Race Recap: Wallis Sands Half Marathon

I know it has been weeks since the Wallis Sands Half Marathon took place, but here is the recap of what happened on May 7th.

 

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Pre-Race

The one fear I couldn’t control was prevalent, the wind. But I was okay with it, basically because I threw out all my expectations as I headed over to bib pickup and my “B” goal moved up in ranks to the “A” goal. I tried to do a warm-up with the girls 10-15 minutes before the first wave went out, which I was in, but got stopped to many times by other runners to talk.

 

 

 

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My Splits

As the gun sounded, I patiently waited in the back of wave 1 trying to avoid the inevitable bottle neck effect as the runners headed out on to the street from the Wallis Sands State Park parking lot. Once I got out onto the street, I picked up the pace. I thought I would see how long I could sustain a pace around 7 minutes per mile. For the most part, things were looking good despite the head wind I faced. As mile 6 was logged and the one hill on the course approached, I tried to gain momentum and stay with these 2 guys climbing the hill. Unfortunately, I had to walk half of the hill and restart the engines. I was able to stay composed for the next few miles, but then I started to show signs of fatigue and mental weakness to keep fighting the wind. It was at mile 11 and onward where I broke. I was running, then walking, then running. This would be the pattern for the rest of the race, until the last quarter-mile when I saw the finish line.

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Post Race (Big thanks to random runner Eric, who gave up his medal so both girls could have one)

Was I happy as I crossed the finish? Yell Heah! I was able to push all the negative thoughts over the past few weeks out and just give it all I could. Hindsight would tell me otherwise, but I am happy with the results. Little Bear, Speedy and I crossed with an official time of 1:33:49. We also placed 2nd in our age group, super stoked about that. Overall, despite the wind, the mental games and lack of training the last few weeks leading up to the race, the girls and I conquered and achieved our original “A” goal of running a sub-1:35 half marathon giving us a new PR.

We might not of caught the unicorn, but we became stronger through the process and prevailed to give it our best, the best we could give for that day. Reflecting on the miles during the race and the things runners said were completely different from the first 6-7 mils to the last 6-7 miles. In the beginning as we were passing other runners, we would receive jokingly comments about how I was pushing a double stroller and running a faster pace. Basically, like I was trying to shame them in some way. When I myself was unsure how realistic this pace would be for us. Then as the second half of the race appraoched, I started to run with Eric, the random runner, for most of the time until mile 11. I would pace with him and talk a bit, then end up passing him only to start walking and then run with him again. I just couldn’t mentally keep pushing onward, no matter how much he tried to get me to stay with him. But I still had some other runners trying to encourage me as the finish loomed in the distance. Unfortunately, I felt like I was stuck in this run/walk rhythm. As I stated earlier, overall, it was nice to run a race again and be surrounded by such an amazing community. Not only being able to run my first chip timed half marathon in 3 years, but to share the experience with my girls. Memories that I will be able to look back on and smile on all the miles we shared.

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Speedy holding her race medal

I don’t know what’s next for us, most likely some individual goals, especially since Little Bear is getting bigger and less willing to sit through longer durations in the stroller. Until then, keep chasing those dreams and dont ever stop trying to catch your own unicorn.

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2nd place AG medal (30-34 years old)

Chasing the Unicorn

Well, I’ve been talking about the unicorn for sometime now and here I am the day before the Wallis Sands Half Marathon. I’ve been running like a mad man with the girls since October with the slight hope that I can catch the unicorn!

What is the unicorn, it’s not just a personal record (PR) in the half marathon. It’s the Guinness World Record running a half marathon with a double stroller (double pram), which sits at 1:26.37. My PR is 1:35.05, which was at the Safari Park Half Marathon in San Diego back in 2011. That was a long time ago, back when I was single.

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Race Kit: Runner’s Alley Singlet and Hat, Darn Tough Socks, Garmin Fenix 3 HR, BOB Revolution SE Double Stroller, Tailwind and Salomon Sonic Aero

The last time I ran an organized half marathon was back in 2013. It has been a few years and I don’t know what to expect from myself. As I think about this insane goal of catching the unicorn, I can’t help but think it is achievable. My optimistic logical thinking is that when I ran a PR back in 2011, I had little training and was pumped off of adrenaline in pursuit of an “Age Group” medal. I’ve had solid training, which unfortunately started to fall apart as race day approached. It has been more training than I have ever done since I started running. It’s a positive. There are a few factors that may prevent me from achieving this goal, but I have to believe in myself come 8 AM tomorrow that I will be as ready as I can be. The factors range from ones I can control to the ones I wish I could control. The big one that gets me, which I have no control over is the wind. It is predicted to be 16+ mph during the race. Another issue is in regards to my right foot, turf toe. All that is left weighing me down is…..ME.

I’ve been stressing out all day about tomorrow and I can’t recall another time where I felt like this for an race. I know it boils down to whether or not I will fail. It’s part of that fixed mindset I’ve been dealing with and not wanting to challenge myself enough to an outcome that may be far from my goal. I can’t even put my thoughts into words as I ponder about tomorrow and how I feel about it. It’s going to be up to me to believe in the training and the miles I logged. It’s going to be up to me to overcome the doubts and the feeling of pain during the race. So, I’ll leave you with my initial goals and not change them, not matter what the weather brings and focus on the things I can control. Or at least, I’ll try.

The Unicorn: 1:25.00

A-Goal: Sub-1:35.00

B-Goal: Sub-1:40.00

 

 

 

P.S. – I’m scared!

 

Weeks 10-11 and 12 Training Recap

So, it’s been a blurry 3 weeks and this is where I stand as we head down the final stretch to May 7th….JUDGEMENT DAY!

I have turf toe, which has been bothersome, more so on trails than road. I haven’t done any speed work in a few weeks, basically avoiding it like the plague. I also have been running sporadically, throwing the training plan into the trash. Mentally, I don’t know where I stand, I probably won’t have an idea until the gun goes off at 8 AM on May 7th. As I look at the weather forecast for this upcoming Sunday, it doesn’t look favorable to the girls and I. It says there is potential rain and winds somewhere around 16 mph. This has also started to play with my mind and what I was hoping to accomplish with the girls.

There are a couple of thought processes I am having reflecting on the past few weeks. Unfortunately, none of them are positive and to say the least portray a fixed mindset. One is that I gave up and didn’t have the resilience to push through the lows of training and finish the training plan strong. Another lingering thought, which lands right into the fixed mindset mold is that these last few weeks wouldn’t have improved me in any way. The skill set that I have is what I have had and will have come race day. The last thought is a combination of failing miserably and not walking away with any positives over the past 8 months. Basically an overall, you are incapable of being more than you are. Yeah, these thoughts are as real as can be and the current mindset of someone who wishes to be more, not just in running but in life. (deep sigh).

Here is the recap over the past 3 weeks and I’m sure you’ll notice the huge gaps in the training, compared to the previous 9 weeks. I don’t know what the future holds and what type of runner will show up to toe the line, but I’m hella nervous.

RECAP:

Apr 09 – Rest Day

Apr 10 – 64 minute Cruise Intervals – 7.54 miles (81 degrees and sunny)

Apr 11 – 65 minute Foundation Run – 7.61 miles (82 degrees and sunny)

Apr 12 – 40 minute Foundation Run – 4.18 miles (61 degrees and cloudy)

Apr 13 – 39 minute Long Intervals Run – 4.60 miles (52 degrees and sunny)

90 minute Recovery Run <SOLO/Trails> – 6.14 miles (55 degrees and sunny)

Apr 14 – Lazy Day

Apr 15 – 10 Mile Long Run with Fast Finish – 10.11 miles (45 degrees and sunny)

Apr 16 – Lazy Day

Apr 17 – Lazy Day

Apr 18 – 120 minute Foundation Run – 13.69 miles (54 degrees and sunny)

Apr 19 – 60 minute Foundation Run <SOLO/Trails> – 5.19 miles (50 degrees and raining)

Apr 20 – Lazy Day

Apr 21 – Lazy Day

Apr 22 – 16 Mile Long Run with Fast Finish – 16.37 miles (39 degrees and cloudy)

Apr 23 – 90 minute Recovery Run – 7.84 miles (64 degrees and sunny)

Apr 24 – Lazy Day

Apr 25 – 80 minute Foundation Run <SOLO/Trails> – 7.80 miles (46 degrees and raining)

Apr 26 – Lazy Day

Apr 27 – Lazy Day

Apr 28 – 75 minute Foundation Run – 8.30 miles (75 degrees and sunny)

Apr 29 – 10 Mile Long Run with Fast Finish – 10.19 miles (59 degrees and cloudy)