Happy Hump Day!
Warning: This is a long one!
I’m really excited to start back up with blogging by sharing my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon. It was only a few weeks ago, on April 19th, and I think I honestly still remember every second of that race.
They emailed us our race packets a few days before the race, which was nice because I honestly hate all of the random flyers and junk mail that they stuff into the normal ‘goodie bags’. Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon was a zero waste event, so they try to do everything in the most environmentally responsible way, which I thought was awesome about this race.
Official packet pickup was on Saturday, so a group of us headed downtown and ate lunch and I picked up my bib and XXXS tee-shirt. Okay, it was a medium but who the heck is designing these women’s sizes? My shirt from a few years ago was way too big, and this one was like a belly shirt. What’s going on here? Maybe I’ll model it for you if you’re lucky. 😉
I had my traditional Red Robin feast (which wasn’t too much of a feast because they were pretty skimpy on the fries) and started to develop a KILLER headache. Since it was early spring my sinus/allergies were in full effect and I was starting to really worry about race day. I could barely hold my head up let alone think about running 13.1 miles. After dinner we swung by the drug store to grab some meds and then I crashed hard when I got home.
I woke up Sunday feeling tired but great! No headache in sight, which was a huge relief. I got a good luck text from my bff who couldn’t be there to cheer me on, but it was a MUCH needed confidence boost! 🙂
It was FREEZING cold and I had absolutely no clue what to wear for the race since I am typically a fair weather outdoor runner (I’m ashamed, but it’s true!). I settled on a running skirt, tank, compression socks and a wind breaker jacket over top. I figured I’d wear the jacket there and see how I felt once I had to line up for the race. We got to the start and it was windy as all get out and I was shaking and questioning my sanity. The bathroom lines were SO long, so by the time I made it through for one final pee break it was time to get lined up. I decided on keeping my jacket because the thought of taking it off was unbearable.
The first few miles of the race were slow and painful. My legs were SO tight from the cold weather and it felt like time was standing still. I remember my watch beeping at mile 3 and thinking ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. Once my body started to warm up it was pretty smooth sailing. I hit mile 6, ate a Gu packet and went through a mental check list of how I was feeling. I was staying hydrated, I wasn’t really in any pain (take that IT bands!), I was feeling good mentally, but I was starting to get HOT. I wish I could have thrown my jacket onto the ground, and definitely would have if it wasn’t a semi-expensive running jacket. Since it was windy the jacket was actually dragging me down and I remember feeling a LOT of resistance at some points during the race. I also mentally kicked myself a few times for not getting out and doing more outdoor runs. I think I did a great job of keeping my cardio up via the DREAD-mill all winter, but I had run a whopping ONE time outside for 6 miles a week before. There were some pretty serious hills throughout the course, so I could have done a much better job of preparing had I actually ran outside a little more. I went out thinking I wanted to run a sub-2:00 race. I really think I could have done it had I trained properly, and I remember realizing around mile 10 that it just wasn’t going to happen this time.
I crossed the finish line still feeling really strong and was overall very happy with my 2:06:05 time. It was only a PR of about 20 seconds (whoop!), but I was okay with it all things considered.
Some takeaways from the race:
- If I want to go into a spring race season and finish comfortably, training on the treadmill is A-OK for me. If I want to compete for a strong PR or have some incredibly ambitious time, I will definitely need to work on running outside through the fall and winter.
- I think that listening to my body was key and that I took a good amount of time off of running every time I had something bother me knee or leg-wise.
- I proved to myself that I can work+go to school+ continue to train!
Again, I am very happy with how I finished all things considered. Working and going to school was a chore in itself and some days I just plain didn’t feel like running. As I continue to develop and get better (more on this in the coming days!) I am excited to see how my times improve. It wasn’t the sub-2:00 that I hoped for, but I know I’ll get there with hard work and determination.
Here are some of the very few pics I have from the day:
They gave out finisher charms instead of metals, pretty cool.
I highly recommend the Gazelle Girl 1/2 marathon as a first or one of many race. The course was great and the spectators were awesome. I will definitely be running this again next year!