At my starting line…Hippie Chick

I ran a half marathon yesterday – Hippie Chick in Portland. It’s a race I’ve wanted to run for the last few years but always sells out – I think that’s why I wanted to run it so bad. It has to be a good race if it sells out so fast. Well I finally got in as soon as it opened and I got two friends, Kelly and Jennifer, to sign up as well. It’s always fun when you turn a race into a girls weekend. In my opinion, what could be better?

At the starting line yesterday when the gun went off I was in the line for the bathroom and because of the necessity I stayed there until it was my turn and then took care of business. I’m very thankful for the person who invented chip timing. This is where your time doesn’t start until you cross the starting line.  I don’t want to waste time in the bathroom if I don’t have to.  Since I’m trying so hard for a sub two, less than 2 hours to run 13.1 miles, often times I just hold it.  It wasn’t a “I can hold it for 2 hours” moment.  Anyways, I’m being way too honest. So I join the rest of the runners and pass the 12:30 pace group, 12, 11:30 and I just about run over a girl who is walking and texting – in the middle of the road.  This, in my opinion is poor race etiquette.  If you’re going to walk, stay towards the rear or on the side of the road – not the middle. I’m not a running snob, I promise, and I’m probably guilty of participating in bad habits in racing but walking and texting in the middle of the road is probably the worst. So far, the race is great and I could see the 9:30 pace group just ahead.  It’s flat and I’m feeling great, nothing hurts.  I feel like I’m holding a great pace.  Until…

I’m at mile 5 still holding a good pace and thinking I can come in right about the 2 hr mark.  I realize there isn’t a cloud in the sky and a beautiful sunny day.  If you read my Facebook posts I typically bitch about the weather…the lack of sun and the cold which doesn’t warm my soul.  But the only time you won’t find me complaining about the nasty weather is on race day.  I’m a fair weather person for sure except when it comes to running.

My favorite condition to run in is 50 degrees and overcast – even a slight drizzle is welcomed.  Yesterday was about 70-something.  It was HOT…and I was even hotter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hot weather.  I love hot weather when I’m mowing, riding my bike, sitting on the deck drinking a nice cold tasty beverage.  But running, I like it cool.  I remember when I ran the Portland marathon the first time and I was in shorts and a short sleeved shirt.  At mile 21 I noticed people were wrapped in blankets cheering us on – my thought was is it cold out here? It feels perfect.

So back to the Hippie Chick half, it was hot.  My friend, Jennifer passed me and said remember “the mind leads, the body will follow.” This is a good mantra. I kept repeating this over and over and over in my head.  It wasn’t helping.  My music wasn’t helping. My mind kept saying this is crap.  Just quit.  It’s too hot. It’s not worth it.  But it is worth it.  I chose to get up and doing something towards my health today.  At the 9-ish mile mark there was a small out and back and I saw Kelly – she looked great. We gave the ‘hey you’re doing great’ look and kept on.  When I got to the turnaround I was now facing the sun. I ended up walking a bit and finally told myself there is no reason to walk – nothing hurts!  I dumped water down my back thinking that would help and it did for a little bit but then that inner voice can be so loud.

I think we all battle the inner voice from time to time…it’s called self-doubt.  I just hate when self-doubt rears its head when I’m doing something I really love doing.  I’m working on teaching my inner voice positive affirmations (my mind immediately jumps to Saturday Night Live, Stuart Smalley).  I also start blaming myself for not training enough and gaining some extra pounds.  Let’s be honest, I’ve let other things –mostly work – get in the way of training for what I enjoy doing. I need to look at my priorities.  I made a promise to myself yesterday – no more – no more working extra at a job that I don’t particularly care for anymore over running, biking, spending time with my husband, or volunteering. I have goals at work and I always meet those goals.  I have personal goals too and it seems I always let those fall behind.

Yesterday’s run wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. My time?  Well the final chip time was 2:22:35 with a 10:53 pace – not my best, not my worst.  There will be other half marathons. Even Joan Benoit Samuelson said sometimes it’s just not your day. So my day – it could still happen this month – I’m doing Rock N Roll Portland (1/2 marathon) this next weekend and after that, I have Happy Girl (1/2 marathon) in Bend the weekend after that and after that??  Well I didn’t pay attention to my calendar and have Race for the Cure 5k the following week.  After that?? Well I plan to sign up for Haulin Aspen in Bend on August 5th. Oh well it’s all good. Remember I love running.  I will have plenty of time to get my sub 2.  If I don’t get it this month, that’s ok.  At least I’m out there doing it.


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