Sunday I ran the Newport Liberty 1/2 marathon for the second year in a row. My experience this year was the exact opposite of last year. Last year I ran a great time, placed well & loved every moment of the race. This year I didn’t run well and I didn’t place as well and I actually hated the majority of the race. I felt drained, fatigued and like I had jumped into a swimming pool in my uniform. First, I have no clue why I continue to wear this jersey on smoldering hot and humid days when I have a perfectly nice crop top that is way cooler and more comfortable to wear in humid weather. Second, there were about 100 more women in the race this year than there were last year so getting 7th last year and 15th this year is comparable. There is no reason I can be upset about placing worse when there were more women. Third, it’s inconsiderate of me to complain about running how I ran when I know many other people would love to have ran this time. I know on a different day I would have ran better, I wish I ran better, but I could also be less fortunate than I am. *Focusing on the positive*
The humidity was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I think the humidity effected everyone. I felt horrible and I just wasn’t happy the majority of the race. Once I knew I was behind pace it was bad. I felt good through the first 5 miles and then I no longer felt good and my pace slowed down. I just can’t stand that feeling of knowing that even if I run as hard as I can I can’t catch up to where I want to be. It got bad at mile 6 when I tried to get water but I couldn’t get it in my mouth so I ended up stopping and chugging the water and then some unattached women passed me and that was the end. I couldn’t get back to them and regretted the water. It just wasn’t going in my mouth and instead of stopping to drink it I should have dropped the cup and kept going. I seriously think I would have ran faster if I didn’t drink the water. That few seconds just threw me off and at that moment I lost my focus. When I started running again my body felt more fatigued and sluggish.
I felt drained and I couldn’t get my legs to move. At one point I looked at my watch and realized I was running at a pace I usually train at and consider to be easy and it felt harder than if I was running at my mile pace. I just kept running. There wasn’t much I could do. I needed to keep running and get to the end and I knew I was so far off of my goal and even my PR pace that I had to make a new goal and get to the finish. My new goal was to run the rest of the race as efficiently as possible and to get to the end regardless of how long it took. My team needed me to finish this race so stopping was never an option or a thought. I was definitely suffering and I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with the end result but the rest of the team was suffering along with me.
When I finished in 1:31:18 I was more shocked than mad or upset. Honestly the last 5 miles felt like it took over an hour–it did not take that long. I felt like I was being pulled backwards by a rubber band–this wasn’t actually happening either. One amazing thing happened though–within the last 1200 meters I was able to speed up a little and I knew the end was near. I was so relieved to see the end but it felt like it was 3 miles away–it was probably only 300 meters. I got to the finish and that’s all that mattered. I looked like I was running faster than I actually was in this photo thanks to our wonderful photographer!
Upon finishing the race I deliriously stumbled around looking for my teammates and eventually found that I now had another horrible blister on my toe that was ripped open. I decided that this would still count as a good race because I tried as hard as I possibly could. I couldn’t have ran any faster and I did put forth a solid effort. I can’t say I didn’t try my hardest and run as fast as I could because I did. I’ve never ran a half marathon that fast in 90% humidity before so this will be known as a “Humidity PR”. There isn’t anything more I could have done. I did everything in my power to run as fast as I could and that will just have to be satisfactory for now. Next race will be better. One day everything will come together and my training will align with my races and I will see PRs again but right now that’s just not going to happen. This is how my life is meant to be right now. You can’t PR every race, you can’t feel great every race, and you have to find the little victories within a bad race. I believe I was meant to run subpar today so that I can experience a larger accomplishment later on in my life. I will work harder, train smarter, and stay confident because better races will come. I’m looking toward the future and leaving this in the past. This wasn’t my race.