As a distance runner, you spend spend months preparing for one key race. You can put in the training, prepare yourself mentally and do everything right to get ready for peak performance on race day. However, there are always factors beyond your control that can interfere with achieving your goals.
When this happens, the only thing you can do is run to the best of your ability on that day and remind yourself there will be other races in the future to meet your goals. And that's exactly what I did during Sunday's hot and humid Rockford Half Marathon.
Getting it done
I wasn't too far off goal pace at the six mile mark with a split of 48:07. During normal race conditions, I'd be confident I could make up the time loss later in the race. But during this one, things began to fall apart. I ended up getting one of those pesky side cramps and had to slow down. When it finally went away, my legs just wouldn't get going again. Fatigue had set in and instead of focusing on getting back on pace, I started focusing on running just to finish the race! I walked through all the remaining water stops and didn't start my finishing kick until about a quarter mile out.
Adding my newest medal to the collection
The one thing I am proud about is that I did meet my goal of leaving everything I have on the course. I know I raced my hardest and couldn't have gone any faster on that day. When I crossed the finish line, I was completely spent, which is exactly what I was aiming for.
Happy to finally reach the finish line
While I'm disappointed I wasn't able to meet my goal time, I'm confident I will meet it later this year. Up next, I'm doing Race for the Bacon, a new 5k race at State Fair Park. After that, it's the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon. Originally, I was planning to take it easy and just enjoy the Rock n Roll experience but now, I'm set on racing it.
I won't stop this year until I get what I want :)
Tell me: Did anyone else race over the weekend? If so, what was your experience? Anyone else have to beat the heat?