3.24.2014

#bestfoot Check In: The Race Edition!

So, there was no Monday check in last week. It was Spring Break in my neck of the woods and well, I played with darling daughter! Yes, I splurged and took some time off of work to be with her. And this week's check in, well, it is going to happen but will be completely different than my standard versions. This post will be linked to the #bestfoot link up through Run to the Finish,The Adventures of a Darwinian Fail, and The Sweet Life with Ericka. I love this link up and each week strive to find at least one new lady to support! Jump on over and find some awesomeness and add your own!

But let's step back a second...did you see my post title? Yep, this is the RACE EDITION of Monday Check-in. Why? Because I ran two races so I figured since this week was all about racing and I love doing race re-cap's you are getting a two for one today! 

First, Run 'til Your Green on Monday 3/17/14

This is a local 3 mile race directed by Sam Wilbur from Maui Running. This year was the 6th event and his attendance is growing (235 participants this year) and I got to say I know why. The race is fun...and fast..and there is beer at the end for those who are interested. Yes, each runner will receive a ticket for one free drink. And this year there was amazing live music from a local Irish band. Can I say fun, fun, fun?

But let's start at the very beginning. Darling daughter and I were slated to run this race this year. She ran the brand new Keiki Dash - a 100 meter race for kiddos 2-12 and I LOVE this addition. Thank you Sam! Each kid received a finisher medal and had a chance to beat the leprechaun. Oh man those kids were fast, or that leprechaun wasn't ready, since all the kids beat him. Go kids!

Right after the kids' run the 3 miler started. This is an out and back course and it is flat and fast...just watch your footing on that cobbly back road that always seems to be under construction. This was my race this week. I felt the training I have done this year (my real interpretation - my lack of mileage and long runs compared to last year) had me set to aim to PR at this race. I was determined. So determined I didn't check what I had to run until that day to PR. Oh my! The last time I raced this was in 2012 with a time of 23:02. I kinda thought I just had to break 24 minutes. Now I needed to break 23?!

I placed myself towards the front of the corral but made sure I was still behind the speedsters and then I ran my heart out. At mile 1 I knew I was ahead of pace. I was feeling the push and told myself I can ease up or stay put. I didn't need to push further. At mile 2 I was still ahead of pace and still compelled to pass people when I could. And yes, I was trying to catch each and every lady in front of me. I wanted to place...or at least get the best PR I could. Randy Sherman was there taking pictures and does a lovely job of catching the real me in running. See, I was pushing myself. No time to smile. I saw him, knew I have awful running faces, but no time to try to do anything else besides run. That would just be a waste of energy. And it paid off. I was the 44th finisher overall with a time of 22:07 and a pace of 7'22". The irony in that in 2012 I was 44 out of 144. This year, 44 out of 235. Don't you love numbers? I was the 11th out of 116 ladies (in 2012 I was 10 out of 77 - no fun number coincidence there) and placed 2nd in my division (Ladies 40-49). I was stoked!

But what made it better was at the finish darling daughter was helping handing out coozies to those who beat the leprechaun and green beads to all the finishers. And dear hubby was helping the runners move along the finish corral and stay in line so their tags could be pulled. At the after party, we partied! Darling daughter and I danced to the music, okay, I danced while holding her until she told me I was bouncing too much. We yelled. We cheered. I nearly lost my voice. Won't you join us next St. Patrick's Day and Run 'til Your Green too?

Second, Valley to the Sea Half Marathon on Saturday 3/22/14

This race is directed by Rudy Huber from Runner's Paradise Inc. This year was the 5th annual race and the race series also has a 5K or 10K for those interested in shorter distances. I first raced this half marathon last year and PR'd with a time of 1:54:46. My goal wasn't entirely to PR since I just raced hard Monday and wasn't confident in my training due to lack of long runs and road runs. My goal - run happy and have fun.

Friday night was rainy, rainy, rainy. As much as I hoped the rain would stop it didn't seem to be happening. I didn't want to run in a downpour but put my phone in a Ziploc bag and taped it around where my headphones came out. Drizzling rain would be fine. On our way down the rain got harder at points. So hard I wasn't sure dear hubby could see the road. He hit a couple of puddles. We swerved and I questioned if my desire to race a half marathon was jeopardizing the safety of our family. I knew we were heading to Iao Valley - a place of rivers, waterfalls, and potential flash flooding. The rain let up and I got hopeful then it was another downpour. I brought up the weather on my phone, looked at the radar, and felt conflicted. 

Once at the start it was raining pellets. Dear hubby said it was raining in sheets. I didn't even want to get out and go to the porta potty. We waited for it to let up. It would for a minute or two but then, heavy again. My heart said run. My gut said get out of here. Running in a downpour with little to no visibility is not safe. Darling daughter said listen to my heart. I thought I should listen to my gut and told dear hubby to leave. He stalled and I asked him to make it easier on me and just leave. After we drove about two miles away he asked me if I was okay with my decision. Ummm....NO! I saw sunshine in the distance, the rain was light here, but the race was starting in 5 minutes. After a quick discussion he turned around and I started stripping off my upper layers and putting my CamelBak on. I got my phone back from darling daughter, who kept saying she wanted me to run, and jumped out of the car at the start and ran to the start pack for the final 10 second countdown. Ummm...porta potty, you are going to have to wait. I think I read there was one along the course. And off we went. No time to think about it as I finished getting my phone set into run mode while starting the race...in rain...actually a downpour...with rain drops that were so big and strong they hurt my eyes. I was drenched. But I think I was happy too. At least I wasn't a wimp for not running.

But that changed things...I was more determined to run happy, not worry too much about time, and thank every single volunteer and police officer that I could. They were also out there in this rain and they didn't have the benefit of running to stay warmer with the dream of running to a dry patch. 

After my phone told me my first few splits I was determined to PR again too. I was ahead of what I needed to do, I knew I had the benefit of a downhill start, but I was determined to stick to it. My left calf griped at times. I tried to shush it. My stomach hurt at times. I tried to calm it. My legs felt heavy. I ignored them the best I could. I put a stupid smile on my face if I had too but once again, that takes energy and I came to realize, my running photos suck sometimes because I try to calm all those little muscles in my face. Darnit all! 

For the final 5K a lady (Chelsea) came up by my side and we ran the rest of the race together. Most of it side by side. Helping each other along the way. She said she was struggling and needed help. I knew I was pushing my limits and felt her presence was a gift from God. And we both pushed ourselves to the finish...although she had a bit more juice left in her tanks than I did but that is okay. I PR'd. I finished with a time of 1:47:42. That is a pace of 8'14". Wow! I finished 4th in my division and no, Chelsea wasn't in my division. If I thought she was I am sure I would have found a way to dig deeper and not let her cross the finish before me. Just being honest....

We didn't stay and party this time as dear hubby had to get to work but he made sure I checked my placing before we left. I am certain if I placed in the top three we would have stayed for that. But it is all good. I am so happy to have placed 4th and yes, there is a little part of me that is even happier I didn't make my family stay out in the rain longer for an award.

Randy Sherman was there taking photos again and this time he caught a rare smile! Chelsea is right behind me but we got back to side by side, and then she passed by.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for two PR's this week.
Daily Affirmation: My achy legs are a sign of growth and strengthening.


8 comments:

  1. wooot congrats on two great races in one week, you are a stud. I guess all this running streak is paying off :)

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    1. It seems to be but I am feeling adding in the yoga is making a HUGE difference in my running performance.

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  2. Great racing. They're pretty slick times.

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  3. Two awesome races for you!!! Way to go!!! I love the kids race idea!! I'm sure it was really cute.

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  4. AMAZING Races!!! You seriously rocked both of them!! Way to go! Those are 2 awesome PRs!

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  5. Great job, Erica! 2 PRs in one week? Awesome!

    I can't stop staring at your shorts... this winter has been brutal! I will be thinking of you in HI when I toe the line on Sunday in sub 40 degree weather again!

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    1. That is another blessing I do have - I pretty much can wear the same running gear year round. I don't know how you guys and gals do the cold! You are strong!

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