Sunday, April 26, 2009

Getting Better...

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Keith said...

It is sooo too bad we didn't see each other before the race. I went looking for some big groups of excitement, figuring you'd be in the middle, but no.

What a great race for you! Such a big step forward, even though you wanted to do better. Sounds like you left it all out there, which is the best you can do.

I think this is the kickoff to an awesome season for you!

Susi said...

Not just 15.5 minutes sista...15.5 minutes taken of running one of the hardest half marathons around!!!! WOOOOHH! Great job Julie - I'm so happy for you right now! You are going to have to help me get faster when I come visit!!! :) Great job! BIG HUGS!!! Oh and holy hannah - THE WHOLE BAG?! LOL Love ya!

Amber Dawn said...

Jules that is a great time for that course! This is just the beginning of your season, you are on your way to some kick ass races! Here comes the fastest bike split at SPG!!!!!

Oh and PS, 15mins is a MONUMENTAL improvement on a half marathon!!!!

Jenna said...

See Julie....I aint' the only one thinking you rock! So there! Can you see me sticking my tongue out at you?? WELL DONE!!! If you were seeing stars - you did all you could do on that day! Now, about fear.... the best rewards in life come from letting nothing stand in your way. Fear is the hardest of all to conquer but once you have, the world opens up like you would never imagined. Do not doubt yourself. SEE yourself running splits you want. SEE yourself riding the way you want. SEE yourself swimming the way you want. TEACH your BRAIN that is what it can expect to encounter on your race day and your BRAIN will help you on race day by reminding you want you taught it to see. Honest. Fear (ok...maybe sharks)

Kelly B. said...

Way to go Julie!! I am so excited for you! Awesome job.

Beth said...

That's a huge PB! Congrats!

Melissa said...

Um,that is a huge PR, contrats!! Awesome job!!

Cath said...

Well done you! You can;t do everything straight away - you're not a robot, it'll come as and when it's ready - nothing wrong with keeping pushing yourself as much as you can though!

Sorry haven't been around for a bit, but it's Jase's last few days in England before he flies out to Canada on Sunday and I won't see him for a month (first time in 15 years together!) - will e mail or call properly when he's flown already and I'm living with Mum and Dad

Take care and chat soon
Me xxxx

Kelly B. said...

Okay...I can't stop thinking about this...because I WANT ONE!!!
A fast half marathon time!!!
I want what Julie has!!

Can you hear my whining?

Jason said...

Hey there Julie, well done! You are looking great. Mind you, almost passing out? I'm sure that's not a good thing :S

starcorp said...

Now thats a serious improvement. Awesome girl!!!!!
John Mykytchuk

Amy said...

Wow, congratulations!! What an awesome PR. All your hard work is paying off, I love that feeling.

That Jenna....always good for a laugh.

Niko said...

Julie!!! How's it going? Congrats on the awesome PB in the race! So many great memories of the camp in Arizona....I just want to laugh hysterically everytime I think about it... :) So many great moments like the brick with you and Scott at the top of Mt. Lemmon and you not cheering for anyone during the running hill intervals...HAHAHAHA!!! and all the laughing on the way to the airport in Chris's truck! Glad to hear the training is going well...looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming races! Train hard and keep up the great work!!!

Nick D.

Julie said...

Hey Nick!! Great to hear from you -- I cherish that memory of me, you and Scott doing our brick that day. :) :)

How's your training coming along? Did you go swimming the very next day after camp like you said you were going to? Hee-hee! I was way too pooped and took the rest day!

Great hearing from you -- with all the people I know in Toon Town now, I am seriously thinking of coming up there to visit and train when the weather gets nicer -- I miss my buds!! :) :):)

runningman said...

Wow, you did awesome!!

Coach Sara said...

I must argue with you on one point Julie... YOU are the bomb. Congratulations. Your hard work is starting to pay off and this is only the beginning.

KK said...

Holy Guacamole that is a MAJOR PR!!! I mean, you knocked more than a minute/mile (am kilometricly challenged) off, that is HUGE! Congrats.

Jenna is one of the wisest people I "know."

Sorry about the phlegm, I know how you feel :(.

Great Job!