Last year, I ran a PR at the Downhill@Dawn Half Marathon at the beginning of June. I took it easy for the rest of the summer, running my favorite 2-mile route on my lunch break, cycling A LOT, and swimming with the local Master’s Swim Team. Summer in Alabama is no joke, so I knew it would be a gamble to schedule a race right at the beginning of my primary running season (fall/winter), but I did it anyway because I’m a glutton for punishment!
The months flew by quickly and when it came time to run the Nashville Women’s Running Series Half Marathon at the end of September, I had not even come close to putting in the necessary distance work for a good race. On top of that, I had hurt my ankle from wearing sky-high heels for too long at a wedding in August.
Excuses aside, I traveled to Nashville without the rest of the family, which was a nice little “mom’s day out” vacation, I ran an extremely hilly course on a hot day, and I earned my medal (and a mimosa) while benefiting an excellent cause. The race was well organized and Nashville is a beautiful city that I’d love to visit again. I joked with some of my fellow runners that the race may have been for women but a man definitely selected the race course–hills, hills, and more hills all the way to the bitter end.
My official finish time was 2:19:22. I wasn’t very pleased with the results, which is why I went home and immediately scheduled another race 5 weeks later in Kentucky. I took two weeks off for recovery, ran a collective 13 miles spread over week three, and a 5k on the weekend before my race. Despite being extremely sick with GI issues two days before racing, I earned a brand new PR of 1:54:38.
Sometimes you have a bad race and sometimes you have a good race. For me, the weather on race day makes a big difference–a 25 minute difference in the case of Tennessee (70 degrees) vs. Kentucky (25 degrees). I’m learning to be kinder to myself when I don’t meet my own expectations, but I haven’t quite mastered the ability yet.
I told my husband when he proposed that I would never want a bicycle built for two–I want my own bike, dammit! I guess that’s what keeps me hungry, though, and in all honesty I’m not ready to part with that independent, high-expectation-driven side of my personality (and probably never will). I’ll just keep racing and pushing myself until I hit my ultimate goal or my body tells me it’s time to ride that bicycle, after all.
Thanks for reading!
Pedicures… just say no.
I found a much better use for this 2-hr race pace bib.