Monday, March 22, 2010

Atlanta ING 1/2 Marathon RR

Hey y’all, I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my departure back to Denver. Man, I love that the airport has WiFi and I’m able to catch up on a few blogs and re-enter the world of the internet – I feel like I’ve been on the 5 step recovery plan: “I, Jill, am a blogaholic….” I have missed my fix and wondered what each of you have been up to.

You know how I can get so wordy; as much as I love to run, I love to write….but I’ll try to condense an action packed weekend into a brief summary:

Arrived in Huntsville, AL on Thursday evening, an hour later than expected due to United inevitably delaying my flight. By the time my girlfriend picked me up and we drive the hour to her house, it was well past 1a.m. when I finally hit the pillow.

Woke up Friday morning to sunshine and warmth! Went for a short, hilly run and this is what I found: temps warmer than 25 degrees, birds chirping, dandelions, crab grass, acorns and black walnuts lining the road, red bricked houses galore, red soil, no snow, green-grassed lawns, paper mill smells, Tennessee River, oxygen, and abundant daffodils. All things either too early for Colorado or things Colorado does not even possess - I was in springtime heaven….and my sinuses were letting me know. Drippy and stuffy....which I don't fully understand how you can have both!!! I love the beauty of spring but not the allergens that loom in the air. Especially after having endured WAY too much of this crud in February. My girlfriend and I had a nice day just doing nothing. How often does one get to do that!!??!! No child screaming, “Mooooommmmm….,” no job to go to, no kids at school whining, sleeping later than 6a.m. I also consumed about 30,000 calories more than I should. Saturday, get up and head to Atlanta for the race. I’m actually contemplating pulling a Jamoosh and running the full marathon instead of the half because 1) I’m not in the mood to “race” a tough ½, I’m still having mental issues “racing” right now with the 5-week lung fungus running hiatus and, 2) I’m not in the mood to do another long run before Boston next weekend so the thought of knocking off doing 26 LSD miles in a race is tempting me, and 3) my sinuses are really bad today and by the time we reach Atlanta 4 ½ hours later, I now have motion sickness (I am not a good traveler. I like being in new location but getting from point A to point B is never easy for me, I have “issues” on a plane AND a car. My family all loves traveling with me!!).

Make our way to the expo and I’m feeling like total crap. I’ve eaten way too much bad-for-me-foods (why must I feel compelled to resort to high school eating behaviors while away from home??!!??), my sinuses are killing me, the car made me nauseous, and I’m really not in the mood to be there. As far as expos go, this isn’t all that exciting….but I did manage to find a shirt to wear for Boston that is PERFECT for the race. I’ll share more on that as Boston approaches. I decided that I’m absolutely in no mood to run 26 miles the next day so 13 was going to have to suffice….it was only a passing thought to run the full anyway, I seriously doubt I’d ever go through with such a thing; I’m way too much of an anal planner for that to occur.
Race day morning is about 49 degrees and calling for rain showers later in the morning. I have no earthy idea what 49 degrees is with humidity. Living in a semi-arid state and all, I’m not acclimated for the warmer temps….let’s recall what a miserably cold winter Colorado has had! So I found the start to be warmer than I thought it’d be: 49 degrees in Atlanta is a whole different feel than 49 degrees in Denver! By mile 1, I totally discarded my gloves and was glad I had the foresight to wear a sleeveless shirt

I had no expectations going into this race of my abilities. I know last year I PR’d my half marathon time on this course, even though it’s really hilly. Maybe the extra oxygen or the fact that I was in pretty decent shape last year training for Boston; either way when I crossed the finish line last year, I felt incredible and strong. This year I had no idea; 5-weeks of less than ideal training due to Mr. Lung Fungus left me a huge question mark. I knew, though, that to perform as well as last year was most likely not going to happen, but how far off exactly was a total mystery.

Thankfully I was seated in corral C so my start wasn’t behind a mass of walkers and casual runners. Again, not bashing those – I am all for anyone and everyone that wants to run these things, but I don’t like being stuck behind them and not able to quickly get into a steady pace, especially for a half marathon. This race was predicted to hit about 18.000 runners (but I think a little under 10,500 finished) – it’s a biggie!! Hit mile 1 at 8:00. Mile 2 at 8:00. Mile 3, with a large hill at 8:10. Mile 4 at 8:10 with another large hill. Mile 5 at 8:00. See a pattern here? I was and it was that 8 min/mile was what my body had in me. I wasn’t hurting and I wasn’t dying and I wasn’t holding back…this is where my ability to run a very hilly half marathon was. I hit a couple miles along the course in the 7:40 range and felt slightly encouraged but I knew some of the toughest hills were yet to come and once I hit mile 11 with an 8:30, I knew then that my lack of training properly was going to spew me a less than 1:44 where I landed last year. I got to mile 12 and just decided it wasn’t worth killing myself for a few measly seconds off the clock and I just accept it for what it was and slowed the pace down, took in my surroundings, and crossed the finish line.

1:46:05

Overall finishers: 960/10481
Sex place females: 207/5863
Div Place: 13/542

Am I disappointed or bummed or any other unsatisfying emotion? No, not really. I mean, I can’t help but be bummed in a sense about the training and where it left me but I had a moment out on the course and came to the realization that I’m 46 and at my age and the 32+ years I’ve been running competitively, I have to work like hell to make a tiny dent in any PR time or produce amazing results anymore. I was not able to train at the level I needed to this winter with the garbage I had going on in February to produce the results I hoped for…and that is sucky. My training suffered and I lost the drive to fight like mad when I was healthy because basically, I ran out of time and in my head, I knew there wasn’t a lot I could do about that. All I could do now was see what I had left of the conditioning that was still inside me. So when I clocked a 1:46 with the amount of training I’ve done, I was actually pleasantly pleased. I think I had about 3 good workouts in the past 6 weeks; a 1:46 is gratifying under the circumstances!! The hills in this race are relentless (and I am convinced they raised the elevation of every single one of them from the previous year I ran it!!!); I don’t think there is even one mile where there is not a series of many hills, except for mile 7-8 (where my splits were in the 7:40’s), they come at you in full-force and do not give up. But you know what? As much as I hate hills, and we all know I do, I remained tough on them and felt strong. And that makes me even more happy. I had a great weekend, with great friends and I ran a tough race well on minimal training. I'd say it was a pretty dang good weekend!

So where do I go from here, in my mind and in my training, now that Boston is a mere 4 weeks away??!!?? I have come to peace with the fact my 3:51 2009 Boston finish time will be faster than this year’s. I really am okay with that. My goals for the next 4 weeks are to run enough to maintain the conditioning I currently have – it’s not like a big test the next day where I can cram in all the needed work to produce mega results but I do not want to lose anymore either. I will eat healthy and controlled, I will get as much sleep as I can, I will weight train to maintain my current conditioning, and I will enter the Boston start line ready to give the race whatever my body wants to produce - with a big smile on my face. And it’s all going to be okay! There are other races and marathons out there waiting for me; my body is much more in harmony training in the summer for a fall marathon than it is in the winter for a spring marathon, so maybe Chicago in October…..after I’m done with Boston, I will sit down and look at my options. Until then, I got a little race to run and a party to attend so let’s get this show on the road and finish up my training in good spirits!

I thank all you guys for your well-wishes last week for my race, I thought about you during the course and carried each and every one of you with me. I'm so bummed I wasn't able to connect with Saundra while I was in Atlanta, but am sooooo excited she PR'd and had an excellent race!! I am so behind on blog world so I apologize for my lack of comments but will be sure to get to you guys soon, promise (I am back to work tomorrow so have time to read ;) )! Run strong, friends!!!

Oh, and least I forget - GO UNI PANTHERS!!! Man, I love that my alma mater whomped Kansas' butts!!



My friend from Alabama, Shari, and I the night before the big event




Shari and I just before the start (our hotel was steps from the start line. SWEET!)


Blue shorts me crossing the finish line

WAY relieved I'm done


My friend, Scott, and I after the race (he's a wee-bit tall)


Finish line view from our hotel room. Cool, huh?

56 comments:

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Yeah!! Great to hear from you, and hear you on the race/time..and you did it and you did well..and had fun!
and I SOO hear you on 'hi I'm annemarie, and i'm a blogoholic...i'm so there...and leaving tomorrow for a 10 day vaca...i know I'll wanna be checkin' in on bloggyland daily;0

akjenniekt said...

I think your outlook on this is great! You got so close to last year even with your health being out of whack this winter, that's wonderful! Good luck with your Boston training...

ajh said...

Great report. You did a great job and seem way fast to me! Smart thinking about not killing yourself. You must be way speedy fast when healthy and on a flat course!

kilax said...

You did an AMAZING job! Especially after being so sick!

I always tend to eat poorly when I leave my house. That is something I need to work on. Especially if I ever travel for a race!

Can't wait to read about the Boston shirt!

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
Congrats on your awesome finish time!! I am only dreaming of the day where I can cross the finish line at 1:46 for a half:) You did good Jill and I think you are an amazing runner!!

I am glad to have you back as I have missed your posts and your comments:) Rest up...you deserve it!

Teamarcia said...

I love your attitude about everything Jill! You ran a fine race and will do so again in Boston. Hell I'd shit my pants if I ever ran a 1:46 half! Congrats!

Jamie said...

Good outlook about the race Jill. The hills don't really let up, but fortunately they are not killer hills and what goes up...must come down!

Good luck with the next few weeks and your final stretch towards Boston...

Running Through Life said...

Great job and finish time! Looks like you had a fun time on vacation.

Jocelyn said...

Good job on the run. Sorry it wasn't exactly what you were hoping for, but still it is impressive :)And that is an awesome view from your hotel!

ShutUpandRun said...

Still a great time and a great pace!! A training run for Boston well done. Being from VA, I almost felt like I was there when you talked about the birds, the grass, the river. Ahhh....and the humidity. Glad you made it home safe and aren't you glad it will snow today?

Morgan said...

For all the relentless work Mr Lung Fungus has had on you I gotta say only losing 2 minutes isn't half bad! Just stick to your plan and I think you'll still do surprisingly well under the circumstances come Boston!

Heather said...

Congrats on a great race! Very impressive, considering how sick you have been.

Stephanie said...

Such a great time...I'm impressed! If I can even come close to that in my first 1/2, I will be happy!
Good luck with Boston, and I can't wait to see the shirt you bought for it!

marathonmaiden said...

i think you have a great attitude! that said, 1:46 is a great time and the fact that you felt a bit underprepared makes it even more great :)

hope your feeling better now and good luck with the rest of boston training!! <4 weeks eeek!

Sunflower Kisses said...

You still did a great job despite all the setbacks. I love your attitude.

Melissa said...

You really did great. Loved your race review.
I'm pretty sure I have those same blue shorts. :)

Whitney said...

Good heavens, I wish that I could do that well after all of the time off that you had from your fungus. Good job and great attitude about it all!

Marlene said...

Congratulations! You pulled off a STRONG half, even if it wasn't a PR. Definitely celebrate this success!

<4 weeks til Boston! Woohoo!

Katie A. said...

You did amazing! That is a VERY respectible time for a half! Then add in all the crap you have been delt - you should be proud! I know I am of you!
Less than 4 weeks to Boston and I am shitting my pants - we'll see if I have it in me to hit my goals - I know you can! Huggss!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Nice job Jill. 1:46 is nothing to sneeze at, and only 2 minutes off from last year. You did well. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Running and living said...

I think you ran a good race, that is going to help you in Boston. It was not a PR, but given everything that you've gone through and the training you missed bc of being sick, it is a pretty darn good time, don't you think? FOr me, I lose 2 min if I miss one tempo run or one track workout! I might be doing CHicago, too, will see! One more long run and then we taper! Hurray!

AZ said...

I think you had a great race considering all the problems you've been having. I know you'll enjoy Boston.

C2Iowa said...

I do believe that Boston will be something for your record book. Congrats!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Great race report! I was supposed to run that race but my trip to Atlanta got cancelled. Boo!

You are going to rock Boston. Can't wait to hear about it!

Staci Dombroski said...

Glad to hear that you had a good time!!!

Slomohusky said...

Fun report Jill. Glad you were able to get away for this and have fun. Keep kicking and blogging where ever you are!

onelittletrigirl said...

I always miss blogging when I am away too! (and worry people will forget about me! haha)

Your race sounds like a great time, and to me that always makes a trip worth it! You snapped some great photos and you look so happy! I bet you will KILL Boston!

misszippy said...

I think you ran a strong race and faced down those tough hills. I'm so glad you are pleased--it does no good to focus on the fact that it wasn't a PR; different time and place, right? And you have a good plan heading into the next 4 weeks.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I am a bad traveler too! I wish they could drug me and wake me once I am there.

You ran a great race. I can't believe how strong you were after being so sick! You are a total hard a*#!

Great photos! I love the hotel view. Lucky!

NY Wolve said...

Great race! And you have Boston coming up so that is the big show for a marathon!

Kenley said...

Blogaholic. That is funny. I hear you on that. Looks like you had a fantastic weekend. Great Race Jill, and congrats. I am currently building up my base and then training for my first half this sept. This is inspiring stuff here, thanks and keep on being a blogaholic Jill. Take care and best wishes with your training, running and living!

Sherri said...

I am so a blog addict too! Love it! Love all my "friends" too. When I got back from spring break...I was giddy to get back on and see what was shaking!

You ran awesome!! I need you to pace me at my first half in June! I really want to run 1:45..we will have to see.

BTW....LOVE your Blog! =)

Dennis said...

Nice Race Jill, that's a very good time with your reduced training.

Sounds like a fun trip. Good time to get away from Denver with the weather.

1:46 Half Marathon. Double it and add 10 minutes so that's a 3:42 at Boston right?

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Congrats on a great finishing time! Glad you stayed strong on the hills! And that is a perfect hotel room view - right on the finish line!

Meg said...

Hugs Jill, you have a great attitude and some smart goals from now until Boston...it will be fun AND you will do great! I can't wait, it is getting so close!
megsie

lindsay said...

congrats!! it certainly doesn't sound like your training has been too bad - that's a great half-time! i know it can be a downer though when training isn't going per the plan. i am a little comforted knowing i am not the only one "just running" boston though. :)

atl is a hilly area - you certainly owned it!

Run Jess Run said...

Great job on the race! You still finished in the top 1000. That's nothing to be sad about!

Badgergirl said...

Great job on the race!

Velma said...

Nice race and good attitude. It does sound like a fun truip. I didn't know you are a panther. I am a spartan, so I will be rooting against you on friday, but truth be told I won't be sad if the underdog wins :)

April said...

Great race report!! That is a fantastic time!
Sounds like you had a great time with your friend too!
Can't wait to hear about the perfect shirt you bought for the Boston!

Abby said...

It sounds like given the circumstances, you had a great outing - and more importantly, felt pretty strong doing it! Good luck over the next four weeks - I'm sure you'll rock out at Boston.

Glenn Jones said...

You forgot clay. Red Georgia clay....

Great race and great report Jill. And thank you for all your kind words and support these past few weeks. They helped pull me across the finish Sunday.

By the way - I think one of the cool things about getting older is every 5 years we ge to reset the PRs!

Glenn Jones said...

Oops! Sorry. Missed by one state. Oh well. I'm still dazed I guess!

Tara said...

Jill-I think you did a GREAT job! Congrats on everything. Well, except for those 30,000 calories that you consumed. Hmmm, maybe you should swim those off this week. Te he.

No really, you are awesome and I'm glad that you have a good mental mindset over the race. I'm also glad that you and your friend had such a great time together. You need some downtime!!

Tara said...

Jill-You did an awesome job girl! I'm so proud of you. Well, except for the 30,000 calories that you consumed. Or maybe I am proud of you, hope it was all sugar.

I'm so glad that you had a great time with your friend in Atlanta. We all need some downtime every now and then.

I think you are an awesome chica and your attitude rocks.

RunnuRMark said...

I think that's pretty awesome coming off that bout of lung funk. Time to look forward to some lovely spring running now!

Tricia said...

great job!

Tara said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you, thank you to your alma mater for kicking KU's ASS! I am now a total fan!!!

Reyna said...

love your blog-followed.

Reyna

http://www.reynalay.blogspot.com/
check mine out... maybe follow? =D

HappyTrails said...

I am having a hard time keeping up with all the blog activity, too!!! Yikes. Hey, considering the rough patch you have been going through, training-wise, I think you did fantastic! I think you could potentially surprise yourself at Boston with four weeks to still get some decent training in. Keep your chin up and keep going! BTW, what in the world does GREEN grass look like??? And flowers, what are they???!!!
Kathleen :-)

Irene said...

You seem really at peace with everything. What ever the outcome, Boston is still quite the event, and just going into it with an open mind is bound to bring you good surprises. ;)

Jenn said...

Jill Jill Jill. Great race report. 1:46 is awesome especially considering your circumstances. "I have come to peace with the fact my 3:51 2009 Boston finish time will be faster than this year’s." I'm glad you're at peace but you are selling yourself short before you even toe the line. 1:46 puts you on pace to beat that. Be at peace if you don't, but give it a shot!! Honestly, I LOVE this blog! I'm busy and don't always comment right away but I ALWAYS read it! By the way I never knew you were 46-you are one kick ass 46 year old! 13th out of 542 in your division- Pretty ******' awesome!!!!

Jim said...

Thinking of you today as UNI approaches tip-off time! I'm sure you're proud as a peacock, and as an Iowan I'm pretty darn excited myself!

Enjoyed your Atlanta write-up, noting some parallels with my ordeal in Birmingham at the same time. Wishing you the best during the last three weeks before Boston!

Jennifer said...

Great race Jill, you rock! Take a break, a short one, Boston is just around the corner!

Jamoosh said...

Great run...and no walkers to deal with. My wife and I ran Disney as our first half many years back and did not have a time to submit so we were placed in a corral behind walkers. WTF? Luckily we were not running for time because we never got up to our usual pace.

Good job on the run. I know time is important, but you did well.

Megan said...

I'm glad you had a great weekend. It was a fun race.