Erin and I drove the 45 minutes to La Porte, Texas. Its where a lot of the refineries are - so we joked about how we were going to be inhaling all this grimy air and it would be a horrible race. We always do that - we always joke about how the race can go horribly wrong. We made it to the race parking area and my nerves hit - I started to get antsy.. I felt really good, I felt strong..
I ran a mile warm up while Erin stretched her yogi body.
|Turning It On!!!!|
Erin and I have this unspoken routine. We always start out slow together and when I gradually start to speed up, she will just motion me to push it. So I do. I always wait for her at the finish and scream like a crazy lady when she crosses the finish line.. She doesn't need encouragement - shes a brilliant runner - I just like to give her that extra "You did it"...
The gun went off and we started our slow trot. I immediately realized it was freaking hot and humid outside. I started to sweat like crazy around 1.5mi. Erin looked at me and asked if I wanted to slow down.. I gave her a "why would we" look and kept going. Later she would tell me my face was beet red during the first few miles. Really strange....
Miles 1-4 were pretty routine, finding our stride, weaving out of the walkers... We hit this stretch of road, which guided us up onto the highway.. As we ran up the ramp, the bridge became visible.... I immediately turned to Erin and gave her a "WTF face".. She returned the glance. This bridge we were supposed to run over was crazy steep. I had always thought the La Port Fred Hartman Bridge was long with slight incline. No ma'am. This bridge was straight up and over.
It was really hot outside....
|Erin and I right before the bridge|
She started, she was trucking up that dang bridge.. I just kept my pace and watched her gain concrete between us. I knew she would be exhausted at the top - so I kept my pace. I was right, she got to the top and was wiped out, and I ran right up beside her and told her it was downhill time. She started to slow down, so I just ran at my pace, knowing she'd catch up. At the base of the bridge we were side by side again.
The turn around was the most mentally challenging part of this race. It was FREAKING hot (84F) and we were wiped out from the first run up and over, now we had to run a mile loop and come back the way we came. I just stared at the ground, I was miserable. I just don't handle heat well, at all. My body starts to just shut down.
We turned and headed back to the bridge. F-this bridge. I was over this run. Up the hill.
|Crossing the Finish Line.. Angry Face|
|More Angry Face Post Finish Line|
I love that runners have a switch, a turn it on switch. No matter how hard or how daunting the run seems, if you are going to PR or win.... You TURN IT ON.
I started to gain some serious speed and Erin dropped back. I turned around to look at her and she knew I was going for it. I had previously told her my goal to PR at one of the upcoming 13.1s I have scheduled. I lit up the pavement. I ran as fast and as hard as my lungs and legs would take me.
What I absolutely love about running... Finding that perfect stride. Where you go from super hard labored, trying to dig deep.. To your body just clicking and you are running so fast, so effortlessly. This happened to me around mile 10. I began to pass people.. I felt so good, so strong... I actually passed someone who was being treated by the EMTs - I guess from the heat - I said a little prayer as I ran past him.
I turned the last corner. I could see the big blue Finish Area. This was it, my body flipped into over drive and I pushed myself - to where I could feel my arms and fingers tingling (normally I vomit when this happens).. I could see the clock...... It was not going to be a PR. One minute too late.
|Placing in AG. No PR.|
|Erin's 1st Half Marathon!! Go EP|
Then... Erin SHRIEKED... "KELLI, YOU PLACED IN YOUR AGE GROUP".......
Holy smokes.. I guess there is an advantage to running smaller races.... I was on the finisher board..
I couldn't have been more happy. :) GO ME.
What I'm Weaing:
- Oiselle Distance Shorts
- Nike Singlet Top
- Pro Compression Socks - Argyle
- Saucony Kinvara3