Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Fluke

I am relieved to announce that my success at the San Jose Rock & Roll Half Marathon one month ago was not a fluke! I ran that race--my first--in 2:15:15, a time that far exceeded my expectations. I was ecstatic. Imagine how I feel now, having just broke that time to earn my PR. That's right, I completed the Eye-Q Two Cities Half Marathon in 2:11:26 at a 10:02 pace. I had initially thought the time was a little faster based on my Garmin watch, but I am totally ok with the final result. I am getting better with every race and my confidence continues to soar. The icing on the cake is that I got my brother-in-law excited about running. He, too, had runner's high all the way home. We're going to get the whole family into this running thing.

Lap 1, 7:00am - 8:58 per mile.
I keep thinking back to my first 5k when I shot out of the starting line and ran until I lost my breath at the 0.8 mile mark. I have since learned to control my adrenaline and excitement and slow down the pace upfront. I wanted to crank up the speed, but I kept telling myself to slow down, which helped me in the end.

Lap 2, 7:09am - 9:30 per mile.
One thing I did differently this time around was that I switched iPods. Instead of strapping my bulky iPhone to my arm, I clipped a Shuffle to my shirt instead. The smaller size was definitely more physically comfortable, as well as it allowed me to fidget with the play list as needed. I couldn't do this with the iPhone. The first three miles are always the toughest for me, so being able to play DJ helped.

Lap 3, 7:19am - 9:30 per mile.
Amazingly enough, I was able to keep up at mile three. I distinctly remember singing along to The Beatles as I soaked in the scenery. "If there's anything that you want, if there's anything I can do, just call on me and I'll send it along with love, from me to you." I probably looked silly lip synching during my run, but it helped get my mind off of any possibility of bonking!

Lap 4, 7:28am - 9:41 per mile.
I had to stop to tie my shoes!

Lap 5, 7:38am - 10:18 per mile.
By mile five, I was getting a little concerned because I didn't feel like I was getting into my groove. Janet Jackson was not getting the job done for me, so I exited the Rhythm Nation and entered Motown. Stevie Wonder saved me.

Lap 6, 7:48am - 10:09 per mile.
At the halfway point, I looked at my Garmin and realized that there was the possibility of me achieving my personal record, so I picked up the pace! I looked for my brother-in-law at the turning point, but I couldn't find him. Everyone looked the same in their running uniforms!

Lap 7, 7:48am - 9:24 per mile.
The endorphins started to kick in and the adrenaline allowed me to kick it up a notch.

Lap 8, 8:08am - 9:41 per mile.
No pain, no mental break downs, no drama. I did have to stop to tie my shoes again, but I was able to keep a 9:41 pace in my eight mile. Not bad!

Lap 9, 8:18am - 9:40 per mile.
Endorphin Dude showed up at mile 9! I WAS FLYING!!!!

Lap 10, 8:27am - 10:32 per mile.
...and then there was that hill.

Lap 11, 8:38am - 10:05 per mile.
I recovered after climbing the hill and was able to get my pace back down to 10:05. My legs were beginning to give out, but I was in a much better mind set at the 11 mile mark here in Fresno then I was in San Jose. I did not allow myself to bonk, and I kept plugging long.

Lap 12, 8:48am - 10:40 per mile.
To keep a 10:40 pace at the 12 mile mark is quite a feat. I cranked up the music and kept pushing to get to that finish line. I was so close to the end and that coveted personal record. I kept soldiering on.

Lap 13 - 8:59am - 10:18 per mile.
My legs were cramping up, my thighs were throbbing, and my heart felt like it was about to explode, but I cranked it up to a sprint once I saw that the finish line was within striking distance! I ran and ran and ran, and when I crossed, I raised my arms in victory and limped my way over to the medical station to get iced up. Sheer euphoria. It felt like the first time all over again.

Running 13.1 miles is not easy, but I love it. I am so ready for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half in four weeks!

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