Sunday, May 16, 2010

How I got my ass kicked, Part 2

I did not get my course pr. But, I'm not in the least bit upset about it. We can either say it was my 3rd slowest half marathon or my 4th fastest. Either is ok with me.

I knew it was a long shot, but I figured that I'd put a positive spin on it and hope for the best.

Here is the quick synopsis.

It was a beautiful morning. After a week of snow and rain, this morning was perfect. Two days before the race, I'd stopped loading. This morning, I felt great. I'd slept well, etc.

Race start. I met some really great women who were also running solo (no fan club cheering at the finish).

I should probably explain this....Mike and the boys stopped going to my running races a long time ago. It's different than a tri where they can see me throughout the race. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason for them to wake up early just to sit around for a couple of hours. But that doesn't mean that they don't take an interest (see previous day's post).

Anyhooo, we all chatted, shivering (it was in the 30's).

The race starts. I'm plodding along at my conservative pace. It takes me awhile to warm up, but I'm doing my thing.

Up to 6 miles, I do exactly what I'm supposed to do. I circle around, ready to make my move. (This is where I was supposed to turn it up).

I hit the gas.

The engine didn't do anything.

I tried turning the key again. I got nothing. At mile 7, I think to myself "Well, I guess NOT doing my long runs was a bad idea.'s how it's going to go: this is probably going to hurt but if you can just hold this new improved SLOWER pace for the remaining 5 miles, we'll call it a day. Sound good?"

Of course it sounds good, I mean, it's an out and back half marathon. What else am I going to do?

So, I'm da-dee-da'ing down the course.

I get to mile 10, and it hits me. Call it an epiphany if you like, but IT hit me like a truck!

I am a great swimmer....seriously....I'm THAT good.

I am a really good cyclist....seriously....I should get the most improved award.


And that's ok. Well, maybe it wouldn't be ok if I only ran. But I don't.

I'm a triathlete. A triatlete who is always 1st or 2nd out of the water. A triathlete who can hold her own on the bike. A triathlete who get's passed on the run.

And y'know what? I'm ok with that.

With that thought on my mind, I come up to mile 11. I start chuckling to myself.

2 miles left. I'm slogging along.

Then I see the "street"....the one that once I cross, there's only .5 miles left.

My mind says "Let's KICK IT!"

My body keeps plodding.

I see the camera man. I try really hard to NOT smile and NOT scare the children. Come on, just ONCE can I get a decent race picture? I try to pretend that I don't see him.....and almost run RIGHT into him.

It can't get any better than taking out the camera man.

I run through the finish with whatever I have left. I cross the finish smiling knowing that although I probably would have liked to, I didn't quit.

But that wasn't the best part of the day.

The best part was the BBQ! Mmmm-mmmm-good. I hung out. Watched the men's and women's marathoners finish, listened to the band and decided to head home.

When I got to the car, I looked at my medal. It's really the World's Ugliest Finisher's medal. But I held it up and knew that when I got home I'd write my finish time on it and place it in the carved wooden box that Mike and the boys got for me over 10 years ago.

That's the irony.

I write my finish times down because I rarely remember them. I don't remember swim times, transition times, run times, etc. But I can tell you what I had to overcome just to be standing at the start line.

Crossing the finish line just makes it that much sweeter.


Kristin said...

What a great post. Your bits about hitting the gas and nothing happening and wanting to kick it at the end just made me laugh. As someone who only runs, I am much more in awe of you being a great swimmer and cyclist than just another good runner. Congratulations on the race and I hope the BBQ was GREAT!

Randy Egge said...

Nice report Tea. You can always improve your running. It may never be as good as your swimming or biking but hey, that's why there are three things in a Tri. Your two strengths will support your one weakness.
And yes, you got to that finish line and worked hard to reach that destination. Nice job. I will share a favorite quote:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man/woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends herself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if she fails, at least she fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

Julie said...

Great race report Tea! I love that you can enjoy the race and enjoy the day knowing that you've done a good job!

Is the medal the same as last year? Not the prettiest I agree, however the course isn't all that scenic either. :)

Congratulations on job well done!

LBTEPA said...

excellent :)

Lindsay @ said...

This post rocks Tea. I haven't done a half yet and definitely not a tri! It's fantastic you finished the race and were able to enjoy the BBQ!

Wes said...

Usually by the time I get to the run, everybody has passed me on the bike :-) Great job, Tea! You'll beat the course into submission...

Bill said...

Glad you got the BBQ!!!

I've had many a race just like you described. Feeling fine, but not able to get that engine started and shifted into that higher gear. Glad you could tough it out and get some eats.