Monday, May 16, 2011

Runner's Dilemma

I ran my second half marathon last Saturday at the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. My time was 2:10:56, eight minutes faster than my first marathon two years prior. I am proud of the PR, but not exactly proud of my time. I know I could have run faster. I know I could have done better. My goal for this race was to run sub 2 hours. I trained hard, wtih exception of a near two-week hiatus during March Madness. I planned everything down to final detail. I made sure to get enough sleep two nights before. I went went to dinner and a movie with my girls the night before to calm my nerves and keep me from pacing in my apartment sick with nervousness. It was all perfect. For the first ten miles we kept a consistent 9:30 - 9:45 pace. At mile 10, she started to fade. Who, you ask? My running buddy. I ran this race with a co-worker who isn't really a runner, but wanted to run this race. I created a training plan (courtesy of our esteemed running coach Hal Higdon). We both kept to it for the most part, except she didn't do the speed workouts and her longest run was 10 miles - even though the training plan included a twelve-miler.

Back to the race... at mile 10 she started to fade and I stuck with her. I kept the promise I made before we started, to run together all 13.1 miles. I helped push her through mile 10 as our pace dipped to just over 10 minute mile pace, but at mile 11 the pace got much slower. Determined to be a woman of my word, I made sure to stay with her and help push her through. At this point it starts to rain, but I am feeling great - fully prepared after having practiced my race day strategies the week before with a 15 miler in the rain. I was ready to catch my second wind and dig deep for the last two miles. There was something about seeing mile 11 that made me so excited. Only two miles to go... but my running buddy couldn't hang. So we ran together through the finish line at 2hrs 10 minutes and 2hrs 11 minutes, respectively.

In one sense, I am glad that I kept my word; but as a runner, I feel like I did myself a disservice. I feel like I should have followed my insticts and kicked up my pace at mile 10 and especially at mile 11 when my body was ready to sprint towards the finish line.  I know I did the right thing, but I can't help but feel like this time, maybe I shouldn't have...

My favorite quote I heard after the race. [Man on the street talking to a runner on his way to his car]: "Did you win?" [Runner/Finisher]: "We all won."
Indeed, Sir. Indeed.


1 comment:

  1. I love your inner thoughts in the last paragraph. I could feel where you were coming from. Think more of us have had that feeling concerning some facet of life. You are still a winner! Indeed. (thank you, C. Short!) ;-)