Monday, August 23, 2010
Half-marathon... sort of.
I ran hobble creek half marathon this year. It is apparently THE RACE to get into, because the race was full 8 hours after it was opened. The day of registration (after online registration was already full) I was in the running store buying Brenden shoes and noticed a line for race registration. Hmmm... Why not? I had enough time to train for it. Two years previous I signed up and paid for it, but ended up not running it for two reasons: 1) my running partner "M", got a stress fracture and wasn't going to be able to run it, and 2) I ended up skipping it and did a home make-over surprise for a friend.
So... about the race. It was painful, beautiful, rewarding, a sacrifice, and frustrating.
This is the first half marathon M was going to be running, and my husband convinced me to run the race with her. His reasoning? I wasn't going to be improving on my previous time (2:05) because our runs have been pretty slow, I wasn't going to win the race (ha ha ha ha... as if) and it would mean a lot to her. One week before the race, M went in for an emergency appendectomy and wasn't sure she was going to be able to run it at all. So... now what? Do I plan on running solo? If so, I haven't done any speed workouts for the past 11 weeks. If she can't run and decides to walk, do I just run it or stay by her and finish with her? Aaaaarggghhh..... frustration.
Morning of race day: arrived at the park at 5:15am, boarded bus, and took a long frustrating 50 minute bus ride 13 miles up Hobble Creek canyon. The morning was chilly, and I ran into a couple friends while waiting for the race to start. The race started forty minutes late, and the canyon was amazing. Beautiful. M had bandaged up her incision so that it didn't jiggle while she ran. We started off running, she felt pretty good. We made it to mile six, running the entire way, with our mile pace at about 11:27. After a quick bathroom stop, we were on the road again, and ran to mile 8 before the effects of her surgery began to take effect. I'm HUGELY competitive, and really can't stand to have people pass me... Especially people who have been walking. So by mile 10 I was fit to be tied. Slow people passing us as we did our walk/run for the last 4 miles. Walkers passing us. I kept thinking of Hayden's suggestion to stay with her. Kept fighting off the urge to run and pass all the walkers. Kept checking my watch realizing that our time at mile 10 was my time I was FINISHED at my last race.
With one half mile left to go, M told me she was feeling guilty about ruining my race (through tears) and told me to just run ahead and finish. NO WAY MAN. I've come this far doing my friendly duty, i wasn't about to go ahead of her now. As we approached the finish line, I reached over and grabbed her hand as we approached the finish line. Final time: (2:53). That's a 13:07 mile pace. At the finish line, i hugged her and she cried. All the pain and agony and frustration of the race was suddenly rewarded. I realized this is what i was supposed to do. My half marathon "race" was my sacrifice to give, and one that meant more to her than I could have known.
I have signed up for a race in November in St. George... with M. Pretty safe to assume that I am not going to be running "with" her or anyone else for that race. My goal is to do my speed workouts between now and then and beat my 2:05 time.
Hayden and Aspen came and met us on the trail just before mile 11. I was so excited to see them. I love to have them as my cheer leaders. Thanks for giving up your morning Hayd! It meant the world to me.