(#23) Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon – Part 2 (Awesomely, They Provided Some Sunscreen)

Monday, July 16th, 2012

We left off yesterday with me forgetting my hat.

Honestly, how did I not notice before we left the hotel? I get dressed every day of my life. And every day – race or no race, I put on a hat. I mean, come on. I have read both of Dr. Brandt’s books.

Some race volunteers overheard us talking, and they let me know that there was sunscreen up for grabs over on a table across from us. Thank goodness.

Way to go, Destination Races! I appreciate how prepared you are when I was so inexplicably underprepared. I went over and coated my face while Wendy checked her weather app for me. It looked as though it’d be an overcast day. Let’s just hope the sun never comes out.

I had such an amazing time last week pushing myself and getting faster, that I hoped to see how much of that I could recreate this week. However, I knew that usually when I have a race on my faster side, I have a race on the slower side the following week. (I think my body usually kind of needs at least a week to catch up.)

I’ll spoil the ending now, ’cause I don’t want us getting too excited about my strong start. I finished in 3:31:52.

I started the race knowing my legs were tired, but thinking, “Well, let’s see if I can run the first mile.” Turns out, a large portion of the first mile was uphill. The longer the hill got, the more people in front of me started walking. I find that having a bunch of people around me in a race can work one of two ways –
1) Seeing them will help push me to go faster, seeing if I can pass them.
2) Watching a bunch of people slow down will reinforce that something is hard, and make it more okay for me to slow down at said hard thing.

I almost slowed down with the people around me, but no. I’m jogging this first mile, by golly! I made a promise to myself (that I kept) that I would jog up every hill in this race. Flat surfaces and downhills were up for grabs, but if I was going up, I wasn’t walking.

people running the Napa 2 Sonoma Wine Country half marathon 2012

I’ve got some great running music going – Eminem is carrying me forward. I get to the first mile marker in around 12 minutes. All right, nice. Maybe I should just keep running, and see if I can jog the second mile as well. Yep. I make it through the second mile without walking.

Well, shoot. If I’ve already made it this far. Let’s just jog the first 5k. 38 minutes. Bam. Done and done.  Well, if I already jogged the first 5k, I might as well jog to mile 4, right? I slowed my jog, but still came into mile 4 around 50 minutes. Not too shabby. I think, “I’m so proud of myself! Last week, this week. I’m getting faster. What, what?”

But, slow your roll, girl. Don’t get too proud ’cause bam. I faded hardcore in mile 5. I definitely still reach the point where my mind wants to keep going at a certain pace, and begs me to keep it, but my legs just do not keep up. I know a lot of working out (and life) is a mental game more than a physical one. But physically, I do have limits (that can be stretched over time, but don’t change with every race).

You know what I need to do? Work on my upper body strength! I have none. It’s always my core that’s wilting over before my legs are in trubs.

So my legs (and everything else really) were all, “Look, we’re friends. And we appreciate what you’re trying to do for us. But didn’t we just do this for you last week? Cut us some slack already! We’ll happily carry you to 13.1 miles, be we don’t want to go there quickly.”

Well, hey. I can’t argue with you. I totally walked mile 5. My dad happened to call during that mile, which was nice. I had left him a message that morning telling him the unbelievable (in the bad sense) news that I’d forgotten my hat. I told him I’d possibly survive – we could hope. He called me back to say he was positive I would survive. Who could know, really?

This is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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