"It's not what you do, it's how you do it."
In the past four years I've been to many of Charlene's classes and she's repeated this line several times. But today it had a lot of meaning to me...
Yesterday I ran my sixth half marathon in my personal worst (PW) time. But I had one of the best times in recent memory during a race. Because it's not about what time I accomplished in those 13.1 miles, its about the fact that I ran side-by-side Becky and finished the race hand-in-hand. We hit many obstacles along the extremely wet course, but in the end, we had a blast. Because as my spinning teacher says, "it's not what you do (in this case- it's not about my time) but it's how you do it (crossing the finish line with a close friend...)
Many of you didn't know I was running this half. Hell, I didn't even know until mid-week. I had always planned on jumping into the race with Becky to get some mileage in for training for my half-marathon next weekend. But then Becky emailed me and told me that her mom was injured and I could have her bib. So I figured why not? Our plan for the race- stay together as long as possible.
My alarm went off at 4:30am and I was out the door by 5:20 only to sit in traffic getting off the exit to the race.
I parked and made it to the porta potty line 15 minutes before the gun went off. When Becky and I met up, we tried to get as close as we could to our corral- which I believe was 7. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any closer than the 12th corral, which meant we were starting with the 2:45 half marathoners. Yep. Oh, and did I mention the rain? We stood there and joked around for twenty plus minutes before we ACTUALLY started the race. So we were pretty soaked before the race even began.
We spent the first several miles dodging other runners. Around mile 4, Becky didn't feel so hot and I remember telling her how we needed to break this race into three parts. 5 miles, 5 miles and a 5K. After we got through the first 5 miles, I pretty much knew we were way off pace to break 2 hours or do anything close. I thought about picking up the pace but that would require leaving Becky, something I definitely didn't want to do. So we soldiered on and 'had fun' in the process. I say "had fun" in quotes because obviously looking back it was fun but I'm not sure either of was having a blast at the time.
Around mile 8, Becky told me she needed an emergency bathroom break. And then followed that up with "If you leave me, I will walk right off this course." Which made me giggle since we were in the middle of a closed race and it was pouring. Becky was in and out in no time and we carried on. From mile 8 on it was my goal to make Becky enjoy the race. We jumped through puddles, we talked about crazy stuff, we made friends with other runners... we had a good time. I was constantly yelling at Becky to run next to me and she kept fighting her way even if there were swear words thrown in the mix.
We saw Becky's parents at mile 10ish and it was a great boost. At that point, we absolutely knew we were going to finish. I had told Becky from the beginning that I wanted to pick it up at Mile 10 and finish the race strong. But I knew there was no point. I wouldn't run a PR, I wouldn't have broken two hours so in my eyes I had two choices: Run ahead and finish a few minutes ahead of Becky or stay with Becky and finish together. The choice was obvious.
There we go, up the final hill to the finish line.
Shortly after this, I grabbed Becky's hand and we ran through the line together.
(Okay okay...maybe that's not really me and that's not really the finish line, but that's what Becky and I looked like!) Sorry Lauren, I told you I would have to photoshop you out : )
So there you have it. I finished my 6th Half-Marathon in my Personal Worst time. 25 minutes off my personal best time in fact. But in my opinion, it was a Personal Win because I accomplished two things- 1) running an entire race with Becky and 2) proving to myself that I CAN in fact run 13.1 miles EVEN when I'm not in the best of shape.
In the end I'm extremely happy with this race and I'm not even that sore today!
Next weekend I plan to pace Theo to a sub 2 hour finish and I'm confident we can do it. (However, after Theo's Long Run on Saturday, she may be pacing me : ) I'll always prefer running distance races with friends and I hope to have another wonderful race with Theodora in a little under a week!
Have you ever raced in torrential downpour?