You may notice that my posts are getting a little out of order—I apologize! Traveling for work is messing with my normal writing routine, and even though I had planned to cook this weekend and write up another Healthy Eats post for this week, the universe had other plans (in the form of a leaking garbage disposal, therefore, no kitchen sink. Ugh). So I’m shifting things a little and will be posting that recipe as soon as I have the time to cook it (hopefully next week). So! In the meantime, here’s the recap of the 3M Half Marathon that I was going to write up in a couple of weeks.
A beautiful day for a race.
It was pretty cold when we showed up at the starting line—H had his good windstopper jacket on until I asked to borrow it while we walked. We each took a dog and walked from the parking lot of a nearby strip mall to the starting line. This race was advertised as “downhill to downtown,” so I was hoping for a PR. I didn’t want to press my luck by starting with the 1:40 group again and having to run alone for part of the race, and I had checked at the expo this time—there was going to be a 1:45 pacer. Perfect. That would be a solid two minute PR for me.
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I have a tiny bladder, and always have to pee when I’m nervous. There’s something about the starting line at races that always makes me nervous, so naturally, I was hoping to use a port-a-potty before starting. No such luck—the lines were super long, and with only fifteen minutes until the start, I didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the way they set up the starting corral, I had to push my way through people anyway in order to find the pace group. So, I had to pee from the very beginning of the race. I was very nervous I wasn’t going to get my PR because of it, too.
The race started. I ran out in front of the pace group while I could, looking for a bathroom. It took until mile 2 to find one (two very miserable miles for me!), but I stopped quickly, skipped the water stop, and race faster than I intended during the third mile to catch the pace group again. I caught them and slowed down to match their pace. The whole time, I was listening to Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, on Audible—since I knew that I was going to be running with people, I didn’t have to worry about keeping time with any music beat. So I listened to a book (more on that on Friday!). The miles passed uneventfully, and it was truly mostly flat and downhill. The winds were pretty strong that day, almost taking my hat off a couple of times and blowing the headphones out of my ears once or twice. It was a weird day. As we approached the University of Texas campus, I knew we were close to the end. The pacers said we were making good time, and we might even beat 1:45. So I sped up a little, anxious to be done, to be back in our apartment and in the shower, since I had to get on a plane and travel for work that afternoon (the beginning of a nightmare, but that’s a story for another time). I felt good. I kept thinking about food—I was really hungry.
The big finish!
I finished ahead of the pace group, and H actually missed me going by. He said he only knew that I finished because he got a notification on his phone—he’d been tracking me throughout the race. But I did it! I got the PR—1:44:47. That’s down almost 9 full minutes since last April, when I got my last PR (1:53:34). It also makes me wonder—if I had kept up on my training after we got Macy (it’s been really hard!) could I have been even faster?
I guess we’ll never know! But I’m proud of myself anyway.
It’s been a rough recovery from that race because of the travel woes I experienced later that day and into the next day. I’ve only been on two real runs since then, and it’s about time to start tapering for my last race in the Distance Challenge. Just one long run left.
The next time you’ll hear about running from me, it will be to recap the Austin Marathon! I can’t believe how quickly this Distance Challenge has flown by!
Yours in running,