Today was the peak of the training schedule - the full distance of the half marathon....21 km....a highly anticipated event. It was an incredibly beautiful morning; the best of the year so far; not a cloud in the sky; sitting around 9, 10 degrees. Ideal.
(I can't tell you just how happy I am that I switched this run from Monday to today. And, just to point out that I'm not THAT much of a wimp.... Monday set rainfall records. It wasn't just miserable and wet. It was the wettest April 4th we've ever had!)
Today, though....today the wonderful, seldom-seen-in-these-parts sunshine kissed my face for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
That's how long it took. 2 hours and 20 minutes. My best time ever. But, I'm not completely celebrating it. Because it wasn't fucking easy. And I wanted it to be easy. I guess I even expected it to be easy. Easier...at least? I've been getting into reading other women's running blogs lately and I think this has established some lofty and unrealistic goals. Because they're all running faster than me. Elizabeth Fuckin' Hasseldork from The View (i know, I know...it's Hasselbeck. But, she is a dork. A fast dork apparently.) ran her very first 1/2 last weekend in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Now I want, more than anything, to beat her. So, although today's 2:20 is my best time. I wanted to see more improvement than that this time around. I've been working damn hard.
The reality is that it's not easy. I really enjoyed the first 12 km. I was exactly one hour in at the halfway point, so clocking a good pace, but I really struggled through the second half. My legs were tiring a bit, particularly in my hip area. I did a GU gel at about 12 km when I felt myself slowing down a bit and it definitely helped sustain me through the second half. I walked up two hills as I got closer to home because I just couldn't mentally or physically push myself through them. I have a slight decline during the last km which I joyfully welcomed, and coasted quickly to my finish line, where I collapsed over the hood of my car and began stretching my aching aching legs.
Two hours later, and two extra-strength Advil, swallowed with a beet/apple/carrot/protein Booster Juice, I'm starting to feel human again.
Because running shit like that makes you feel like a bit of an animal. Now, if only I was a jaguar or a cheetah..... (note I didn't say cougar, eh?)
Happy Running everyone!!!! Three weeks til the race in Eugene!