May 24th I ran Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon. It's one of my favorite races and was my goal race this spring. I had some ups and downs in the months leading up to the race, but I felt like I was on an upswing just at the right time to go for a PR. However, the morning of the race I woke up feeling very differently. I felt anxious and sad. Getting ready that morning was a struggle. I cried. More then once. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to run. I continued to get ready, got in my car with Ryan and sat there deciding what to do. Ultimately, I made the decision sitting in the parking lot of our apartment to go and run....with no pressure. I let go of the goal to PR, and instead focused on just having fun.
By the time we made our way through the lines of traffic, they had closed the road where the race started. I had to jump out of the car and quickly grab anything I could think of that I may need. I took my phone with me so I could hopefully find Ryan, but realized seconds too late that I had forgot to grab my chews. Oh well. There wasn't anything I could do about it so I made my way down to the starting area. I worked my way to the back of the crowd to find the porta-potties. Announcements and the American Anthem had started so I knew there was no way I would be able to make my way back through the crowd to start with others running my pace. So I stood and waited.
|so many people in front of me|
I got a message from Ryan saying he grabbed my chews (he's the best) and let me know where he was standing so I could get them. I was so far back in the crowd that when it was finally time for us to start running, all I could do was walk. Even if I wanted to weave my way around people, it just wasn't possible. I found Ryan, made a plan of where to meet after, grabbed my chews, and was on my way. Finally I was able to start running.
|beautiful view to start the race|
When my watch beeped after the first mile I looked down and saw a number close to 10:00. I had to laugh. Honestly, I just didn't care. I made it through another half mile or so and then decided to shut my watch off completely. The time didn't matter. It was a beautiful day and I was running around my favorite city. That was good enough for me.
Since I started so far back, I spent the entire race swerving around other runners. It was hot and I don't do well running in the heat. Since I wasn't running for time, I made sure to make my way to the side at all the water stops. Every few stops I was forced to come to a complete stop waiting for the volunteers to fill up the cups. Again, I just didn't care. While I was running, I actually felt great. I probably had more fun running a race that day then I ever have. I'm so thankful I decided to start that morning without the pressure of trying to run a PR, and for the sheer joy of running.
|high on endorphins|
After that race I took a week off to let my mind and my heart have the break it was clearly telling me I needed. Then I started easing back in with some lower mileage. The fire was being reignited and I was excited for a summer filled with shorter races and faster paces. However, I'm learning that the mind and body don't always cooperate. A week ago my hamstring started acting up. It tightened up after a hilly run on Wednesday and hasn't wanted to loosen back up. I tried to run a few times since when it started feeling better, only to make it worse again. Today is a better day, but I didn't run. I'm waving the white flag and taking the rest of the week off and I'll officially DNS my first race this weekend. It stings, but I know it's necessary. I made an appointment this weekend to see a sports massage therapist to hopefully get this straightened out. Unfortunately injuries come with the territory and there's not a whole lot else I can do beside rest, ice, stretch, and recover.
I'm very much looking forward to the day when my heart, mind, and body are once again in sync.