Puttin on the Brakes When All You Want to Do is Press the Gas!

Yesterday, I ran the NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon.   So there will be lots to talk about:)   With my goal race only two weeks away, I was asked (instructed) by my coach NOT to race this one and to once again keep my eye on the prize.   Now I know that the last time she asked me to do this, I really didn’t listen as carefully as I should have.   That being said, I knew that this time it was more important.   Again with the Marine Corps Marathon just around the corner.   I was given a goal pace of 10:30 to 10:50.    I will honestly admit that ahead of time, I was tempted to race it as I was told that it was a great race to PR on with only two sizable hills at mile 9 and 12.    Then I thought about it some more and realized that it wouldn’t be worth ruining the marathon for this race especially with my Plantar Fasciitis starting to rear it’s ugly head again.  Just not worth it.

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So I tow the line with my fellow MRTT Mama’s telling them my plan of being slow and steady.   I will be honest, it is much harder to go slow and steady mentally than you realize especially with what seems like everyone people passing you by.    Luckily for me, Teri, had plans to run and additional 7 that day for her long run of 20.  She knew that she should keep the pace slower and I was more than willing to help her help me.    I will say that the start of the race was a little odd as they were starting corrals every 2 minutes to spread out the participants as there were more than 8000 of us.   So in the beginning it was like being stuck in traffic.   Stop and Go.  Stop and go until finally we got to go.    As with every race the adrenaline at the beginning makes you want to just take off especially when you have been standing around for a waiting.    It is hard pulling back when you know you can go faster and the feeling of everyone passing you left and right just sucks.

Teri and I moved along at what felt like a nice conversational pace which was good because we chatted away.    Again there is nothing that makes the miles go faster than chatting with a friend.    She was even surprised that she didn’t miss her music as she normal listens while running.     I go back and forth on the music during a race.   There really is something about listening to the race – the sounds of the footsteps, the people around you, and all the other sounds you hear during a race.     It was good for me that she was there because of her I payed attention to the pace as I know she is fast.   There were a few times I had to say, “sweetie, were going to fast.   I’m going to slow down, but you can go if you want.”    We decided that around mile 9, she would push herself at the end a little harder.    This worked out good because this was the same point of the first big hill.   Since I wasn’t racing, I stopped for a picture which another runner offered to take for me.  She took the first one and then asked for a power pose!

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There is something to be not chasing time at an event, because you do get to see things that you might otherwise miss.

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I know if I was chasing a PR, I would have missed these.   Not saying that in future races, I won’t be chasing the time but it is nice every now and then just to enjoy the moment.

Once Teri and I split, I continued on my journey of putting on the breaks and keeping a steady pace.   I was very happy that I was able to be consistent.  That being said, once I hit mile 13, I raced to the finish line.   I think every race requires a dash to the finish line which was over home plate.

I will also add that my coach was pleased with me not pushing it this race and holding back for when I will need it in two weeks.   I will also add that even with my steady pace, at the end I was the one passing people and not the other way around.

Then the after race picture!

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Not sure if we would have been smiling as much before we embarked on our more than 2 hour stuck in traffic on the way home trip.   Although, I think we still might have been as we had some great conversation in the car.

More on this race tomorrow.

What do you do when your stuck in traffic?

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