Sunday, January 25, 2009

The challenge.. where it all started

I have always tried to run but never really enjoying it. I always had side aches, never found my pace etc... So of course when I met Bryan who was running every other day 5 miles like clockwork, I assured him that I would never run but would swim in the swimming pool. Famous last words! (I even assured my mom the day I stepped on the plane for San Diego that she shouldn't worry since I was NEVER going to live in the states.) So back to running, I wasn't taking into account that each time I would go walk around mission bay I would see hundreds of runners. I can't resist peer pressure. Also the sedentary american lifestyle and the food added about 5 unwanted lb to my french stature. So alone I put on my shoes and I started to run and soon enough I was running around the bay with Bryan. One day I got the strange idea to run a half marathon. So I decided that I would run a half marathon before I was 35.
So of course I procrastinated, had 2 kids (good excuse) and finally since I didn't want to start by the La Jolla half or run in August I decided to go for the Carlsbad half.
When I told Bryan that I would run the Carlsbad half marathon in January he first said that is great! Then when I told him it would be 3 weeks after our 3 week trip to France, he added sternly not a chance. I understand his doubts since I never really committed to any sports for more than 3-4 months in a row.
I started my training very early because in the end I wanted to make sure to keep at it even after the race. The miles started to add up. A 3 mile run turn into a 5. Some were easy some were not but I was progressing. During christmas I didn't run as much since I had 103 fever and a bronchitis which left me KO for 3 days.
The day of race came and I had two goals 1- to finish the race 2- to try to finish it anywhere between 2:15 and 2:10 (which is about 10:30 min/mile to a 10 min/miles).
The day before the race we had some friends over and I cooked some very very yummy pasta with meat sauce and a tarte tatin. We had a very very pleasant evening with less wine than I am used to.
I watched an episode of Bones and then went to bed at 10pm. All day I feared a UTI which I think was just caused by stress.
I got up at 5:15am, got dressed, ate breakfast and left a very sleepy household. Jessica and Ryan very very nicely picked me up and we were dropped of at the event 1 hour before the race started. Both Jessica and myself were a little tensed. I was very stressed to be honest.
We bummed into some coworkers, and finally we went to our wave.
We had the race all mapped out but the most important part of the plan was to pace ourselves at the beginning. That was hard because everyone is going way to fast but we did maintain our speed. Of course at mile 4 my left knee started to call my attention. I did maintain my 10 min pace up to mile 8 but then both my knee were really hurting. So I started to have to walk a little, then forcing myself to run again on and off until mile 12.1. By then I was really pushing through the pain, my weird stride was probably hurting me more than helped but hey I kept on going. I promised Bryan that I would finish and I would have been very disappointed if I gave up.
I managed to finish at 2:20 min which was a 10:42 min/mile.
I did run the last mile and even sprint (maybe not that fast) to the finish line.
Then I felt so lonely in a sea of humanity. I didn't have cell phone stupid shorts. I didn't expect to be separated from Jessica that we didn't really chose a meeting point. Only the last resort meeting spot. That was really overwhelming. I even borrowed someone's cell phone to call Bryan and cry on the phone mostly from the emotion.
We finally got to the car, stayed there for 2 hours, went back to the mall in search food. Finally got out of this stupid mall, back to Jess's place where the kids and Bryan picked me up. We went to Fred's for lunch where I ate 1/3 steak burrito. Then I got really tired so we went home. We put the kids to bed. Then I spent 15 minutes to find the results of the race with no success. I took a shower and laid in bed and read.... Now I'm back to life with sensitive knees, cleaned the kitchen and posting with a big grin on my face. I DID IT!!!!!
So yes I have to admit that I felt completely betrayed by my body, I felt left down and yes I did cry at the finish line mostly from emotion and fatigue
This half marathon isn't the last one and I do have another challenge... A half ironman in 10-15 years!
In the mean time after 1 week of rest I will put back my sneakers and get my knee enough training to be able to run a half marathon without pain!
In the meantime I succeeded to get my husband interested in running a half so next time I'll get to see his face when I cross the finish line. Let's be real he will get there before me ;) Next time I hope to cross the line with Jessica. I really enjoyed running the first 5 miles with her. I hope to be able to run the last 8 with her too.


JV said...

You are an absolute star! Your pace was commendable. Maybe I'll run one too... or maybe next year! Be kind to yourself, you are phenomenal!

Bunny said...

remember how you were upset after the 5K and then came back and killed the 10K? i'm pretty sure the next half you do, you will blow it away :).