Friday, August 21, 2009

De-Monkeyed

It's a few weeks after the fact but I suppose it would be appropriate to report here on my so-called "running blog" the new half-marathon PR I pulled off at my last race. This was the PR that has haunted me for over two years. The one that followed me around like hungry stray dog, taunting me as I attempted over and over again--and failed over and over again-- to claim it.

I'm pleased to report not only did I best my previous half-marathon PR by three minutes, but for the first time in my illustrious running career, I brought in 13.1 miles under two hours. 1:58:35, to be exact... and you'd better believe I'm counting that extra minute and 25 seconds as further reason to gloat. Not only did I shake that monkey off my back once and for all but I spit in his monkey face and kicked it in its monkey nuts. Never before in my life has beating up a monkey been so fun.

As it turns out, I run pretty darn fast after getting a root canal. Whoulda thunk? Maybe it's not the most conventional of strategies, but hey, to each their own. Of course, I might have a hard time ponying up the $800 it requires each time I race, but then again, those race fees are getting a little hefty themselves. Pretty soon, I'll have to offer my children to enter a marathon and since I only have so many of them, I guess I'd better choose my races wisely.

As for this race, it really just boiled down to gutting it out. It was a late start-- 7:30a.m.-- and for someone used to training while the sun is barely peeking above the eastern horizon, it felt warm and muggy before I even took my first steps. The course was tricky with lots of rolling hills, starting two miles into the run and ending at the finish line. And then there was the issue at mile 9 of inadvertently nudging my contact lens up into my eyelid when I reached to wipe some sweat off my brow. It was insult to injury as the lens in my other eye had already clouded over with sweat a couple miles prior. At mile 9, I was exactly on my target PR pace and knew I couldn't stop for even a minute if I wanted to get it. Despite being nearly blind in one eye and might-as-well-be blind in the other, I forged ahead, able to see only enough to stay on course and not get hit by a car (although I had a close call with a six-year old on his bicycle).

For the first time in a race, I nearly spewed my innards while approaching the finish line. I wasn't more than a tenth of a mile away when I felt a wave of dizziness pass over me. My body swayed a little to the left and I imagine I looked a lot like a drunkard trying to walk a straight line. I teetered and tottered for a few seconds until I regained some balance then somehow managed to continue moving forward until I saw someone with a watch who told me I could stop. Once I did, I stepped aside enough to avoid getting run over by anyone coming up from behind me to put my hands on my knees and dry heave a couple times. Thankfully, I managed to hold it in and felt better after getting some water and sitting down. Actual vomiting before, during or after a race is something I will have to look forward to another day.

Once I'd recovered and caught my breath, my predominant feeling (other than exhaustion) was sheer satisfaction. I'd spent the last seven months training like a fool. I followed a program that made me faster and kept me injury-free and I put my pedal to the metal and floored it week after week. To see the hard work pay off in the form of attaining such a coveted PR was extremely satisfying to me. I drove home that day with the smuggest of smiles on my face.

Not even the pathetic whimpering moans of the monkey tied up and gagged in the back seat of my car could erase it.
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For anyone keeping track of me, my next race is a full marathon the third Saturday in September. I've already knocked out a strong 20-mile training run with a 22-miler still to come. I don't want to jinx myself by being too cocky, but I'm feeling quite confident about this race. I think another PR just might be biting the dust soon.

10 comments:

The Newbold's said...

Congratulations!!! That is so awesome!! The contact thing happended to me when I was training for the WB, it was stuck up in my eyelid until the end of my run. Good luck with the marathon!!

Mel said...

LOL.... I love your sense of humor. Congratulations on your PR! You are going to do great in your next marathon, can't wait to hear about it.

Christie said...

Hey Angie,

Congrats on the PR! And happy marathon training! I'm sure it will be a good one. I rubbed my contact right out of my eye today. Luckily, I wasn't going anywhere.

robison52 said...

Congrats on your half-mary PR!!! All that hard work paid off, and you should still have enough strength from your training to clobber that upcoming marathon PR as well. Can hardly wait to read about your success!!

Laurel said...

Woohoo!! That's awesome news!!! Great job on the PR...and half blind too. Not bad ;)

Can't wait to hear how the marathon goes.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Spitting and kicking, I love it!

Morgan said...

Rock on girl! Congrats on the PR! I so want to hit a sub 2 Half! Keep up the great training, can't wait to hear about the full! Good luck!

BrianFlash said...

Excellent half! Anytime you can go under one of the big even numbers, it is a major accomplishment.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

THAT IS GREAT!! So awesome that you beat your A goal.. Wow a Marathon so soon...

FYI I have a Giveaway on my Blog if you are interested :)

Ovens2Betsy said...

That's AWESOME Angie! Looking forward to reading your report on your marathon PR ;)