“There are no limits on what you can do today”
That is what I repeated in my head for The Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon on Saturday. My mantra for the day. (PS this is a SUPER long post so you might want to have some time on your hands if you really want to read it.)
BUUUUT first let me back up, from the beginning- because at 6:45am on race day I was having a complete meltdown. Yikes- it wasn’t pretty, but unfortunately it happened. But maybe fortunately as it may have helped fuel the fire for the day.
My day began at 4:45am as the race was at 7am and we have a 45 minute drive to get there. It was cold, rainy, and windy out. (oh yay!) I had looked up where to pick up my bib the night before and we drove off. As we got to Rehoboth Beach, we found the first parking we could since we weren’t really sure how’d that go. Drew parked and I ran out to where packet pickup was said to be, planning on coming back to the car… but SURPRISE! It wasn’t there.
I was with another group of people who also figured that out at the same time as me. We were told it was down at the start line- (would have been nice to know!) Unfortunately, this was far from where I was now and as I started to walk I realized time was short and I became super stressed. I followed the crown quickly realizing I was probably a good half a mile from the start!! I couldn’t get Drew to bring me cause of how the roads were blocked off and I was already on my way. Another non-helpful thing was that it was before the sun came up so it was dark everywhere. I felt like a chicken with my head cut off.
Okay full out panic-This is when I RAN my way to the start and also realized the line was CRAZY LONG. I somehow finally called out my bib number, grabbed it and sprinted my butt off to get to back to Drew where all of my things were. (Oh, and let’s not forget it was wet and slippery and I had a nice fall in a parking lot first.) As soon as I saw Drew I burst into tears, opened the car door threw my warm clothing off, found my fuel, iPod, and Picky Bar. All as I’m hyperventilating trying to talk to Drew, saying things like I had to go to the bathroom (I REALLY did), I hadn’t eaten yet …all between blubbers. Thankfully, he calmly came over pinned my bib on me and made me get in the car. He drove me as far as we could go and parked and got me to the start which was now 3 minutes from race time… Phew. One giant relief.
(oh, Drew I love you- you know that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!)
Anyways- I retold that story because now it makes me laugh. At the time I saw my PR Goal race slipping out of my hands and I was freaking out. However, it may have helped me. Now that I made it to the start after a disastrous beginning, I was absolutely determined that I was going to do it. If I made it to that start line, then it was meant to be. I’ve never had such focus and determination going into a race- and here it was. Time to actually get it done.
When the race started I tried to zone out all the other people…I hate getting caught up in excitement and running too fast. Coach Jill told me to hover around a 10 minute pace. Surprisingly enough- I did a good job at not starting out too fast. I definitely had started too fast in all my other races and it killed me in the end.
This was my main plan from Coach, starting out a bit slower and working my way down.
The race went straight out to a park road and then had a turnaround point. I was surprised at how good I was feeling… I hadn’t started out too fast and was feeling clam and ready.
Mile 1: 10:02, Mile 2: 9:49, Mile 3: 9:57
The next few miles were on the streets through the Rehoboth community, we had a good amount of people out on the course cheering even for it being a small local race. I again, felt really good. The miles were unbelievably clicking away.
Mile 4: 10:00, Mile 5: 9:55, Mile 6: 9:58
Mile 6 started to lead in to a state park where it became a bit of a cross country race. The cinder trail became a mud pit in some places and there were large puddles to dodge. This was hard because the trail wasn’t wide and the half marathoners had not split off from the marathoners yet. The trail was packed and at times I was kind of stuck by people I couldn’t get around. I was a little frustrated but when I saw a gap, I would burst through trying to shake some of the people.
Those were definitely the miles I was stuck. At that 10 mile point there was finally a split between the marathoners and us and the crowd thinned out. We turned around and went back through the trail as the marathoners went straight. Now I was going through the trail with plenty of room to myself. Now that I was at Mile 10, this was it- this
was USED to be- the time my knees would ache, my legs would start to feel heavy and I would totally bonk. But they didn’t! I was making pretty perfect time, and I knew I could do it. I too realized that my watch was off from the course’s markings, I was ahead of them- so if I really wanted that 2:10- I was going to have to HURRY!
Mile 10: 9:57, Mile 11 9:48, Mile 12: 9:46
Here it was the last mile and change for the PR. I put the jets on for that last mile, at this point I was almost numb, floating along, my legs were just going.
Mile 13: 9:27
Unfortunately I was still further along according to my watch than I was, so I could tell the finish line wasn’t as close as I wanted it to be… I struggled in that last mile but I just made my legs go as fast as I could. I couldn’t believe that I was actually sprinting in to a half finish line feeling okay.
Last .23 according to my Garmin: 1:54
My Garmin marked me as having run my 13:1 in 2:09:36
Photo Credit to Drew!
Overall 13.23 Miles for a 9:53/m avg.
PRETTY DANG PROUD of that. My first half where my miles averaged under 10 minute miles.
I finally saw the finish line at 13.23 and looked down to see a beautiful 2:10:45 on my watch!
Drew came to greet me with a big hug. First words out of my mouth were, I worked my @$$ off that entire time!
If you can say that you give nothing more that day, than it is a good day.
What was even better about this day was that I got to meet a few Oiselle team members! I met Mary:
PS-Mary, was 3rd woman overall! Running a 1:28, amaze-balls time!
Good times were had by all. Besides the mess in the beginning. I loved this race. Every single aspect about the course and community. The food was nice after wards- there was TONS of beer. I highly recommend it if you’re into a small town race vibe! Rehoboth Beach is a really cute town too.
There you have it. No more words for me. Still on runner’s high!