I’ve read somewhere that about a month out from your race, you should lay out everything as if it were race day and do a “mock half” where you wear the clothes, socks, shoes, hat, shorts, shirt that you plan to wear race day to ensure that everything is comfortable and not a nuisance.
So, that I did.
socks, hat, and shorts that I had planned on wearing.
I started my trek at my house, and made my way the the Pinellas Trail, about a mile and a half away. Now, today was this exceptionally beautiful day. It was in the low 70’s, a nice breeze, and cloud coverage but not so much to the point where it was chilly. Awesome.
So, I get to the Pinellas Trail, and much to my amazement, there’s NO ONE ON THE TRAIL. Which, never happens by the way. There’s constantly people. Biking, running, rollerblading, skating, whatever. Here’s the eerily quiet proof.
The first 3 miles were KILLER on my ankles. They were not having it today. I don’t know if it was the temperature drop or what, but they were screaming. Hence, I took few (ahem, 7) walk breaks. Don’t judge me.
So I turn onto this quiet street that has become my new daily run because the sidewalks don’t dip sideways for driveways. If you run in the suburbs, you know what I’m talking about. It turns your form into this weird limp and you feel like one leg is longer than the other and it’s just no bueno.
See that stop sign at the end? Yeah, me neither. That’s where I’m going.
The little signs in the middle signify the upcoming beach.
At this point I realize I’m going to be racing the sun. Ruh Roh.
It takes me over the Intercoastal and on to Gulf Blvd.
Gulf Blvd runs from Clearwater Beach allllllll the way to St. Pete Beach.
It’s really nifty if you’re in a driving with the top down kinda mood.
They also have these fantabulous walkways. The red area is for pedestrians, the black for bikers and the road for cars. There’s plenty of space and to the left is the beach, the whole way.
I’m running down Gulf Blvd, and I’m thinking to myself, “Self, you’ve run this road before and you don’t like it. I can’t really remember why though…”
Then it hits me. Gulf Blvd is like the straightaway from hell.
It’s 5 and half miles long in my run. Bam. Depression.
This is the part where I got cranky. (Nice water view though, right?)
Everything, everyone, every car, every bug, every leaf is bothering me.
I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I was seriously cranky.
I come up on this construction and as I get closer, I’m trying to see what it’s all about.
This is me, stickin’ it to the man.
A nice view from atop said bridge. Notice how the sun’s gone…
At this point my legs are like, “Hey! We feel pretty okay, let’s do this thing.” So I say, “Whatever you say legs!” and start booking it.
I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast mid-run before. I was pulling 8min/miles for two miles straight. Nonsensical, I tell you.
After this brief yet beloved “sprint”, I start cramping. Bad.
And it’s getting prettyyyy dark. So I look at my phone and it’s only 6:50. What?!?!
Why’s it so dark?!
I know I have about 2 and a half miles left so I make an effort to pour everything I have into it. But the cramps were killer. My calves kept seizing then relaxing the seizing. It hurt. I stopped and did a few calf stretches and went on my merry way. (bahahaha, yeah.)
About a half mile from my house now.
It’s pitch black. Well, as pitch black as suburbia Florida can get. And I’m beyond exhausted.
So I go to my place.
You know the place when you’re 2 seconds away from stopping and calling for a ride but you think about someone, something that is greater than you.
You think about how this wouldn’t faze them. They would push through. Come out stronger, better.
My place today was a culmination of; a guy I follow on tumblr, my family, my rock star aunts, and a man named Josef in Iraq, who I’ll have to touch on another time.
And I ran. More like ran/jog/crawled/limped. But I did it.
Keep in mind, I had been texting my dad every now and then updates on where I was (just in case) and had told my mom that I was about 1/4 mile away.
As I sprinting down my street, there’s my family waiting for me in the driveway. It was awesome. 😀
So, all in all, I’d say a fairly crazy mock half marathon.
OH BY THE WAY.
DID I MENTION I BESTED MY PR BY 14 FREAKING MINUTES?!?!?!?!!
Biggest smile ever.
By definition: the biological, emotional, cognitive or social forces that act on or within you, initiating and directing your behavior.
Runners are motivated. We dictate when where, how fast, how far and how often we go running.
We are motivated to go. And to keep going. We push ourselves to go. Then go farther.
We are an elite group of intellectuals. We surpass the threshold of pain to accomplish our goal. We strive for more, and we usually get what we want.
Some might call it crazy, but to us, its our life.
Running allows our mind to focus on the kinesthetics of our body and the epitome of basic movement. Right foot. Left foot. Breathe in. Breathe out. Keep going.
We function as a whole moving part, while maintaining a simple balance. We go because we are called to. We are motivated to.
We are runners.
Saturday was the Suncoast Affiliate Race for the Cure. I ran in the 10k which started at 7:30 so here is a spam of pictures of me pre-race.
As the race started the 10k group was about 1/5 of the size of the 5k crowd. Seeing as how this is my last race to gauge where I’m at training wise before the WHM, I wanted to give my all.
When the horn went off, the beginning goes on a brick road (by the way I HATE running on brick roads) and then we took a left towards the pier. My ankles all of the sudden went, “Hey! Forget us? Yeah, okay, well we’re gonna kill you now.”
Meh. I went until about mile 2.3 walking then ate my sports “jelly beans” which were delicious and kicked up the pace. At mile 4 I had a great push that lasted for a good mile where I felt like I was flying. Then I died again.
This race was definitely the reality check that I needed pre-half marathon. I need to extend my long runs and build up my aerobic endurance. But, here are some awesome pictures my parents took at the finish.
All in all, I loved the atmosphere. Like my dad said on the way home, “It feels empowering to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
In other news, please check out my running buddy’s post on her University’s website. Check it out here!