I think aliens invaded my body.
I finished the Martian Invasion of Races half marathon in ... 2 hours, 27 seconds. That time was good enough for 38/151 in my age group and 763/1791 overall. To say I'm happy would be an understatement.
Note: I've tried to write a witty, inclusive recap without boring you with an unnecessarily long post. As evidenced by this note, I couldn't do it. Instead, I give you the highlights. 13.1 to be exact.
1. I think I created a new healthy living trend with my pre-race breakfast.
Instant oats with peanut butter and a quarter waffle on top. Who needs fancy granola and muffins when you can have a waffle? (Really, the breakfast at the hotel was very limited.)
2. I am super smart and read very well, and I drove Mark and I to the expo instead of the race start. I might have said a few curse words.
3. Once we got on track, we found ourselves caught in some crazy traffic. I was really afraid that I might not make it to the race in time. Eventually, I pulled over, hopped out and Mark went to find parking. (It took him 45 minutes.)
4. I got to the start with just enough time to hit up the port-o-potty, which had no toilet paper, and figure out the best place to join the crowd.
5. This race starts with an uphill. It's just mean.
6. I had no defined time goal. I just wanted to feel strong throughout the race and finish without puking. With that in mind, I tried to start conservatively and get a feel for the course.
7. About mile 2, I saw Megan in her sassy outfit running with her b/f so I sped up to act like a creeper and tap her on the shoulder. We briefly conversed, and I went on my way.
8. After a brief neighborhood tour, the course takes a turn into Hines Park for a lengthy out and back. It was quite beautiful.
9. I realized around mile 4 that I could be on pace to finish sub-2. I wasn't quite sure - math isn't my strong suit and math while running is impossible. I tried not to get too caught up as I hadn't planned to go sub-2 (though I dreamed about it many times). Instead, I repeated a new mantra, "Dig in, settle in."
10. I took a Gu around mile 5 but never took the second. I just couldn't stomach it. I guess that waffle was enough.
11. I got a wicked stitch around mile 8, just when I did during the 20K. Instead of letting it control me, I just breathed, dug deep and went.
12. The last couple miles were hard, and I really had to push myself to keep up the pace - even through some difficult sections of the course. There were two bridges that you could feel move beneath you as you got to the middle and some steep (but short) inclines as you hit some trailheads.
13. The weather was mid-50s and overcast for nearly the entire race but it did start to sprinkle toward the end. I just tried to push through to avoid (what I thought was) the impending storm.
13.1. I saw Mark just as I entered the homestretch. He asked how I was feeling. I said I wanted to die. I was tired and I knew the sub-2 was out of reach. I could have jogged it in but I pushed and crossed the line with a grunt of relief and smile.
Parting thoughts: For a moment, I'll admit, there was some disappointment that I wasn't 27 seconds faster - that I wasn't going to make a huge post-baby half marathon comeback. However, I'm not going to let 27 seconds take away from the race I ran. I am not going to play the what if game (what if I didn't walk through water stops, what if I took that second Gu, what if I went out harder). I ran faster and harder than I trained for, I pushed myself as best I could, I had a great mental game and I had a good time. In my mind, these are things that make a good race - not a 1:59:59.
Crap. I think I'm growing up as a runner. Damn motherhood changing my perspective.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?