For Team Tough Chik, we are blogging this week about our best/worst race experiences. Here are mine:
I have learned that it is important to always start out with the positive so I will tell you about my best race ever….but there are two! The first one is the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my first marathon ever. I wrote a blog about it already so as to not repeat myself here is the link. I loved it! It was way more than I expected it to be. Honestly by the time the marathon came around I just wanted to get it over with. I had no desire to run this marathon but I was going to run it. I am no quitter.
When I ran my other favorite race I wasn’t really into my blogging about running…or running for that matter. I have to admit, I had slacked off. It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it probably won’t be the last. I would like for it to be the last but I am going to have to get better at it to not get injured or frustrated with myself. I had already signed up with my awesome friends to run this half-marathon so I was going to do it. I didn’t train correctly and I didn’t run a lot. The only long runs I did were a 12 miler 4 weeks before and an 11 miler the week before. But do not do as I do. This is not my advice, as you will hear later in my worst race experiences. The Scream! half-marathon took place in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina, only about an hour and a half from where we live. We drove over the morning of. I woke up at 4:30 for this. I was not a happy camper. I do not like to get up before the sun.
We arrived at the “Marathon (really)” gas station where pick-up was supposed to be a little early so we waited in the car. Some expo, huh? Up until this race I had thought of myself as a “big” race kinda girl. I enjoyed all the hub bub. It was foggy and dreary. At least it wouldn’t be hot, right? I debated on taking my iPod and in the end I did. I didn’t want to get bored.
|Notice the Marathon in the background 🙂|
|Love the shirts, just wish they’d been smaller!|
The race was beautiful. We ran, literally, down a mountain, twisting and turning around all the curves. I could see the forest floor from the side of the mountain as I was running. Something about the environment was so exhilarating. The beauty of nature, the thrill of running so fast, the fact that there were no screaming spectators. It was serene. I had come to make my goal of running under 2 hours. I beat that by over 7 minutes at 1:52:51. I planned to run right under 9 minute miles to make sure I made that goal because I had missed it by 3 minutes in Disney a few months before. I remember the many times I checked my watch thinking that something was messed up because of the drizzle or the trees. There were times when I saw 7:30s on my pace. I felt so good. This could not be. I think I just had a great day. I thrive on downhills in all my runs so this was the race for me. I know it could have just been a fluke but this is the race that gave me back my running mojo so that I could and would run a marathon 3 months later.
As for my worst experiences, I won’t name any names because some it was my fault. There are 2 half-marathons in particular that I felt horrible at by around mile 5 because I had not properly trained and my body was screaming at me to stop, I had done my long runs for one but it was in the middle of marathon training so I had run 15 miles to week before. I’ve learned my lessons on proper fueling and training by now. Every one of us has a different body that reacts differently than the next person. Training is one big experiment for me.