Thursday, May 8, 2008

Enjoy the Moment

Has been awhile since I last posted, as last week was insane...I left for a 6-day trip to Indiana. The trip was to accomplish a few things, including a) do a 1/2 marathon and b) help out my mom with wedding plans! It was an excellent trip, good race but also great time with the family.

I headed out last Thursday, and Derick came in on Friday to Indiana. We all had dinner with my sister Robin on Friday night, pre-Mini-Marathon. Donatos Pizza (sorry, Pat) :) is the dinner of choice when I get into town the first night. Works for me pre-race, however I have to say, the stomach was a bit temperamental Saturday morning...could it be their 100-pepperoni guarantee on their pizzas? Nah...

The race on Saturday was the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, which is the largest 1/2 marathon in the country. I have done it a few times in the past, notably last year when I did a 1:18 and was 6th overall. This year, well, a few months ago, I was really gunning for a top 3 finish here and a sub-1:16. BUT...going into this, I was just feeling a bit 'blah'. I had gotten a little sick between this and St. Louis (April 6), and I think that kind of rattled my confidence. I wanted to hit workouts that would make me feel confident running a 5:50 pace for this, but I was not really able to get them in. So, I tried to approach this saying "Let things take care of themselves, relax, run and don't overthink it."

This I did, as Derick and I got up Saturday morning (I at 4:50, he at 6:00...he was not too concerned about this, the start time was 7:30) and ate my normal breakfast, waited around and spent a LOT of time in the bathroom at our hotel (we were at the Westin, which was about 1/4 mile from the start line). This had me a bit worried but I just had to STOP drinking water, then I was fine.

Once I got outside and warmed up, I felt great! The energy at this race is incredible!! Imagine being surrounded by almost 40,000 others, music playing, sun is coming up, and the place is just bustling with energy. I avoided the whole 'Elite Pre-Race Readyt Room'...I didn't really want to see who was racing, just wanted to go run. I spotted my parents and my nephew William at the start, which was so nice...always puts a smile on my face to see my mom and dad. :) The very cool thing too was that my sister Cori was also running the half, and Robin doing the 5k...a family affair!

The gun went and we took off, Derick and I, and I tried to stick a 6-min pace (no faster) for the first 6-miles. Then, I'd just drop my pace. No big deal. Simple as that. Well, we hit the Indy 500 track right at mile 6. I believe I said to Derick, "Not picking it up." Meaning, not feeling it. This section of the race is that you are going around the Indy 500 race track, but this is 2.5 miles long! If you are hurting, you'll probably feel it here and I did. Nothing was really 'clicking' today. I noticed at the 8-mile mark, I was slipping on my pace. I tried to ignore it and just keep on running. We exited and soon hit mile 9, where I think I said, "I can't do this..." This is odd because it is not like me, I have not really experienced races where I truely tie up the last few miles so often...I think that around mile 10, I slowed to almost a walk, and said a lot of negative things. Such as...

"I feel awful...I cannot finish this. This is horrible, what am I doing out here? I cannot even hold 6-min pace...just quit, don't finish this, you'll embarass yourself..this is so painful..."
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, my body felt HORRIBLE when I said this.
Talk about the power of the MIND!
This was so vivid to me! So, to test the theory, I decided I'd load myself with positive self-talk. Such as...

"KEEP GOING. You were running in 4th place, why give up? You HATE QUITTING. And you'll regret it, suck it up and one foot in front of the other. Stay with that girl who passed you, she is hurting too, you are not alone here and thousands here would love to be running your proud of who you are and what you do!! Do not give up."

Needless to say, I felt pretty strong from 10-12 and was even holding position to the girl who had passed me. I struggled home at the end as I felt the 'surge' I had attempted to a 1:19.49, I believe, good for 5th overall (Thank Goodness!!!). I was just toast. I think that my body is just a bit worn down, and I think I also saw the effects of putting a bit too much pressure on myself the past few months.

So...I tried to chalk it up to a good training day, a bit of prize winnings ($1000) and a good effort. Things just do not always click. I know this was not a terrible race, I know a 1:19 is a respectable time, but I also know that a year ago I was clicking off 1:18's and I like to be improving. That said, I had family there and my wonderful fiance Derick...we had the whole weekend and more together, my sister Cori ran great as did my sister Robin...and it was a beautiful day in downtown Indy. Some days, the results are just not the most important matter on hand.

And the trip just got better, as Derick and I 'designed' our wedding cake on Sunday, tasted our food for the wedding and also met Pete Sebert who will 'marry us'. It was so incredibly nice to relax at my parents house in Trafalgar, IN, and fish, drink beer and eat good food. I even swam in their lake on Tuesday, which was awesome, their place is just quiet and peaceful. While I was kind of itching to get back to some training, I was sure not in a hurry to leave there.

So...ending comments? It's not always about the race. I know I take this stuff seriously, put a lot of my heart and soul into it, but sometimes it is so much needed to take a step back and just enjoy the moment and appreciate all we have around us. This past week, seeing my family and seeing my sisters go out and race their hearts out, every moment was great, ...even suffering to the finish line. :) That is just part of living life.

P.S. I just got my new Scott Contessa TT bike, courtesy of the Zoot Triathlon is sweet. Granted, it is white with pink and I am not really the 'pink' person (give me bright orange, yellow, green) but I went for a ride this morning and it felt awesome! If that is not motivation to get back in the saddle, I don't know what is! Thanks tons to Zoot Sports for the support, as well as James at Jack and Adams for getting it all set up! You're awesome James, the fit is perfect and it is running smoothly! Now, I just need to 'make' it speedy. :)


Anonymous said...

Great perspective!
Donato's pizza is amazing. I have in-laws that live in Indy so I've consumed my fair share of pizza from there. It's always on the list of places to hit while we're in town.

Jennifer said...

Hi Kel! Congrats on pushing through - you'll be under 1:16 in no time! I'll see you at the end of the month! Can't wait!