Have you ever signed up for a race and completely forgot? I had never done that till Seaside Half Marathon this year. The sign up went like this… “Wouldn’t it be fun if we did this a group?” Well, that is what I did back in October and totally erased from my mind till someone reminded that “RACE DAY COMING UP!”… Oh crap. I have not been running much for racing, I have been just running.
If you are runner, you exactly what I mean. You are enjoying, you are not worried about pace and (ARGH!) I wish I remembered that I had signed up for this race. At least, it is Florida, so it MUST be flat. Not all is lost after all. figure that, at the very least, I will have fun with a bunch of girlfriends. It is a long weekend at the beach, so we will see how this is going to play.
I leave my puppy Nutella at the hotel for the first time. I am not going to lie, a tear or two might have fallen when I walked out. Me and Renata drove on Friday. She was driving and also in charge of navigation, Google Maps took us in some back roads and the drive was pretty and quick honestly, not too bad. We arrived just in time to do a quick run with some of the girls that had just arrived as well. It was about 30 minutes, but we love to get the blood flow going, especially after sitting in the car for almost 6 hours. We had group dinner, it was really nice to catch up with friends and meet new ones.
Saturday was the pick up packet day. Again, we went for a quick run with some fast people and I felt good. The weather was not that warm, so I started to do some match in my head. I started to get ambitious. During breakfast, we were all chatting and Izumi, a friend that is a Boston and Kona qualifier, asked me if I had a goal (which I had after running in the morning with her) and offered to pace me. #$%T just got real now! Alright, let me get my mind in place. I spend the day envisioning my race, how fast I can be (even though, I never ran that fast for a half) and I write it down the times on a piece of paper that I look at constantly.
For dinner, we had pasta and it was SO good. I really enjoyed my spaghetti with meatballs. I don’t drink wine (it is a tough decision but I am committed to the mission), I have one coke, tons of water and I keep thinking about those splits. They seem impossible but I believe I can do it.
The day of: we are walking distance from the race start. I need to warm up with Izumi, we do about 25 minutes with some surges in between. This woman can run, I am so grateful that she offered to pace me. After warming up, we went to the race start to meet the other girls. We waited for about 10 minutes and off we went. As soon as I started running, I realized that rolling hills but I kept focused on the prize. Izumi and I were running together and our cadence was synchronized. It made so easy to run with her. I was feeling pretty good and wanted to take off after 4 miles, but she hold me back and I followed her advice. It was out and back race so after the turn around, I started to see the girls and that kept me motivated. The last 3 miles were supposed to be faster, but I could not switch gear as Izumi suggested and did. I could see her slowly gettign further and further. I tried but I couldn’t move my legs any faster. I kept the same pace all the way till the end. It was an even split race, I ran it so well. Pace of 8:35/mile. I PR’ed by 6 minutes, with a final time: 1:52:31
Nutrition: Breakfast – 2 eggs, 2 toasts with cottage cheese. While racing: 2 gels, one prior to the start, one half way.
After the race, I got to have a beet with Izumi. Thanks for helping me having a great race. Cheers to awesome fast friends.