. I'll see how my lungs are feeling tomorrow. Luckily I have a physical on Thursday, so if I'm still coughing then I can get some meds.

It was a good race, though I didn't like the second half (flat, with very few hills, so actually not that bad) nearly as much as I liked the first half (nice downhill, not too steep, but enough to make for some easy running). I would love a half marathon that was completely downhill. That would be awesome! The marathon will be tough, just on the fact that it's 26 miles, but if I can keep a good pace during the first (downhill) half it should allow for the slowing that will occur on the second (flat) half and still keep a decent time. If I can keep my pace up, my goal will be to finish in 5 hours. I'll need to make more of an effort to get more mileage in, but that's going to be what I work for. I will also be working on getting better and getting enough sleep.

One of my sisters came with me to watch DD while I ran. After the race, she told me some of the things DD had done/said. Toddlers are great! Apparently she saw another little girl wearing a pair of pink sandals. DD has a pair just like them, though she wasn't wearing them at the time. In any case, she was very confused, and kept pointing at the girl and the shoes, obviously thinking that the girl had taken her shoes! My sister had a time trying to convince her that they weren't hers.