The Race I Didn’t Plan For

I know it’s Friday and I’ve been bad about posting my Fit Friday posts, but I wanted to get this recap out instead.

Last Sunday, I ran the Big Sur Half Marathon. This has been one of my favorite half marathon since I first ran in it in 2011. Last year, I also ran my current PR there. So this year, I planned on this being my last real race of 2013 and hoped to finally break 1:40 in the half. For the most part, my training had gone really well and my speed was picking up. A week before the race, I was confident that this would be the perfect setting. But it wasn’t, no PR, not this time.

Unfortunately, timing was not on my side. As I shared in my last post, we just purchased our first home and began our move on the Friday before the race. I knew this was not ideal but it was what it was. I ended up being on my feet packing pretty much every day of the week leading up to the race. I tried to mitigate this by using some Recovery Pump time but I just had too much on my legs. During my Friday run, my right foot also acted up and we had to stop for me to stretch it out. Despite all this, I really thought I could still PR – if only by a few seconds.

Who can complain with this scenery? (Photo by Miriam K.)

Who can complain with this scenery? (Photo by Miriam K.)

Sunday morning I headed down to the race with Leslie (who was pacing me – what a treat!) and Sam (who rocked her race with a new PR and took 1st in her AG). We had a nice little shake out run and while my legs still felt tired, I felt ok and wasn’t too worried. Pretty quickly into the race, I knew it was going to be a hard push to get this PR but I still thought I could do it. Leslie kept me on pace, following my goal to stay within 7:35-7:40 for the first 10k, then the plan was to drop to about 7:30 through mile 10 and then give everything I had in the last 3 miles. Even though I didn’t feel as great as I wanted to, every time Leslie asked how I was going, I said good – if I said it out loud it made it true, right? I hit mile 7.7 at 59:02, right on target.

When we hit mile 9, Leslie knew I was having a rough time. She asked if this was just the pain of the race or if it just wasn’t my day. I had to be honest, there was no way I could keep up my pace for another 4 miles, let alone push faster. So I told her it wasn’t my day. We held a pretty decent pace for the next two miles (7:48, 7:54). But then I just fell apart – running never felt so hard! (Ok, it felt harder at the LA Marathon but whatever.) We hit mile 11 at 1:25:51. I thought maybe if I held back in miles 11 and 12, I could push in the last mile and maybe make up a little time – still not a PR but at least close to my best. Leslie was a great pacer, she reminded me that even on my slow runs I was faster than what I was running in those two miles and I really appreciated that. She encouraged me to try to pass people in that last mile. And I wanted to… but no good. I had to stop (twice!) because my body just wasn’t having it. I have to admit, it was a little awful to fall apart like that with a friend to witness it – but I so appreciated Leslie being there. A big THANK YOU to her for being there and being a great pacer even when I couldn’t make it happen. When we came up to the finish (where Kevin and my dad were spectating – thanks guys!) I gave everything I had to push to the finish, even a little sprint in that last bit before the finish line. My official finish time: 1:44:15 (1:42 ish without my stops).

Leslie taking me into the finish chute (photo by Kevin)

Leslie taking me into the finish chute (photo by Kevin)

After crossing the line, I picked up my food box and ate EVERYTHING. I was starving. I never eat that quickly after a race. But I could not find where I had packed my Sports Beans and had only eaten a banana before the race – not great. I normally don’t need fuel in a half marathon, however, the few times I have forgotten to take it with me have been the times I needed it – of course, right? We had to run some errands after the race for the new house and my legs were so tired that I sat down in the store – yep. And I didn’t run again until today – although lots of time on my feet still with unpacking. Even with those days off, my legs still felt tired and so while I’m bummed that Sunday didn’t go the way I hoped and planned for, I gave all I had in the race. And still, it was my fastest half in a year.

Nice swag

Nice swag

This Sunday I also get to pay it forward and pace a friend to a new PR at the inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon. I’m pretty excited to run with her and still in a good long run. Will I be seeing you at the race? (Look for me, I’ll have on my SFM Ambassador singlet from last year.)




6 thoughts on “The Race I Didn’t Plan For

  1. Wow I can relate to this a lot actually. I recently ran the NYCM (my first marathon) but had to move a couple weeks before. I moved across the country twice in the 6 weeks leading up to it. I was upset at first with my time but blessed I finished. I know you will get the PR you want soon! Glad I found your blog. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a tough one, eek! Way to push through, glad you had a good pacer to help out. 🙂 I always hate people seeing me fall apart too, but the reality is it happens sometimes. I need to run Big Sur again – I loved it last year! Hope to see you in Berkeley this weekend. Are you coming to the 4 pm bib pickup to meet SFM peeps?

  3. As hard as it was to fall apart in front of a friend, I’m so glad you weren’t alone and had Leslie there with you. ❤ – can't wait to hear about the Berkeley half and to see what lays ahead for you in 2014!

  4. Pingback: Pacing a Friend to a PR |

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  6. Pingback: Highlights of 2014 |

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