The 11th of 11 in 2011Miami Rock and Roll Half Marathon on December 11 in the year 2011. So that happened. Being the 11th of a personal journey of 11 half marathons in 2011, I was rather looking forward to it. Not to get it done and over with, if anything, I was admittedly a little sad, perhaps even melancholy about the fact that this whole year had come down to this last race, that it was finally over.
All the months of training, all the weeks of sprints and endurance runs, days of weights and core strength, sleepless nights, exhausted naps, eating right and poor nutrition, a year of insane travel both for the races and my own topsy turvy life had come to this. How is this possible? And am I ready? After a few months from about late July to mid October of my body rebelling against perhaps what I was trying to do or just personal stress, I finally felt back on track. I finally felt like I did in the beginning of the year, when I was just tearing time off my races, anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes.
It was a sweet way to begin the year, but also, in hindsight, set me up for a roller coaster of emotions for when the inevitable challenges arose when taking on this kind of task. See, I’m not a professional runner and I don’t even have a job that supports my doing these races and training (while flexible because I’m a consultant, I’m not in the industry and most clients don’t give a rip), so I’m fitting this all in between personal and professional life balance. My running and my training give me purpose and clarity to my life, and I often fantasize what it would be like to have trainers I can work with consistently, and a training regimen overseen by a running coach, and a support crew (even one!) consistent throughout the year, someone with a background in this sport, both keeping me on track and just general support. Wow. That would be incredible, wouldn’t it? What runner who has a race schedule wouldn’t love something like that? But I didn’t have that, and that also allowed me to have some of the more sweet, unique and inspirational experiences this year that I perhaps wouldn’t have gone through if I’d been shielded in some kind of training bubble.But I digress – back to Miami. It was near-bittersweet in that I suddenly didn’t want this year to be over. My body had gone through so much, had endured so much and got pretty beat up, as did I, but I kept going, I kept persevering, I kept running, and sliding into home, heading to Miami, I felt fairly confident this was going to be a good race. Ideally I would end the note on a PR, a number I hadn’t gotten close to in months. Or I’d get damn close. I kept doing psychological tricks to myself, visualizing writing the piece about my PR or the Facebook status update I finally get to mention my run time again, feeling myself running strong throughout the race with a smile on my face and arms raised as I cross the finish line, picturing the happiness post-race as I realize my accomplishment of the race and the accomplishment of the year. It really felt like this was it, this would be the race. Everything had led to this. Or had I placed too much pressure on myself? Did everything have to lead to this one race, or was is just the last race of the year of 11, the 16th of a year and a half and there’d be many more? What kind of pressure was I placing on myself and of that, how much is good motivational pressure and how much is overboard?
Was certainly nervous about the heat and humidity – despite running in Sonoma in July and Chicago in August and Maui in September, I’d really lucked out on the weather in three places more likely to be hot and/or humid for a run in those months. And on the one hand, it made those runs more enjoyable, it also left me ill prepared for any heat or humidity in Miami.Leading up to Miami race start was incredible, my mom was there, who’d been there in NOLA in February when I had my PR and was my biggest fan, my sister who’d supported my running last two years with a ton of great yoga, and my friend Marcie, who’d started out as my trainer and became not only my friend but turned out to be inspired by me to run a couple half marathon races of her own in 2011, and we were together in Miami for this one. And, I had my My Race Ragz Tour of 2011 race shirts.
It suddenly felt like all the hard work I had put into the year, reaching out to various companies and products to gain support, writing consistently throughout the months, was paying off. And wearing that shirt to the Expo the day before the race, and having not only vendors get excited about what I’d nearly accomplished, but other runners come up and congratulate me, well, that was pretty awesome and had me walking on air a bit, even more excited to get the race going. Did the normal, for me, routine of Expo and big lunch and then we hit Whole Foods to have some healthy light dinners (me in the motel room to get some rest) and good race morning starts and went to prepare. I love, like a kid on Halloween night, coming back from the Expos and dumping my gear bag full of product and samples and purchases and race day info on the bed and going through everything one by one. It gets me in the mood and even in the zone. I play with my music play list for the next day, drink a lot of water and try to relax my body from walking around a lot of the day. And then it again hits me – this is my last race of this crazy goal I set for myself! Wow, I really did do it! I mean, I never really took my eye off the prize of finishing this, and I had a couple friends who said “there’s no shame in reorganizing for next year” when I had a few injuries or my body was rebelling or my schedule just wouldn’t permit. And while I heard them, I never really took it in as a possibility for me – I was going to do all these races whether I had to crawl across the finish line or not.And here I was. Ready and waiting for Miami to start.
Stay tuned for part II tomorrow!
Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’
A few weeks ago, we met Gretchen (virtually of course), a blogger at IWonderWoman.com and a runner who was about to accomplish a pretty amazing feat.
She was about to run her 11th half-marathon in 2011, which was pretty amazing considering doctors once told her she wouldn’t run again.
On December 11th, she did it. She set out for the Rock N Roll Miami half-marathon and she crossed her 11th race off her list for the year. But the journey ran a close parallel to her life; there were bumps along the way that she wasn’t sure she could overcome.