Saturday, March 23, 2013

Allstate 13.1 NYC Race Recap: So what? I'm still a rock star.

I got my rock moves. That's right. I finished my 6th half marathon! Now, this post could be sad and sullen because, spoiler alert, I didn't go sub 2. However, I didn't cry during the run, so that's a plus. Also, I'm going to Puerto Rico tomorrow, so this recap will be as positive as it can be in light of crushing all my hopes and dreams...okay, in light of crushing my aspirations after my hard work in this training cycle ;-).

I started off the day by meeting up with some friends. Kim picked me up with Beth, and we drove to the race. I also met up with my coworker and running partner extraordinaire Kristin. We did the usual, check our bags, hide out in the (Warm) charity tent, used the facilities, and suddenly made our way to the start. (Kim ran the 5k a bit earlier, go Kim!)

 See, she really does exist! And her number was 111! 

When we got to the start, I was SO nervous. I had been nervous all morning, but the wind had made me more nervous. I kept trying to calm myself down, but I couldn't shake my anxiety. I tried to channel that into my running. I met Ashley at the start after she ran three miles to tack on to her training run. All of a sudden, it was go time.

The first 5 miles were awesome. I was maintaining my pace, even on a hill, and felt really good. I was zoned out to my music as planned, and I was loving my mix! However, around mile 5.5, we rounded the corner of a lake and BAM. Wind. in. the. face. I knew it was windy, and had been slightly battling it, but seriously!? I felt like I was standing still. My pace remained decent, and fought through to get to a non 20mph section! I can't remember if this was the first half or not, but I'm coming down from a pretty steep climb:

One of the reasons I was able to fight through that wind? (Besides Ashley trying to run in front of me to block some wind....incredible.) Some amazing cheerleaders. Kim and her friend donned Mickey hands and livened up a pretty dead spectator turnout. I think it was worse because it was so cold, but these ladies owned those Mickey Hands!

As I plowed through the second half of the race, I was still confident I could get a solid PR. My Facebook update said that at mile 8.7 I was projected to finish at 1:59:27. Well, that would have been A-O-K with me. However, we had to go around that lake again. Around mile 10 my hamstrings also cramped up, which obviously didn't help anything whatsoever. I kid you not. That route around the lake took my soul. I walked three times. I was talking to myself. I was praying. It got really ugly out there. I REFUSED to cry. I would NOT repeat Philly, where I lost it strength wise AND mental wise and began to cry out of frustration, aka using even MORE energy. I pushed myself, repeated my positive thoughts and Bible verses to myself, and went for it as my body would allow. Finally, I plowed up my last hill.
 I felt like I was walking. Also, this lady TOTALLY stole my thunder.

At mile 11, I was on the Edge of Glory.

At mile 12, I got mad. I got mad when I saw that my watch was inevitability going to cross the 1:59:59 barrier and my finish time would have a 2 at the beginning. I got mad that I walked. I just flat out got mad. What song came on? Blow Me One Last Kiss. Pink, girl, you said it. I finally had enough. I think I maybe think to much. So this race? I blew it one last kiss and said so long. I powered toward the finish. I could see the shoot. I was ready for whatever time my legs had so wonderfully given me.

Anything could happen. I ran to my finish song with a smile on my face, ready to cross those sensor pads. As I crossed the finish line, I had no idea what my time was, and I was okay with that. I bent over because I felt like throwing up. Suddenly I had to kneel down. As I sat there, completely deflated of energy, I said a prayer thanking God for legs to run with, water to hydrate myself, and food to eat. I stood up feeling 100% better. In fact, I skipped to get my medal, hugged the girl who gave it to me, and basically danced through leaving the finish! People were joining in, although they were missing out on my HOT finish line jam.

Official Finish: 2:05:07 Previous PR 2:06:34

This is me in an awkward medal photo, it looks like I'm strangling myself. Also, my hair is whipping in the wind. Sheesh. Hot mess central!

I met up with my awesome friends the Slafters, and we all headed to the beer garden! Thankfully the beer garden was INSIDE and warm, with free Michelob Ultra for all us carb devoid runners (???). It was perfect! I was also excited that I got to show them the 5 Borough Panorama, it is seriously the coolest thing in the world and a must see.

Afterwards we went to Queens Comfort, our FAVORITE restaurant! I had the most incredible mac and cheese, and hung out with the most incredible friends.

 This was indeed as delicious as it looks.
 We had some medal malfunctions, apparently they can attach themselves to true love!
 I love this man. He has been my support and my rock. 
 And this man in the leopard jacket? Well, let's just say, this is part of his usual shenanigans. 

Now all that's left to do is head to PR (Puerto Rico!) with a PR! It may not have been the number I was hoping for, but it was still a PR. I will not have race regret. I will not look back and think of the should have's and would have's. I will learn from this, grow from this, and take pride in the fact that I completed another half marathon. No time for losers. We are the champions.

Also, this weather forecast helps things:
That's right PR, get the rain out now. Nothing but sun from here on out!

CONGRATULATIONS to all the runners who finished strong today!!!

How about you? Have you ever had a goal race slip from your feet? Did you race this weekend (Specifically anyone in CT do the Sandy Hook run? Heard it was 17,000 runners strong!) Did you eat yummy food this weekend? TELL ME ABOUT IT!
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