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Sunday, February 21, 2010

A1A Half Marathon: Long Version

Pre-Race
I had an "icky" tummy this morning and didn't even finish my one cup of coffee at home because it just wasn't sitting well. There wasn't any one particular thing wrong, but I just didn't feel "right." Honestly, as I was standing at the start, I was seriously doubting my ability to run the race, but I figured all I could do was give it my best effort.

Race
It was a beautiful morning: Perfect for running. I think that was my saving grace first thing in the morning. If it had been hot and humid, I know I would have felt worse.

In the 2nd mile, I had to stop and use the bathroom, and between standing in line and the actual bathroom use, I lost nearly a full 5 minutes of race time. After the bathroom, I was feeling pretty discouraged. I didn't feel great, I was already way off my initial time goal, and the Garmin kept losing its signal, so for the next few miles, my greatest hurdle was battling with negative thinking...and some heartburn. But, at mile 6, I started feeling better and I started to improve my outlook.

Why was I being such a grumpy goose? Sure, I wasn't gonna PR; I wasn't even gonna make my secondary time goal, but I was running along the beach at sunrise. It was a beautiful morning, and while I may not have felt that great, I felt good enough to be out there running, so I had plenty to be thankful for. After I made the attitude adjustment, the race really improved and I enjoyed the second half. So, even though the Garmin kept pissing me off and my iPod's battery went kaput at mile 10 (and I even had the fleeting thought this morning at the start, "When was the last time I charged the Shuffle?"), I was able to keep my chin up and plug away at the miles. And to my credit, I ran the whole thing despite feeling iffy for the first half.

Finish
Because the Garmin's satellite signal kept blinking in and out, I didn't have an accurate pace guide, but it still kept time, so I essentially had on my wrist an expensive stop watch, but until the chip time is posted, I have that to go by and I can say my finish time was 2:23:08.

I collected my medal, which was pretty cool this year:
And then I boarded a shuttle bound for the start. The shuttle system was kind of a clusterfuck, and I probably could have run the 3 miles back to the start faster than the shuttle got me there, but whatever. I still got to my car by 9:15 and was home by 10 am.

Post Race Thoughts
It's amazing how quickly negativity can compound when things don't start off exactly how I want them to. In fact, part of the reason I was feeling so dissolute this morning was that it felt like the perfect day and the perfect race to really have a fantastic race, so the fact that I wasn't having a great race really just plain peeved me. You'd think that with my race experience, I'd be mentally flexible enough to roll with such changes, but like I said, it took me nearly half the race to accept it as it was and just enjoy myself. So, I guess this race taught me a few things about the importance of letting go.

Every run and every race has elements that are out of my hands; I have to learn to accept that as a possibility with each running opportunity and look to get the best out of each experience instead of being completely derailed (mentally) when things don't go as planned or as hoped. Lessons that I guess I have to re-learn every once and awhile.

After I got home, Jerry, Norah, Scooter and I went to go picnic at the park, and we had a really fun afternoon, and it really was just a beautiful day today. So, after I had lunch digesting in my belly and I was sprawled out on a blanket with Norah and Jerry (Scooter had no time for blanketing; he had some serious sniffing to do), I had pretty much forgotten my woes over a missed time goal.
Sometimes, it just takes a little perspective.

43 comments:

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

Sorry it didn't go exactly as planned, but sounds like you ended up doing great! Cool medal!

TNTcoach Ken said...

You are so right about perspective! A picnic after a race in February???? That is soooooooo cool. There will be other races.

inmytummy said...

I'm glad you were able to change your attitude and enjoy the race. That was one of your goals, right? To just enjoy yourself?

Sometimes runs just suck for no good reason. I ran what should have been a very easy 5 miles yesterday in perfect weather and was hating it the entire time. It just happens.

whatissharondoingnow said...

It was a beautiful day for a run, wasn't it!?

Marlene said...

Congrats on another half!

Too bad about the rough start. I can definitely see how it would get in your head... 13 miles is just a long way to run when things are 'off'. Glad you were able to adjust your attitude and make the most of it.

Sweet medal!

Marci said...

Congrats on another half, and I'm glad you were able to stave off the demons, sounds like a pretty course!

Jes said...

You are right about perspective! That is a really awesome medal and a suuuuuuper cute baby! I'm glad the second half of your run went better.

Anne said...

It really is all about perspective! I'm really glad you ended up feeling better and it looked like a beautiful day. Lovely photo :)

Jamoosh said...

Glad it ended up being a good race. And the medal is badass!

Laurel said...

Wow! The A1A medals are amazing this year! Love it.

Well, sorry you missed your goal, but it sounds like the day ended pretty great. Congratulations on finishing another half marathon.

moni said...

You always inspire me, even when you think you've done less then your best, i'm still in awe of your determination and perseverence. I'm jealous also, that you don't walk like a Zombie after your race. I could hardly walk for 3 days after my 1/2 last week. :) Congrats and thanks for another adorable Norah picture.

MCM Mama said...

Good job sticking with it even when it didn't feel good.

And who could have a bad day when they get to go home to that adorable face?

lifestudent said...

That was my exact Miami 1/2 experience except you recovered! I started off not feeling "right", it wasnt the race I thought it would be, and I got myself all wadded up in a dark mental hole. Great for you to turn it all around.

Congrats on another finish!!!

Sarah said...

What an adorable baby! LOVE that medal!

ajh said...

Your daughter is sooo cute! She must always brighten your day.

Sorry about your poor race start. Waiting in line for the bathroom is terrible when you are racing.

I had a good race today but there is always the feeling that I could have done better. If i was more prepared maybe I could have PRd as it wasn't a hilly course. But I had a great time on a beautiful day.

Your medal is truly awesome. Is it always so cool?

Hope you are feeling good about your race now!

Heather said...

The shell medal is really cool. Congrats on pushing through discomfort and a bad mood to finish! And your picnic looks like a great way to relax post race.

JojaJogger said...

That is the coolest medal I've ever seen. Good job lecturing yourself into an attitude adjustment. I've had to do that in two races, and was able to turn potential fiascos into awesome experiences. (Word verification is pacybutt....lol)

runsarah said...

I am sorry it didn't go as well as you hoped. Love that photo of Norah, she looks so happy, definitely made me smile.

N.D. said...

cool medal and shirt for this one - great job finishing, that is an accomplishment. Speed/goal times will come.

Krissy said...

awe...she is so cute! You did great, just showing up and running it after the past few days you have had was HUGE. That is all you could ask for!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

So glad you didn't let your pace and race experince ruin the rest of your day. I still think you did great! Another half marathon in the books. Another experince and it sounds like your learn from it.

Nice medal. Norah is the cutest! (We finally had sunshine yesterday! I can stop being jealous)

Katie A. said...

You had just battled the stomach flu a week earlier! Don't beat yourself up too much!
But way to power through all of that! You were handed a ton of stuff out of your control and you finished strong - awesome!

Jess said...

Congrats on getting another half marathon under your belt even if it wasn't the perfect race. The medals are so cool, what a fun idea!

aron said...

as long as we learn something its always a successful day right? you still did awesome even after a rough start... congrats on another half marathon!

Wes said...

Yup. Just need some gentle reminders every once in a while! Well done... You came back strong!

Sarah said...

It really is all about perspective. Even though it wasn't your best race, glad you didn't let it be your worst either! :)

Viper said...

That's a sweet medal! Love the creativity. Good job of rejecting the negativity and finding the focus to continue on. So, you didn't make your goal. There are worse things in life, and plenty of races to come. Cheers!

X-Country2 said...

Bummer about the race, but you're totally right, that day was a WIN.

Getting My Words Out said...

Several runners I've been following (including myself) have been battling "attitudes". I'm so glad to hear you got yours turned around. That's a seriously cool medal!! It makes me want to travel the distance to get one, but with my luck the next one would be made out of plastic and look like a 5th grader made it!

Thanks for the inspiring post.
:D

Lauren said...

You should totally pimp out your baby as a model! She's wicked cute!

from5ktomarathon said...

I love this post! I also did a half yesterday and wasn't pleased with my time but it was for an awesome cause and was a really beautiful morning. You're right, sometimes it's all about perspective.

runner26 said...

you still did a great job in this race! especially after battling that stomach bug! that's great that you were able to enjoy the second half of the race--and it sounds like the picnic was a great time!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

So true that I swear when my brain is in a negative place my running is just awful. Then again when I'm focused on my stomach hurting that wouldn't help either!

Good call on having learned something and hopefully enjoying your time along the beach!

Andy said...

That's the way to look at racing. There will always be something that you cannot control and you have to grin and bear it. I am glad you feel better about the race after you finished it though. And what could have topped off this beautiful weekend better than a picnic. When I was not watching the olympics this weekend, I was outside (knowing that winter is coming back).

runninghealthy said...

Sorry your race didn't go like you hoped, but you have a great attitude and perspective about it and that is really refreshing. Honestly, I am just so impressed that you are running half marathons six months after having a baby! That's awesome. Losing signal on the garmin is probably the single thing that annoys me the most during a run or race. I hate not knowing how I'm doing!

Jamie said...

You'll have some bad runs/races, especially from your amount of running experience. I'm glad it got better! Good job!

d.a.r. said...

Sorry it wasn't exactly what you wanted, but being able to reevaluate mid-race and turn it into a positive is an amazing skill!!

And fancy pants medal!

prashant said...

There will be other races.

Work From Home

Nikki said...

Great post - you always say things exactly how I'm thinking them. I could have used this post a couple days ago (and if I'd been on top of things, I would have read it a few days ago! Ha ha)

Amanda said...

So far in the 4 halves I've run, everything has felt good and gone well so I know I'm going to be due for one like this where I don't feel great and all my electronics fail me. I hope I can adjust as well as you did. That's great that you guys had a picnic afterward..what a great day!

Stuart said...

Seriously nice bling!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That is one of the coolest medals I have seen.

sRod said...

That is a killer medal.

Congrats on the race--even if it wasn't what you wanted, it's still a race you've finished and that's what you should me most proud of!