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Women Rock MN Race Recap

on September 3, 2012

I have not really been sure how to even start this race recap as I had so many emotions.  I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.

Those of you who follow me know I’ve been struggling with a hip injury since June.  I was registered since March for the full marathon, and then had to back off to the half because of the injury.  You also know that I’ve been struggling with my runs this summer in preparation for the half because of hip pain, then no hip pain, then hip pain….you get the idea.  I was still determined to complete this half in spite of all the troubles I’ve been having.

I was extremely nervous for this half because of all the trouble.  In fact, I missed my most important run, the 10 mile run, because of hip pain and the heat.  This was to take place the weekend before the run and since I didn’t get it in, the longest run in training was only 8.  I was going into the weekend feeling not as prepared as I would have liked.

Not only was I nervous about how my hip would hold up, I didn’t feel well.  I had stomach issues on Thursday and Friday before the race.  In fact, I had quite a bit of trouble Friday night…the night before the race.  I didn’t sleep very well because of that and because of the anxiety over my hip.  I’m sure I started off the race dehydrated from my stomach issues.    **One note—the Expo was great and I bought lots of fun stuff!**

Alas, the day of the race came.  My plan was simple…run slow and steady.  Walk when I need to.  I didn’t care about my time.  The time limit was 3 hours and I could have cared less if I came in at 2:59:59.  I was going to get in the 12 minute mile group and just stay there.

I had no breakfast, except a TAB pop, before the race.  The shuttle dropped us off a little way from the starting area so it was nice to get in a little walk before.  I did about 10 minutes of easy stretches.  I got in the 11:27 which was a 2 hour and 30 minute finish time  group thinking that I would start out with them and then see how I feel.  If it was going well, I planned to stay with them and if I didn’t feel well, I would slow down and go with the 12:00 group.    I had Gu Chomps in my pack and I ate those slowly starting about mile 3.  The pace felt good and to my happiness…no hip pain!

Even though my hip was feeling really good at this point, I was very tired.  I knew it was because I was dehydrated.  Our group slowed down at the water stations and I hydrated really well.  After mile 4, so two water stops in, I started to feel much better.  There was still no hip pain at this point.

Soon it was mile 5 and I started to feel really good.  I did not leave my pace group though.  From mile 5 to mile 10 seemed to fly by.  Typically for me, I have a lot of trouble between miles 11 and 12, so I was anticipating that.  But, that didn’t happen this time.  I felt unbelievably good!  We slowed down at the water station at mile 9 and I couldn’t help but get ahead of my group.  I wasn’t trying to go faster, but the running just felt good and I went my own pace.  Still I was ready to feel that toughness at mile 11 and it never came.  Our pace leader, Ruth, suddenly started passing me at mile 12 and she was GONE!  I wondered if she had slowed down and then was in jeopardy of not making the 2:30 finish time.  I was going to keep up with her, but then decided that since I was feeling so good and going my own pace, that I would just stick to that and do my own thing….so the pace that felt good to me.  Keep it smart and steady at this point, especially with just one mile to go.

I could hear the finish line crowd, which is always exciting and I was so happy to see the finish line.  I actually sped up my pace coming into the finishing chute and was smiling ear to ear.  I saw my cousin Maureen at the finish line right away.  I was tearing up because I had ZERO HIP PAIN THE ENTIRE RACE.  Not even one little twitch.  Here is Maureen and me at the finish line.

My chip time….2:29:35.   That is a huge victory for me considering my hip injury.  I teared up because I thought about how far I came this summer despite my injury and I finished.  I not only finished, I finished faster than I had planned, I didn’t have any trouble, and I felt so good at the finish.  I felt very strong even though I had missed some runs, including the big 10.  Wow…what a relief and such a great feeling!

I walked on and found two other cousins, Kean and Jeremy, and they walked with me to the post-race party where I got my glass of champagne.

I am very happy with my race.  My hip was very sore Saturday night, but it isn’t now at all.  I do have regular, expected soreness in my quads, but that’s it.  It was a super event and now I’m ready for a little rest!  It’s funny…this was my 4th half marathon.  Right now, and certainly at the finish, it feels the best of all of my races…even the marathon.  I would never have thought that anything could top the marathon, and that still holds a very dear spot in my heart and always will.  But hanging in there on this race, sticking to my plan and running a smart race AND being smart and going down to the half, getting though all the troubles physically, mentally, and emotionally all makes for a truly meaningful finish…more so than the others.


5 responses to “Women Rock MN Race Recap

  1. Running Unplugged says:

    I’m so excited for you! Being able to run the whole race pain free must have been so rewarding! What a wonderful race story!

  2. Maureen says:

    Jess I am so happy for you! I told you all along you are in good enough condition to do these races without having to do the “scripted training” You just had to believe in yourself! I was so proud of you for doing the race when you had so many concerns. I was so excited to see you at the finish line! Love ya

    • runnergal22 says:

      Thank you Maureen! I know you said that and I was so nervous about trusting myself. But you were so right. I was so happy to see you standing at the finish line as I approached. And it was fun to see Megan on the course and then to see Jeremy and Kean after. The whole event was just super! Thanks so much for all your support! Love you too!

  3. Congrats on an excellent race!

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