The New Prague Half or Blowin' In The Wind

Me and my medal!

Somedays you just surprise the hell out of yourself.

Today was one of those days.

I just haven’t been feeling the run. The hammie has been the biggest issue. I’m pretty certain I’m suffering from Marathon Training Overload. Regardless, I was determined to run today whether I was feeling it or not. I knew I could at least finish it in 1:50:00 with little effort, so it would just take a little more to do a little better.

Too bad Mother Nature wasn’t on board. I hemmed and hawed all morning about my clothing predicament. It was 40° but the wind chill was hitting 29° and I know how I am at the end of a long run…cold.

To top it all off, the wind…she was a blowin’. And from the north, mind ya. It wasn’t going to be pretty. The high today isn’t even supposed to hit 50°, so that means little warm up if any during the 2 hour run.

When we arrived, I saw so many runners in tanks and shorts. And again, I questioned what I was wearing. I chose my CW-X Capri’s, calf sleeves, and a sports bra and tank under my Brooks hoodie. I figured at least with the hoodie I could have it up, and still have the option of removing it if I warmed up too much. I also opted for gloves, knowing that the Raynaud’s might have a field day with my fingers. I also wore a knee brace on my left knee thinking if I stabilized the knee, my hammie might be more cooperative. And it was…for a while. I stripped off the Get Lucky sweatshirt just before the gun and handed it to my caddie.

 

Pre Race

Pre Race

Well, even though I second, third, and fourth guessed my running attire, I’m glad I stuck with my gut. I did get a little warm, but once we were into the wind, it probably saved my ass. It was damn cold when that sun went behind the clouds. I did remove the hood at around mile 6 and it stayed down for the duration. But I wasn’t envying those who chose the shorts and the tanks.

Last year for this race, I was ambitious, and chose the 1:40:00 pacer. This year, despite the injury, I thought I’d try the same pacer. I figured if anything, I’d have to back down and settle with a slower pace. But, much to my surprise, I fought off the urge to pass her a few times in the first 7-miles. In fact, I stayed with her…side by side…for 7-miles. I impressed myself. I know last year I fell off the pace faster than that. But turning the corner at mile 7 meant going uphill…and that wind. Holy hell. I swear I was being blown backwards at times. It was significant and brutal. I knew it would be enough to keep me from PR’ing this run. Plus, at mile 7, the hammie was swearing. And I was swearing back at it. I seriously thought I may not finish this one out. But, I settled into the slower pace, and tried to handle the hills as smart as I could. I felt myself stiffening up many times during the last half, and I’d just shake it off and focus on resettling into my good form. But, oy…that wind.

By mile 10, I got a second wind, and my hammie stopped swearing. This was good. But the wind, well, she got a second wind, too. It was a fight to the finish…me against the wind. Two women passed me, and I thought for sure they were older than I or at least the same age. (I found out later they were in their 30’s. Phew!) And, I managed to bring it on the last half mile. Seriously shocked the crap out of myself. I didn’t PR, but had there have been no wind, I know I would have by a good few minutes. I’m kind of bummed…not. I had a great run, and with a hosier hammie!

The hammie was cursing out loud during my cool down walk. Not only that, but Mother Nature thought it would be funny to toss down some sleet and a few snowflakes! She has such a sense of humor, that ol’ gal! After that, we had to retreat to the car to warm up. I really wanted to hang around to see if I won something this year. I didn’t stay long enough last year to claim my second place medal.

So we hung, and we hung, and we hung. And it was cold. Is this really May 11? My husband and I hit the Pearson Nut Roll table a few times, then finally the award ceremony…and I was quite literally surprised to hear I was first for my age group. I didn’t expect it. But it was a great surprise!

So, after running this race twice, I have learned a few things from the New Prague Half Marathon.

  1. I like this run. It is relatively flat, open, and with few racers, it makes running a half marathon **gulp** easy.
  2. I love having a pacer.
  3. A banana and a P90X bar is all I need for a race 13 miles or less. Any more food slows me down.
  4. No coffee before a run. It makes my thirsty.
  5. Running a half marathon is more than 90% mental. However, 6% does depend on the weather. At least, the wind.
  6. Cardiovascular wise, I can do almost anything. It is my legs that need more conditioning.
  7. I underestimate myself way too much.
  8. I’m a rockstar!

I missed having my sisters there this year, but my chauffeur, videographer, photographer and cheerleading husband came along. He’s such a trooper!

I’ve rolled out my hammie once already, and I feel it has to happen a few more times today. Hopefully, I didn’t re-injure it. This will be  a great rest week for me before getting into some longer, slower runs for my final weeks of marathon training.

Finally, I won a medal. Doesn’t that make it all worth it?

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Did you run a race this weekend? How did it go?

8 Responses to The New Prague Half or Blowin' In The Wind

  1. Congratulations…great job and love the medal!

    http://runningsurvivor.blogspot.com

  2. celia says:

    OMG… I LOVE the driveby. The first glance over at him was priceless. That grin was amazing. I love you!

  3. celia says:

    What mile was that? you looked strong!

  4. Jen says:

    Great job! I hear you on the Raynaud’s 🙁 I was one of the few keeping gloves on all through the race Saturday, come on spring!

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