|After the race|
And while I didn't "eat those 13.1 miles for breakfast", I did kick my own ass and surprise myself! A week ago I ran 12 miles up here on our hilly roads-keeping my running light and easy-in about 2.5 hours. I figured if i can tackle monster hills up here, I could take on 13.1 miles in relatively flat Anchorage. My goal was to finish the race in under 3 hours-pushing for the 2.5. I finished in 1:58:26!!! Miles ran it too, kicking ass at 2:06-ish. And that guy ran the whole things in his Vibram Five Fingers!
The temps Saturday were perfect, about 55 and partly sunny. It wasn't a huge crowd, only about 200 runners-this being a more obscure race dedicated to a mother and son who where killed by a bear while out running. We got there on the early side watered and fueled, hit the honey pots, stretched a bit, and did some warm-up jogging. To be on the safe side we decided to get on the now very long line to the honey pots and try to evacuate any "leftovers" before the race started. Nothing like running a good distance with a crap on deck...or a full bladder. We were just hopping out of our respective cans as they started the 10 second count down! Joining the back-ish of the line I fumbled with securing my tunes to my upper arm and even tried to take a couple phone pics of the runners ahead of me.
I wasn't feeling panicky or nervous like I thought i would once "go!" was shouted and took it easy as we found a comfortable pace gaining some speed and making our way more towards the middle of the pack. Miles and I didn't chat as much as usual, saving energy and concentration for the race. I fought the urge to plug in my ear buds for the first 2 miles, enjoying the peace of the woods, ambling river, and me and my husband's foot fall. The birdsong was beautiful... But soon I started to get that "racehorse in the gate" feeling. Biding adieu to Miles, I turned on the ipod and surged ahead to U2's "Beautiful Day"- I felt like I could fly! I slowly made my way passing many runners up ahead. The collective atmosphere seemed energized and joyful-smiles, words of encouragement and cheers from bystanders and kids offering water. After a few miles, the first of the front runners started to appear as they made their way back to the finish line. I tried to throw out a few "keep goin'!"s and thumbs up but around the halfway point I was starting to realize I needed to not break my concentration. I downed a few Gu chomps, trying not to slobber as I breathed heavily through my chewing. As I passed the halfway point I fast-forwarded through some songs to find something that would really get my spirit cranking. After a minute or so, my heart took a leap as I saw my hunny approaching with his arm outstretched. I let him know the that the halfway was right around the corner as we high-fived. "I love you, Baby" I yelled and got to work on the last half of the race. To push myself a bit, I would target anyone in front of me and try to pass them. I have a habit of getting comfortable following...I get in a groove and zone out while they lead. In the past this has translated into my life in general. Somewhere in my mind a voice said to my inner child,"You can follow or you can lead...". I did my best to lead-passing all but one young woman that I ran neck and neck with for awhile until she surged ahead toward the end. In my naive mind, I had hoped to run steady until that last couple miles where I would kick it in and run hard to the finish. Didn't work out that way! The last 2 miles were TOUGH!!! 4 of the people I had previously passed eventually overtook me. At one point I broke out of my zoniness to realize I was alone on the trail and wasn't seeing any markers! I got a bit freaked out thinking it would be just like me to take a wrong turn as the trail branched out quite a bit in that area! But I soon approached a familiar park and knew I was on track.
At one point I came SO close to walking...but I snapped out of it, telling myself,"You KNOW that in about 10 minutes you will be DONE and able to rest and revel!!! Don't you fucking WALK!!!" All thoughts of slowing down left as I passed under the last tunnel and could see the finish line and people up ahead! Those distant cheers of encouragement uplifted me, giving a boost of energy and speed to fly over that finish line! What an incredible feeling!!! I walked about for a couple minutes, passing a last minute speedster bent over and maybe puking in the lake. I stretched my quads and turned my attention to the finish line to wait for Miles. I walked back along the trail about 50 yards and after a few minutes he appeared. I yelled out something like,"GO baby!!!" and ran parallel to him through the crowd to grab him at the finish. We were both THRILLED with our bad selves..having exceeded our own expectations! I'm STILL high...I've spent the last couple days nursing some intense soreness! Sunday was misery as we continued work framing our interior walls. As of today only my calves are still crying...but I'm hoping they'll recover by Friday night's Twilight 12K run! Hey, I know it's soon, I know my second thought after that 1/2 marathon was,"I'm not running for at LEAST 10 days!" (After-race brain fuzz?!?)but there is a BEER GARDEN at the end of this race, yo!!!
Ok, I'm totally hooked on running races!!!!! I've always had the urge to RUN since I was a kid, begging my friends to run in the Town Journal Run with me(I never did). If I could go back in time I would DEFINITELY join the track and cross country teams in school. Back then, I never had the confidence....couldn't handle being in the public eye. But now, at 42 years old, it's there-a little late, yeah- but now is MY TIME!!!!! And I can't wait for my new Subaru to come in so I can slap that 13.1 bumper sticker on the back window!!!!
|Runs with phone|