Sat, Sept 26, 2015
7am – 54 degrees at the start, 65% humidity
Race 5: Akron Marathon – Half
Well, half #7 is in the books! My training for this race was spot on. My long runs felt strong and fast. I had been committed to all of them, which was different than my experience with Cleveland in May, and was going into the race with a great attitude. That is until last Monday came and I felt a chest cold coming on. With each day it was getting a bit worse and culminated on Friday with a major cough. Ugh. At this point I dreaded lining up at the start as I wasn’t sure how I would perform not feeling my best. Since not running the race was not an option, I adjusted my expectations. Rather than preparing to get a new PR, I decided I just wanted to finish. At least that it was what Flat Lisa and I decided.
Thankfully Mike agreed to me my roadie again so he drove us downtown. It stresses me out finding parking, etc so I’m always so glad when he is willing to drive!
Yeah, it was a good pre-race time running into people. Akron is such a well organized event even down to signs for parking.
So I started off feeling okay. I tried not to go out to fast. My mile 3, however, I already felt like I was being depleted of energy really fast. The one bright spot was that I saw my boss in the crowd right before mile 3 cheering me on so that was really nice! I knew I could keep up a good pace through the 10K and that became my next goal. I got to the 10K mark and walked a bit up a hill. I was really hot and totally sweaty, of course, (it was humid) and I was really thirsty. I kept myself from drinking too much because I didn’t want to get water-logged. I took a GU packet at like mile 7 because I was feeling depleted. I usually wait until about mile 9, but I needed it. It helped a little. Right around 7.5 miles, I heard someone call my name. Up from behind me came Michelle, a woman I went to high school with. We had kept in touch a bit through Facebook and I knew she was a runner too. We quickly discovered the following commonalities:
1. We ran about the same pace on normal days
2. We had both run multiple halfs and had roughly the same PR time
3. We were both feeling sick and not really feeling this race
So we decided to stick together and help each other through it! We walked some, but ran most of the way into the finish. It was fun to talk a bit and get a little bit caught up with each other and comforting to have someone to lean on during this run. Every now and then I would cough and it hurt in my chest. I have to give Michelle mad props because I think she was feeling sicker than I was, but she kept going!
1. The joy is in the journey! I had some great runs during this training cycle so I need to remember that it is not all about race day. The race is just one run: a snapshot in time.
2. The joy of friendship! It feels good to be able to rely on someone in times of trouble and also to let them rely on you. That was probably the best lesson learned from this race. Sometimes we are not at our best and it is okay to admit that and to ask for help, receive it and give it right back!
Here are my stats for this race
Time: 2:38:31 (12:05/mile) – not my slowest, however!!
5.8 mile: 1:04:46 (11:10/mile)
11.5 mile: 2:19:47 (12:09/mile)