For the Galena Half Marathon I had three goals:
- Finish in the top three of my age group.
- Average 8:12 so I could sign up for the Spring Chance BQ Marathon in April.
I accomplished none of the above.
I finished sixth in my age group.
My average was 8:13.
I finished 2 seconds slower than my PR.
While the sting of missing three goals left me momentarily in the fetal position, again, whimpering about how “this is as good as it gets” I know that was a rockin’ half marathon for me. My main focus for the last few weeks has been the Indy Monumental Marathon on November 9 with aspirations to break four hours. I ran my fastest 20-mile long run just a week ago. I also had a sloppy week of nutrition leading up to this half marathon. This was a great reminder to roll with the punches because in racing nothing ever goes to plan (and also STOP BEING SO GREEDY).
My recap, in short, is that I thought the course had more elevation gain than advertised. It had those long gradual false flats that I am weak on. Give me all the short, punchy hills and downhill relief! I did my best to stay within the 8:10 range but dipped into some 8:20s in the second half. Mile eight was a comedy of errors shit show.
The shit show mile was my attempt at taking my first AltRed pill in the middle of a race. I had the pill in a Ziplock baggie and the pill was trapped in the corner of the baggie. I was fumbling, trying to get it, slowing down. After a few seconds of frantically trying to grab the pill I stopped, still unable to pluck the pill from the bag. Then, I put the baggie in my mouth with the pill behind my teeth and yanked so that the baggie would rip. I opened my mouth, the pill fell onto the ground. I picked it up, it was covered in gravel and still had baggie on it. At this point I said, “Fuck it!” and popped it into my mouth as is, gravel and all, and swallowed.
This was my slowest split, 8:34.
I will never know if this moment was the cause of missing my goals. It slowed me down in this mile, but I did make a comeback in the last three miles, see splits below:
Those splits are a result of a few short weeks of very dedicated, determined training for my full marathon. The outcome of this one day does not erase any of what I’ve gained in the last few weeks. A friend once said that when one thing goes wrong and you give up it’s the same thing as getting a flat tire and slashing the other. Fix the flat, keep going!
I did pick myself up out of the fetal position and went for an awesome tempo run with John this morning. I’m really, truly proud of the splits I’m putting out these days, whether they show up on race day or not!