I have a lot of writing to do about Costa Rica, but first, while it’s still fresh in my mind (I hand wrote a lot of what happened in Costa Rica, so I just have to transfer it here), I will tell you about yesterday…
5:50 AM wake up call on Sunday is only easy when I have something exciting to do such as run a race in which I have a huge goal to accomplish! I was tracking the weather, and it didn’t look good…warm(er) temps, but 90% chance of rain at start time changing to 100% for the remainder of the race. Oh, and 16mph winds. Not ideal, but I guess it could be worse?
I woke up, and went about my typical pre-race agenda: get dressed, make breakfast (oatmeal with banana), but this time I donned a tu-tu. A purple one. I want to keep it fun. 🙂
As I drove to the start to meet my dad, the sky hadn’t opened up yet, but was spitting out a few sprinkles here and there. I searched for a street spot so I didn’t have to pay the $10 to park in the garage, and I found one pretty quickly, only a short walk to the start. As I was walking (with less than 30 minutes until start time), I passed a hotel and opted to try something different: use their bathroom instead of waiting in the horrendous porta potty lines. I walked in the hotel and walked straight to the bathroom. Someone was right in front of me, and thankfully she was! The door was locked, and could only be opened with a room key, which she had, so I quietly walked in after her. She was also racing, and complimented me on my tutu. 🙂
I walked to the start where Dad and I had planned on meeting, and I saw him almost immediately!! It still was barely raining, and we hung out until the start. Unfortunately, my GPS watch was not locating the satellites fast enough, and as the gun went off, and my feet started running, I couldn’t start my watch. 😦 It was more than a minute later that I was able to start the time, and that is when I took off, not really knowing what I was doing. I knew I had to maintain a 7:30 pace to beat my goal, but I wasn’t sure if I should start close to 8 minute miles to save myself for the end? In hopes of having a couple sub 7 minute miles at the end? Or just maintain a consistent 7:30 mile? I started around 7:30, and quickly maintained around 7:15. I felt good. But then I ran through the tunnel, and lost satellite signal so I had no idea how fast I was running. That was a little disconcerting. It was nearly a full mile I ran without knowing my pace. Also, I had no idea what my splits were. 😦 Mental note: next time wear two watches, one non GPS.
I finally got signal back, and got right back to maintaining around a 7:20 mile. I passed the halfway mark at around 49 minutes…three minutes faster than last year. And then I came to Galer…and then Madison. Oy. I tried to keep my pace as close to 8 minutes as I could, but it crept close to 8:30 at one point. Luckily, I have gotten pretty good at using downhills to my advantage, and once I started the decline, I booked…I got close to 6 minutes, and when I got to the flat, I maintained sub 7 for a while…until I came to the next never ending hill. I was over an 8 minute mile for nearly a mile, and it seemed like forever! All I could think of was getting to the next decline so I could make up some time. But man, my legs were starting to burn. I was running REALLY hard. I was pushing myself more than I have ever pushed myself. I didn’t have much left in me, and when I came to the decline, it was a struggle getting close to 7 minutes. With three miles left, I was getting pretty tired, and there were far too many subtle inclines. I was doing the math in my head, and I really couldn’t afford to go any slower if I wanted to beat my goal. Come ON, Julie…do this. I was giving it EVERYTHING I had. It was POURING, and it was windy, and there were huge puddles everywhere. I was thinking about my amazing boyfriend who has been so supportive. I was thinking about my uber-difficult runs in Costa Rica, which helped prepare me for the difficult conditions I was running in. I was thinking about how far I have come as a runner just in the past two years. I was thinking about how dedicated I have been to my training and about how much I enjoy it, even though it is time consuming, exhausting, hurts, people don’t understand how or why I do it, about how this…running, is MY thing, and I am damn good at it!!
As I turned the corner onto Mercer, I encountered a GIANT puddle, which I just couldn’t avoid. I had to run through it, so as I splashed through it with both feet, and made the upward battle up Mercer, I started to lose steam. People were passing me and I felt like someone was sucking all of my energy out of me by my feet. I was hurting, but I trudged along, even though I felt like I was running backwards. As I turned the corner into Memorial stadium and saw the clock: 1:39:35, I thought, “No way is it going to take me 25 seconds to run that far!” I gave it every last bit of strength I had and crossed the finish at: 1:40.00. I just barely missed it. I wanted to break 1:40.00. I was disappointed. If only I hadn’t grabbed water at that one station. If only I hadn’t run through that puddle. If only I hadn’t tried to avoid that person. If only…
My sis and her boyfriend were at the finish. We waited for my dad, who finished shortly after me, and then I got the results. I finished in 1:40.01, and I placed 11th in my division. My goals were: break 1:40.00 and place in the top 10. I BARELY missed both of them. I was pretty upset. But, I got over it quickly as I started to process it all and look at the big picture.
1. I was tired. I was exhausted, actually. I had just gotten back from Costa Rica less than 36 hours prior, where I had an amazing adventure, yes, but it was busy!!
2. The conditions were bad. It was pouring. It was windy. It sucked.
3. I beat my time from last year by over 2 minutes! THAT should have been my goal: beat my last year’s time. I did. I crushed it.
So, I actually was pretty pleased with the results. I had set a realistic goal that I came OH SO CLOSE to reaching. Next year. I will do it next year. AND, my dad placed FIRST in his division, which is just amazing. I am so proud of him. 🙂
The day got better. We all went to Peso’s for breakfast, and then to the Seahawks game! The game was FUN! Even though we lost. 😦 After the game I was so ready to go home and soak in a hot bath. I was cold and wet pretty much all day, and could not wait to warm up my bones. 🙂
After my bath, I decided to check the results again, and I couldn’t believe my eyes…I actually got 10th. Yup! I placed 10th in my division! I do not know how or why or what happened, but I will take it! I met my goal!!! My primary goal was to place in the top 10, and I did it. Based on last year’s results, I thought I needed to break 1:40.00 to place in the top 10, so that’s where I came up with my time goal. All I really wanted was to beat my time from last year and to place in the top 10…which I successfully did. Breaking 1:40.00 would have been a bonus, and I came close enough…an eyelash length? I am so pleased. 🙂
So, these are my stats:
10/587 in my division
7:38 minute mile
My splits were all messed up on my watch, but I was fast! I ran sub 6 minutes several times!!
Yup…I am happy. This week, I am doing a lot of yoga, and will start with week 2 of Boston training next week!!!
Looking ahead: Jingle bell fun run in a couple of weeks and possibly a half marathon sometime in January or February?