Well, another half marathon DONE. Let’s just say beginners luck might just be real and it does not get easier the second time…

I was really, really excited for this race! I’d been looking forward to it for months and was so excited to run. Last night I had a great dream that I finished in 1:56, blowing my 2:00 goal away!

Unfortunately dreams are not always reality. Sometimes you can do everything right but it might just not be your day. That’s what happened today….I did everything right. I trained hard, I put in my miles, I did speedwork, I gave up alcohol for the past 3 weeks, I tapered, I fueled up yesterday, I was asleep by 9pm, I had a good breakfast, I warmed up, I started strong. And then things just didn’t go right. I can’t even say that I ‘fell apart’ because it was a struggle from the start. I felt so good going into this race but it just wasn’t my day.

I lined up with the 2:00 pace group and stuck with them for the first 2 miles. My legs were especially tight but I thought it would go away as the race went on but it never really did. During the first mile (8:53) my heart rate was only hovering around 150 which is just so low. I thought I had hydrated enough yesterday but I guess I was wrong. I think I was a little dehydrated when I woke up and the humidity of the day just wasn’t helping. My legs just were NOT firing. I tried really hard to pick up my cadence to around 90 but it just wasn’t happening. I tried every mental trick in the book but nothing was helping. I listened to music, I focused on form, I counted my steps, but I was struggling. I kept looking at my pace and getting frustrated and around mile 5 I knew I wasn’t going to meet my time goal or PR so at that point I stopped caring about my pace and just focused on surviving.

I stopped and stretched my calves at one point, I walked up some of the hills, and I walked through every water station. I definitely was dehydrated because I was actually thirsty during the run. I drank 2 gaterade and 2 water at ever station and almost felt thirstier after ever sip. It was bizarre. I was out of breath and hurting but still my HR wouldn’t go up. I really tried everything–I ate gu, I tried doing some striders where I would pick up the pace for a little bit but nothing was working. I thought that my HR monitor actually wasn’t working but I think it was really me that wasn’t working!

It was a major struggle, I was dizzy and weak and just wanted it to be over. Around mile 10 my IT band really started aching. But I never gave up. The thought of quitting never crossed my mind. I didn’t care how long it took, I WOULD cross that finish line and I would be a million times stronger for it. I kept repeating this quote to myself

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

And I finally crossed the finish line at 2:12 (9:55 ave)

(we accidentally took a video so a freeze frame is the best we’ve got!)

It was not my best race. It hurt. A lot. But I did it! While I was running I was trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. I think it must have been dehydration which just really sucks. I am going to drink more water between now and June 26 than you can even imagine. Other than that I think it just comes down to sometimes shit happens. Races are unpredictable and they aren’t always going to be great. It’s ok.

I’m sad that I didn’t meet my goals but I am not disappointed in myself. I trained really hard and I did the very best I could on this day. If the race was yesterday or tomorrow it might have been an entirely different story. My half marathon in November everything went perfectly. The weather was perfect, my legs felt wonderful, my stomach was great….it was the ‘perfect race’ that runners know only come around every once in a while. Today was the complete opposite. But you know what, I am almost more proud of myself for finishing this race than that one for that very reason. Today was so much more difficult, I had to dig so deep to keep pushing. I wasn’t just flying through like last time, I was pushing myself to the finish.

I did my best and that is what matters. I will definitely redeem myself next time.

Oh, and also this was my 13th race ever…bad luck perhaps?

Congrats to all the runners for getting out there in the rain and running hard!