October 5, 2014: 13.1 Miles
Last year I ran Smuttynose (NH) 13.1 in 2:04. Two weeks later I ran Baystate 13.1 in 2:03:35. This year I’ve been chasing the dream of a sub-2. I set a goal for myself of running four 13.1s. Usually my times improve in the Fall. So when I ran Newburyport (MA) 13.1 on June 1, I ran it for fun -but ended up dealing with an issue I had not previously encountered. Only 4 days before the race I had the stomach bug. Still, I persevered and finished the race. Then Old Port 13.1 (Portland, ME) in the middle of July. Again, just for fun, with my only goal to beat my time from last year (I did).
On to Smuttynose 13.1. My weekday training was only 4 miles per because I’m now working at my kid’s school and I have to get everyone ready, run, showered, and out by 8:00 AM. The shorter days can also make life tougher. Finally, I’ve recently encountered some slight knee and achilles issues too. But my running became stronger and despite some things going not as planned, I felt I was going to reach my goal. This was the third year in a row running this race. And the first time it was sunny! Either way, it was going to be a great day. The course was changed this year because some of the residents complained (I would love to tell them some choice words). All was going as planned. Pre-race I cycled through the potties 3 times in 1 hour and got lined up with the 8:30 wave. The first 8 miles were great. I was 3 minutes under my goal and then, I had to pee. There were no good places to peel off into the woods so I finally found a port-a-potty (3 actually). I followed a guy thinking he would be quicker than the 2 women. Wrong. I lost almost 4 minutes waiting for the guy! I was upset. There was nothing I could do, so I went to one of the other potties and never saw the guy come out. Mile 10, I was back to an 8:50 mile. Then my knee and achilles took turns the last 2-3 miles bothering me. SOB! I finished in 2:06. If I hadn’t encountered the pee issue, it would have been 2:02. And if I had just sucked up the pain, it would have been under 2. Oh well.
I had fun of course. But I’m also frustrated with myself. I get mad. I cry. I feel like I could have dug deeper and done better. One day I believe I will. I will not let this define me or make me stop running. I am better than that and I remind myself, it was still 13 point freakin’ 1 miles! I will beat you Smutty!