Monday, March 9, 2015

Tuscaloosa Half Marathon: "PR" does NOT stand for "PRETTY ROTTEN"

2015 Tuscaloosa Half Marathon
Official Time 2:02:01
     Last Saturday was a pretty big day for me as I ran the 2015 Tuscaloosa Half Marathon in Tuscaloosa, Al. Tuscaloosa is home of my Crimson Tide Football and aside from Orlando, Florida, it's pretty much my favorite place on Earth. And oh yeah, I set a PR.

     I'm a HUGE Alabama Football fan so this race was a NO BRAINER for me. I ran it a couple of years ago and I gotta be honest, I was SO disappointed in the Inaugural medal and the course. Don't get me wrong, I didn't complain about the race at the time. I'm always happy to get out there and make the most of any experience so I definitely still "liked" the race but it just needed a little work.

     The Inaugural medal was a medal with a pic of a running shoe and Indian Feather?! I get it. There IS Indian history with "Tuscaloosa". But come on, I wanted my Crimson Tide represented!!!  The course. We didn't even come close to the stadium...I stopped by there on my way home to grab a pic with my medal. Boo.
The one and only pic that I took during the race.
Stadium Selfie. <3

     Since the Inaugural year, there have been BIG changes to this race! And changes that are for the better for sure. First, the course. We ran through the campus! Right past Bryant-Denney Stadium....I was a happy girl!  The medal....OMG. It's freaking BEAUTIFUL. It has Houndstooth. It has a Crimson Elephant. The lanyard was Crimson. Two Words: ROLL TIDE.
The Bling!!!!
     I started the race with my running buddies....these guys are the guys that I've been running with for years. I can honesty say that I think I have the best group of running friends out there!! Talk about keeping you knocked down a notch....these guys are fast. I try to keep up but most days I just can't. However, it's good that I can't because they push me and I need that.
Running with the #CoolChicksOldGuys
Me, Richard, Scott and Charlie!
     Although, we all started out together, I ended up running this race with my friend, Scott. We ran the Inaugural race together and I PR'd then. I had it in my mind that I was going to try to do it again this year. Im feeling strong right now. I've been working out like a beast and I felt like my endurance level is just there. I knew I had it in me. He could have ran alot faster than my PR but he stuck with me and pushed me to the end.

     Here's what went down:
     We started the race. 28 degrees. Okay that's a little bit chilly. It was going to warm up pretty quick so we made the decision to shed off all of our layers. Yiiiiiiiikes. The first couple of miles were just not fun. I couldn't feel my digits. He ran with his hands in his pants pockets. Somebody remind me why we do this to our bodies??

     By mile four or so, I started warming up and thawing out pretty good. But hey, I forgot to mention that there will some pretty big HILLS on those first few miles. Holy Tuscaloosa!!

     By mile 6, he asked me how I was doing. I really felt great. Keep going!!

     I had pace and distance on my watch set but I didn't want to look at the time.  The mile markers didn't have the time on them either so I was glad for that. I couldnt' handle the defeat until the end. I wanted to have a good race. He was tracking our time.

     Mile 7,8,9....uneventful. Keep running.

     Mile 10. I fell apart. NOOOOOOOO. Oh yes I did. I got to the point where I was wheezing. CRAP. I was mad. I kept telling him to go on. He kept saying No. He would hang with me. I was slowing down and I knew it. Bottom line. I'm stubborn as all get out and I don't want to admit that sometimes I just need my inhaler. I'm going to have to start running with it and I can't get that into my head.

     The same thing happened to me after Mercedes, Talladega and during Tower of Terror 10 Miler. I need to NOT be a crazy person and take care of myself. In my mind, I'm invincible and things like this aren't supposed to happen to me. UGH.  Just BREATHE already.

     Mile 11, 12, 13. I'm still just mad. Scott is telling me that I'm gonna smash my PR and I'm still mad.

     He's telling me that I'm doing great and I'm mad.

     We cross the Finish Line and I dont' even want to the see the time. I"m MAD.

I set a PR. I did great. Holy crap. I've gotten faster. My hard work is paying off.

I'm still just mad.

I'm not proud. Dangit.

My watch said 2:01:58 and my official time was 2:02:01. I beat my PR by more than 6 minutes.
My watch time.

     So all day after the race was over, I just sat and looked at that medal. Cheesy I know. But it really bothered me. No one in my house has even seen my medal yet. No one asked to see it and I didn't show it to any of them. No one asked how my race was and I didn't tell them about it.

I felt PRETTY ROTTEN all day.

I sat and I thought. And I thought. And I thought.

     Here's what I know: I care so much about having a "good" race. I love that fact that I'm fast enough to set a PR. Really I do. But I'm so in love with running that I get mad when I don't have a "good" race.

     I felt like garbage from mile 10 on and it just hurt my feelings. The rest of my day, I was a mess. Yep. I admit it. I cried like a baby. I know that is just the craziest thing on earth to admit to but it's true. I hurt my own feelings and I'm sensitive to that.

     It has taken me a few days to get over it all. In the end, I'm super proud of my PR. I don't feel "Pretty Rotten" anymore. I'm more grateful than ever to have great friends and I love my bling!!

     I'm done beating myself up about it all. And good grief, now that I know I can run so close to 2 hours, I'll have to break that two hour mark one day!! I'm not sure if Scott will put up with my whiny-ness again for another PR and I don't blame him if he didn't but I'm thankful that he stayed with me today....definitely wouldn't have PR'd without him :)

So thankful to Scott for pushing me to the end!

Happy Running and Happy PR!