Gosh! Going into yesterday’s Cape Cod Half, it felt like it had been forever since I last raced. I originally wanted to train for this race before transitioning into marathon training but a summer injury ruined that plan. I have a hard time going into a race knowing that I’m not trying to PR and to accept that it was part of a 14-mile training run—I’m so competitive, that itself was a battle for me. My goal for the day was to practice PATIENCE and pacing strategies and to just to get a little more race day experiences under my belt.
I spend Friday afternoon and night on my feet working the Cape Cod Rehab expo booth.
I tried to get to sleep early but after a night of tossing and turning, no part of me wanted to get out of bed at 5:15am in the dark, cold morning. It was pretty similar weather to 2015—on the cool side with a slight breeze, breezy enough to keep me from ever really warming up. I picked up my dad and we headed to the start, said hi to the finish line volunteers (my mom, Beth and Trish), found some friends, took a few pics and before we knew it the race was off!
Side note: I kept saying my biggest regret at the 2015 race was not wearing gloves. I talked about wearing gloves all day on Friday and I even picked out a pair of red ones that matched my headband. Right before I checked my bag, I used the porta potties and put my gloves in my bag so I wouldn’t lose them. Guess where my gloves were when the gun went off? My checked bag.
Mile 1- 7:21
Mile 2- 7:23
Mile 3- 7:21
The first 3 miles I was cruising along at a comfortable pace. I felt very comfortable running in the 7:20s. Even though I didn’t have a goal, I secretly wanted to stay under 7:30 pace. Would have been happy with 7:20s and ecstatic with 7:10s.
Mile 4- 7:02
Mile 5- 7:17
Mile 6- 7:09
As we approached the hill at the Heights I was determined to own it. I passed about a dozen people on that hill including the 2 ninja turtles that were snorting and splitting and annoying me. Haha. I backed off the next mile before reaching my favorite road in all of Falmouth (Vineyard Street) then off to the turnaround. I was counting the lead women as a distraction and kept pushing forward.
Mile 7- 6:56
Mile 8- 7:11
I LOVE the out and back on this course. After the turnaround, I was just looking for everyone I knew out there. Tiff, Joe, so many Run Club friends, MY DAD, Jon, Laurie…. One of my clients was out there cheering which was also a big boost!
Mile 9- 7:19
Mile 10- 7:18
It went all downhill after that. Just past the 8-mile mark we split away and I found myself completely alone. There was literally no one around me. I slowed down on purpose with the confidence that I could maintain if I wanted to but with the thought of maybe take it easy until the Heights hills and push the final miles to the finish. That all sounded like a good plan but the mental game started and the motivation just disappeared. Why am I out here? Why am I running this fast? Why bother if I’m not going to PR? Is it worth it? It’s getting breezier and colder. My right inner thigh kept threatening cramps. I totally checked out.
Mile 11- 7:28
Mile 12- 7:26
Mile 13- 7:28
The last 3 miles I was on the struggle bus. I guess good and bad—it was all mental. I was still running all by myself. I fought every step. I wanted to walk at mile 11, mile 11.5, mile 11.75, mile 11.85, mile 12… I was still considering walking at 12.8 miles. It was ridiculous. I let 3 girls pass me in the final half mile and I didn’t even care that they flew by me. They actually made me want to walk even more. Rounding the final corner to the finish line I was SO RELIEVED. I was happy to see my mom, Beth and Trish and thankful it was over. I was actually surprised I was only 2 minutes off my PR but knew I had a lot of work to do before Miami. I took my picture with Beth, changed into my dry clothes and headed back on the course.
13.1 miles – 1:36:09
Average pace – 7:20
Two years in a row I couldn’t get over the mid-pack runners congratulating and cheering for ME as I walked back to find my dad. The support out there is incredible. Runners are a special group of people. Anyways, found my dad and ran 0.9 miles with him to the finish. He wasn’t having the best day but got through to finish his 8th half marathon. (I’m pretty sure this was only my 7th. What the heck!)
While my dad voted at Town Hall, I went back on the course to find my client Laurie. She did great. I’m super proud of her for getting through some tough times in her training and racing in memory of her late sister-in-law. I watched her finish, caught up with Jason and Danielle for a bit then it was off to my parents house to shower then back to the expo for a longggg afternoon!
Congrats to all finishers! Did you run the Cape Cod Half? Head on over to BibRave.com and post your race review! I’ll be working on mine shortly!
Until then, let me #NormaTecAndChill :)