Monday, February 8, 2010

one second

everyone knows that one second is not a very long time. there are not many things that we can do in one second, even if we tried. blink maybe. type the word "FAIL" (one of my new favorite words). a quick kiss perhaps. miller high life even had a great superbowl commercial last year showing one second-

but over the course of 10 miles, there are quite a few one second opportunities... did you slow down for a second to re-tie your hair elastic? (nope, wore a winter hat). did you see a cute puppy and slowed down to admire? (nope, too cold for spectators to be out cheering... actually there were a few, but no puppies). were the hills so tough you took your time? HECK NO, you power up hills regardless of how tough they appear.

why all this talk of one measly little second you may ask?

the second race of my 12 in 2010 series was yesterday... a 10 mile mid winter classic in cape elizabeth. it was about 11 degrees to start, warmed up about mile 4 to the point where i took my gloves off, but got kinda cold and windy again towards mile 7. sunny with no snow or rain, which was a bonus. i had been sick for about a week so my last long run of 9 miles was almost two weeks prior. i ran 2 miles on saturday morning and didnt feel great. needless to say i didnt have high expectations for this race. i couldnt sleep at all saturday night and ended up on the couch at 2am watching reruns of the Kardashian show (someone again remind me why they are on tv?!). after getting just a few hours of sleep, i got up, had some almonds and a cup of coffee before the race. i really felt like not even going, but i knew i wouldnt have another chance to run a race this month, thus my resolution would not happen. so off i went.

i met up with my friends melissa and rebecca at the start... they took off to the track to warm up, i stayed inside and just watched people (i tend to not run any more than the race distance for the day). one person that was missing from the race today was my friend (and wedding planner!) sarah. this race would have marked pretty much her one year of getting into racing (it was the first race she went to when she was at the finish line last year to see me, with a bud light for me!) and from there she decided she wanted to start running races. although im excited for her to have a little one coming soon, i cant wait for her to run this race with me next year :) (read all about her little adventures )

there were maybe about 900 people running, and although we had timing chips/ankle bracelet things (HATE these type, especially if wearing shorts... very uncomfortable), i dont remember going over any sort of timing mat so im still not sure if they start when the gun goes off or what, and it took me at least 5 seconds to get to where the "start" flag was... (this could prove to be where the epic race fail occurred... if so, really wish i had started right on the starting line!)

literally minutes before the race started i saw terri ann, the woman from the race back in january that i met who also has a 12 in 2010 resolution. she had called me saturday night for a pep talk which i desperately needed. she was going for 8:15s and asked what my goal was. i told her i didnt have one, just wanted to finish (actually i first told her i didnt want to run at all, that didnt settle well with her). as i gave her a high five before the race, i decided i was going to try to PR at this race. because why not, right? i had (*stupidly) looked up my PR for this race before i left the house... 1:26:08. so i told terri ann i was going for 1:26:07 or under. realistically i could do this... thats about an 8:37 pace, which i have blown out of the water for many races since last february. i knew i was faster than i was last year. no problem.

i felt really good this entire race. the wind and cold didnt effect me much. ive learned since thanksgiving to blow my nose if i feel stuffed up because it better allows me to breathe and not feel like im going to die. my legs felt strong. im really focusing on using my arms and core a lot more now in my longer distances which has greatly helped. and my shirt was quite the conversation starter... three runners came up beside me to ask me about it and ended up chatting for a few minutes.

at about mile 6 i figured i wasnt going to PR. i dont know if my math was wrong or i just didnt think i could keep up at the pace i was going, but i convinced myself i was just going to run for fun the rest of the race. i think i actually ended up continuing on an 8:25 or 8:30 pace but didnt push extra hard. at mile 8 i checked my nike+ again and it seemed like i had almost exactly 17 minutes or so to get to the finish which meant i could potentially beat last years time. the beginning of mile 8 is downhill but right at mile 9 is a slow half mile incline and i knew if i wanted to do this i had to push it. i needed a song to pump me up so i pressed next on my (new) ipod shuffle (thanks to ty!!) and britney spears "3" came on! that'll do it! (*not so fun fact: kinda love this little thing (duh, its pink!)... but you cant change out the head phones because the volume and controls are attached to them. these things hurt my ears. mmmm, apple fail).
so i took off and tried and tried as hard as i could. coming into the high school (near the finish) i thought for sure i had done it, but i still had a little ways to go (all downhill though, thank God!). as i rounded the corner to the finish i could see the official race clock and as i was crossing the finishing mat i saw it read.... 1:26:07....

did i just PR by one second?

when i decided to do the 12 races as my resolution i didnt say i had to PR at every race, because lets be honest, i knew that was pretty unrealistic... but if it happens, clearly ill be happy about it. after seeing the clock at the finish line i knew i couldnt wait until the results came out later online so i decided to wait around for the print offs. while i was waiting, i decided to take a drive back down the course to take a pic of the moose... every year at this race, right after mile 9, there is a moose that holds a sign saying things like "giddy up" or "free pizza, one mile".... just a little added pump you up thing. as i ran by it this year i couldnt quite believe what it said.....
for all you non-mainers out there, thats moose for "HARDCORE!" (we talk kinda funny up here, dont use all our "r's".... come visit sometime, youll understand).

after what seemed like forever, the results were finally posted. i think i looked 3 or 4 times just to make sure i was following my name all the way over to the correct results. 1:26:08. TO THE VERY SECOND. how in the world is this even possible?! over ten miles, how did i not push harder for one freaking second more. unbelievable.

i was pretty upset about it for a little while. even sat in my car at my moms house and cried for a few minutes before going in. but after talking to her and taking a shower, i realized something... i run all the time (24/7, as ty pointed out... my race number for this race was 247. kinda fitting). i absolutely take being able to run for granted, and i know that running a 10 mile race (at any pace) or even just being able to stand on my own two feet is something that not everyone can do. me not getting a PR is insignificant and i am happy for my accomplishment regardless of that stupid one second.

stay "HAAHD CAH". and dont ever take one second for granted.