Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Suzanne's Race Recap: American Parkway Half (4/30/11)
The American Parkway Half marathon was a great race. It was well organized, featured a beautiful scenic flat course (with lots of trees to provide shade) and had really good weather (sunny but not too hot). Definitely will run this again next year.
The goal for this race was to finish under 2:15 and my time was 2:13:52, so mission accomplished. As you know, I had a horrible long run last week so I wasn't sure what to expect. Of course, I had the normal nervousness and stress that accompanies any race for me. I'm never able to really get a good night's sleep before a race - since I'm constantly worried the alarm clock won't go off - so I woke up that morning thinking "why am I doing this?!"
Then during the race I'm constantly thinking "Am I crazy...13.1 miles...why do you do this to yourself...you could be sleeping....is this worth it?" Every race I have this mental running battle, questioning whether I can do this, fighting off the urge to walk/quit, wondering whether I have what it takes to finish. But in the end, I love it and this is why I run.
I run because it is hard (it's not for the weak) and it continues to challenge me everyday. For me, running never gets easy and no two runs are ever alike. One day I feel like I can run forever and the next I will struggle to get through 2 miles. Ultimately, running is a game for me - pushing me outside my comfort zone and providing me with the opportunity to compete with myself.
Running is also my "me time." Being a full-time working mom, I don't get a lot of time to myself. Running is my only "quiet time" where I can think through whatever is going on, organize what needs to be done, figure out a problem, or just space out and think of nothing. Running helps me be sane and I'm a better person for it.
My next half marathon is in 3 weeks, so this week our long run is 13 miles! That means I'm running back to back 13 milers and then 13 miles 3x in 4 weeks. I'm trying not to think about it as I don't think my brain can process that fact!
So I'm taking it relatively easy this week to give my legs some time to recover. I ran 3 miles on Monday and hoping to run 3-5 miles on Wednesday and Thursday. I will skip speed training this week.
Here are some photos from the race: