The race lined up and I made sure to be in front of the 1:40 pacer knowing the first few miles of the course were easiest and I wanted to bank some time. I was on pace the first 2-3 miles but it was tough, the leg injury has made me back off both speedwork and hills for the past 2 months making a race like this nearly impossible. I kept pushing but suffering at the same time and telling myself "just stay in front of the 1:40 pacer"
I passed Mile 5 and saw O and my mom cheering me on, slightly beyond this it happened, I was passed by 1:40! Ugh, I pushed to get ahead but quickly came to a decision that this was not worth it, I was going to push to the point of injury and not only disappoint myself with how I raced but possibly prevent myself from running the marathon in a couple weeks. I also knew that just backing down wasn't enough, I am too competitive and would still try pushing myself. This is when I made the decision to kind of quit. I turned around and ran back to where O was cheering and waited for Matt. We have yet to run anything more then a 5K together so why not do it today. I think my presence shocked (and at first worried) him. He stopped and started talking, but we then took off and I now had the goal to help him get his goal of a sub 2.
Matt and I ran together and I was feeling great, the weather was perfect and I was, for the first time, running a half marathon with my husband. We got the Mile 13 with a minute to go for him to make his time. He took off along the track to push it to the end, finishing 2:00:11 (1:59:51 by his watch which paused during his stop). A great finish for an early season race and although not a PR it was a best for him on this race by 10 minutes. I held back and waited for an opening in the traffic and grabbed O who has been wanting to run a race. We crossed the finish line together. 14.5 miles in 2:00:34 and I felt great!
|Her grin made then entire race worth my decision!|
A spectator near my mom made a comment to her about how it was a bad example and wrong of me to just quit because I wasn't going to win. Maybe that is true, but I don't think of it that way. I know myself and yes I am competitive, but more important I know what needs to be done to convince myself that I can stop and take it easy. In this case I needed to do this to have the best long term outcome. This is only one race. No I did not run what I wanted, but I did what was best for me and I will never regret it.