Good morning beautiful people of Booyahville! I’m so sorry if you all have been feeling a little neglected, between crazy work hours and not feeling so booyah last week, I’m still here! Bad news though: I’m traveling for work to the great state of Alabama tomorrow (I’ve never been – anyone have any suggestions of must do/must see?) and the Booyah Updates may be erratic (brace yourself, and stay turned!).
As you may have gathered, I was going into the Narragansett Half not at prime booyah level, and had kind of fooled myself thinking, “I’ll do the normal race prep. I’ll fall asleep, I’ll wake up and I’ll be running sub-9 minute miles like an OG.” Did that happen? Uh, no.
Strike number one against my sub-nine pace goal: I was fooled by my lack of fever that I was completely “better.” I did start feeling better later in the week, and despite my dad’s vehement protests I was set on running the half marathon regardless. I called up the “home phone” – the one that’s plugged into the wall like it’s 1994 – to give my parents an update on how I was feeling the day before the race. While speaking with my mom, my dad picked up the phone in another room and yelled, “L*****, you need to withdraw from the race! Forget it, you’re sick! Call them up and withdraw!” (Dad doesn’t really understand that there are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of race participants and they aren’t going to wait for L Booyah to show up in order to start the race. But okay, dad!). I did all the pre-race things: I laid out my outfit, put together my “Go Time” Bag, made pasta and sauce to carb up, and then tucked myself into the couch and started marathon watching The Real Housewives of Orange County on my best friend’s suggestion.
Strike number two against my sub-nine pace: I didn’t sleep well. It was one of those frustrating evenings where you toss and turn and all you can focus on is the internal countdown until your alarm goes off at 4 am. I was tired, but I was nervous and excited, and I remember looking at the clock at 2:36 am thinking “Nooooo, I only have an hour and a half to sleep!” What a bummer.
Strike number three against my sub-nine pace: It was FREEZING. It was 33°F / 0.5°C at the start of the race! Brrrrrrrrrr! The outfit I chose to wear for the race ended up being perfect for the temperature (long sleeve over a raceback tank, tights, gloves and ear warmer), but it took until Mile 3 for my muscles to feel warm and my feet and hands to start thawing.
The course itself was beautiful; you really did get to enjoy the New England fall foliage. The rolling hills were a fun change from the normal flat road race, I don’t think the course was ever flat for more than 0.1 mile. However, going up and down those rolling hills was tiring. I felt like the first 6 miles flew by, and then we got to mile 8, 9, 10 – those last miles were tough. I was having trouble breathing, and my asthma was acting up. I just felt…exhausted. Usually in a race I’ll get to my zoom zone and I’ll just fly, blocking everything out but putting one foot in front of the other. I never found that mind space, I just felt beat. The silver lining of driving the struggle bus at the end of the race is that my running soul sister (and sorority sister) Ariel stayed with me, despite my serious struggs, and that helped to encourage me forward.
I finished with a still-solid time of 2:02:51, with an average pace of 9:22/mile. I wish that I could have felt stronger, but I’m still proud of my time! I finished the race, didn’t give up and that is an accomplishment in and of itself. I feel like with every one of these race experiences, there is a life lesson in there somewhere. The one I learned from this race is that the time on the clock is much less important than the experience of running, and taking pride in putting your best foot forward, regardless of how you feel/how well you feel you did/the numbers on a board. Nothing can diminish being proud of your accomplishments if you place the important on the experience as a whole, not just on the outcome. Onward to the next one: Seacoast Half Marathon on November 8th! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Have a great week, everyone!