Stampeding in Davis

In my mind, I saw myself crossing the finishing line and celebrating my goal PR. In my mind, my training for my third Marathon has been flawless. In my mind, I could get all the calories removed from the desserts that I love so.
In reality, I did not cross the finish line of the Davis Stampede Half Marathon with a PR. That was to be expected though. I did manage to cross the finish line happy. I ran the best that I could and that is all I can ask of myself. The course was a loop around Davis, CA and it was fairly flat. The first six miles I had that runner’s high. This was my first half marathon of 2012 and I was grateful to be participating in a race again.

At mile four I even tried something that I have never done before - I listened to music. Since the course was mainly on bike trails, I felt safe tuning the world out and zoning in on some of my favorite beats. It is amazing what a little music can do to lift the spirits. Listening to music while running is awesome! While I don’t want to be dependent on my iPod, it was certainly a nice change to have a race soundtrack playing in the background.

Mile 1 - 7:53
Mile 2 - 8:09
Mile 3 - 8:07
Mile 4 - 8:15
Mile 5 - 8:15
Mile 6 - 8:30

It was after mile 6 however, that I started to feel defeated. The course led me right on to a gravel path. I just love gravel! - Yes, insert sarcasm here. Not only did it slow me down considerably, I really just wanted to stop and take a nap. I tried to push it for awhile there, but it just wasn’t worth it, so I slowed down to a comfortable pace and tried to enjoy the moment. I saw my dailymile buddy John as he was pacing for the 1:50 group, pass me. It took all my might not to keep up with this group, but I just didn’t have it in me. Back on the pavement after a few miles of gravel, my body was tired. Perhaps it is from the extra pounds I have gained from stress eating due to my missing kitty. Or, maybe it is because I am just not in my peak performance as I was this summer past. Or maybe it was the shoes....I will just blame it on the shoes all just same! Whatever the reason was, my next set of splits were disappointing to me.

Mile 7 - 9:02
Mile 8 - 9:15
Mile 9 - 9:20
Mile 10 - 9:14
Mile 11- 9:03
Mile 12 - 9:20
Mile 13 - 9:05
.10 - 7:55

Where oh where did all those bloody nine’s come from? It is shocking to me that I let myself drop my pace that much. What the devil is happening and where did I let myself go? Stuck in reverse seems to be an understatement.

Anyway, I crossed the finish line at 1:55 and some change with a 8:46 avg pace and funny enough I was at peace with my time. I didn’t question my abilities, nor was I upset. My best Half Mary time was in August where I ran the Brazen Summer Breeze in 1:48. I know that at some point I will get my running mojo back again and I will get a new PR!  I just need to try and brush off all of the baggage I have been carrying and run harder! And try to keep my schedule. Easier said than done, but I am determined.

Upon crossing the finishing line, I was so happy and proud that Ultra Miles Matt ran over a ten minute PR, finishing 11th overall with a time of 1:22. It was awesome to meet fellow SF Marathon Ambassador Charlie, where he PR’d placing 9th overall. And great to see Jessica who ran a great race without even trying to race, and age placed to boot! Yes my friends are fast and I certainly hope it is contagious!

I somehow look way more disheveled than Jessica!

At the start line I waved Charlie down
PR happy!
While my performance lacked - I really enjoyed this race. Perhaps it was more for the social aspect, but I learned a lot as well. I recently posted an update on my Facebook stating:

“Six weeks until my 3rd marathon and my training has been suffering. I am hoping to clear my mind and step it up to make the next few weeks count!”

While I got lot’s of encouraging comments, One stood out from Ambassador Charlie who said;

“Sometimes a small step back can go a long way toward helping you step up.”

I think he’s right. Instead of wallowing in my own demise, I am going to use the next few weeks to really focus. I need the distraction anyway! Of course, I will  still continue to search for my beloved cat, but I am really going to concentrate on balancing it all. Well I can at least try right? :)

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