Sunday, October 05, 2008

Knitting at the finish line

Well, not exactly at the finish line. But it's my reward for CROSSING the finish line. See what I get to work on now? A new yarn. Will be online tomorrow. Can't even tell you what it is.
Today was the half marathon I've been training for since 12 weeks ago. I think I trained about as much as I did for last year's, which means I followed Hal Higdon's 1/2 Marathon training program. I may not have followed it to a "T" but I sort of followed it. And by "sort of" I mean that I ran 3-4 times a week when I was supposed to run 4-5 times a week. I kind of neglected anything on the training schedule that said "cross-training", and as usual, I was pretty bad about the post run stretching. But miraculously I escaped any major injuries and was able to pull out 2 ten mile runs in the two weeks leading up to today's 13.1 mile race. So not bad for someone who just didn't have any more time to dedicate to this "training program."

Don't get me wrong. I WISH I could have followed the program to a "T". I would be in better shape today, and I would have finished the race faster too. But it would have meant less time with my husband and kids, and more time away from my job, neither of which I am willing to sacrifice. It's hard to work full time, pick up the kids, help with homework, make dinner, clean up, spend a bit of quality time with the family, and get a run in each day. Some people do manage it, and more power to them. I just couldn't do any more than I did. I achieved my goal, by balancing things the best I could.

So, the race is over and how did I do? I'm happy with the results. After being literally sick to my stomach since Wednesday of this week (pre race jitters) and having insomnia most of last night (again, more jitters) I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly good. I was more nervous about what to wear (not as in being fashionable - I'm not that shallow! more about shorts? long pants? short sleeves? long sleeves? tank? etc...) because the weather was supposed to be 49 and cloudy and up here in Vermont, that can be pretty cold. At the last minute I opted for shorts and a t-shirt, and gloves, and my friend Paula and I headed out at the start with big smiles in anticipation of a fun run.
Just after the two mile mark, we came across a massively huge cheering section... just for us!
Okay, well, our fans were sort of few and far between, but Helen, Sophie and Marc cheered, held signs, and caught the gloves that I no longer needed. The cheering was over in a split second... but it was a memory and it got us through when the going got tough!
Here's the glove toss in action:I felt great during most of the race - perfect temperature, good energy, a few minor aches and pains, but nothing major. I had enough left in me to power through the last mile - here are those awesome fans again - Helen giving me a high five, and Sophie, who I've just passed, in the background. They were with Marc, and my mom and dad were over by the finish line.
I finished just 49 seconds slower than last year. 2:18:52 this year... 2:18:03 last year.
I may not be a speedy runner, but I'm perfectly happy being consistent. And if you drop those seconds... it's still 2:18! Who cares about the seconds anyway? They're like pennies.

Here's the cool visual from Google Earth of my actual run. Love those GPS watches!
Now, however, I am dead. I am again feeling sick to my stomach. Was it the dried up round thing they called a bagel at the end of the race? Or just the fact that my body is feeling abused? I have a few developing blisters on my feet, the veins in my ankles and feet are still pumping hard from all the abuse they received today, and my back hurts from lack of proper stretching post race and getting chilled too quickly. But you know what? I am thankful because I have just about enough energy to do one thing.


It doesn't take much folks. Sit in a comfy chair, put up your feet (sounds good to me!), throw on a little music or mindless television, and get those needles clacking.
One more thing... hope that your husband and children will wait on you for at LEAST the rest of the day. It's not really asking THAT much, is it?


choo choo knits said...

WAY TO GO JILL!!! All my memories of race days came flooding back with your wonderful write-up. You did an awesome job for someone who has 2 full-time jobs (work and mom-hood!). Congrats!

(* now let's see that new yarn - yummy *)

Lynda said...

Good job! Now rest those feet.

Hey, isn't that your fish hooked rug from the shop?