Monday, April 20, 2009

St. Louis 1/2 Marathon - Take 2...

(Check out the video posted in the St. Louis Today newspaper!
Down on the right hand side...)

This past weekend, I met my parents in St. Louis after a busy week of m
oving in to our new house! We moved all of last weekend (April 11/12), so I was pretty wiped out on Monday. Derick and I did it all on our own, which was not 'so' bad as we do not own that much stuff. But, anytime you spend a full day from 7 am until 10 pm moving furniture, organizing and loading/unloading boxes, it will wear you out. Needless to say, were were completely settled by Monday morning and I had unpacked most boxes by Monday night. To say I am a 'busy body' is an understatement...and I cannot stand disorganization. =)Derick's parents arrived on late Tuesday night, so we spent a few very relaxed days with them as they helped us 'tidy up' our house. They did all the things that we would have never gotten to, such as making the flower garden in the front look nice, fixing some light fixtures and painting small spots on the walls that needed it. Unfortunately, I had to leave on Friday night so I missed their last night here, but it was a cool and rainy evening in Austin, so they just stayed in and ate pizza; early night as they flew out at 6 am on Saturday.
A dark and wet race morning

Friday evening, I flew into St. Louis on a direct flight; just myself and my backpack. Gotta love running races. My parents and I had a great dinner (albeit late!) and I was actually up until almost midnight; but, we slept in on Saturday and after a short run and getting my packet, I even took a 45 min nap in the afternoon. The weather was expected to be cool and very wet for Sunday! But this does not bother me. I have learned that if you let adverse conditions get to you then you are at an immediate disadvantage to your competitors; so, I try to roll with it and remind myself that everyone has to deal with it. Though, I do feel bad for all of the great spectators and volunteers out there standing in the rain!

Sunday AM, I have to be honest, I did not feel great. Not 'bad',
but definitely NO snap what-so-ever in the legs. I was not very well 'prepared' for this race, as I took a good 3-4 weeks of little running to recovery from the marathon and just kicked it up a bit these past 2 weeks. But I had been cycling a LOT for me and, well, running may help cycling but cycling is not going to make you a faster runner. However, I came here to try to win this race for the second year in a row, and make some money to help get me to more races! I kept this in mind when the gun went off... just be smooth and steady, view this as a strong 13-mile training run. Ice Bath tough, but so good...

I was lucky to be able to run with the womens marathon winne
r for the first 10 miles (Megan Earney), and we had a very smooth 6:15 pace going. She split at the 10 mile mark and then I was on my own. I cannot say it ever hurt badly, because my legs just would not go into that 'hurt zone'. They didn't have the zip. But, from 10-13, I did hit some hills that were challenging. I could have really used a Gu, but I think I was just stubborn, and pushed on. I never looked back, but by mile 12, I had a good feeling that I had this race won. I actually did push the last mile to probably just over 6-minute pace, though the finish time was just over 1:23, which is honestly the slowest 1/2 marathon I have done in a few years! Yet, all things considered, I was pleased with it. A win is a win, and I knew that going into this, if there was a strong woman who showed up and could run well, she would deserve to win this race. I lucked out. With a time 3-minutes slower than last year, I still managed a win.
Pasta dinner at Lombardo's - Amazing food; I think I ate half of my moms lasagna...

Thanks to Zoot for sending me some great new training clothing! I tried out a new top on race day, and it was comfortable, bright and made me easy to spot (or so my parents said). Also thanks to Cecilia Llanos at 3 Cosas for her awesome massage work, which has helped keep me healthy these past few weeks, and to Hill Country Running, Advanced Rehab and Jack and Adams. Your support is much appreciated! And thanks to the race organization at Go! St. Louis for helping me come back to this excellent race this year.
Awards post-race (with Nancy Lieberman of Go! St. Louis)

Lesson learned today? It can be tough to go and race, give it all you've got and come away with a time that is 5 minutes off of a PR. But, I think I had to consider the situation... I have come off of marathon training, and the bottom line is my legs are still a bit trained for the longer distance. That is OK, as my goal is Ironman Canada in August. But, racing can show you what you need to work on, as this race did. I know I am due for some (moderate) 'speed work' to sharpen up my running. But the BIGGER picture is, I was very fortunate to be able to go out and compete in a huge field of runners (15,000!) and enjoy the day. I have nothing at all to be 'upset' about. Having my family there made it even better. Sometimes, our times that we post have to become irrelevant; it's moreso about enjoying the process and appreciating the moment. Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

Rock Star!

Sharon said...

Are you racing IM Canada for sure? You're going to love it, the course is amazing! I'm kind of jealous, sort of wish I was going back to that one!