Tuesday, December 16, 2014

November/December race report

I, being the race addict that I am, managed to get three more half marathons in after the main racing season ended. If I had had a bit more money for travel, I could have fit in a few more. Curse my first world problems.

In November, I traveled to exotic Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Route 66 half marathon. I decided to throw in the 5k the day before the half marathon. I really don't like the 5k distance. I never actually get warmed up before the race ends. But this one went pretty well, except for the mistake I made of starting at the very back. Turns out, I don't *totally* suck at 5Ks. I spent too long weaving around people to get free to run my pace. It was definitely nice to have that as a shake out run after the time spent traveling.

The next day was the main event. My friend Geof and I had been planning on running this race together for months. And then he had to go and get Plantar Fasciitis. He was a trooper though and didn't drop from the race. So the plan for the day changed from getting a shiny new PR to just getting through. It is nice not to worry about a finish time. It gave us a chance to really enjoy the scenery. There are some really gorgeous areas in Tulsa. And hills? Forget about 'em. There were some inclines, sure. But hills? Nah.

Having fun along the course.
It was a really well done race. I was happy with the course, the organization, the medal, and the company. There was a great group of runners out there, so many Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics. The weather cooperated and Geof finished strong. I might go back for the marathon one of these days.

The medal spins. I like spinner medals. I'm easily entertained. 
The next race in November was on Thanksgiving, my annual running of the Thankful 13. Now I love this race, which is why I come back every year. But this year was really rough on me. Not because the race is tough, it's a pretty nice one. It was mentally rough. Back in the early days of my running, I didn't know any other runners, really. I'd do my thing, nobody was watching. As long as I finished under 3 hours, I was pleased. Now that I've been doing this for a few years, I know quite a few runners. And many of these runners that I know are really good at running. And many of them were at this race. And they were all planning on sticking around at the finish line until I crossed. Ouch. I didn't realize that would affect me as much as it did. It made me very self conscious and quite frankly, I was embarrassed by my (what was an average time for me) finish time. And ever since that race I've been struggling with the mental aspect.

A nice medal can take the sting out of any disappointment. 
I know that a big source of unhappiness is comparing yourself to others. I know it; I understand it. But it doesn't really seem to matter that I know it. I still feel frustrated with myself and my abilities. With me, improvement comes slowly. So I just have to be patient. It took me years to break the 6 hour marathon mark but I got there. I just have to keep the right frame of mind and not get caught up in the comparison game. It's a daily struggle.

Alright, enough of the heavy stuff. My last race of the year was the Baker's Dozen half marathon down in Hurricane, Utah. This was a loop race, and you had to eat at least one treat per loop. I was nervous about that, since I really am not the biggest doughnut fan. Thankfully, they quartered the doughnuts so I only ended up eating one whole doughnut for the entire race. And it didn't bother my stomach much. I also had a little hot chocolate each lap, which helped warm me up on that chilly morning. At least the rain held off until after the race. My mom actually ran the 5k that was with this half. It was her first race and I am so proud of her for taking the plunge. She was so nervous but she did great.


I think this is the biggest medal I have ever received. 
So that's it for race reports this year. I may do a year in review in a couple of weeks, I'm sure y'all are waiting with baited breath for that. I've got some big stuff going down in 2015 so I'll make sure to keep up with the blogging. Until then, happy running!

1 comment:

  1. An impressive record, you are indeed an unique running tourist the doughnut medal is very eye catching.
    One day a picture of all your bling?