Roar

It’s been for-e-ver since I have written a race report. Scratch that, it’s been forever since I have written an actual post. Perhaps because nothing new has really happened. You know, how you get into the work-train-sleep-and repeat cycle?

Yesterday I completed my first race of 2014. My man and I decided to partake in the Ocean’s Run in Rhode Island. Truth be told, he did not actually decide to run in it….I decided for him by signing him up for the 5k he could do while I did the half marathon distance race. Similar to when I did the Lake George Half almost a year ago.

We made an over-nighter out of it, and Rhode Island has the spring feeling that New York has yet to feel. I forgot what the ground looks like without snow, and what it feels like to be able to walk outside in the sun without gloves and still have feeling in my fingers. Seriously, Mother Nature and the weather have not been pleasant to the Northeast. At. All. (Have you upstater’s heard we are supposed to get yet another “snow event”? Grrrr).

Anyway, nothing beats walking outside in 50+ degree weather when you have been subjected to sub-freezing temperatures for the past three months.

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Hellllloooo warmth!

Hellllloooo warmth!

After soaking up our fair share of Vitamin D, we hit up a local Diners, Drive-In’s and Dive’s hot spot to have the required pre-race carb loading meal. Food was up to Kevin, and, he decided that we had to try Crazy Burgers in Narragansett to have our fill of tasty burgers and fries.  I must thank Guy Fieri for finding Crazy Burgers because it not only has great options for carnivores, it has many different options for vegans/vegetarians!

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Thumbs up for pre-race-dinner-awkard-photos

Thumbs up for pre-race-dinner-awkard-photos

Race day was upon us sooner than we would have liked (due to the time change). The Ocean’s Run Half Marathon  and 5k took place at Matanuck Beach. There was plenty of parking at the elementary school, and instead of taking the shuttle to the start, we used the 0.6mile walk as warm up. The temperature dropped to the mid-30’s, but I cannot complain as I’ve been running in single digit weather for who knows how long.

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I started off running at a reasonable pace, and the course held my attention for the most part as it winded its way through ocean-side neighborhoods. Similar to most of the races I do, I try to find a fellow racer who I feel I can keep up with. Although, that tactic was crushed once the person sped ahead of me. Miles went by, and for the first seven or so miles I felt pretty comfortable just running along. At around mile 8, I started to feel fatigue set in a bit. Thanfully, another female runner came up and I decided to try the tactic of running along with her for some of the race again (mostly though because she had a triathlon t-shirt on). At this point the course returned back to the start (it was an up-and-back course). I felt my pace slow down a bit and contemplated walking a bit.

Race day needs no filter

Race day needs no filter

Once I hit mile 9, Katy Perry’s “Roar” played on my Pandora station and I thought, “I got this.” (Note: I am not a huge fan of Katy Perry, but the lyrics to that song can really pump you up. Please, do not judge.) 

At mile 10, you know you only have a 5k left to run and you are done with the race. I know my legs were somewhat uncomfortable, but I think it was my breathing/ heartrate that caused more discomfort, atleast that of which I was aware. I looked down at my watch and noticed I was around the 1:20ish mark. My goal was to finish under 1:56. If I can run a 24 min 5k, I can finish in under 1:50, I thought.

The next mile, I felt like I was shot. I felt out of breath. One voice in my head told me I could stop to walk for a bit, and still make the 1:56 goal. Another voice said, “Screw that, you can make it in under 1:47 if you try.” (1:47 was my goal for my “A” race next month).

I tried. I ran. Once I saw the finish clock ticking 1:44:44 I sprinted. And I succeeded.

My quads and thighs burned, and my lungs felt like they were on fire. But I finished my first half marathon in under 1:45. Five minutes faster than my last half marathon in October. Seven minutes faster than the Lake George Half. And eighteen minutes faster than my first half marathon ever a couple years ago.

Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time for non-runners. But, that is a significant change. I must admit, however, the race was the most flat course I have ever run. I went into this race feeling doubtful about my abilities, as the last long training run I completed was horrible. However, I was elated after this run. It is amazing how race conditions shift your focus away from the negative feelings away from “I can’t” to “I can.”

I greeted Kevin, who, for not really ever running since he dominated his last 5k, finished in a great time.

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I’m not a fan of pre-race photos, but am a fan of post-race photos (even if it’s impossible for me to ever look good for them). That way, you can show that you actually completed what you set out to do!

A big thank you to my man for being there with me (and, lets not forget driving), Trimom for an awesome race, and, Katy Perry, for giving me my second wind 😉

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