First off let me just say that when it comes to putting on an event like a running festival, the Rock ‘n’ Roll team knows how to do it! It’s not easy to orchestrate a race of any size but to do it for 17,000+ takes it to a whole other level. The event itself went so smoothly which is probably part of the reason they just keep getting bigger and bigger. They understand the celebration is as much a part of the run as miles 1-13. Ok, enough of that…let’s talk about the half.
Don’t close the browser after what I’m about to say…I am not a fan of the half marathon….when I’m training for it. I just don’t have the attention span to run for longer than 8 or 9 miles but when it comes to running it the day of, I LOVE IT.
For me it’s all mental. It’s about focusing long enough to finish the race strong. Back in April I ran the GO! St. Louis and had a pretty good race and I realized then that it’s all in my head. I started off this half knowing that it was going to be slow since the day before I had run the 5K and then proceeded to walk around Chicago for 5 hours, not ideal the day before a race but I couldn’t help it. We brought E with us on this road trip and I knew we had to show him as much of the city as we could.
Without going into a mile by mile recount of the race, lets talk about the highlights…I mentally broke this race up into 4 5Ks. I told myself if I got through the first three that I would walk a little at nine. Last year, that’s when I was really struggled and didn’t want to have a rotten rest of the race this year. The first 9 miles actually felt really strong. I found a pace that I could leisurely breath through my nose for and regardless of what watch said I went with it. At mile 10 I was starting to feel my left hip tugging a little but I tried not to think about it. At mile 11 I remember thinking I’m gonna do this. I’m going to run the entire race no matter how slow. At mile 12, it hit me that I might have this half marathon thing figured out, at least for the time being. I crossed the finish line feeling physically exhausted but mentally rejuvenated. I had done something that for me has taken 34 years to figure out. I realized when it comes to the half, slower and smarter is better for me right now.
After the race, I got stopped by the Maui Jim team for a quick interview, then headed back to the VIP tent and sat down to eat a little something and change my shoes. I looked around me and realized I was sitting at the table with finisher 1, 2 & 3. Needless to say, I didn’t say a word, just sat there, sipping my mimosa and listening to them recount the race. A 10 minute conversation I will never forget.
I went to pickup my hardware, met up with this guy, said our good byes and headed our separate ways.
I love what running is…I love what it does for us as individuals and as a community. I’m proud of my weekend. I’m exhausted and fulfilled. Hopefully you had an amazing weekend too!
What’s next for me? You’ll find out soon but let’s just say I’m “changing gears” for a little bit.
What lessons has running taught you? Did you race this weekend? What made you happy this weekend?
Check out the recap from the first half of the trip. READ HERE!
Want to run Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona in January 2015? Use code: MomsLRBAZ for $15 off!!