Tuesday, March 3, 2009

After Thoughts Of The Gasparilla 15K

This post is an updated race report. There may be some repeats!!!!

It's been 3 days since the race and I'm still pretty thrilled! I also found out that Ryan Hall ran it too! So I can say I ran a 15K with Olympian Ryan Hall. Ok, so I didn't actually run WITH him, but I saw him fly past when I was at about mile 3-4. He was approaching mile 8....LOL.

The crowd was screaming as he ran past, but I thought they were yelling because the first wheelchairs were coming in. Little did I know, the blue and black blur racing past was Ryan Hall. He finished in 43 minutes, right about when I was hitting the half way point. Very exciting stuff!

Here are the results from the race page. I feel very good about these numbers!

Age: 42 Gender: F
Distance 15K
Clock Time 01:26:54
Chip Time 01:25:08
Overall Place 1671 / 4204
Gender Place 554 / 2055
Division Place 68 / 268
Age Grade 57%
Pace 9:08.0
Half 0:41:12

I had to go into this race with a different state of mind. I trained for distance from the start of my running. That included hitting the water stops with a 30-60 second walk break. The training runs I did with Reg had a few rough spots. I realized that every time I stopped for one of these breaks my legs were so fatigued and crampy that it was very difficult to get going again. Even in a 3 mile run! Reg suggested I try to run through it, not stop for the breaks. It went against EVERYTHING I believed in. Walk breaks were a part of my distance running. But things have changed. My feet and legs needed a new approach.

A few days before the race we had a 3.25 mile easy run. Not even 2 miles out I could feel the usual problems. I told Reg I thought I needed to walk already. He looked over at me and didn't say anything. Normally at this time I would walk. I decided to try to see how far I could get. I started thinking about what I'd be wearing to the race, the size of the expo, Bondi Bands!!! I stopped thinking about my legs and feet. Next thing I knew we were done. Reg was right, I needed to just run straight out, no stops. Could I do that for a 15K???

I stood at the starting line, Reg and I talking to the people around us for awhile. It occurred to me that this might be my last decent distance race, I have accepted I won't be doing any more marathons. This race was the test. I promised myself at that precise moment to try not to stop at all. What did I have to lose? Worse case scenario was that I'd stroll over the finish line at a 17 minute pace. Best case was I'd get a new PR.

Away we went. We dodged fellow runners, walkers and parked cars. We stayed together, our pace changing with the availability of space and finding those spots we could jump into. We found a steady crowd doing our 9 minute pace at about 2-3 miles and stayed with them for a mile or so. At the 4 mile marker I was sweaty and feeling like I was ready for a water/walk break. As I came up on the water table I slowed to take a cup and instantly decided NOT to walk. Try running while sipping water. I almost laughed! I slowed to about 10:30 pace for that but caught back up to Reg, back in the 9 minute pace.

My right foot was cramped up. Can I please catch a break, just for today????? The sharp pains in my quads said no. I said to myself...."Self, is that a favorite song on your iPod"?? Why yes self, it sure is!!!! I put my eyes on the man in front of me, letting my feet keep up with his tempo. Glancing at my Garmin we were at a 9 minute pace. Cool! I let my mind wander back to the man I was following and my music and I felt lighter.

By the time I saw the 7 mile marker, I started to worry about holding this pace. I also realized I had lost the man I was behind and Reg was getting further away from me. Garmin said I was still at the 9 minute pace, so Reg had sped up. I saw him looking for me, I could see him, but he had lost me. Too many people for him to be looking behind. I was kinda glad because I didn't want to hold him back. Being able to keep him in my sights for the mental support was awesome though.

By mile 8 I was hurting. Once again I lost myself in my music and the person in front of me. It was harder to do the meditation-type thing by now. I pictured myself at the end of one of our 3 mile runs. Mind over matter does help! Next thing I knew, I was in sights of the finish line. Relief took over and I felt that shot of adrenaline. I sped up a little, just wanting to be done. I had lost sight of Reg by then, but I knew he'd be at the finish.

I almost knocked someone over getting across that line. I yelled out SORRY!!! But I was sooooo relieved to be done. Relieved and very happy. With a new PR of 1:25:08!!

So here's where I'm at now. The 15K is going to be my marathon. It's a decent distance, it's a chance to compete at a different level than the 5K fun runs and it still requires some training. I love the training part.

Running the Gasparilla 15K taught me something about endurance. Endurance isn't just running a marathon. It's overcoming the obstacles life can throw at you. When life throws you lemons, don't just make lemonade....jump over that lemon tree.

To the lemons, I say....I WIN!!!


Melanie said...

great post :) glad you should be still be super stoked about that race, you did great, and ran with Ryan Hall! :D

Sherry said...

Kim, I just loved this report! It's clear that you really enjoyed this race. You busted through the pain and really gave it all that you had... you came out on top! I'm simply overjoyed!

The running while drinking thing... you'll get the hang of it with time and then you'll be buzzing right through aid stations. :o)

I really, REALLY want to run a 15k now. During the 1/2 marathon, I felt great right up until mile 10/11, so I'm thinking that a 15k would feel pretty awesome. Must find one before it gets too hot! LOL!

Steven Cohen said...

You're a great storyteller, and that was a great read! Nice going! And to think I was ready to try walking through water stops, as per a 1/2-Marathon friend of mine. Not anymore!

joyRuN said...

Endurance isn't just running a marathon. It's overcoming the obstacles life can throw at you. When life throws you lemons, don't just make lemonade....jump over that lemon tree.

Awesome phenomenal words, Kim. You ROCK!!!