Monday, October 16, 2006

T dot half marathon...attempt #2

There's me with the SpongeBob sponge that says "best day ever." Well, it wasn't the best day EVER, but it wasn't bad either.

I woke up at 7:00 for the 8:30 start. We were a little slow getting out the door (a-hem! not my fault), and the start line seemed to be a bit further north than last year. Somehow, it just seemed a lot harder to get behind the start was incredibly crowded and everyone was pushing to get there as the announcer counted down the minutes, then seconds to the start. Although I had jogged a good part of the way up Yonge st to the start line, I hadn't had much time to stretch and felt completely mentally unprepared. In fact, I started the race in a very annoyed state of mind after I had pushed my way to the start line (which I felt badly about after...didn't mean to offend my fellow runners :( ). Anyways, the race was going to start whether we were ready or we went.

For most of the race, I was telling myself to slow down. Especially on Hogg's Hollow...I tried to power my way up the long hill last weekend and almost puked at the top :( I kept it slow and steady this time, and didn't have any problems. Things went pretty smoothly, and I hit the 10k mark at about 1:03, so my pace was good.

I don't remember much of what was around me during the race. I was way too serious and too focussed. I wasn't enjoying myself at all. I was on a the whole way without any walk or water station breaks (I was wearing my fuel belt), and get to the finish line by 2:10. In reality, I wanted to get there faster than that, but I thought that 2:10 was realistic.

Garmin lost signal for at least a kilometer while I was running underneath the highway during the latter half of the race. Since I didn't have instant feedback on my pace, I kept checking my time, over and over again. Don't slow down, you'll miss your time goal. But wait...I'm starting to feel a little queasy. Don't speed up, you'll make yourself sick. I knew that I needed to save some energy for the last 2 km up University Ave (slight uphill) and that long run around the circle at Queen's park. You're you're not! Psyche!!! grrr...

Somehow, I managed to maintain my pace and run steady. At the top of the circle, I tried to just give'er, but got a cramp in my right quad. I slowed back to my normal pace, afraid that my leg would give out...I didn't want to fall with a few hundred meters to go! As I rounded the corner, I heard my name and saw Tony and Brent standing at the side. I gave them a wave and hurled myself to the finish line. The clock read chip time was 2:10:03. Dang, am I punctual or what? Unfortunately, I didn't quite catch up to the tu-tu boys...

Okay, so I achieved 3 goals: 1) I ran the whole damn 21.1 km with no breaks and 2) I improved on my last year's time of 2:12:56 and 3) I actually hit my goal time of 2:10. I should be thrilled...right? Not really. I wasn't that happy yesterday. See, I like to set realistic time goals, even though my real time goal is a few minutes faster. Also, I was disappointed with my race experience...yes, it was good that I was focussed, but shouldn't it be fun, too??

Cliff helped me to put things in perspective. I ran a personal best time. I ran the whole 21.1km. How far have I come? 2.5 years ago, I just wanted to be able to run for 20 minutes straight. During this race, I ran for 130 minutes straight! Isn't that a vast improvement?? Yes...yes it is. So, I am starting to feel a little better about my performance. I guess the fact that I am not satisfied comes from the feeling that I can do better...and I will continue to try. I want to get that half marathon time down to 2 hours flat...maybe next year ;)

Racing is done for 2006 (I think). Time to chill out for a bit, then start thinking about next year (not that I haven't been doing that already!).


Cliff said...

I thought the tutu boys put u into perspective :D.

Har..that Cliff guy is good.

Given the condition (cold n windy) and the terrain (up and down), you did good.

Kewl Nitrox said...

Cliff is right. Chill out! :)