Ummmmm........WHAT? Did I seriously just run that 5 months, 5 days after giving birth to my adorable baby girl?? I guess it just goes to show that I have ALOT of room for improvement in the half. I am looking ahead, BIG BIG GOALS! Finally, things are starting to click for me, it has been YEARS since training has gone this well and I have been injury free! All it took was getting pregnant (just kidding).
In all honesty, I didn't feel "in top shape" running this race, I mean I felt great BUT I also felt like I was still only half way there....well, that makes no sense...let me first explain how this weekend unfolded.
I woke up about 5:30 AM to feed Maddy, then downed half a cup of coffee, half a powerbar, and one salt stick pill (with my sports drink of course). Houston (the champ of a husband) had barely just arrived, having driven from Lafayette to Germantown that night/morning. His team had a meet, but he was determined to watch me race.
I had planned on running this race in my brand new Green Silence racing flats from Brooks, however, at last minute I got a little scared of the hip thing, and decided to run in my trainers (the Launch) this ended up being the smartest move of the day, as I don't think I would have faired as well if I had wore the flats. My hips/hamstrings/butt/thighs/shins/everything hurt on the 20 minute shake out I had done the day before to test them out.
Decked out in my new Brooks gear, I jogged the 1.2 miles to the start line, and after 2 trips to the woods to pee (I'm above a porta john) I stood around and tried to count as many fast looking females as I could. This pre-race ritual is not recommended, as all it ever does is create a great deal of pre-race anxiety. Really, whatever happens, happens. I knew going into this race that I was only shooting for a sub 1:26 effort, and that I was probably not the favorite to win. I counted 3 fast people, I figured 4th, yes one hotel room paid for (the race director was kind enough to wave my entry with my 1:27 win 8 weeks prior at Frostbite).
So the gun went off at just after 7:30am, and I settled in to what I thought was a 6:30 pace (wrong- 6:10, oh crap). I got a little offended in the first mile and it fired me up a bit- a gentleman in a blue singlet asked, "what are you looking to run?" I said "1:24", he snarled and said, "little quick for that arn't you"? Umm, EXCUSE ME? Just for the record- the first mile of Germantown is always fast, rightfully so, its downhill. So 6:10 was actually the slowest split I have ever had on mile 1 of this race.
I found a friend early and clicked off a couple of 6:20's. From previous years running this race I knew and expected my hip to tighten up from mile 4 until the half way point, which it did. This time, instead of struggling to run 6:30's, I ran consistent 6:19-6:22, until I hit the park.
A half mile later, I ran across the 6.55 mile point and realised- I was on PR pace! Excited (and probably a little too quick to drop the hammer) I clicked off a couple of 6:12-6:15's, and started passing, passing, passing, I was making up time like crazy.
One reason I got a little anxious is because when I ran this race 2 years ago, I had a highschooler DRAG me through the last half. This time, I was in no mans land and tieing up fast. My legs felt heavy and my stomach was all cramped up, I was doing everything I could to maintain.
I hit 10 miles a little slower than I would have liked, but still had 1:22 in my grasp. That all changed, however, when I turned the corner at 11 miles and quickly fell apart, my legs died.
Maybe I gave in a little, but my legs just wouldn't go. I felt like I had just ran 10 all out quarters, I wanted to stop- there was no power. I then realised that there would be no PR for the day when I split 6:40. I wanted to cry, but held back-there was a really nice man biking beside me, giving me directions (thanks..even though I have run this race 3 times- now four) I managed to drop down to 6:27 before turning the corner to finish in 1:23:40, nearly 4 minute faster than I had run only 8 weeks earlier.
I quickly went over the race in my head- and tried to evaluate my current fitness. I had felt awkward and all over the place, my stomach HURT, and I may have peed myself (sorry, TMI). I am also not at race weight (Houston would KILL ME if heard me saying that) my legs and body are just not there yet. But all in all, I was pleased. Looking back at my training from 2009, I didn't think I would be anywhere near what I ran at this race in 2009.
I guess this goes to show that M was right all along, "Pregnancy makes you faster."or maybe, "nothing hurts as much as natural child birth."
I don't know, you tell me.
Race pictures coming soon...or not at all. I probably wont post them. I don't think spit all over your face is a nice accessory.