The Power of Positive Thinking

My second half marathon this year is over.  I was so stressed out and nervous because I didn’t train as much for this half as I did for the half I ran in May.  I ran about 350 miles before that half.  I would be lucky to have run 200 for the one I ran yesterday. 

However….I think I trained smarter, not harder.  I did not run as much, but I focused more on improving my speed and stamina with shorter but more strenous runs.

The proof is in the pudding (or times, hehe)

Cinco de Mayo Half:  Total Time was 3 hours 15 minutes (I thought it was like 3 hours 30 minutes).  Average pace per mile was 14:55.

My goal for the Long Beach Half was to finish the race in under 3 hours.  I went to the race expo on Friday and Clif had pacing bracelets for free, so I could see where I needed to be as far as time, for each mile in order to finish the race in 2 hours, 45 minutes.  THAT PACING BRACELET SAVED ME.  I will post a picture of it later.  I kept it.  I put it on my arm right next to my Garmin so that I could see how far I ran, and whether or not I was going fast enough.  I managed to keep up with the pace until about mile 9.  But I digress. 

Long Beach Half Marathon:  Total time was 2 hours and 57 minutes (YES!)
Average pace per mile was 13:34 (EVEN MORE YES!)

Now more about the race.  The race was crowded.  I have only run small races before, and my goodness.  I was scared I would not be able to find my husband at the absolute crush of people at the finish line.  I left my phone with him (that was a huge mistake).  Luckily we found each other.  But the great thing about the race being so crowded was that there were tons of people on the course, all the time.  I never had to run all by myself, which I loved.  The water stations never ran out of water (that sucked so bad about the Cinco de Mayo race–and I wasn’t even close to last).  AND I loved that there were lots of people behind me!

The race seemed easy. I felt like I was never gasping for breath.  I just had trouble keeping my focus after mile 9.  Two things were bothering me–my left hip was tight and starting to hurt, and I could feel a massive blister forming on my 4th toe on my right foot.  I was trying not to focus on these 2 things, but it was so hard, because I totally had to change the way I landed on my right foot so as to avoid irritating the blister and possibly popping it open during the race.  I cranked up the music because believe me, after 9 miles there was no way I was quitting.  I walked and ran a little bit, trying to keep my pace up but I just kept getting side tracked and annoyed.  I tried saying my mantra, which was “I am strong.  I feel good.  I will not stop”.  Anyways, I continued on like this, and before I knew it, I was at mile 12.  I kept the tunes coming, and those lovely course organizers have a mostly downhill run for the last mile.  LOVE.  Pretty soon, there were thousands of people cheering and yelling, and I crossed the finish line.  I may or may not have cried.  I got my blanket, my medal, got my picture taken, and my free Zicos, and went to find Bryan.  I was so bummed, I had looked for Bryan and Sav the whole race and never saw them.  We figured out later that he had grossly underestimated my awesomeness, and had gone to get Sav breakfast.  He went to all the places to see me AFTER I had passed them. Oh well.  So no pictures of me running.  I did take pictures along the course.  I will post them later I promise.

I am definitely running the Long Beach Half next year.  And I am seriously considering signing up for the Orange County FULL marathon which is in May.  I’m still debating, but I definitely have enough time to get ready.

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