Thursday, June 14, 2012
This weekend, David and I ran the Chicago 13.1 Marathon sponsored by Allstate. Over the last couple of months, I have started more formal and consistent training, have set running goals and have accomplished those goals. One long term goal of mine is to become more comfortable with the half marathon distance. It's something I feel like I should do before I step up to marathon distance. Ya see, somewhere in between miles 10 and 13, it goes down hill for me. I lose focus, my legs become heavy and it is everything I can do, mentally, to keep moving my legs because I just want to quit. I don't quit though. So I've increased my average run, making the average distance I run 6 to 8 miles. I've become more comfortable in the 8 mile range and I am holding a more consistent pace in the longer runs. I thought this half would be better than the previous ones. So I felt really good Friday, the day before the race. I set a goal for myself, to finish in under 2 hours.
The morning of, we get to the race start and stand around, literally, for almost 2 hours. Yea, that was not the smartest thing to do. It started like any other run, only a little hot and humid. However, as the run continued, I never really loosened up. By mile 6, I still hadn't found my groove.
The first 6 miles, I held a perfect 9 minute pace and somewhere between mile 6 and 7, I lost it. Mental exhaustion set in and it just sucked. It never really got better from there. I spent the rest of the run battling the urge to quit. And finished in 2:05. Of course I was happy and proud of myself but I was still disappointed that I missed the 2 hour mark. It's frustrating because I try so hard! It also doesn't help when David is right beside saying "just move your legs faster" and perky stuff like that. In the last 2 months, he's ran twice and it still comes so easily to him! The day was hot and humid and the course was not as flat as I was used to. The previous half marathons I've run were a very flat course and this had small, and gently slopping hills.
David and I before the mud run. See how happy I am!
So I'll just keep trying. Our next half is in September, and I will make it under 2 hours. I've resolved that those miles, 10 to 13, may always be rough. I'm just going to push through it, knowing that it won't last. I have yet to run more than 13.1 miles, and maybe mile 14 is where it gets better for me.
This is why I love running. It is ALWAYS mentally challenging for me. I am always proud of my ability to keep trying; to try and become faster, to try and run farther and to never quit.
In other news, I finally caved to my curiosity about the five finger shoes. I've been researching them for the last year. I can't wait to see what they do for my running.