You know when you see those disclaimers that say “professional stunt actor, do not attempt this at home”, well this blog should read “complete dumb assery do not attempt this yourself”.
I had signed up for Birch Bay Half back in October and had been working on a great training schedule with Kendall and Molly so that we could all PB this race hopefully at 2:15… And then I had my surgery, and I got sick, and I started teaching learn to run… So my training went literally down the shitter. We had cold weather, I didn’t want to run, the usual winter blah’s set in. But I didn’t pull out of the race.
I knew there was no way in hell I was going to PB. Are you kidding??? I had maybe ran 12k twice since November. But I also knew there was no cutoff time for this race and realistically I could finish. So I set a goal of 2:40 for finishing. Realistic absolutely. I still managed to maintain a lot of memory with my legs and distance and I knew I would be alive at the end.
I had talked last Monday before going to Imagine Dragons with a group of friends with Nikki, and told her I was worried. Her suggestion was to drop my intervals and run 7 and 1. Would be easier on my body, and give me more walk breaks and allow for an easier run. It was the best suggestion ever as it made me feel less pressure.
Saturday night, I got my race gear together
I picked Molly up Sunday, we headed to Kendall’s and away we went. The race was in Birch Bay State Park so middle of nowhere. It was cold and windy, but I thankfully didn’t wear my yellow vest or long pants. I ran into a bunch of friends, got to quickly hug Melissa, Shae and Candice who were running the full (and HUGE props to Candypants for winning the full!!! Mad love to that girl she is so amazing)
I wish I could describe the scenery, because what I remember it was rather pretty. I do remember keeping Molly and Kendall in my line of sight for quite a while, and I remember noticing how damned amazing Kendall’s calves looked. Hey, I give credit where it is due.
I remember running and having my friend Gary come up beside me and chatting with him for a bit. I remember the god damned head wind that I am sure went on for a billion miles, but in reality it was maybe a mile. It was brutal and cold and a hard struggle to battle against.
And I remember the hill. Oh dear god that hill. Who designs a course with a mile long hill MID race??? And it was a mile. Momma and Poppa Kendall came out to be the amazing cheering squad, and I got the hugest hug right before attempting the hill. It was so needed and it’s one of my favorite things about having them as a cheering squad. Oh and the airhorn!!
I didn’t realize how close I was still to Kendall and Molly, meeting them coming down just past the turn around at the top. It made me wonder what the hell I was doing because I should not have been that close to them.
And then, then I struggled. I rocked it down the hill, hit a bit more headwind and the rest of the course was petty I much flat. I had to take a bit longer walk breaks at some points, and made sure to properly fuel at 7k and 14k so my body wasn’t lagging. I drank a ton of water and just kept plugging along.
My last 3 miles were a struggle. Mentally and physically. My legs were tired. They didn’t want to work. I kept saying to myself just one foot in front of the other. My music was playing but I don’t even know what songs were on. I came across Momma Kendall who told me I was 2:30 behind the girls, and doing fantastic. I got a hug from her again and kept trucking.
My legs did not want to work. Lifting them up was a struggle. Left foot, right foot, my thighs were burning, my calves were aching, I had a blister on my heel and I was trying so hard to keep moving. People beside me were struggling. I kept looking at my watch to see how far I had left. “Only 2 laps around my complex and I am done, I can do this.” I kept talking to myself in my head, giving myself the pep talk and trying to not collapse. And then I saw Suzanne’s car, and I knew I was close to the finish. I was almost done, I was almost finished. Oh thank god I can see people and the blue mat!!
I got a high 5 from Gary near the finish line, and could hear the screams and encouragement from Kendall, Molly and Humphrey at the finish. I gave it the last bit I had, crossed strong and then thought I was going to collapse.
I had no clue my time, and I don’t remember who was saying the clock had read 2:30… WHAT??? I was in shock, there was no way in hell I was that quick. I mean that’s 3 minutes off my PB WITH NO TRAINING!!!!
My garmin time was 2:30:23. Gun time for the race was 2:30:31 and official chip time was 2:30:15. Am I happy?? Unbelievably so. I crossed, I finished, and I didn’t stress over my time during the whole run. I listened to my body and ran my race. I walked when I needed to, even when it wasn’t time to walk. I knew there would be no records set for me, but I had no clue I would accomplish what I did.
I do not in any way shape or form recommend for anyone to do what I did. I firmly believe that you need to train and be prepared for any race, especially a half. You need to put in the time and make sure you are mentally and physically ready. If I didn’t have the support from my family and friends I would have struggled more. But I completed it in an amazing time and today I am sore in my hips and abs, but happy.
And of course, photos!!