“An object in motion tends to stay in motion,” those words stuck in my head from about mile 4 of the Red Nose Half Marathon on January 4th and were a game changer.
Leading up to the Red Nose Half, I had just completed week 11 of my 20 week marathon plan, and the long run for week 11 was 20 miles. I had finished that 20 mile run with ease and was riding a huge high going into week 12 of training. Here’s my 20 miler which became 21 miles: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/420791032. The next battle that ensued within me from about Tuesday of that week was whether or not I should actually race the Red Nose Half on the following Saturday or just use it as a training run. After all, my plan called for a 10 miler or a 10k race both of which would be MUCH less taxing on my body than a half marathon at race pace. I had signed up for the Red Nose Half in Columbus, GA prior to deciding I was going to run a marathon, and the Red Nose was the half I planned to try to PR since I had missed a PR in Savannah. It is a free race, so I could have just decided not to go, but about 15 people were going from our local running club, so it was going to be a fun race. Honestly, I went back and forth on what I was going to do several times a day leading up to Saturday, and I did everything I could possibly do to derail any thoughts of racing the half including but not limited to running 7 miles the day before the half, eating the wrong type of food for dinner, staying up late Friday night, not bringing water with me for the night before or morning of, and neglecting to really hydrate at all for the race. I was hoping that early on in the race my legs would be heavy, and I’d be able to make the call at mile 3 or 4 to NOT race it. Jeneen and I had sent numerous text back and forth all week about whether we were going to race it or not, and just when we thought we had decided we weren’t going to, the other one would bail on the decision or throw out some reason why it really might be OK. Even at dinner Friday night, the conversation of pros and cons continued.
Early Saturday morning at 6:55 AM, I got a tweet from Jeneen asking me, “what is it woman? Imma say it. RACE DAY.”
To which I replied, “It is what it is. Depends on how I feel around mile 2 or 3.”
Our group had decided to meet at 7:10 in the hotel lobby to walk to the start of the race, so we gathered in the lobby and headed over. We met up with a couple of other MRTT chapters for a quick photo at 7:30, grabbed pins for our bibs, and used the restroom, then it was start time.
I was still wavering in my decision and hoping my legs would tell me not to race it early on due to my attempts at sabotage, but if I was going to race it, then I wanted to be on pace for a 2:15 PR! I lined myself up with the 2:15 pacer just in case. As the start gun fired, we took off, and the group pacer was quickly leaving me. In my mind, I was already starting to think that it was going to just be a training run.
As I hit the 1 mile marker, my watch showed 10:10 which truly scared me. I’ve never started long runs at that fast of a pace. The 2:15 pacer was out of my sight already at this point, and I realized he was going much too fast for that time goal. I decided to slow down. I missed my time for mile 2, but I felt like I was struggling at the pace I was at. After the race, I realized I had slowed down to 10:27, and I think if I had seen that at mile 2 with how I was feeling I might have thrown in the towel on racing it, but by the time I reached the mile 3 marker, my lap time was 9:58, so I attributed the way I felt to starting too fast, so I slowed down again. Mile 4 was too slow, but it brought me to an overall average which was almost right on target of a 10:18 mm to reach my 2:15 goal. This was the time to commit or not. I needed to decide if I was going to go for it. My legs weren’t feeling great, but they weren’t really struggling either. I had my doubts still as to whether I could hold the pace for 9 more miles after the 7 mile run the day before, but I had a pretty good start, so I decided to go for it, and if I crashed at mile 10 (really thought I would), then I just crash.
So, back to that little quote…..
I had been yo-yo-ing back and forth with several runners since I use a 3:1 run:walk. I was passing two ladies in particular every single time I ran, and they’d pass me as I broke to a walk. I think this had been going on for about a mile, so I’m sure they were getting annoyed because it was getting on my nerves as well, but as one of my favorite sayings go, “it is what it is.” As we came down a slight incline just before a hill around mile 4, I ran up behind them and heard one saying, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” Now, I have no clue if this was directed at me or not, but I felt like it was. These two ladies had been running separately, but they had just paired up before I passed them, and this is the conversation that ensues? Ok, ok, yeah, I know. It still could have been some totally random conversation, but if it lights a fire under your butt, just go with it, right? So, I did. From that point on, kicking their butts became my mission because yes, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion,” but this girl is going to crush you even with walk breaks! The Galloway method works!
The next few miles gradually sped up, and just before mile 7 I got my first glimpse of the 2:15 pacer again. YIPEE!!!!! I was quickly reeling him in, maybe too quickly. I soon caught and passed him just before the turn around, but I still had about 5 miles to go, and I needed to wait a little longer before I really started pushing myself. I think mile 8 was probably the last time I looked at my lap time because it was 9:45 and freaked me out, once again, to be at that pace that early. I decided that if I didn’t look at my pace, then maybe I’d stop over thinking it and just run, so the rest of the race was just a mind game of trying to run by feel and telling myself, “just 3 minutes until another break.” As I passed mile 10, I told myself, “it’s just a 5k left, 3.1 miles.” I wanted to maintain my pace and try to pick it up a little if I could, but I still didn’t want to look at my watch. Over the next 3 miles, I managed to keep my eyes off my watch almost the entire time. I did catch a glimpse of an instant pace that was rather shocking, but I did my best to quickly put it out of my mind and not think about it.
As I turned the last corner of the race, and headed up the hill, I saw the 2:10 pacer crossing the finish line. Holy COW is what was going through my mind, and yes, I looked at my watch at this point. I was going to finish well under my 2:15 goal. I crossed the finish line at 2:11:15, and my last 5k of the race….well, it was within 20 seconds of my 5K PR. Here’s my Garmin info: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/424428183
Oh, and as for those two ladies, they finished sometime after the 2:15 pacer, so yes, Galloway’s method may not be their preferred way, but maybe they should give it a try. 😉