4.04.2012

Wahine Half Marathon Race Report & Ekphrasis

I don't know what it is about this race but I am completely in love with it and the impact it has on me. This race makes me just want to have fun. Much to dear hubby's dismay, I never got into the mindset pre-race to go for a new PR. He kept providing positive words of support but I just wanted to beat my time from last year....2:19:15.

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!

The day before race day I tried to be smart and not walk all over Waikiki like a crazy lady. I tried to rest a bit and even took a brief nap after going to the Expo. It was in a new location this year that provided free parking but since we walked to it, I didn't care much about that. What I did notice was it was a bit harder to navigate through the location with darling daughter, dear hubby, and a jogging stroller. We ended up splitting up for a bit, I went to go get my race packet and later I picked up darling daughter and went to go say hi to Kendrick from 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.

I woke up at 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.

Splits
The race starts with some loops around Ala Moana Park and I am still impressed by how well the race course is managed. I really didn't study the course map but I had a general idea from running last year but even with minor course changes between the years, I never had one doubt of where to run. The race director did a great job marking the course with pink arrows and the volunteers provided additional support.

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.

Family post-race
Somewhere after being handed my boa and tiara I heard (then saw) my family on the sideline. Dear hubby was screaming out my name and telling me to go. I pushed the pace and he ran along side me for a bit with darling daughter in the jogging stroller. It was a great pick me up and a fellow runner commented on my support crew. All I could say was "thank God" but then I was on my own again on that final stretch through Magic Island, which once again felt like an eternity. I could hear the announcer calling out those already making it to the finish and tried to keep pushing my pace to the end. It was a bit harder without my support team but I kept going. I saw the finish chute and kept going and a couple other ladies joined me in on the final steps. The good thing, this year I could dig deep and find a little something at the end. Last year, I felt like I was crawling through.

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.

16 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had a great day for a run, congrats on the surprise PR!

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  2. so so proud of you!!! CONGRATS!!!!!

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  3. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved this and you are SMOKING - can I please have your abs???? congrats :D

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    1. Why do we never like our own abs? Thanks!

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    2. Anonymous2:29 AM

      Definitely a GO me! moment. Congratulations! we are so looking forward to the event in San Juan this year again! I'm going to share your experience in our page www.facebook.com/thinkgome

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  4. Thanks for the pats on my back! It was a great race and I feel dear hubby and I are finally bonding over running versus competing. That made it even better!

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  5. Awesome. This was my first Half Marathon. I did 2:13 and am already trying to see how I can beat my time next year. Thank you for the inspiration!!!!

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  6. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Great job!! I too ran the Diva's last weekend, finishing 9 Diva's behind you and when I finished I said I was good and didn't need to run another for quite some time - this was the longest distance I had ever ran and I was good with it. I crashed hard after this race, not sure where I went wrong, but I felt like junk the entire race. Well, I think "quite some time" has already come because I am thinking about running the Hibiscus half next month! I was worried that I would try to PR during my next one or even lose a few more of my beloved toenails, but after reading your blog, I think I will just go and have fun with it and see what happens, you never know! Once again, congrats on your awesome time and thanks for being an inspiration!! Happy Running!!

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    1. Great job sticking to it! Running has low and high points and you are going to be amazed by what you will be able to accomplish! I have confidence in you!

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  7. Nice job on your race! The Wahine Half sounds like a fun event. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Congratulations! Great job on getting another PR so soon!

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  9. Carin7:03 AM

    congrats! I'm a new-to-running mom and this was my first half, so even though my time stunk it was still my very own PR lol. That's what I keep telling myself. Maybe next time I can close in on 2 hours, you're awesome!

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    1. Take pride in your time, no matter what it is. The good thing about first races at longer distances is the guaranteed PR's. You did a wonderful job Sunday. Pat yourself on your back and smile big!

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  10. Congrats on the new PR! You are definitely on a good roll with the PRs!

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  11. I am so glad I found this post - I had been wondering how you did. Awesome, I see, and I am so happy for you! How nice that husband and daughter were there to cheer you on and run a bit with you, too. I love the pic of you in your HAWT pink outfit. You look wonderful and so fit and so happy!

    Great recap and congratulations on a wonderful run and another PR. Wahoooo!

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  12. Congrats on a new PR! What a wonderful race!

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