“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
– Steve Prefontaine
I signed up for the Cheshire Half Marathon before my shoulder “injury” and without much expectation. I figured I would use it as a training run to keep myself on track with running. With this in mind, I hardly did any training (a couple short runs and a hilly, 10 mile trail run last weekend). I also didn’t taper my exercise and blasted out of ton of mileage on the bike this week. To top things off I worked three long shifts in a row at the end of the week and got stuck working late 2 of the 3. I know… recipe for disaster! lol The one thing I did do was HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! I also took it super easy yesterday and tried to rest as much as possible.
All that being said, I was not surprised that my legs felt like hell. I was more feeling fatigued and tight than anything else. My calves were STILL sore from my trail run, but I was hoping that it would ease up throughout the run. I wasn’t feeling awesome, but I didn’t feel as terrible as some other previous races either. I was hoping to get under 2 hrs and tried to maintain pace in the 9-9:30 range. The course was flat and there were plenty of aid stations. I made sure to ask ahead of time and had brought my hydration pack just in case (luckily I didn’t need it). I was definitely pushing, but wanted to keep my pace light enough that I wasn’t getting winded. Whenever I found myself really feeling sore or tired I tried to relax and focus on my form until the feeling passed.
Luckily it worked pretty well. 🙂 By the time I got through the whole race though, I was definitely shot. The finish could not come fast enough! There were a couple times when I honestly thought I might not make it, but instead I not only managed to finish, but also PR’d!!!!! My time crossing the line was 2:00:40. It wasn’t under 2, but it was still several minutes faster than my previous PR; AND with all the issues I’ve had with training and injuries recently it felt like a MAJOR victory! In reality, Adam and I started WAAAAYYYYY in the back of the pack and the official finish times did not reflect the actual start times (slight bummer, but I’ll still take it!). Adam said the start clock was at 1:30 when we started and I definitely made it under 2 hrs, but I’ll save that “official” victory for another day. I was just happy to have done my best- with what I had, in that moment.
I celebrated my victory with some homemade ice cream at a local farm, and it was worth every drop of sweat!
I hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!!