I signed up for this race in Reno a month or so ago? It was relatively cheap. It was local. I needed to run at least one more half marathon this calendar year. So this was it. The website said it was a relatively flat course that ran along the eastern foothills in Reno. I like flat. Flat helps with speed.
But as I’ve said before I didn’t really train for this. I have focused on training on Tough Mudder. But for the last couple of months I have made a point to do a long run on the weekend to at least get the time on my feet necessary for a half marathon.
So Sunday morning I awake at about 6. The race was set to start until 8:15, so it wasn’t a really early morning, but I still had to drive into Reno I’ve never been before. Add into that my need to be early, and I was there right as everyone was getting set up. So I had an hour to kill. Which I’m thankful. I got to hit the bathroom twice. (Thank goodness because there were *zero* pitstops along the course. This was a very small race. There were maybe 60 people total running the half marathon. Luckily one of the local running groups based out of Reno had people who were pacers, so I knew there would be people behind me and in front of me. I like being in the middle of the pack. There was no real official timing either. Air horn was go with one guy with a stop watch in his hand. Which is fine. I knew it was going to be a small event.
Last Friday Brooke asked me what my goal was for this race. I said 2:10 or under. I figured that was doable.
At the horn, I thought maybe I’d be able to stick with the 2:00 pacer and I did for the first couple of miles and then realized I needed to slow down or I was going to lose momentum fast. I was running a decent pace and had him at least in my sights until about mile 4 or so. I was running about the same pace as about 4 other women. We all sorta stuck together for the mid miles.
A little background. I needed this race. I needed this run. I needed to simultaneously get into my head and get out of it. At mile 3 I sorta lost it. Now I know a handful of my girls over at the Sisterhood know this feeling. They know how hard it is to have a total emotional breakdown while running…especially when surrounded by strangers. Fun times. Let me tell you. But I needed that moment. And as I continued running my brain shut off. I listened to the music in my ears and just ran along. I also wore this necklace which is a little reminder to myself.
My legs felt pretty good. I felt my feet on occasion but I’m blaming that on the fact that I’ve been wearing my same running shoes since February. This last run solidified that fact.
When I hit mile 9 I still felt pretty good. I remember thinking hey, maybe I’ll really do awesome on this race and blow it out of the water. And then the sun came out. It had been cloudy all morning with a slight breeze. The sun brought out the humidity which took me out of my zen-like state. I started feeling like I couldn’t get a deep breath. It reminded me of Rock N Roll San Diego. And I slowed down. And I walked. And my shoulders tightened up. And then my neck. It was fun. No really.
In the last 3 miles I’m pretty sure I walked half of that distance. I was still within reach of my goal time of 2:10 or less. I tried to convince myself that I could run that last 1.1 miles. But I couldn’t. I ran the last 0.4 or so. And I made myself sprint to the finish line.
I collected my chocolate milk, gatorade, and banana and noticed that there was a chiropractor set up at a booth. I walked over and asked if they were doing adjustments. They asked if I have ever had care before, and I said yes. So I filled out their treatment release and got the best neck and upper thoracic spine pops ever. It freed up my ability to take a deep breath. And then I sat down and cried again.
Running has always been a release for me. This race was mine. It was for me. They all are, really, but I wasn’t running with friends. I wasn’t there with anyone. It was just me. And I needed it.
linking up to Elaine!