So…yeah…this past Saturday…I ran a half marathon.
Technically, I signed up for the Lucky 13 Half Marathon in Davis, CA (along with a few others) prior to my injury. I worked closely with my coach to watch my recovery progress as we approached race day the plan was to use the half marathon as a normal, zone two (maybe a bit of zone three) training run. It would be my PDR post-injury and I am always anxious to see how my ankle will react as we try new distances again. With that, the half marathon was on.
My alarm was set for 5 a.m. so Chicken Face, Lola and I would have plenty of time to eat, get ready and head to Davis for a little jaunt. For the first time in my racing history, I completely overslept and only had 15 minutes to get ready, shove food down my face and get on the road. This must have been my subconscious not worrying about the race, as it was just a training run after all. Right?
Chicken Face dropped me off at the start and he made his way to get his caffeine kick. I went to pick-up my bib and use the restroom, and it turned out I had plenty of pre-race time to kill. As I made my way to the start, I spotted RoseRunner and Faster Bunny (ok, ok, Caitlin and Margot). Margot was up from SoCal and I knew she would be running with Caitlin, but I hadn’t made any plans to run with them (I barely knew if I was going to see them). When I spotted gals, I leaped toward them and probably scared Margot with my immediate hugs.
As we stood there chatting, I professed my plan to keep it an easy 8-8:30/mi. basic training run, but as soon as that gun went off, it triggers my head and my heart. Most of the time, I can’t contain it and I thought what the hell, let’s see how long I can stay with them and then I’ll taper back.
So we ran and talked and ran and talked some more. We chatted about Marissa Mayer and her ridiculous no WFH policy (we can debate that later), pasty skin, dairy, and probably a story I shouldn’t have told when so many other people were around (let alone Margot as this was the first time I’ve ever met her). Caitlin, the stud that she is, just ran a stellar marathon last week and was cruising like it was a recovery run for her as we put down these splits:
M7: 8:08 (Oh shit, Caitlin & Page have to stop for the bathroom)
M8: 6:57 (Oh shit, have to catch back up with Margot)
M9: 7:10 (Ugggh, haven’t run this fast in a while)
M10: 7:16 (Must…catch…up. GU ME CAITLIN!)
M11: 7:18 (Is this thing over yet, I’m losin’ it.)
M12: 7:14 (I can hear the band!)
M13: 7:19 (Bringing it in)
13.1 Miles: 1:36:37 (Garmin) / 1:36:34 (Official)
3rd in AG / 10th Female / 44th Overall / Avg. 7:22/mi.
I didn’t expect that to happen. I didn’t expect any part of this race to have a 7 in front of any of my paces — I had convinced myself that I was too out of shape to do it. But the course was flat, the scenery was lovely (only a few boring parts) and with the help of Caitlin pacing us and a new friend in Margot, I had an a great time chatting, pushing ourselves, eating Catlin’s Gus, bitching about how we were getting tired, cursing at the fact that mile 12 wasn’t soon enough, then rejoicing at the surprising finish.
I must admit, multiple times I told Caitlin and Margot that I was going to slow down and practice what I preached, but they were so motivating that I just couldn’t give in. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would have even tried to push myself that much (plus, my iPod died — lovely).
As we neared the finish, the high school band was practicing and it was just the extra oomph that I needed. Caitlin told me to “go get that age group award” and she let me go as I made my way to the finish. My legs were toast as they hadn’t run anything near that in a very long time, but we stuck together and had an awesome race.
Somehow, the first thing that we did post finish was grab the free dixie-cups of beer (note to race director: your course was great; the beer could be bigger) and grabbed our free stuff. Did we need it? No. Did they have bags to put it in? Nope. Will we still take it? You betcha!
We found Chicken Face and Lola, and made our way to the results where we found out that Margot got second in her age group and I got third. Yay for Margot (!) but honestly, that third place of mine should have been Caitlin’s. She paced me then let me go ahead in the end. I know, I know, what are we to do?! Not to worry, we devised a great shared-custody plan for the extra bling blang.
Speaking of the bling blang, both the finisher medal and AG awards were HUGE! Nice job, race director, especially for a local event. Also, note to self: do not wear a black long sleeved shirt and a black earwarmer unless you want to experience unnecessary heat torture again. Rookie move.
Today, my ankle and hip are sore. There’s no doubt that I pushed my still-recovery leg and it is throwing a bit of a tantrum. However, the race was the confidence builder I needed to reassure myself that not all is lost and that my friend speed will be back soon.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day and an extra special shout out to Margot and Caitlin for helping me overcome a big mental barrier that I’ve been dealing with lately.
There were also a ton of other big wins over the weekend: congrats again to Aron, Jess, Layla, Kristen, Alyssa and everyone else how had stellar racing weekends!