Deciding goals to set can be challenging. Execution to meet that/those goal(s) requiring absurd dedication. Reaching the goal, priceless.
After years of being asked by my friend, Cyndi, to run the half derby marathon; I finally agreed. At first, I couldn’t comprehend why I would want to run a race I knew I couldn’t win. For Pete’s sake, have you looked up the best times on a half marathon? From wikipedia:
“The current world record for the half marathon are 58:23 minutes for men, set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese on 21 March 2010 at the Lisbon Half Marathon, and 64:51 minutes for women, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya at the Valencia Half Marathon on 22 October 2017.”
Seriously! They are beast!
As I started running frequently, I realized the desire I had wasn’t about winning, but my capabilities. Not to compare myself to anyone else. It instantly become, what can I do? Go faster for that interval? Or push for a new distance? My training went through it’s own evolution as I went from walking, to jogging to intervals then finally distance.
To prepare for the half marathon, I started slow. I signed up for some 5 and 10 k’s. I made a new friend, Amanda. Whom I’ve tortured with running, but we’ve been great partners and it’s nice to have accountability. My goal has been to do about 10 minute mile averages. Thus far, I’ve been able to make that goal on official runs.
Prior to the mini aka half marathon, I attempted the distance on my own twice. The first attempt the path was absolutely terrible uphill terrain and a lot of off-road. It was rough! It took me around 2.5 hours. My second attempt was better at 2 hours and 21 mins.
Another one of my best friends, April, was also running the derby mini. She had been mostly following a training plan so I tried to stay with her the last few weeks before the race. I did push myself on some shorter runs to go faster. I was able to run my first 8.5 minute miles. This may not seem much, but it is a huge achievement for me!
Cyndi wasn’t able to make the race this year after her convincing (there only in spirit), but April and her running partner, Shiloh, did. They sent some pre-run inspiration for mom’s that should be shared.
For the dirty details. This may be TMI, but I have to say the best decision I made the day of the mini was to wake up early and devour my bulletproof coffee. Yes, for all the normal energy excellent benefits. Additionally, with some pre-race jitters it was great to get cleaned out. I had to stop on the second 13 mile practice run at the local DairyQueen to alleviate the special feeling in my intestines. Apparently it is a very common reaction and races have porta potties everywhere.
The whole family stayed at the Marriott downtown the night before so I could just walk over to the starting line. Daniel and the kids were there for support on the first big run. The hotel was recommended by April and was another excellent decision. Why? The bibs and race packs have to be picked up prior… not the day of the race. Uber convenient. Not! Plus, there are hoards of people! I cannot even imagine trying to drive into downtown that morning. There were people everywhere. You are corralled up like wild animals based on speed to even approach the starting line. I went up and down the coral classifications just trying to find April to start with her.
Slowly, the groups of people walk to the starting line. It is a pretty inspiring site, even with the very interesting creatures that come out of the wood works to run. No joke, I saw Santa in a crop top with daisy dukes. Once to the starting line, mounds of people start jogging/running but it is so much work. April quickly gave me a tip to take inside of turns so not to be over running. As a newby, I love tips! I did try, but it was not always possible. The amount of people to weave in and out of and get around is ridiculous.
I have proof of the difference in distance with all the maneuvering. This first screenshot is my old faithful runkeeper. This is the app I use for outdoor running. It is synced to my fitbit. I feel like it has double authentication of route with the two apps combined and trust the results enough to use it daily.
It says I ran 13.71 miles. Not the mini 13.1.
The race had it’s own app, RaceJoy. The app had multiple benefits. This app was set to the course. Had checkpoints you ran over. Loved ones could track you realtime.
The apps do not match. I expected this some, but not by .6 miles.
The start of the race is rather exhilarating just getting your body moving. It was pretty easy. Really nice to have friends to chat with. I had brought my own starting water with some pre-workout in it. I was planning to not make pit stops. I lost my running friends around miles 3 and 4. One was ahead, one had to make a stop and was behind. We eventually met back up and disbursed again around miles 9-10.
Around mile 6-7 I was getting tired. Good thing there is snack being thrown at you every mile. I did grab a baggie with two orange slices and 4 grapes. I gobbled it up. There was all this glucose juice being handed out as well but I didn’t take any of it. I might try it sometime, but from living a keto lifestyle I don’t really think of glucose as a primary fuel. Maybe I should get some fat packs for the next run?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but after looking at my splits or times per mile, my fastest miles where after the fruit. I’m still keto all the way, but heck yes I’ll take fruit from a bursting pop of energy during a run. These are the runkeeper split times in two screenshots for the 13 miles.
At mile 12, I had two very different conflicting apps shouting out distances in my ear. It really seemed like mile 12 was never going to end! I pulled out my phone anticipating to turn off apps in the near future. Then I saw them. My husband and kiddos! The kids were screaming, “Go Mom!”, “Go Tasha!”. It was the cutest and sweetest thing. I sped up knowing it truly can’t be much more now. It’s a hard line to decide when to let go of the rest of the energy in your tank. But I decided after my first 5k, I’d never end another race without dropping all reservoirs first.
As I was approaching the finish line, I could hear the winner of the marathon crossing. It didn’t even matter to me that whoever that person was just ran 26.2 miles in the same amount of time I ran 13.1. Good for them! The sense of accomplishment is amazing. I did it! I set a goal. Trained for it. Stuck to it. Did it! Here are the final results:
I think I can do better. Now I have a new goal. Next mini I’m shooting for 2 hours and 10 mins. The day was still glorious, and I banged the personal record drum.
I’m so thankful for supporting friends and family.
Unfortunately, the toe‘s did not leave unscathed. New blisters on both. Both big toe nails are still growing back from the 10k in December 2017. My feet are gross and I don’t care!
Cyndi sent me this and I have to agree it is rather accurate and hilarious!
Happy running! Best of luck on the goals you set and cheers to accomplishing them!