As many of you know, my anxiety level skyrocketed last week when I started preparing for the Race Weekend. Thankfully, by Thursday afternoon, my confidence came back from an unexpected vacation and my anxiety subsided.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to make this a Race/Birthday/Getaway Weekend. We picked up our kids early from school and left Dallas around 2:00, avoiding rush hour traffic. It took approximately 3 1/2 hours to reach the Shreveport Convention Center. Not bad at all. Along with my number, I received a very nice Heroes Run Jacket and a Gillete Promo Box. At first, I thought the Promo Box had only Gillete razors, but it also contained a nice water bottle and a hat.
After Packet Pickup, we drove across the Texas Street Bridge to our hotel. Our room had a great view of the Red River, Texas Street Bridge, and railroad. If it hadn’t been so cold Friday evening, we would have explored the outdoor shopping center right next to the hotel, but the moment we stepped back outside, the wind picked up making it too cold for all of us. So, we watched TV and went to bed early.
My pre-race routine in a hotel is nearly identical to my pre-race routine at home, so when my 4:00 alarm went off, it was very easy to get everything done. 1. Find the bathroom. 2. Find my contacts. 3. Make coffee. 4. Fix breakfast 5. Eat. Drink. Wake up. Get Ready for the Race.
I left the hotel in layers. Under Armour warm ups over my Run Texas shorts, my new Heroes Run Half Marathon Jacket, Brooks arm warmers, and my Athleta vest. It was 31F/0C. With all of this on, I still felt cold when I stepped outside. This was going to be interesting.
I ran a 1.5-2 mile warm up, drills, and strides by the Convention Center. I did not feel loose or warmed up at all. When I lined up at the start, I couldn’t decide what to wear. My husband stood next to the corral with my bag of clothes, and I changed 5 times before the start of the race, finally deciding on my Brooks tank with my Brooks arm warmers and Buff. Still shaking, the race began. We were off.
For the first few miles, I felt good. My cadence was high. My pace was right where it needed to be. Mile 1. 6:44. Mile 2. 6:45. Mile 3. 6:49. Mile 4. 6:40. Mile 5 6:54. During Mile 4, my back tightened. I tried to relax my shoulders, let my arms swing naturally, and keep a good cadence going. Nope. My hip locked up by Mile 5. I kept at it. One foot in front of the other. Stay relaxed. Fast cadence. Mile 6. 7:02. Mile 7. 7:12. I stopped looking at my watch when my hip locked up. I battled tightness on my left side for the rest of the race. Mile 8. 7:13. Mile 9. 7:01. Mile 10. 7:10. Mile 11. 7:19. I managed to get my last two miles under 7 minutes. Mile 12. 6:56. Mile 13. 6:59. Finishing time. 1:31:54. 5th Place Overall.
Everything but my back and hip felt fine after the race. My 2 mile cool down helped some, but I had some rolling out, stretching, resting, and easy running to do before all of the tightness would go away.
I knew my hip messed me up, but my time was still disappointing. During my cool down, I concluded that I should give myself a break. That my body was just recovering/catching up from the intense marathon training. The high mileage. The racing. The speed work. Today simply wasn’t the day for a kick ass PR, but I should still be proud of myself for pushing through, finishing strong, and for freezing my ass off for 13.1 miles.
The Post Race Award Ceremony did a good job of lifting my spirits. They began by announcing the Overall Female Winners of the Half Marathon, which put me up on stage first to accept my award. I received a very nice glass award, a gift card, and a check. I congratulated the other Top Females, stopped for a few more pictures, and made my way with my family to the exit. It was time to refuel, take a shower, and drive to Fern Lake for Part 2 of our Weekend Getaway!
Post Race Update….(My back is loosening up, my hip is fine, and training is going well this week!)
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This post is sponsored by Run Texas, a new specialty running store in Frisco, TX!