My previous half-marathon PB was 2:03, and today I managed 1:47:22.
I gave it completely my all -- at the finish line everything went black and then starry for a few minutes as I walked it off. But...I am not satisfied with my time at all and am ready to do whatever it takes to whack off another chunk of time. :) :)
One of my coach's athletes, Kerry, came out just to cheer me on. I had major misgivings and self-doubt going into this race. I was frankly terrified of running the same time or a slower time than my PB, and through countless emails and his support, I was able to face down my fear and do the best I could. It was pretty amazing -- he wasn't racing, but decided to do his long run along part of the race course. As the race began, I heard a deep loud voice behind me say, "GO JULIE -- FOCUS!" It was like the thunderous voice of God -- Hahahahahaha! But it worked -- a light switch went off in my head and I just ran and ran and ran. :) :)
My awesome friend, Jenna had also given me some sage advice, "Let 'er buck!" She told me that when I feel like I am going to die, crank it up another notch. I distinctly heard her voice in my head at the 18km point too... weird eh? LOL!!
I zoned out for the first 10km, telling myself that the race would really begin at the 11km point. My coach had given me an awesome pep talk beforehand, and I kept thinking of her telling me to "lay it on the line." :) :) I am a shite runner, and running "hard" is my big weak link. So when she told me to go at 95% for the whole race, I knew I was going to face down my fears.
I learned that I can actually run hard for 21 km! I've figured out this "hard" thing for swimming and biking, but the running thing has been difficult for me. :)
I also learned that when I breathe that hard for 21 km in the cooler weather, my throat closes up with phlegm. I had to keep clearing my throat, "Ahem, ahem, AHEM!" just so I could get some air down there. And hours afterward, while talking to my buddy Keith (btw -- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!), he heard me go all phlegmy on the phone. My voice choked up and I couldn't even talk, I had to keep going, "AHEM!" WTF????? Hahahahahahahahaah!! Well, you learn something new every race right? :) :) :)
A couple of neat things I noticed about the race -- my legs suddenly got a second wind at the 17km point. It was so instant, that I looked down at my legs as if to ask them, "Who do you belong too?" From that point on I felt my legs get stronger as my breathing became more laboured. Now I need to work on getting my breathing to catch up with my legs. Hahahahahahahaha! I did manage to pass a few people during the last 4 km -- and I was quite delighted that I even "caught" this one gal right near the end. I got my legs just a pumpin' and got by her -- hmmmm, maybe that's why I was seeing stars at the end? Hee-hee!!
Well, my awesome coach has choked off 15.5 minutes off my best half-marathon time! Sara -- you are the frigging bomb, baby. :) :) :)
Now that this run is out of the way, I am gunning for the Lethbridge Olympic on May 10. Last year I had the second fastest female bike split, and that was on ol' BMF. I am pretty pumped to let 'er rip on May 10. Or as Jenna would say, LET 'ER BUCK! Watch out, because the turkey runner is slowly getting faster, suckahs!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!