Like a Boss =)

After NYC I pretty much slacked on my training. And by slacked I mean I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. The 3 days following my return I worked long hours. That was followed by a spontaneous trip to Gainesville friday night into Saturday for the Gators homecoming game. That didn't really give me much time to get the 10 mile long run that I was supposed to do into my schedule. And with a 10 hour shift at work on Sunday it didn't happen then either.

The next week I really don't have any excuses as to why I didn't run or train at all except that I just didn't. I had other things to do that took up my time, and life just got in the way. 

The Women's Half Marathon was on Sunday. I wanted to try to do things the same way I did things for the Frankenfooter Half since I PR'ed. And my PR was pretty awesome. I took 16+ minutes off my time. Unfortunately things didn't go the same way they had for this race as they did for Frankenfooter. I didn't keep myself as hydrated the week preceding the race. Even the day before I think that I only had one full glass of water. Probably not the best idea. I also had two alcoholic beverages that day. Not smart, but fun. And I didn't get as much sleep. I did get my pasta in though! 
My shirt and bib from WHM

We headed to the expo Saturday afternoon and did the whole packet pick up thing. Then a walk around the expo. They didn't have anything I really needed. Wanted, maybe. Needed, no. So I left without actually buying anything. It was hard, but I refrained. The off for an early Italian dinner. Carb loading time. It was super early for dinner so I figured we might grab something else a little later. The portions were also a bit small considering it wasn't actually the dinner menu yet. Then off to chillounge night in the park. Music, fashion show, drinks, food, etc all while sitting in a big cozy lounge chair in the park. It was a nice cool night, and I wound up having two drinks and some chocolates. Not the best idea to have alcohol when you need to stay hydrated. I guess you just need to live a little sometimes! We left early and headed to bed. it was still an early night, but I didn't get as much sleep as I would have hoped for.
Chillounge night St. Pete

Me and Jim in the comfy lounge chairs

The morning came quickly and I got ready to run my race! I tried drinking a shake in the morning, same as I had for frankenfooter, but my stomach felt a little funny. I only had a little bit, and I felt like I couldn't drink anymore. We walked to the start and I was cold. It was windy and I was shivering. I knew I would be fine once I started running, and it would actually be great running weather, but right then it was miserable for me. 

It got closer to race time and we were standing around by the start, in corral one. I should have been in corral three, but when I tried to make my way back there were way too many people to push back through. I wound up getting stuck there in the first corral. I was a little nervous that I would be with all of the fastest runners. And in a few minutes, we were off. 
Before the race in the windy cold!

Right off the bat I had problems. I thought the race was going to completely suck for me. For about the first mile or mile and a half my left calf was cramping. I kept thinking I had no idea how I would run 13.1 miles with this feeling in my leg. But I kept moving on. Eventually the feeling went away. I wasn't wearing my compressions sleeves, so I wonder if that made a big difference for me. 

I was going pretty fast. My first mile was at a 10:07 pace. This wasn't a 5k I was running. Should I slow down? I tried slowing myself a little, but I didn't get much slower. I felt good though, so I figured I'd see how long I could hold it around 10:30. I did it for a while. Around mile 4.5 I saw the 2:15 pace group come a little ahead of me. I had been in front of them that whole time? Wow. I ran with them for a bit and then I slowed it down. I still had a significant amount of race left. I didn't want to completely run out of fuel. 

At mile 6 I had my GU. That was different too. I tried the Gu Chomps. I felt like trying to chew on something instead of just the gel. The peach tea tasted pretty good. I was still running a little faster than usual, but I could feel that I needed the boost. And last time I started getting tired around mile 7. Mile 7 came and went. I believe I was coming to mile 8 when my knee started hurting a bit. I stopped and shook my leg out and made sure I was ok. I slowed down. I didn't need an injury. My foot also started to cramp a bit, and luckily I pressed on it the right way to stop that. At mile 10 I was hungry and felt out of energy. Only 3 more to go! I could do it! '

This is where the mental aspect of it kicks in for me. This is where I really have to start talking myself through it and making sure I know I can get through it. I just ran 10 miles. Three more should be a cake walk. Or cake run. The last 3 miles felt like forever, and I know I slowed down a lot. I could calculate how much time each mile should take, and I knew no matter what I would most likely PR. I could even run a 15 min mile and I would still beat my last time at this point. And I knew I wasn't about to do that. So I pushed through, and I finally saw the finish. It seemed so far away, and those last few strides felt like they took forever. But the clock read 2:27:xx, and i had crossed the finish. I had PR'ed again! Like a boss!
Finisher Proof
My watch time was 2:27:00 exactly, and with my last time being 2:29:54, that was pretty much a 3 minute difference. I wondered what my official time was. It was cold. I took some finish pictures and then we headed to the car for long sleeved shirts. And then for some food. I was a hungry girl.

Eventually I found out my official time was 2:26:56. Almost exactly 3 minutes quicker than my last race 3 weeks ago. And almost 20 minutes faster than my first half in April. I was satisfied. And sore. My legs hurt more this time than last, and my knee still hurt. I iced and elevated it. Maybe I shouldn't have been so lazy with my training and stayed hydrated. 

This coming Sunday is the Space Coast Half. I wonder if I will still be sore. I wonder if my times will keep getting better. I wonder how the back to back halves will be on my body. I guess we'll see.