I didn’t have any expectations for this race. The race was the Sunday after the Friday I got the diagnosis of the hypothyroidism. Somehow having that validated – that there was a real reason I was feeling the way I was feeling, was bringing up so much emotion in me and I felt all kinds of sad, happy and everything in between.
Of course I wanted to run a personal best (that would mean under 1:38:57 – about a 7:30 average). I also realistically knew that I had not been hitting paces in my training to do that (presumably due to low thyroid) – and especially not this on this course. It is a pretty flat + fast course, but not as fast as the one I had set my previous record on.
I woke up that morning and had a banana with almond butter and 4 LaraBar bites.
I ate and drank coffee while I snuggled with Bennie, of course. After breakfast for him and quick dog walk, I got dressed, threw on a light rain jacket, and hopped in an Uber to Golden Gate Park.
I got to Golden Gate park about 7:00 -am and got to work running my three warm up miles. I ran them in my light jacket, then ran to gear check and dropped it off. Bag check had a 7:45am cut off, and the race didn’t start until 8:10am. I ran up to gear check at 7:44 & I realized I didn’t want to chug my Generation Ucan just then, so I hung onto my shaker cup and ended up putting it in a recycle bin. Sad to have to toss it, but worth it to drink it when I wanted and not to have to carry it during the race.
Then I went over and stood in the long lines for the rest room. I was able to head over and line up just in time. The race actually ended up starting a bit late.
I wore my Tiffany necklace from the last Nike women’s half marathon. It was a special day with my family and I wanted to have it with me.
As we headed out into the first miles, I stayed relaxed. I wanted to run an 8:00 average the first mile and then get to a 7:30 pace and stay there if I could. I felt good, but by mile 4 I was talking myself through. The plan was to take a Huma plus gel at mile 8, so I told myself just to run 4 miles.
As we headed into mile 8, it ran along the Great Highway and the winds picked up. As I tried to take my gel my hands cramped pretty badly, so I took a moment to walk and open it. I didn’t want to get frazzled. Same with a water stop after the gel so I could get a good solid drink of Nuun and water.
As we ran along the great highway I could feel the fatigue sitting heavy on my chest. Every step I kept thinking broken, broken, broken. You are broken. Those last couple miles I decided to stop looking at my watch and just enjoy the run. There was no reason to think negative thoughts or call myself broken.
As we came across the finish line I pulled off and tried not to cry. I felt awful. Physically drained. I drank 2 bottles of water. I still had 2 miles to finish out my 18 miles for the day. Let me tell you how badly I wanted to skip them. What’s 2 miles? My coach, nor anyone else, would have blamed me for calling the ball. I felt raw with emotion and my chest had that cold fatigue feeling wrapped around it. I picked up my finishers shirt and put it on, already getting cold.
I decided that no way in hell was I skipping my final two miles. Not while I’m physically able to run. I thought of the times I’ve been injured and would have given anything to be able to run 2 miles. So I grabbed my jacket, put the medal in the pocket and started the run hobble home. I met two wonderful people who were doing the same. Thank you Dave & Lisa for talking to me and letting me run with you!! You lifted my spirits.
The medals for this race were beautiful. I also LOVED the long sleeve cotton finisher shirt. I wish all races would have a cotton finisher shirt because I like to sleep in them.
I think the biggest take home I had from this race is to keep pushing because you never know what will happen. And that applies to this overall training cycle. I ended up with an official time of 1:44:15. That’s still a sub-8 average pace and I powered through. I have some work to do before Boston, but I’m ready to do that! All in all and successful race!