new bedford half marathon…not a destination, but part of the process

so today i ran the new bedford half marathon. i felt so excited about it. i wasn’t nervous at all. well..here’s the race report i sent kate: 

so i feel great now. hungry (as i should be) but great. i wasn’t nervous at all. woke up around 5:45. ate breakfast. melted. did some chores. picked jas up. had another smoothie at about 8:45 and had a protein bar around 9:30. got race number and relaxed in car and stayed warm. went back inside around 10:15 and found people and went to the bathroom. felt good. stretched a bit. focused on breathing. went to start line. 
felt good at start. excited. but knew not to get caught up. i let everyone go ahead, including cheryl. focused on my belly breathing. my hr kept saying 275 which was frustrating. so i kept feeling for my pulse. tried to keep things loose and ribs in and belly breathe. knew i was getting a bit caught up in the beginning so i had to keep reigning myself in. but i did feel good. had 3 dates at 35 minutes and was drinking every 15 alternating between sports drink and water. felt good and consistent. legs felt great. at mile 6, i needed (NEEDED) to use the bathroom. i was pretty certain i’d be the girl who shit her pants. but i relaxed (but not too much haha) and thought maybe it’d go away (because that’s what poop does right?)focused on breathing. tried to keep a good technique. finally hit the water. remembered that this was where my first triathlon was less than a year ago. who knew i’d be on this new adventure? i got a little emotional. remembering how africa hot it was during that run, where today the wind was brutal. i felt good. then…at mile 9 i saw porta potties. i figured it was easier to stop for a few minutes now than have a lifetime of poop in a pants as an adult story to live down. and i went and felt immediately better. and it looked like it only took me 2 minutes. so i ran. i fueled. i tried to relax and find someone to be my wind blocker. but no one else was consistent. so i fought the wind. for a long time. i saw jas around mile 11. felt great. then i hit that hill at mile 12. mile 12 i was like maybe i’ll wait for jas and walk in with him. maybe someone would give me a peanut butter sandwich. hmm.. i was hungry. i wanted oatmeal peanut butter balls. i hadn’t fueled properly since i was dreaming of specific protein rich food that would make me happy. but i knew that it was close. so i walked for 10 seconds then i’d run for a few minutes. the wind and that hill were killer. then i knew i just had to hit those two corners. and i did. i remembered that i could swing my arms (STRIDES!) and it would propel me into sprinting right at the end where i didn’t have as much left. and as i was coming across the finish line, i heard jill’s name and saw her. i took 4 quick extra steps and moved in front of her. i knew she had started in front of me too! i had beat jill. 
now that i have looked at the garmin data, it seems even weirder. none of it makes much sense. my moving time is crazy fast 1:44? what? my finish time 2:17. i did forget to turn my watch off for awhile afterwards. my gun time is 2:19. i’ll wait for the official time. but my splits look good. i was consistent. my hr was way high but i didn’t feel like it was while running. i havent’ been using the garmin hr for awhile – have been using my polar hr. but decided instead of having a billion things on today to consolidate. ugh. oh well. i did feel good. probably too much kale the past two days is the GI problem. now to eat and relax! woo hoo!

so then i was looking at my garmin splits. a pretty consistent pace. some miles around 10:30, some around 10:00. some below. nothing above 11. pretty good. my heart rate was weird looking, very high, but i felt like it had been pretty low. not sure about that. 

then. i ate. i ate a lot of food. and i felt better. then i looked at the results. 

official time: 2:17.17.

and here’s what i texted kate: “official time 2:17.17, 9 sec slower than last year’s new bedford, 5 minutes slower than my fastest half, 2 minutes slower than my last half in september. hmmm… trying hard to stay positive. numbers aren’t making me happy now. with the garmin data. ugh.”

and then i hit that wall. you know. the wall that comes up fast without warning. that tells you that you suck. and all you’re doing is stupid. and that this is just a waste of time and energy. yeah. that wall. and i cried. i did want to see some progress. i wanted to do better. 

so i text jas. and he reminded me that today is not the goal. but part of the process. that i needed to accept it. and move forward.

so i took a shower. and washed it away. (along with all the sweat from the day. and found that my heart rate monitor hates me and has created new chafe marks all over my chest. ugh) and then i thought about where i was 2 years ago. i had just run my first real official race. a 10k in holyoke. and that day i felt the race was so huge and so long. and today, when i passed the 10k mark i thought about that. and smiled. this week marks my two year anniversary with the team. and the moment that i truly changed my life for the better. 

so i don’t need to focus on the little numbers. i need to focus on the little actions. the amazing things that happen in my workouts. or with food. or with my friends. or with my students. those are the important things to focus on. 

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