Reflecting on A1A Half Marathon Weekend
Back in February 2013 I finished my first 5K and in February 2016 I finished my NINTH half marathon in the city that I love.
Growing up I disliked running so much that it’s sometimes hard to believe this is really my life!
The A1A Half Marathon didn’t turn out to be my PR race of the season. I won’t have a PR race anytime soon and it was actually in the middle of this race that I truly came to terms with it. Although I’ve blogged before about being okay with not PRing this season I think those words were more about trying to convince myself that it was true rather than being actually true.
Each half marathon I’ve run in the last few months has turned into a disaster during the last few miles. I think part of the reason behind that is somewhere along the way I always drop a few miles in the 13-minute per mile range even though that’s not my long run pace right now. (I just want it to be because last season 13 minutes per mile felt great.)
During mile one of yesterday’s race I told myself that I wouldn’t be dragging myself across the finish this time. I wouldn’t finish with a positive split. Instead I made it my mission to run/walk consistent splits and finish A1A feeling strong. No more kidding myself about being able to run the paces I ran last year.
It’s been hard to accept I’m behind in my training because so many other run bloggers come back from injury really fast and seem to pick up right where they left off. We’re all different people though and I don’t have many years of running behind me to fall back on. I’ll get back on track, maybe it’ll take a few more months, but I’ll get there and it will be really rewarding when I do.
Although finishing A1A with a slow run/walk pace was extremely humbling, mentally I just really needed to cross the finish line feeling like I can do this distance and still feel good about it. So that’s what I did. Avg. pace 15:11/min and every split was basically within 15 seconds of each other.
I have one more race this season and then I’ll close the chapter on 2015-2016. I’m looking forward to having a much stronger 2016-2017, getting back into racing form, going after PR’s and finishing with times I am proud of. But all of that is still one month away because I have to run the Miami Beach Half first.
While I haven’t had a PR worthy season, I have pushed my boundaries in other ways. I have run six races over the last five months, and the last four have all been half marathons. I’m going to complete the Florida Storm Series which is something I’ve wanted to do for the last two years. I’ve also traveled to new places for races and made new friends. Those are all things I can look back on and be happy about. I feel like I’ve blogged about all of this before, but I really need to keep reminding myself of it all so I apologize for being redundant!
Speaking of friends, over the weekend I got to meet Kerry for the first time! We had lunch with Ali on Saturday and debated the pros and cons of Ali upgrading her race entry from the half marathon to the full marathon.
You’ll have to read Ali’s blog for the full story, but let’s just say she had an AMAZING day at A1A!
My friend Claire also had an amazing day! She shaved 20 minutes off of her marathon PR and broke 5 hours for the first time! She is amazing. This season Claire ran the NYC Marathon, Miami Marathon and the A1A Marathon. How anyone can mentally prepare themselves to run three marathons so close together is mind boggling to me! She said during a race she just reminds herself that after giving birth naturally she can withstand anything! haha
Ah, the finish line of the marathon is the most emotional place in the world. I cried for strangers, I cried seeing my friends PR, I cried because they played Alanis Morrisette songs!
I love everything about the running community.
As I said on Instagram yesterday, this racing season hasn’t gone according to plan. I haven’t even come close to PRing but it has occurred to me that I run just because I love it.
PRing is important to show progress but not PRing isn’t terrible. Just being out there with other runners, feeling the breeze and remembering a time when I thought one mile was relaly freaking long makes it all worth it. PRing is just the icing on the cake when it happens.
What a life!
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?!
How was your Valentine’s Day??