Wild Workout Wednesday: Syracuse Half Marathon Recap
I trained for over 3 months for the Syracuse Half, waking up at 5 AM almost every single day to either get in my scheduled run or cross train. During those runs I pushed myself beyond all my comfort zones going further than I had ever gone, a little faster each time all while on the treadmill (yes, nearly all my training runs were on a treadmill including a 15 miler).
I prepared myself as best I could for everything except the weather hoping that luck would be on my side….it wasn’t, but I knew this several days before hand when the forecast read a high of 27 degrees and snowing. Even so, I kept my head in the game and made a plan of attack. I sure as hell didn’t dedicate 3 months of my time to just give up when it really mattered.
Then the weekend rolled around. Nicole from Fitful Focus was up for the weekend, we had a little pre-race race to see The Piano Man then her and her boyfriend came over for dinner the night before for a pre-race gluten free CARBOLOAD.
Thinking it would be a good idea to see what we were in for, we drew the course map on the iFit on my treadmill…. only to watch it go up to 15% incline in the first few minutes…..we shut it off all freaked out and basically convinced ourselves that we were screwed.
Screwed because of the more-giant-than-we-thought James Street Hill, screwed because the forecast now read a high of 17 degrees, screwed because it was going to snow and now especially screwed because we no longer felt prepared.
Flash forward to the morning of the race. I woke up at 4:30 AM so I could get ready and get to Syracuse by 6:30 to help a fellow Ragnar Relay Ambassador set up our booth at the race expo. As soon as I pulled out of my garage I saw SNOW and the temperature gauge read 17 degrees…..all I could think was “What the F am I doing? This is INSANE!” That was when I really started to doubt myself.
After slipping and sliding on my drive and watching several cars go off the road, I arrived at the On Center and helped Troy set up the Ragnar booth along with the cool Ragnar cookies I made (courtesy of Troy’s cookie cutter).
Not too long after Nicole arrived at which point we took our last trip to the bathroom (all inside where it was warm and cozy, by the way) and headed out to the start in what was now 15 degrees with a “feels like” 3 degrees windchill.
We managed our way toward the front in the 7-9 minute pace corral and as soon as the we were given the go ahead, we were off. I weaved my way through the crowd and started at a pretty decent speed with the first mile at an 8:00 minute pace. According to my pacing band, I was right on schedule but first I needed to make it up the infamous James Street Hill and maintain an 8 minute pace if I wanted to finish at my goal time of 1:45.
With my best effort and all my might, I chugged my butt up the hill as fast as I could hitting the 2nd mile at almost exactly 16 minutes. EXACTLY where I needed to be to make my goal. I heard that this hill was the worst part of the entire race so in that moment, I decided that I was going to go for it and give it my all.
I won’t bore you with a mile by mile replay but let’s just say that I pretty much stayed on pace the 1st half of the race:
- Mile 1: 8:00/mi
- Mile 2: 7:56/mi
- Mile 3: 7:59/mi
- Mile 4: 7:44/mi
- Mile 5: 7:54/mi
- Mile 6: 8:07/mi
As you can see I kind fell apart at mile 6 and started to feel sluggish, I realized I hadn’t taken my fuel yet at which point I did and then kept chuggin’ along.
- Mile 7: 7:59/mi
- Mile 8: 7:53/mi
- Mile 9: 7:34/mi
- Mile 10: 8:09/mi
- Mile 11: 8:11/mi
- Mile 12: 8:11/mi
No, I did not have a second wind at mile 9, it just happened to be that large downhill which I was grateful for….then I just couldn’t manage to maintain my pace after that.
I was cold and tired from dodging all the potholes and puddles (more than I care to remember) and my feet were freezing from all the puddles that I didn’t manage to dodge. That last mile was simply ugly….my body had quit but I knew I couldn’t stop when I was almost finished so very, very close to my goal.
- Mile 13: 8:14/mi
As I neared the end of the 13th mile, I could hear the finish line and then I could see it. The end was in sight and I was so close to my goal that I could taste it. I kept trying to convince my mind to push my body but I was struggling.
There was this couple running next to me and I heard him say to her “Just push it, if you push it now we can finish in 1:45” That was all I needed to hear. I didn’t care that he was saying it to her, I heard it as if he was saying it to me. It was the push I needed.
- Mile 13.19 (as read by my GPS): 7:28/mi
I crossed the finish line as the clock read 1:45:53 and all I knew is that I finished in under 1:46, that it was a PR by nearly 4 minutes and in that moment, it was all that mattered. That and getting my medal, obviously! 😉
I managed to stumble my way (literally) back to the Ragnar booth just so I could sit down. Across from us was the leaderboard where all the finish times were posted at which point I saw my name and time pop up…..my official finish time was 1:45:26….just 26 seconds past my goal time but I didn’t care.
I gave those 13.1 miles every ounce of what was in me and considering the snow, the freezing cold and all my last minute doubt, it was enough and I was proud. I shaved nearly 4 minutes off my PR, worked hard for it and it paid off.
Hooray it was a PR par-tay!
And by “party hard” I mean I celebrated by going to LoFo and ate all the gluten free food on the menu.
Overall, the weather was not ideal and I did a pretty good job of freaking myself out the days leading up to the race but what I learned is to trust my training. My next race is the CNY 10k followed by the Mountain Goat, a 10 mile race that is ALL HILLS. Those will just be for fun before I start training for the BIG DANCE, my first full marathon in the Fall! YIKES!
Did you race this past weekend? Have you ever doubted yourself then prevailed?
Link up with Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Upala at Pretty in Pink Fitness, and Amber at Bold Fit Mom for Wild Workout Wednesday below! Just make sure to grab the badge or link back and we will be sure to spread the inspiration around!