Sometimes, I should probably read my own blog.
Like, when I say that I haven’t been training, so I’m just going to enjoy the half marathon ride instead of trying to PR.
The Albuquerque Half Marathon is a small, local race with just over 600 runners. No expo, no race photos, no race swag. It took place on Saturday and got off to a late morning start at about 8:10 on what turned out to be a very warm day. Not quite Boston warm, but still in the mid-80′s.
The race course took us through Albuquerque’s Los Ranchos and North Valley neighborhood which is a little bit of country in the middle of the city. It smells like farm.
As the gun went off and I felt the surge of energy, I decided at that moment that I could keep a 7:50 minute mile pace (11 seconds per mile faster than my last half marathon in January), PR, and have a nice day. Nevermind that I had no evidence that I could hold this pace for 13.1 miles, and nevermind that I hadn’t trained to run at this pace. And those running experts who say not to start off fast? What do they know?
After my initial 6:45 start, I slowed down a bit to 7:45 and I was able to keep it for awhile, never getting above 8:00. I was feeling awesome! At a looping point, I saw that there weren’t very many people ahead of me (Aaron of course was one of them). I was the cockiest little running skirt girl on the course.
I ran my fastest 10-K ever at just under 48 minutes.
At around mile 6.5, a whole mass of people passed me. Something was wrong.
I looked down at my Garmin and realized that my 7:50 pace had become an 8:20 pace without me even realizing. I tried picking it up a bit.
About this time, it was 9:oo am, the sun was getting hotter.
It was also about this time that I could feel a bunch of yuck phlegm start to build up in my lungs thanks to the pollen in the air. This is the first time I’ve ever felt like I was going to suffocate while running. I will have to start taking Musinex before runs, because coughing up phlegm balls while running is not cute.
I was starting to get to the point where every little thing was driving me nuts. I was convinced that the bike rider people along the course (race marshalls?) were making me run slower.
I took my GU at mile 7.5. Typically my GU makes for a nice mid-race treat that I look forward to. This time, I was having to squeeze tiny little squirts in my mouth, trying hard not to have them come back up. I also didn’t time it very well, so I had to run half a mile before reaching a water station. Phlegmmy lungs plus sticky GU and no water was just a little more than I wanted to deal with.
And then I started getting cold chills. On a warm day, I didn’t take this as a good sign.
But I ran on.
I had decided before the race that if I finished 10 miles in 1:20 or less, I would push it hard and attempt a PR. All I’d have to do was run 7:55 miles, and glory would be mine.
I hit the 10 mile mark at 1:20:35, and I decided to go for it. Finally, I started passing people again!
This is about when those 7:45 miles started catching up to me.
My pace dropped back down to 8:20. I decided to wait until mile 11 to start picking up the pace. I hit mile 11, and figured picking up the pace could wait until mile 12. I came to a water station, and for the first time ever, I came to a complete stop to drink in the shade. My knees started to collapse under me. I had to keep moving. More cold chills.
I started playing with the idea of walking the last mile. No shame in that right? Mile 12 came. I didn’t pick up the pace. In fact, I did mile 12 in 8:39, which is the slowest I’ve ever run a mile during a race including the Shamrock Shuffle when I actually tripped, fell, and limped in agony for several feet.
Even as we turned the corner, and the finish line was in sight, I had a hard time mustering up the energy. I finished strong, sprinting to the finish line thanks to all of the nice cheering people.
I crossed in 1:47:31, 6 seconds slower than my slowest half marathon time. I finished 102/641 overall, 27th female overall, and 6th in my age group.
The difference between my best and worst times is less than 3 minutes. I can at least say that I’m pretty consistent?
My last few races haven’t been wonderful in either time or overall disposition since February, so I’m hoping that this will be the peak of race suckiness.
Aaron finished 30th overall, 4th in his age group.
We toasted our water bottles to what will hopefully be our worst half marathon ever. This race was really not fun at all for either of us between allergies and the heat.
After finishing, we made a beeline for our car (parking was another 3/4 mile walk, which was not fun), rushed home, and I got ready very fast in order to help host a baby shower across town less than 2 hours after crossing the finish line.
And had to apologize for coughing up yuck stuff the entire party.