I never recapped my last long run, which took place exactly 1 week before Saturday’s Manhattan Half Marathon. Suffice it to say, it was awesome. I completed about 11.2 miles in 1:53, pacing an average of 10:07 per mile. My route took me through (basically) the exact same course as the race, minus the Harlem Hill mile loop at the top of the park. And despite a little pain in my right leg/hip flexor, I was feeling confident about the race.
Until I looked at the weather forecast.
With a high of 22 degrees, yesterday was definitely my coldest race day to date. I woke up at 6 a.m. (a full hour before my alarm was supposed to go off) shivering in my bed. Not a good sign.
Saturday was not my day. That’s all there is to it. The weather got the best of me. The hills got the best of me. That pain in my leg got the best of me. And the sniffles I’ve had for the past week got the best of me.
The whole thing was kind of a lesson in humility. The half-marathon was so much harder than I could have expected, even though I had basically already run the course the week before. After last month’s 15K, I decided I wanted to try and finish in 2:15 or less. Then, with my leg pain factored in, I changed it 2:20. But during the race yesterday, I changed that goal to just finish. I did finish, in 2:29:13, with an average pace of 11:23. (Like I said, it wasn’t my day.)
Until yesterday, I’ve been pretty fortunate to have all of my races be good ones. I’ve basically stayed on pace, met my goals and not frozen to death. But yesterday reminded me that not every race is going to be awesome. Not every race can be on-pace and not every race can be a PR. I don’t need to compare myself to all the other bloggers I read. I finished my first half-marathon, and that in and of itself is a pretty big accomplishment. Sometimes, just finishing is enough.
(And on the bright side, March’s National Half Marathon will almost certainly be a PR!)
So, I have a little more than 2 months until my next half-marathon. I’m taking a week off running to make sure this slight knee pain I’ve been experiencing since, oh, about mile 6 yesterday is nothing major. I think a week of cross-training, strength training and yoga will do me good.
I finished! That’s all.