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2015 Philly Love Run Recap

7 Apr


March 29th was a big day for me, I ran in my third half marathon. That wasn’t really the only reason it was a big day, the race I ran on that Sunday was the last race I ran last year.

It wasn’t long after the Philly Love Run last year that I knew something was wrong and it took me the entire year to lace up and race again.

I trained smart for this year’s race. I knew I needed to train and properly prepare my body for the 13.1 if I wan’t to keep myself off the PT table and out of the doctor’s office. I took my 12 weeks of training seriously and dedicated the time, even on days when I didn’t really feel like getting out there. Remember, it was a cold winter!

It wasn’t until about twelve hours before the race that the nerves hit me. What if this was just another repeat of last year? What if I couldn’t even finish?

I had a goal time in my mind. For me I aim to PR with every race, so even after the months of PT and the surgery I had to try to beat last year’s time. My goal was lofty. Last year’s time was one hour, fifty five minutes and one second. This year I was going to push and run it in one hour and forty five minutes.

Many of my friends thought I was crazy and I received more than one side glance when I shared my goal.

Time to race!

It’s cold. It’s windy. Am I ready? I’ve done all I can to prepare, all I can do now is run.

From the start I found someone to keep pace with so I wouldn’t take off too fast. I was that woman’s wingman for as long as I could keep up, I stayed right off her left shoulder for the first two miles. I lost her when she was able to take an inside route on the turn around.

Things were moving fast, before I knew it I was heading back out of the city.

I sucked down my GU and mentally prepared myself for the first hill that was literally right around the corner. UGH, it’s longer than I remembered it being and it’s right into the wind! The eight minute mile pace team caught me…SHIT!

I managed to pass them at the top of the hill and keep them behind me for a few miles.

There was a change in the route, another unexpected obstacle. Another hill, a steep one and that hill was followed by yet another that wasn’t part of last year’s race.

I train on hills, but I was expecting a mostly flat course.

Mile nine, major side cramp. I slowed down a little to let it pass and tried to keep myself calm. Every footfall was vibrating through my body making the cramp feel like I might actually explode.

By mile ten it was gone…Thank God!

Mile ten, only a 5K left to go. 5K is a piece of cake, I’ve totally got this!

Another GU to take me through the finish.

That felt like the longest 5K of my life and I’m starting to get tired. The eight minute mile pace team was long gone but according to my GPS I was still holding my sub eight minute splits. I swear that pace team was running much faster than an eight minute mile.

I’m closing in on the thirteenth mile, time to kick it into gear. An uphill finish.

My knee was killing me but I had to push, I had to pick up a second or two. I’m flying up to the finish line, I can see it now. I’ve got laser focus. I’m passing people left and right on my quest for a strong finish. I dart through the finish line and tears immediately well up in my eyes. I did it!!

philly love

Not my best photo but I’m still proud.

It took me the better part of a half an hour to get ahold of myself enough that it wasn’t taking what was left of my mental strength to keep from breaking down.

My official time? One hour, forty-six minutes and nine seconds. Only sixty nine seconds over my goal time! To me that’s a win, a MAJOR win.

So how was I feeling in the days that followed? I was a little stiff. My IT band was bugging me for a few days. The ankle that put me through hell is still a little stiff but otherwise in great shape.

Running is so much more than just physical ability, in fact I’d say it’s mostly mental. Fighting against the “inner quitter” when she’s screaming in your ear to just give up, to cut that training run short, to just slow down. Pushing through ┬áthe unexpected changes in plan. Getting over that fear of the unknown.

I’m trying to get over my fear right now. I haven’t run since March 29th because I’m afraid. I’m scared that this year will end up being a repeat of last year after all. For the past week I’ve been fighting against that inner quitter to get back out there and prove that this year is not a repeat of last year. I’m thinking today might just be the day that I get back out.

I’m looking forward to a fun filled race season in 2015.

philly love recap

Here’s a rundown of my half marathon performances:

Marathon Park Prep, March 16, 2014: 1:57:18

Philly Love, March 30, 2014: 1:55:01

Philly Love, March 29, 2015: 1:46:09

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