I had a few good runs in final week of my taper, and better than that, I've really started enjoying coaching my new team. I genuinely like this group of kids, and I love their enthusiasm for our sport.
I also can't underestimate the influence of The Woodlands. Something is magical about that place. Scratch that, something is magical about those people. Never in my life have I met so many kind-hearted, generous, and SPECIAL people. Being around Adrienne, and all of my other Woodlands friends reminded me why I love this sport so much. I decided Friday night to Run Happy, whatever that might be.
Upon arriving at The Woodlands, I attended a press conference with a few other top-seeded athletes. That was a unique experience for me, as was the whole "elite athlete" deal of the weekend. It kind of makes me laugh. I said so many times, "But I'm not an elite runner, just a regular school teacher." Hahah. The Woodlands race staff really knew how to make me feel good, though. Those guys did a super job organizing, and it really helped make my race experience great.
Friday night, TP and I ate over at Adrienne's apartment with elite athlete, Camille Herron. I love that girl! We had so much fun laughing and talking. I'm hoping to have enough time to blog about a lot of things I took away from meeting her, and some very valuable advice I received.
By Saturday morning I was committed to starting out with Sub 3 pace, but re-evaluating at the half. I knew that the 7 weeks since Houston had been rocky, and that I am/was on the verge of overtraining or just basic exhaustion. The weather was great temperature wise, but we did have some wind gusts that I wasn't too fond about. It also started raining for about 4 miles at Mile 20, also something that did not please me.
Miles 1-7: 645,645,653,657,641,648, 644
First female has blazed us (Camille Herron), and 2nd through 5th place are all running together in a pack. We had a lot of fun talking and getting to know each other for that first hour. At Mile 8, they all took off, but I stayed relaxed and held back.
Miles 8-13: 651,650,649,651,651,652 and I hit the half at 1:30:5Xish.
I caught 4th place and ran with her for a bit. I then passed her and moved into 4th place. I would remain here for the rest of the race. I passed TP who cheered words of encouragement. I told him I was feeling pretty worn down and he was shouting about Plan B and telling me it was windy. I moved into Plan B- Sub 3:05 and place in the cash.
Miles 14-20: 647,657,651,706,705,705,658 and then I peed myself. Yep, I finally did IT!
For years, I've been reading race reports about people peeing themselves in races. And goodness knows I've had to go before. It was perfect. I was *this* close to having to use a porta (#1 thank goodness), and it started to rain. So, I thought about it real hard, and let it rip. Hahaha, but then all I could think about was how digusting I was and how I would never, EVER, do that again. I was so grossed out! Hahaa. The rain kept on for a few miles, and I was worried that the weather was about to turn for the worst. The sky was really dark and the wind was blowing. Luckily, it just rained for a few miles and we didn't have any thunder/lightening. Adrienne passed me on the bike, but was riding so stinking fast that I couldn't talk to her. I was feeling GREAT, and very much at peace with my race plan.
Miles 21-26: 703,722,714,723,714,708 You know how you get to that point in a marathon where you just don't like people anymore. Yeah, that happened to me when we started to meet up with half marathoners. It's bad enough in a 10K or something, but when you have already run 20 miles, that crap gets OLD. I started out nicely saying "excuse me", blah, blah, blah, smiling and telling them good work. Then you start to become familiar with meeting walkers 6 abreast (not that there's anything wrong with walking a half marathon) and you can't get through. I said "excuse me" a little louder, and threw in a "on your left" in there. By the time I got to Mile 25, I was about to start elbowing and body slamming people. Get out of my WAY!!!!!!! Hahaha.
Final Time: 3:04:25
4th female overall
Adrienne was right there to get a sweaty hug at the finish. True that I didn't meet my Sub 3 goal, but I genuinelly feel GOOD about my race. I recognize that I've had signs of extreme fatigue, and frankly, I need a little break from the mileage. It's time to switch things up a bit for me. More than that, I actually executed a Plan B and the run felt great! (Um, check out my BRAID! Wowzers!)
I'm glad it was a Saturday race b/c I got to hang with Adrienne for most of the day and evening. We always have so much fun together.
What's next you ask? Well, I'm going to spend a bit of time just easy running, then do a training cycle geared towards my shorter distance times. I've been working on putting together a training plan for myself from Jack Daniels stuff. And there are no marathons in the near future. In fact, my next one will not be until the fall, and I'm totally okay with that. :)