Monday, October 1, 2012

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon

Cherokee Harvest Half-Marathon 01:47:09

I think I'm still experiencing some after-shock, not only was this the first official half-marathon in which I ran a sub-2 hour time, but I super-exceeded all expectations and anticipations.  Just the weekend before during a training run I ran 13.05 in just over 1:55, that was a shocker, then this happened - what exactly is happening?  Truth be told, the course was measured as 13.1 miles, but my Garmin says it was 12.67 miles.  I'm gonna have to side with my Garmin, but never the less - even if I had slowed to a 10:00 pace for another 0.43 miles, I still would have PR'd.

So really, what is happening here exactly?
Run It Fast #15, pink comps, that's me!
Yep, it's pretty awesome to have a personal photojournalist at these races - how else could I get a super cool picture like this?

Right, so I think what is happening is that I'm actually enjoying the running even more than I used to - which I thought I already was...  However, with Coach J's support, my pace is getting faster - and with the weight loss, there's less inflammation and fatigue - and when it feels more effortless, well, I guess that's why running feels even more awesome than before.

Just had the post-race meal (tri-bean soup, awwwwsome!) and letting the moment settle into my wet bones...
I have been reliving the finish-line experience to this race in my head over and over - it was surprising (how I reacted), surreal, scary, and intoxicating.

Surprised: I was surprised when I saw the finish line clock - it was reading 1:47 and some change - what?!?! how could that be?  I've never run an official sub-2 before, let alone by that much!  Within those few short nanoseconds, I thought maybe I had jumped part of the course!

Surreal:It was surreal b/c I was still able to think consciously about what I had to keep doing: run girl! run! You're not done yet!

Scary: The wave of emotions that shrouded my body were so elephantine, I actually could not breath.  The esophagus tightened, the back arched - and the adrenaline surged, I knew I had to keep running, whether there was any air getting into those lung sacs or not.

Intoxicating: After I crossed the finish line (while stopping my Garmin, naturally - I swear it's an involuntary twitch of the arm, thumb and forefinger) - I had enough reserves to slow down and collect my medal from one of the cute little volunteers - but then I realized I was still not getting enough air - so I started running again around the track...  Arched the back to get some much needed mist-filled air.  I was wheezing with an audible squeal!  Scared senseless I stopped, crouched, hands palm-down on the ground, telling myself it was okay - that happened, it really happened, you can stop now.  Then the water works - I don't cry very often, but when I do - it's a mess.  I was wheezing, crying, choking a little - so I held my breath (what little I had) and started thanking my God - and then the tension released and I was able to get up and wobble back towards the crowds.  Yes, thank goodness there weren't people to see this spectacle - would have scared them I imagine!

But you said intoxicating - what could be intoxicating about that and why would you want to experience that again?  Glad you asked - b/c that's what I live for.  I live for those moments when you realize you can do more than you once thought possible and yes, it felt frickin' amazing.

Adrenaline junkie?  Maybe.  Enkephaline fiend?  Quite likely.  Competitive much?  Only with myself dear.  Only with me, myself, and these tree trunk legs.
Second in my age group!  Only 19 in my group, but still!!
So, there you have it, this #rainrunner got the privilege to run in the rain, beat her own anticipations, achieve her running coach's expectations, and acquire some one-of-a-kind medals for said efforts.

Today, the right hammie is fussin' and I've got plenty of stretches to attack that piriformis - so it's all good.  Looking forward to seeing how I fair on the next race!  This weekend is the Carborro 10K on the 6th, then there is a 5K on the 12th and another 5K on the 13th, ...and then the next half-marathon on the 20th!  Oh, I'm getting excited - BUT, I must train smart!  Slow and easy, then boom!

Man, that was fun reliving the experience - and there is so much more I have yet to blog - so I better get serious about this blog before it all completely slips my mind... just a bit busy running I guess ;)

Until then, just keep on running friends,
the B.O.M.B. to you,

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