15 February 2009

Surfside Beach Half Marathon

To sum it up, this race was no fun. Not even a little. I had psyched myself up for a breezy, sunny, fun run along the coast and what I got was wind, humidity, rain and fog. The trip as a whole, however, was a blast... I have been training with 2 of my good friends (Tannie and Esther) and we had such a great time doing this together.

We lined up behind the "line" (drawn in the sand) at 5 to 8, participated in the national anthem (accompanied by a bugle), had a prayer, and waited for the horn. I took off at a fast pace, energized by my tunes and the comraderie I felt by sthe friends running alongside me (Tannie, Esther, Shelah, Amy and Lyn).

The first 2-3 miles were fine. Then we turned around into some pretty fierce wind and it stayed that way until mile 9. That was the most difficult part of the race, and the middle 5 miles or so are usually my strongest. I couldn't shake the negative talk, or stop thinking how much I hated running. Lol. We'd decided our mantra for this race would be "Keep calm and carry on!" and instead I thought it might have been nice to have someone screaming "Stop wimping out!" in my ear. I was feeling pretty discouraged.

It was so dead out there - not a lick of sunshine - and you weren't really passing anything, so very few benchmarks that I could use to get myself just a little further like I normally do. Not a lot of random people out there cheering you on... except for Tannie's brother Alex and his girlfriend Rachel, who took pictures and ran alongside me every few miles.:) Thanks, guys. I ended up using the water stations to walk a few steps, and reset my attitude. The walking didn't really help (and added to my time of course) and in the end I wished I hadn't stopped. I usually don't. But at the time, it was that or quit.

The turn around at mile 9 was a big relief. I was super happy to let that wind help me along from behind. And it suddenly died. LOL! I was a little disheartened by that, but happy that I didn't have to fight anymore, and I could just run. And the last 4 miles were pretty easy, and went by quickly!

I crossed the line at about 2:36. 5 minutes slower than San Antonio, but with the elements working against me, I think I'd have been hardpressed to make my goal time of 2:10. I'd have been really happy with 2:20 and think that was doable. So I am disappointed to say the least. After crossing the finish line I ran into the tent to get out of the rain, and it was packed with runners. There was nowhere to stretch, or walk it off, and I was both sweaty and wet from the rain. Ugh. I finally found a chair and just sat for a bit and cleared my head.

Everyone received a ticket for a free Maui Wowie smoothie. But the booth was out in the rain and I was afraid that if I didn't get dry I would be freezing for the rest of the day (I am always cold after I run, but moreso if I stay in wet clothes for every long). Still, I wanted that smoothie so bad... and I wanted to take one back to Tannie (who wasn't feeling well and left right away), and within minutes of getting in line the rain slowed and Rachel provided me with a dry windbreaker.

Esther and I went back in the now less crowded tent and got some good old Texas BBQ and sat and ate and basqued in our accomplishment. Then we noticed a small stretch station in the back of the tent and got in line for that. Felt so good. We picked out some seashells for our kids on our way back to the car, and headed out. The rest of the afternoon we lazed around Alex's apartment and stretched and talked. We indulged in IHOP for dinner and headed back to Austin around 6.

As difficult as the race was, and as many times as I thought to myself "I am never doing this again!", I am planning for my next race, probably a 10K (which I've never run, in fact I haven't even done a 5 K). Races are like having babies - it's painful, but the joy far outweighs the pain, enough that you almost forget how hard it is. I guess I am just determined to keep on keeping on. And my training over the next 4-5 months will mainly consist of hill work, because I am running the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in Utah in June and my first leg is 3 miles straight up a mountain. Yeah, wish me luck with that.

It is interesting how much I have learned about myself from running... that I can do anything I put my mind to (a theory I've tested before but somehow running just really seals it for me). And that having a fit mind is just as important as having a fit body. I am going to work on the positive self talk so I can push harder in less than ideal circumstances.

16 comments:

Shelah said...

you did a great job, Lei. You were smiling when I saw you-- no one would know that you were struggling inside.

I also did some beachcombing-- I spotted some blue seaglass in the sand as we ran by, and actually turned around to go back for it.

Anne said...

way to go!!

Heather and Elliott said...

you are SO impressive. hopefully someday i'll figure how to fit running into my routine again! AMAZING JOB!

Amy said...

You did great!! I don't think I'll ever be that fast. And the line for a smoothie was so long I didn't even try. I just wanted to be in the tent and be dry.

Yvonne said...

That is fantastic. I am so impressed.

Great job. Congratulations.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Congrats! And way to battle the elements ... I am impressed! I should try running again ... it might be good for my character building ;) !!

Adela c/s said...

Well, I really DO hate running but you inspire me and I think of you sometimes when I am running! Congrat's! You rock!

Erin said...

thats so great, way to go. i'm hill training too!

Scribbit said...

LOL--Maui Wowie?? Isn't that a nickname for a Hawaii strain of pot?

Just wondering :)

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

Yay for you for pushing through all of that and finishing! I'm sure it felt wonderful to cross that line!
Way to go. :)

EmLouisa said...

I'm sorry it was so tough!!! I do have to say though, when I heard you guys were doing Surfside I thought about joining you for a teensy bit. Now I'm glad I didn't. LOL!!!!

Still though, you rock. I'm proud of you. And you are going to ROCK the WB!!!!

txmommy said...

wow! awesome!!!


hey, I have a question for you. My fam is going to be passing through Austin and we will have about 3 -4 hours to 'see something' what would you recommend? We'll have the three little kids with us 4,6,9 and want to do something very kid friendly.

Melzie said...

It's been a LONG time since I've been here- so much going on. But I wanted to tell you that you've got me running. A post way back got me on the idea, and I have my first 10K in May.

:)

I'll be back, and catch up some more- but this is part of my reason for being happy- you're above post got to me... I've been in such a funk for the last few months....

JLKC said...

Way to go - YOU ROCK! Just finished the Ragnar Relay DEL SOL this past weekend so fun! Good luck with Wasatch with your hill training you will be fine! :D Keep it up!

JLKC said...

Endurance running is more of a mental game than anything. Yes there is the physical preparation but finishing goes beyond the physical ability and taps into your mental strength - You are strong because you finished! You won the mental battle and conquered the feeling to quit! You are an inspiration to all!

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