This week feels like the culmination of 6 months of planning and training and anticipation all finally coming due.
Last Sunday Rick and I ran the Gold Coast marathon. It was a good race, and we both got new personal bests. Rick broke 3 hours – which is amazing. I PR’d by about a minute.
It was cool because the course doubled back on itself twice so I was able to see him running around mile 15 and again right before the end. It definitely lifted my spirits watching for him to barrel by, glowing and shirtless. I saw him coming in to the finish and knew it was down to the wire, but that he was going to make his goal. When I saw him he looked exhausted, but fast and steady. Knowing him, I knew he was going to power through.
I, on the other hand, struggled a bit with powering through. I need to toughen up a bit, I think. I ran the first half of the race on pace for a 3:40-3:45 finish – which was my pie in the sky goal, but I lost my momentum after about mile 17. First I had a bathroom break, and then running in the direct sun and heat (it was 23 celsius, which is about 75 F) started to take it out of me. My legs felt like lead, and though I was still moving, I was moving slowly. I also had a bit of a hard time doing the mental conversion from k’s to miles so it was hard to know how to manage my energy reserves at the end. When you’re so tired, trying to do conversions in your head is amazingly challenging.
Anyway, I finished just about a minute under my previous PR, which was good, but a bit frustrating because I think I had more in me and that it just wasn’t my day. I had banged up my knee the weekend before while hiking and it seized up on me for about a half a mile around mile 12 and then hurt for the remainder of the race. I also just suck at running in direct sunlight, and the Gold Coast is all about sunshine. In that respect, it wasn’t my day. A little cloud cover would have done me good.
All in all, I am happy, but I learned some lessons from the race to take with me going forward. I know I am making progress at toughening up in the last 6 miles. It’s just that the increments of improvement are smaller than I’d like. I think, and my esteemed coach Rick agrees, that I will focus on doing a year or so of shorter races to get better at pushing myself once I have passed that lactic acid threshold and feel crappy. I need to improve my ability to muscle through that feeling. I am kind of a wimp.
Anyway, the nice thing is that there’s no time to dwell on marathon regrets. This Friday I head HOME! Two glorious weeks of hanging out up north, seeing my friends, wedding celebrating, and family time await! I have been waiting for this trip for MONTHS. In two days time I will be on a plane, snuggling up to Rick and watching movies for 14 hours straight before we’re parted in LA. I don’t know what I’ll do when that happens. I have been around the guy almost non-stop for 9 months. I might go into some kind of withdrawal.
This song has been in my head all day and I think it means I’m excited to come home (and that I have an enduring obsession with David Byrne – if you haven’t seen the movie This Must Be the Place, see it tomorrow!):