Monday, June 27, 2011

Austin '10

It was time to start thinking about my next race. I had never done a big marathon before, and I felt that I was ready to give it a try. I decided on Austin and had big plans to train hard and set a PR. The race was set for February 14th, so I started training in October. Things were going so well the first month, I knew it must be too good to be true. It was. On a long run in the middle of November, my hip started hurting so much, that I had to cut my run short and hobble home. I had had bursitis in my left hip before, and that's exactly how this felt. My training came to an abrupt halt. The only thing I could do was spend time on the bike at the gym, and then eventually the elliptical. It was a very depressing time for me, but I tried to stay positive. I held out hope that I could heal in time for the race. When I saw that wasn't going to happen, I switched to the half marathon...I've mentioned before that I'm stubborn. I found some old journal entries from a blog that I had on another site...I had forgotten about this blog until a few days ago. I guess I lied when I said I had never blogged before. Here's what I decided about a week before the race:

Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm heading into this week very unprepared for what is ahead. I'm running a half marathon this coming Sunday. A few months ago, that would have been just a day in the life for me, but now it is a major feat. I have had bursitis in my hip, which all but stopped my training for two months. I've been running again for about three weeks...not enough time to be properly prepared. But I'm going to do it anyway. I have kept up my conditioning somewhat on the bike and elliptical. I'm not going to worry about my time. I'm just going to finish, and I'm going to take walk breaks if I need to. My priorities for this race are:

1) Don't re injure my hip.
2) Have fun.
3) Finish the half marathon.

In that order!

Here is my mantra for the race:
PR is better than PW, PW is better than DNF, DNF is better than DNS.

(PR=personal record, PW= personal worst, DNF=did not finish, DNS=did not start)

(And a few days after the race:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm finally getting around to writing a race report of the Austin marathon last Sunday. My journey to this event started last October when I signed up for the full marathon in hopes that I could set a new PR by at least ten minutes. I was rockin' through my training, and if I could have continued, I believe I would have reached my goal. Unfortunately, I hurt my hip and wasn't able to train at all. I cross-trained as much as I could, but I could not run for two months. I had switched to the half marathon at the beginning of January ( I could have just given up, but I'm too stubborn for that.) It was still about two more weeks before I was finally able to run more than a couple of miles without pain. I had mixed feelings about whether or not to go through with the race, but I decided that I would just go for it. I wouldn't set a time goal and if I had to stop and walk, I was okay with that.

My husband took the motor home to a state park in Austin on Friday, and I drove up with the kids on Saturday. We had a great day, but my nerves were definitely setting in. I just knew that I was pitifully under-trained for this race and the thought of the hills in Austin scared me to death. I went to bed early and actually got some sleep that night--sometimes I can't sleep before an event. My husband dropped me off near the starting line at 6:15, and I immediately went to the port-a-potty line. That took up about 30 minutes of my waiting time, and then I went straight to the 11 minute mile pace group. I started talking to a woman and the next fifteen minutes flew by. I almost forgot why we were there. The crowd started to move forward at 7:00 (start time), and about ten minutes later, we crossed the starting line. We wished each other luck and were on our way.

I knew better than to start too fast, so I just strolled along for the first few miles. It was all uphill until about mile 3.5, but they were rolling hills and I wasn't tired yet, so they weren't so bad. The bands playing and crowds cheering all along the way made this race so much fun. I couldn't help but laugh at some of the signs that people held. I felt so inspired by some of the people along the way--like the girl with, "This is for you, Grandma" on her shirt, or the girl in the wheelchair that would pass me on all the downhills. I walked for a few seconds through water stations and few times up some of the hills. But, for the most part, I kept running through it all. In the last two miles, the hills got really steep. I decided that I was not going to stop on the notorious final hill of the race. People were cheering and yelling, "Charge that hill!" and "You've got it!" You can't imagine what that did for me. I wish I could thank those people personally. I did charge the hill. I gave it everything I had and started passing people left and right. I knew I was almost to the finish line, and I felt strong. I picked up my pace and charged in to the final mat. Of course, I had to stop short at that point, because there were so many runners packed in the corral at the end. We were herded like cattle to the medal and T-shirt distribution tables. I heard someone call my name and looked up to see my husband and four daughters (and a neighbor/might as-well-call-her-a-daughter who came along). They had just walked up to the fence exactly where I was standing. With 14,000 runners that day, what were the chances of that happening?

So, that's my race report--a little jumbled and jivy, I admit. Before the race started, I told my husband that it would be a miracle if I finished in anything less than 2 1/2 hours. My time was 2:25. That's 20 minutes slower than my PR, but better than I could have hoped for that day. And, my hip took it all pretty well, too. It's feeling good and still getting better. I guess I wasn't as out of shape as I thought!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add here...I have a strict no Sunday running rule. For some strange reason, I made an exception for this race. Looking back now, I don't know why I thought that was a good idea. I never train on Sundays, and have not run another race on Sunday before or since this race. I choose to believe that everything went wrong for this race because I was doing something that went against my core beliefs. It was a valuable lesson learned.