So I headed to the Stennis Space Center to run the half marathon.
With the cold weather prediction of upper 30s by the start time at 8:00 am, and my training this fall, I felt really good going into the race. I was not disappointed today. I ran 1:47:25, unofficial time.
Today was just one of those rare days. For me, it was reminiscent of St. George. In talking with friends after the race, for many, it was a PR day. The course at Stennis is a GREAT PR course. If you have good weather, it's "game on."
The splits - (because you guys know I like the numbers and I like the details)
previous PR pace was 8:16 pace - Stennis 2009, so 8:15 was the goal for the day. Plan - start the first 2 miles a little slow, and then pick it up.
1 - 8:08 - oops, 2 - 8:23, 3 - 8:13, 4 - 8:12, 5 - 8:16, 6- 8:14, 7 - 8:14, 8 - 8:12, 9 - 8:12, these are my favorites 10 - 8:05, 11 - 7:59, 12 - 8:01, 13 - 7:54 SWEET! .1 - 1:04
Negative split run - woo hoo - makes me extra happy :) (why I do not know)
What helped me through the run today?
* running "in the mile" - I've been working on ALL mental aspects of my running and it IS helping. Today, I consciously made the decision to run each mile, and focus on that mile only. In the early miles, this is not necessary because I am running so comfortably. I can't remember exactly what mile I started this, but I think it was around mile 4 or 5. At this point, I focused and said to myself - "just run this mile @ 8:15. As soon as I made it to the next mile, I would do the same thing again. It was a great feeling to be totally focused on the mile, in the moment. Will this work every race, I doubt it, today was special. (normally, I start the mathematical count down and as I pass each mile I think about how many miles I have left before the finish)
*In getting ready for the Rocket City Marathon, I just finished reading Running Within by Jerry Lynch. Now let me first say, I am not an avid reader, so I haven't read tons of books, but of the books I have read about running, this one is by far the best that I have read. If you want to work on your mental running game, it's well worth the $$s. In this book, he gives many mental tips to survive the tough parts of racing - mantras, ideas, and tips. The one that I focused on today was "hello fatigue - I'm busy right now, I will deal with you after the race." Will this work every race, I doubt it, but today, it was helpful. The book recommends acknowledging the fatigue (hello) and then making the comment above. It was like saying yes, I am getting fatigued, but I am OK, and I can do this, and I will honor the fatigue after the race. It worked for me today.
* songs that helped today - where is your heart by Kelly Clarkson - when I heard the song, and that particular line of the song, it was like saying to me. Do you have "heart" to do this, and FINISH this, or will you let this PERFECT opportunity pass you by. It motivated me to step up.
*Novacaine - Bon Jovi - this song came on late in the race and was perfect.
Lyrics to the chorusI tell myself I (feel no pain)
But I'm feeling the pain (walk away)
Can't walk away
I'm hanging on the ropes of hope
It's getting hard to cope you know
When you're the needle running
through my veins
I've changed my name to novocaine
( I used the mental imagery to act like novocaine was numbing me to be able to cope and finish the race.)
Another reason I enjoy the Stennis race is typically there are some local runners who go to this race, near the coast of MS. Today there were several, and most of them had a great day. My sister-in-law, Sonja, stayed at my house on Fri. night and finished her 2nd half marathon today. Jennifer ran like a 10 or 11 min PR today. Bridgett ran a PR today. (Jen, Bridgett, and I will be heading to Rocket City to run the full marathon, 2wks from today) Frank - was running his 1st half marathon today, and ran a great race, and came in 2nd in his age group. Other friends at the race, Keith,Steve, Eric, Renee and Dennis, and Neil. (Renee ran like a 29 min PR, and Neil ran a PR too) I think most of our area runners either PR'ed, or won a medal, or both in some cases.
Frank, Me, and Eric (thanks to Frank for the pics)
Me, Eric, and Jen
Keith, (Steve's son-in-law? sorry) Steve
Bridgett on the leftAfter the race, Bridgett and I ran a couple of extra miles in hopes of helping some other runners finish the race. It was nice to finally be able to chat with her. She is super fast and ran like a 1:34?? - PR today. Go Bridgett! Bridgett has already qualified for Boston and NYC for 2011. Woo Hoo Bridgett! Big Year Ahead!
Age group award - I wasn't listening, but I am told it was 1st place???
Questions that I cannot answer:
- why does it feel so awesome to run a pr? For me, these days, it’s usually only a few seconds pr, and even if it’s only a 1 second pr, it just feels different, and why is that, why does it even matter? I do not know!
- why does a negative split run feel so much better than any other type of finish. Seriously, if you finish a race @ 1:47 why does it matter how you got there? Today, I ran a negative split and I ran a negative split at St. George, and it just feels TOTALLY different, like I’ve achieved something bigger, but I haven’t – why is this? I do not know.
- why does a pr give me a high like most people drink a 6 pack of beer to get? I do not know!