Race Report: Run To The Beat...

10.05.2011

Yes it's taken me over week to post about my Run To The Beat Half Marathon experience because yes, that's how long it's taken for me to recover from it... no, not really but I like being all dramatic sometimes! So now without any more delays... the half marathon breakdown through my thoughts, experiences, and of course pictures.
Words can't even capture how much excitement and nervousness there was in the air!!! It still amazes me that how no matter how big or small the race is, no matter if Ive ran that distance before, no matter if Ive trained really hard or done just barely enough... I still feel the same crazy energy fluttering around in me on race day... and you know what? It's kind of addictive!

I kissed hubs goodbye and left extra early just in case (and because I'm always late to most things). The train ride over was filled with runners from all over, heading in the same direction as me, with the same purpose as me... to finish the race!!! There's an unsaid bond that runners have amongst each other... it's in the slight nod as you run past... it's in those matching nervous glances... it's in the secret smiles you give one another.... and those are the things that carry me through my runs. Most of the time we are complete strangers, but when you are geared up, running, or heading towards a race, we become kindred spirits. At that moment, they are the only ones that can relate to all the hard work, pain, sweat, and even tears that you have put into your training... no one else could ever really understand...

I was lucky enough to run into Charlie and some other Run Dem Crew members before the race and that also helped calm my nerves. We had come this far and there was no turning back now. The day was unusually hot for London and while normally I would have welcomed it, all I wanted for today was cool and overcast... like it had been every other day. But like in life, sometimes you just have to work with what you are given and make the most of it.

Mile 1-3: After nearly 15 minutes of being herded like cattle, I finally reached the start line and I was off!!! I felt great, my playlist was set to my most upbeat and favorite songs first, my new shoes felt amazing, and I had my Lucazade Sport to keep hydrated. I ran at my newly acquired pace of just under ten minutes and hoped I could keep it up through out most of the race (maybe even all of it?) In all of my training I have learned that although these first couple of miles are usually my fastest, they are mentally my hardest and it takes me awhile to find my rhythm. Twenty or so minutes into the race, I realized it had been awhile since my Nike+ had mentioned my mile and pace... I looked over at my arm band only to find that I had accidentally paused my workout even though my music had still been playing... grrr! My own time was now off and a mile behind but what can you do? I just hit resume workout and carried on. As much as I had hoped for the better, the heat was much more intense than I had expected and I quickly felt dehydrated. I was glad I was carrying my own bottle since the first water station didn't show up till around mile three! So far the race was lacking in any kind of shade and the sun was having no mercy on us... how I wished I had brought a hat...

Miles 4-6: Unexpected hills on this course, what??? And yes for all three miles!!! Again something I was not prepared for. It seemed every time I turned a corner, I looked up to see the road going uphill again. By now I was starting to feel the consequences of having worked the day before (standing for eight hours) and every step felt like I was running on needles. I kept running, though at times going uphill actually felt like maybe I was going backwards??? Surely someone less fatigued could walk uphill faster than I was running by this point. I knew this was majorly affecting my time but between the pain, the heat, and the hills, I just had enough energy to keep running... and so I trekked on... I made sure to listen to my body and slow down as it asked for. I decided I didn't care about my time anymore after seeing so many runners had passed out for pushing themselves too hard in this heat. If I could just finish the race in one piece, then I would be happy. And so I ran... silently cursing the people who had chosen this route...

Miles 7-9: I was wiped out!!! I started to think thoughts like "oh my sweet Jesus I'm only half way through, how am I ever going to finish" and "God can you please through some clouds and a gust of wind our way???" By now I had almost finished all of my own drink and had begun to grab water cups at the stations with the sole purpose of pouring it over my head for a quick cool down. I mentally started going over all of my errors up to that point far like getting carried away and running too fast at the beginning, working the day before, not checking the weather and realizing  would need a hat... and the list went on and on. All things I will make sure to correct next time... if I finished this time... why couldn't I find my rhythm??? And where were all the supporters to cheer me on when I needed it the most??? I saw some fellow RDM members run past me that I had left behind in my dust at the beginning of the race... slow and steady wins the race Jackie, next time I will be slow and steady. I was fading and fast...

Miles 10-13.1: Don't ask me why it had taken me this long to find my groove, but at last I had found it and was ready to finish this race! I was feeling invincible as I approached mile ten and knew I could easily push the last three miles out of me. I was singing along at some points (I tend to do that) with sheer happiness to almost be done, high fiving little kids standing along the course line... when the unthinkable happened... mile 11 and my I phone died... hence no more music. I feel I must point out that for a music based race, their was a serious lack of it. I hadn't really minded since I was using my own anyways, but it would have been nice to have theirs as a backup now that I was music-less. Another lesson learned, next time don't get so excited with new phone that I use up battery uploading to facebook and twitter... womp, womp. Those last couple of miles I did my best to run, but like Ive said, I can't without music... and so I power walked/ran/power walked/ran until mile 12 where the cheers to other RDM members gave me a new boost. Passing mile 13, onlookers kept cheering "Keep going, the finish line is just around the bend!" and I kept running around bends thinking where is it??? I think I actually got tears in my eyes (amazing considering how dehydrated I was) when I finally saw the finish line... and gave it all had to cross.

Final outcome: 2:23:54 time, 10"59' pace, and 8,583 place. This was three minutes slower than I had wanted, I walked some when I was really trying to run the whole thing, but you know what? I couldn't be prouder!!!





Some serious stretching followed by some serious eating was very needed indeed! Hubs and I went to The Diner to celebrate where I ate what all half marathon champions should eat... a pancake stack sprinkled with powdered sugar, home fries, scrambled eggs, bacon, and washed it all down with spicy bloody mary. Yay me! After that, pretty much crashed for the rest of the day... and then some!






***Today I am thankful for the chance to have participated in the London Half Marathon... it may not have been the time I was aiming for, but I am glad I finished and with no injuries too***

6 COMMENTS:

  1. This is so awesome, good for you!! You look way too cute in your workout gear. And the new shoes.. nice. You should be so proud you finished the whole thing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done Jackie! I have just signed up for my first half marathon (Silverstone) which is in March 2012, after not running for 5 years! Just literally starting out again and this recap of your half marathon made me remember even more how great running and racing is! Good luck for your next challenge! Lynsey (http://therunmummyrunmumma.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
  3. CONGRATS!!! Finishing with a smile on your face is something to be proud of! I've got my first half this coming Sunday...nervous!! It also looks like it will be the hottest day in weeks, high 0f 81 :( CURSES! But, like you - I know I can push through! I've got a goal time in mind but I'm really hoping I don't get too caught up in numbers. It will be the farthest I've ever ran, and that in itself is an accomplishment. I'll be thinking about you while I race!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Rachel
    Thanks Rachel! Yea I was really happy to have finished it and the new shoes made so comfy!!! -JB.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Lynsey Summers
    Awe good for you!!! I know starting over seems hard at times, but I'm sure you'll progress a lot quicker having run before... you can do it! Running is fun a such a hard and mentally challenging way lol. Best of luck on your training! -JB.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Lauren Chilcote
    Thanks!!! Geez I wish we still lived in the same city and decided to like running at the same time lol. Congrats on your half and time too!!! You did a great job and I hope you made your time! Come run a race in London so I can see you again!!! -JB.

    ReplyDelete

 

Made With Love © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger