But now that the day is done and over I can elaborate a bit on my concerns why trying to beat my PR of 1:57:53 scared me....and perhaps that is one reason I was so focused on the fun of the race. First, I trust the measuring of the race course for the Wahine Half Marathon a bit more since it is certified. What if that last race really wasn't a true 13.1? There is no real reason for me to believe that. Just a what if. Second, I did crash and burn last year at this race. I hit the wall around mile 9. What if I push myself too hard and hit the wall again? Worse yet, what if I can't finish? And third, is it really rational to try to cut about 22 minutes off a race time on the same race course? I wasn't sure.
All this aside, I was still focused on the fun of this event and was looking forward to the almost all female race course, the great views, and the pink!
Kendrick Fitness. It was great to finally meet him face-to-face and say ALOHA! If you haven't checked out his K-Tips yet you really should. He is quite inspirational and truly cares about fitness and providing people with the support they need.
4:00 am on race day to drink a small cup of coffee, eat some breakfast, and drink a good cup of non-fat milk. I even took a shower to relax my mind, body, and spirit and got ready to race. We got to the race start and dear hubby entertained a not-quite-enthusiastic darling daughter while I waited in a very long line for a final bathroom break. We then headed over to the corrals, which were in a much better location this year. I wasn't "torn" away from my family and herded over a bridge. Instead, I casually walked ever so slightly away from them and tried to get my mind focused. I said my traditional prayer, did some stretching, and tried to go with the flow with a race start being slightly delayed but after the National Anthem and a good Hawaiian focused hula beat we were given the okay to run.
It was slow moving to get to the official start and then I ended up doing quite a bit of weaving and passing to get into my running position in the pack. I placed myself in the 8:01 to 9:00 minute corral and wasn't prepared for that much juggling around runners in front of me. But it all worked out and I got into a running place I liked, my own running circle.
A few miles into the run the thought of PR went through my mind. Should I try to go for it? I knew my paces were good but I told myself to stick to my plan. Aim to run less than 9:00 the whole race and remember, slow and steady. It was hard at times when I was being passed to not pick up the pace but I told myself, run your own race. It is too early in the game to go all out. You know it is a hot course and will get hotter.
Around mile 8 I felt a twinge on my toes....blisters? I haven't had a blister from running since September 2010 so this was an oddity for me. I remembered a post I read (I believe it was Dorothy from Mile Posts) on pain just being the devil. I related those blister twinges to the devil trying to convince me I was weak and couldn't do this. I told them to shut up and kept on running. I knew I could handle a blister or two (it ended up being three and my conclusion, old worn out race socks since the shoes weren't all that new....or old....to me).
Once again, the miles at the end of the race seemed longer than the miles at the start. Ironically, my GPS was trying to concur with that mindset but I really think it was the increasing temperatures. I don't know about the GPS part though but hey, I really don't expect GPS and mile marker signs to agree 100%. Signals come and go. Markers may vary a wee little bit. It isn't a matter of life and death.
Thing is, I really wasn't sure what my time was throughout the race. I knew what my GPS was saying but I also know it can vary at times. But as I got pretty close to the finish I saw the time clock and realized, I was about to PR...again....less than 2 months after my last PR.
My official race time was 1:56:20 with an average pace of 8'52". I placed 23/206 in my division and 97/1,186 overall.
I had to stop and catch my breath before being given my medal. I headed over for photos and once again, had to stop and thank God for my running legs before posing for the photographer.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my running legs.
Daily Affirmation: I am stronger than I think I am.
And a little ekphrasis for my health activist writer's month challenge....
In the image above I see a sole man on an journey of uncertainty. He seems doubtful at the moment, perhaps like the doubts I have had many times throughout my running journeys. But I see the beauty of the world, the serenity of life, and know that this man, like myself, will find great wonders within himself.