New Personal Best

June 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

Only one minute off. If I had run a mere 60 seconds faster, I would have made it. That being said, I still managed to hit a new personal best for a half marathon on Sunday and I’m proud of my accomplishment.

This race felt different. I felt more prepared to get out there and (hopefully) hit my goal, but I also felt a heavy weight on my shoulders – self-inflicted, of course. Pressure to do well. Pressure to not let my injured knee slow me down. Pressure to hit the time that was plastered to my back! (Yep, I signed up to join a pace team, which meant I had my goal time posted on my back for the whole world to see.)

The course was hillier than I thought it was going to be. Based on the elevation chart posted on the race’s website, the elevation changes didn’t look all that bad, but once I was actually running the course I felt every up and down the streets (and freeway) had to offer…especially in my knee. I should have known that the adrenaline was only going to mask the pain for so long.

Mile 9: let the mental battle begin. My knee is killing me. I can feel myself start to panic a little and I think a exercise-induced asthma attack is starting to build up. Do I stop? How much of a cushion have I built up to allow me to walk for a bit and still maybe hit my goal? What is everyone who can see my goal time thinking about me as they see me struggle? What if the pain in my knee turns into a serious injury that takes me out of running for a while – is this worth that possibility?

I pushed on, stopping a few times between mile 9 and the end because I’m not sure how much more my knee can take. Next thing I know, I am at mile 12 and I only have a mile to go so I try to push myself to pick up the pace a little. At this point, I haven’t really been paying attention to my Garmin because I figured I was way off my goal due to the time I took to walk. It wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I realized that I was only 1 minute off ! Not too shabby.

Based on how I ran this half marathon, I am confident that I’ll eventually take that extra minute off of my time. Until then, I’ll enjoy the fact that I trained hard and was able to take off 2 minutes and 23 seconds from my personal best!

Thank you for having me, Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego! I may have to come back next year for a rematch.

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