Monday, May 6, 2013

Carlsbad Half Marathon

I have been terrible at blogging lately. Mostly because I have been wedding planning (which I am not much better at). But then between running, coaching, working, planning I am just to tired to want to blog. But there are so many events that I want to share- so I am going to try and get back to it. I am going all the way back to the end of January and the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

I have run in the Carlsbad half the previous two years always raising funds for Insulindependence.  This year Brennan and I convinced my sister Brooke that she should also run. It would help her have something to focus on and she could also help raise some money. Brooke started off great training with the PEAR Pro, but within a few weeks into her new job life go in the way of training. Going into this half I was determined to stick to my training plan I wanted so badly to beat my previous best time.

My training went surprisingly well. I managed to stay away from any major injuries.  Only missing a few training sessions. Brooke on the other hand seemed to miss most of them. But our fundraising was going well. Over the course of a few months Brooke and I managed to raise over a thousand dollars together to help the organization.

Once race weekend was upon us the weather was not that great- cold and rainy. Brooke and Sean stayed over the night before the race since we would be heading out early. With the rain we decided to leave Sean at the apartment. Where he claims I left him with nothing to eat! Turns out Sean does not eat healthy stuff : ).  Brennan would leave before us Sunday morning so he could get to the aid station at mile 2 (where all the volunteers where from Insulindependence).  This meant that Brooke and I were on our own.  There is a reason Brennan and I never race together- it is so that someone is totally focused and there to help the individual racing. With this set up that was not going to be the case.

Brooke and I left with plenty of time to spare. Once we were parked our nerves started to get the best of us- so we got in the bathroom line. Woman seriously take forever! After that we headed to the Insulindependence tent where we would meet up with the other 50+ runners who had raised money as well. We got a group picture. Then we were off to get into the starting area.

All the IN racers
At this point Brooke was really starting to freak out. This is when you look back and think why did I miss those training days. I honestly was thinking the same thing. Her plan was to run 5 minutes walk 1 minute. With a goal to just finish the race. I had a plan to run faster than ever before. As we waited for the race to start I became more and more nervous. Then it was time to go- I told Brooke go get it and see you at the finish. I was OFF!!

Brooke all smiles at aid station #1 ( 2miles in)
My goal was to not go out hard with all the others. I had a plan and was going to stick to it. I had been using heart rate based training and pace over the last few months. But again when race day comes all of a sudden none of that matters. Within a few minutes into the race my heart rate was sky high as in the 190's. But I felt good.  At the first aid station I saw my amazing fiance Brennan taking some pictures. I guess I do not stand out in a crowd cause he almost totally missed me had I not yelled at him.  I loved seeing him but sad cause it was so early in the race.

Again I was just focused on my plan. Quickly it started to hurt (like any racing). But I just kept going. At the turn around I was looking and looking for Brooke but with thousands of people and no idea what pace she was holding it was worthless. With about 3 miles to go I was really hurting. My heart rate had been up in the 190's for the majority of the race. At this point my legs were heavy and my chest was on fire. When I saw Brennan at 2 miles all I could say was it hurts! He yelled a few positive things and I just kept trucking away. The last mile seemed to drag on and on. When I turned the corner for the finish line I had hardly anything in the tank to speed up. I just wanted to get across so that I could walk. 

This is what 195 average heart rate makes you look like
This is what Brooke looked like.. All Smiles!
I finished with a personal best time. It was not the time I was hoping for but better than ever before. Plus I was not injured. I managed to make my way through the crowd to get back to my stuff. I did a bit of stretching and then was trying to decide if I could get to the aid station in time to see Brooke. I called Brennan and he had not seen her yet. I decided not to risk it and to just go stand at the finish. Brennan gave me a heads up when she was at the aid station- he said she was still smiling. Which I thought was a good sign. You can see this video of Brooke finishing her 1st ever half marathon.

I cannot explain how proud I am of Brooke. Not sure if she will ever do another one. But once I got to her all she could say was "I didn't walk, NOT one time." I was not surprised Brooke has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I know.  Plus she is competitive! She beat her goal time even!

Slowly the soreness made its way for Brooke. By the time we got to the car she could barely walk. I think the next three days she was in extreme pain but she had run her first half marathon! So way to go Brooke. I could not be more proud of you!!!
With our finisher medals!