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Indy Women’s Half Race Report – 2013

Race reports aren’t near as fun to write when you didn’t have a good race… I need to get it out though. Writing about it has helped me move along a little. 

Ashley and her husband Brandon picked my up in the AM and we headed downtown.We warmed up close to a mile, wanted to do more but we were a little short on time. It was all good though. 
We creeped up right behind the girls who were in it to win it and let them fade away while we ran together for the first 2-3 miles. 
Pre Race- 3.5 minutes to go.

I had some major mental and physical struggles during this race. I put in some great training and thought it was the perfect timing coming off the half ironman. Plenty of recovery time, plenty of time to ramp things back up and get some speed in my legs. 

I’m going to be totally honest here. I ran a stupid race. That happens, but I have enough experience as a runner to know better than to race like that.

First of all, I knew it was hot. I should have adjusted my goal a little because of that. I am by no means using the heat as my excuse for my goal bonk. YES, it was a big factor and did slow me down, but I slowed down way more than the heat should have affected me. I know how I run in the heat and this wasn’t the sole reason it was a bad race for me. Another small factor; not an excuse, just a factor is I was just about to my period and my body and life felt extra heavy. You know how we females get extra emotional and crazy once a month, plus feel like we weigh 1,000 lbs? Yeah, that decided to happen around this day.

I started out way too fast. It was stupid. I knew it was, but I was all big headed about it. My watch was being funny and I couldn’t tell what pace I was running based on what it was telling me. When we rolled over mile 1 and my split read 6:32, I knew I was doing exactly what I told myself not to do. I said “too fast” and then proceeded to do it again for mile 2.

I ran mile 2 right at 6:32 again.  Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

Here I am early on, making bad decisions…. Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher

Even if my watch was being wacky… I know my body well enough to feel the difference between a 6:30 mile and a 6:50 mile. I was paranoid I would accidentally run too slow though. Clearly, it  would have served me well to have started off a little slow.

I settled into a 6:45ish pace for miles 3-5 and things started crashing a bit at mile 5. I didn’t feel terrible, but I knew I had gone out too hard and could already foresee my very near future.

This is not a fun way to run/race. 

Throughout miles 5 and 6, I tried to regroup. Gave myself some pep talks. When I hit mile 6.5, my goal was to ramp it back up. I tried to convince myself to get through these next 6.5 miles at the pace I wanted. I remembered the tough workouts. The 6 mile tempo run I did that went really well. But it just wasn’t there. I would surge to see if I could settle into a faster pace, but every time I did that, I wound up slowing back down even more.

I was holding on to 8th place nearly the entire race. They had bikers with all of the “lead” runners so I could hear them radioing where everyone was. Glenn had been planning to jump in and run with me around mile 8, but that wasn’t allowed so he had to just cheer and move along. Then somewhere around mile 9 or 10, I got passed by Leslie (who I met after the race, of course.. and she is awesome.) and a then little before mile 11, I got passed, by Ashley. I wasn’t expecting it to be her, based on how she was talking pre race. But I was so excited that it was and tried to stay with her, but my body was screaming no. She told me to stop being a sissy and come with her, but I had nothing. Absolutely nothing to give.

I’ve probably said this before about other races, but I’ve  never wanted to stop, walk, cry, sit down and just be done more in my life. I don’t know what was happening to me. I felt crazy… had no clue how to make my body move faster. I clocked a 7:38 mile at mile 11. Yikesssssss. This is slower than any mile I ran during the entire marathon at Shamrock. A race double the distance. My gosh, I was a mess. A 7:38 mile should feel easy, it felt really hard. I just kept slowing. I saw my mom somewhere around then. I wasn’t a happy camper. 

Going into this race and any race for that matter, my goal is never what place I get, it’s always a time goal for myself. But once you’re out there racing, the place ends up mattering. Somewhere around mile 11.5, the guys on the bikes were saying it was going to be an interesting race for 10th place. GAH. Sounded like the girl behind me was gaining on me. Not surprising considering how much I was letting my pace go. Then they were talking about a pack of three clumped together behind her. Well wouldn’t that be terrible if they all went zooming past me and I went from 8th place to 12th?

Part of me said F this, I don’t give a crap about any of this, I just want to stop, pass me all you want. The other part of me, of course, said you’ve worked this hard the whole race and you’ve already let your goal go, don’t let your place go right now.

This is the last 400 meters. Get me to the finish. Ick.  Photo Credit: Terry Fletcher
I really wasn’t able to dig and pick my pace up to a decent speed again until a half mile to go. I thought about the ladder workout I did a few weeks ago and how much I pushed on the 800’s and how bad it hurt then… reminded myself if I pushed that hard in a workout I ought to make it hurt now. 
I was practically in tears when I finished. I gave Ashley a big hug, pretty much fell on top of her. I was exhausted. I knew somewhere around mile 8 that my goal was slipping away from me fast. But I didn’t think it would slip away that hard. I honestly thought on a not so good day, I’d roll in around 1:31ish and on a great day, I’d roll in around 1:28. I guess it was worse than a not so good day. My official finish time was 1:33:14.

Leslie, Ashley and I – 8th, 9th and 10th place. These are the badass ladies who kicked my ass in the last 3 miles…
With my momma post race.
Ashley taking care of me post race. I returned the favor. I can’t even talk about how much I’m obsessed with this girl. 
We did win $100 for placing in the top 10 and will be “invited” to return next year, so I’m not complaining about that!

This is all ok though. You learn from races like this. And not matter how many half marathons or marathons I do, there is always a lesson. Did I know I shouldn’t go out that hard prior to the race? Yes. But I did it anyway. This is the exact reason back in December, I ran a marathon for the sole purpose of running a negative split and proving to myself this is a much better way to race. I preach it all the time, I have to do it myself.

While I really want to break 1:30, my next goal is to force myself to negative split the half… or at least come damn near close to it. Go out at a 7 minute mile and slowly speed up. Rather than just the opposite like I so miserably did on Saturday. Hopefully that will lead me to a new PR at the very least and if I break 1:30 in the process… perfect. But one thing at a time. (I’ve been literally obsessing over Laura’s splits from the the VA Beach half this weekend. She tweeted her splits on Sunday after the race and I thought… why couldn’t you have been that smart yesterday Lindsey? That was a very smart way to run on such a hot day… props to you Laura!)

It’s good to have big goals so long as they are realistic. I’m not saying you can’t dream big… and I’m not backing out on the fact that I know I am capable of running the 1:28 I so badly wanted. But for me, right now I need to take a smaller step. And that is totally fine. Everyone is different. Glenn and I are so very different. I don’t want to say he works harder than me, although I think he generally does haha, but he is the kind of person who can make really big jumps a lot and it doesn’t scare him. Right now though, mentally I need to take a smaller step and that’s just what’s going to happen. Nothing wrong with that.

I know if I want to become a smarter runner, I have to teach myself lessons like this. It’s like anything in life, in the process of growing, you have slip ups. You unfortunately make not so stellar decisions sometimes. But they ultimately become significant steps in the learning process that are necessary.

Am I bummed? Yes. Am I over it? I’d like to say yes, but I’m not. I really wanted bang out this race and kill it. I had my heart set on it.

Since I have my surgery in 4 weeks. Ahhh, 4 weeks. (Deep breath. Clear my head. It’s OK.) And I won’t be racing for a few months, I wanted this to be my big celebration race.

Beyond my surgery, I’m not sure what will be going down. I plan on running as soon as I can once I’m cleared but am not certain how this next year will look. There are much more important things than the time on the clock when I cross a finish line that I’m going to be focused on in this near future. I so badly wanted this last pre-surgery race to be all that I dreamed it would be and it just wasn’t. Guess what though. It’s not that big of a deal and I need to chill out. Life goes on.

I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a training post that I had thought about throwing in a marathon September 15th. I have been getting a little lot jealous about all the fall marathons everyone is running. But the race this weekend quickly reminded me that there is no faking marathon training. Sure, I could run one, but trying to PR would be a joke. So I snooped around and found a half marathon in Terre Haute, IN on September 15th. I’m 50-50 on doing it right now. I know there is a bigger PR in me still but I’m not sure I’m want to go there again so soon. I’m going to make a last minute decision on this.

I should mention- Ken Long does a great job putting on this race– the post race party is fun and it’s all organized very well. Also- a big thank you to all the volunteers… we saw a lot of Back on My Feet guys out there volunteering both at packet pick up and at the race. Very nice! 

Enough boo hooing about the race though. Congratulations to all the ladies who worked hard on Saturday- it was pretty darn hot out there. 

Someone tell me to stop being a baby and get over it!!!

Did you race this weekend?? How did it go?!
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