“Never judge a day by the weather.” Zig Ziglar This weather certainly has interfered with my training vibe, but now that the snow is gone it’s safe to run and no excuse not to push through the chilliness. I’m not quite as far along as I’d like to be with my run training for Ironman Lake Placid but that shouldn’t surprise you. You know how I “hate running.” After running The Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon I can reconfirm, however, that what I wrote in that blog post is true. I really love running when it comes to a race.
“Believe it or not, I enjoy the run when it comes to races, especially triathlon…There’s so much positive energy in a race, the run gives you a chance to flash back to how far you’ve already come and where you are headed, no matter what obstacles you may have encountered along the way. As much as I hate running, I’ve always aspired to do some things that are out of my comfort zone, things that challenge myself and at times seem impossible to achieve. This is how we grow. It truly is incredible what the mind and body are capable of. Competing in a race is a metaphor to life. You’re going to have aspirations in life. There are always going to be tough situations, people that will sometimes make it difficult to get there, and parts of it you do not always enjoy…just like me and running. But you stay on course anyways and don’t let it hold you back. It’s a rewarding feeling to be able to overcome such obstacles and and push yourself to new limits.”
I decided to race the Love Run Half Marathon just a week before the race. I felt inspired to race because it fell on the anniversary of my first Ironman. My runs average just 7 miles right now so my intentions were to celebrate a day that is meaningful to me, to use this race as a training day for IMLP, and to just get back out there and race my first race of 2015. There’s something about the positive energy and environment of a race that is just so invigorating. How could I pass on this opportunity? I knew it was important to take it easy though and not push too hard based on where I am. My race motto for this one was “Have fun and celebrate.” Just run a slow to moderate pace, have fun, and cross the finish line. I did indeed have fun! I decided I’d take pictures and document the race as I go. Yep, that should control me. I guess the trade off for running an easy pace is having a little too much fun. Wait, you can never have too much fun racing. See the second image of Philadelphia Mag Be Well Philly’s 10 Awesome Instagram Race Pics and check out Run215′s Photo of the Day.
6:30am 26 degrees when I left home. I meet a guy a few blocks later wearing a bib, we stop for a coffee then walk the entire 2.5 miles to the race together. Where were the cabs on Broad Street? Brrrrr. This was going to be my first cold weather race. We arrive just shortly before the race and I didn’t want to wait in line to use the bathroom. Look at me…making mistakes before it even begins! Hey, it’s the first race of the season.
8:00am Start line. National Anthem. I envision myself at the IMLC Swim Start with my eyes closed. I give thanks for being capable of being at the starting line. The song that next played just before we took off from the starting line was the first song listened to at my first half marathon Alright, 27 degrees and we’re off. Shoot, why didn’t I go to the bathroom?
Mile 1. 27 degrees and freezing until your buddy passes you at the first mile. That brings a surge of energy. 12.1 miles to go!
Mile 3. My Ironman Song is playing! So yes, I am teary eyed. It’s the song I trained to when I used to envision myself crossing the finish line of my first Ironman. It still gives me chills and motivates me training to it. See you in 10.1 miles…
Mile 3 and some change. Approaching the tents and porta potties I debate whether or not to make a quick stop. Do I keep going or stop so I can continue comfortable? I quickly stop and then detour just a little to drop my hoodie off at our club’s tent. Let’s not talk about what happened to that hoodie post-race, okay? Or maybe we will…
Mile 4. Sweet! A fan club. Wait, oops. Posting on Facebook as I run.
Mile 5. Representing Big Sexy today! This shots for you! How am I doing? Don’t ask…
Mile 6.5. Ohhhhhh the hill… Keep running, the hills represent life. Don’t bitch now. Giving thanks for having a body capable of running the hill. Half way. Life is beautiful. Enjoy the fuckin’ ride.
5 seconds after the hill. Received this text from a friend who inspires me.
Mile 8 or so. ”YOGA PEACH! GO YOGA PEACH!!!!” Someone I don’t know is screaming this. I’ve picked up the pace for just a bit and stripped down to honor IMLC! I realize it doesn’t feel so chilly at this point. If you happen to read this and you were the one screaming at me can you please send me a message? You made me smile and motivated me in that moment.
Mile 9. One Clif Espresso Gel Shot and I’m really enjoying the bridge for some reason. I hear “Looking good, Keli” as someone passes me in the opposite direction. Sounded like a voice of someone from tri club but I didn’t catch who it was.
Mile 9.5 I slow down, to take another selfie, jog in place, and ask the girl standing on the side if she’s alright. Me: “Are you okay?” Girl: “It’s cold” Me: “I know. We can focus on the cold or we can focus on the fact that the sun is shining today. Pick one.” I smile at her. Girl smiles back. Me: “Let’s go, can we run together for just a bit?” Girl (smiles more): “Yes!” Me: Then come on, let’s go!” I probably ran with her for just a half mile.
Mile 10. ”I love you!” Received that text from Theresa so I called her right away and screamed “THROW UP AND KEEP GOING….YOU LOOK GREAT!!!!” at least three times as I kept running. Once I heard her laughing I hungup. Totally forgot to followup with her later. Theresa is my friend who was there supporting me one year ago at Ironman Los Cabos. You’re amazing, woman!
Mile 10.5. Shoot, I have to go to the bathroom again. Sorry, Peach. You know your rule. Only one stop allowed (preferably none) for a half marathon. Suck it up, you’re almost there…
Mile 11. Adam Levine is playing and I’m imagining him naked. Going at it hard now. Just two miles to go? Piece of cake. I am flashing back to two years ago when the thought of running 13 miles seemed so, so far. I never imagined at that time 13 miles could be like this and feel so happy.
Mile 11.5. I think I mentioned that I really have to go to the bathroom. I thought I’d tell you again.
Mile 12. I feel myself going a little quicker. Ease back that ego baby, not too fast now. Oh but that ache in those lungs… You love this s–t! TAKE ME ON TO THE FINISH LINE! 1 MILE TO GO!!!!!!
Mile 12.5 My Ironman song comes on again! I swear I didn’t hit the button. Perfect. My gaze softens and the people in front of me blur slightly. I see legs and feet and picture that moment approaching the Ironman finish chute. I give thanks for being able to run today.
Approaching mile 13. I become aware of a sensation in my toes. Interesting I didn’t notice it until now. I always ask myself “Is it pain or is it discomfort?” It’s just a little discomfort. I remind myself of the “Power of Language” and in less than a minute it either goes away or I forget about it.
Finish Line. I crossed the finish line… sailor cap, lizard tongue and all. I can’t believe the time went by so fast. Running 13.1 miles in a race is so much quicker than running on a regular day. It’s so much fun too. My third half marathon is now complete and it was my slowest half marathon to date. Could I have done maybe 15 minutes faster? I think so, but taking selfless, blogging, texting Chuck, calling Theresa along the way, and meeting the girl at mile 9.5, was much more fun. I followed my motto for this race perfectly. “Have fun and celebrate.”
Post-race. Immediately upon crossing the finish line I was coughing uncontrollably. I won’t go into detail but it was gross. I drank some water and it settled down although lingered throughout the rest of the day. I was freezing shortly after finishing and to my surprise this hoodie was no longer where I left it. Hey guys… some of us don’t finish a half marathon in under 2 hours! I am grateful someone picked it up because they thought someone left it behind. Walking 2.5 miles home was freeeeeeeezing but I forgive you guys because I love some of you.
Yoga for Athletes. 3:30pm that afternoon I taught Yoga for Athletes and it felt ohhhh soooo good. I was happy to see some people who raced in class. I felt just a slight soreness in my quads when I woke up. The gooooooood kind of sore though and by mid day everything felt normal. I am so happy race season is here again. What an awesome race. Next up? See you tomorrow for the Hot Chocolate 15k!
image 2 and image 3 are thanks to Chessie Photo