Race Report: See Jane Run Half Marathon

For as long as I can remember, I have set unrealistic goals (UGs) for myself, my friends, my family and the University of Washington football team.  This can be problematic, particularly in the case of the Huskies, who have consistently disappointed me for the past 11 years by not making it to the Rose Bowl.  Nonetheless, UGs are hyper-motivating for me and keep me focused – no matter how mundane, painful, or grueling a task might be.  Some of my most unrealistic personal goals have led to my greatest life achievements.  Namely:

  • UG #1 (circa 2006): start a collection of designer shoes.  It was a modest start, but affording multiple pairs of $500 shoes every month led me to become a personal finance superstar, which enabled me to pursue…
  • UG #2 (circa 2008): travel around the world by myself.  This was terrifying on many levels.  I had to leave my dream job.  I had to sell my car.  I had to put my life into a carry-on rolling suitcase.  I had to move home with my mother.  It was the BEST experience of my life and led to…
  • UG #3 (2010-2012): earn my MPA with the intention to form a business or nonprofit that would help underprivileged populations live fuller lives.  This was an ugly process, highlighted by weeks in which I would become an over-caffeinated, under-manicured monster that wouldn’t stop rattling off about supply-and-demand chains of strategy maps in policy context.  Or whatever.  To prepare for this two-year period of F-U-N, I pursued…
  • UG #4 (circa 2010): sit on a beach for 8 hours a day – every day – for as long as I could without losing my mind.  This was fun, but not as easy as you might think.  Island fever is real and I never want to feel like I did on the day I broke my streak again.  I was hyper-grateful for the following UG, as it kept me sufficiently exhausted to enable the 8 hours of beach-sitting and napping that allowed me to complete UG #4.
  • UG #5 (2007-present): run a half marathon in under two hours (preferably while training for a full marathon).

UG #5 has eluded me for as long as I have been running.  Before today, I had run eight half marathons in three countries.  I had registered for two full marathons – but never completed one because of a combination of disheartening half marathon performance and injuries.  The problem? My approach to training for these races was never combined with a commitment to the sport of running.  I was casual about training and even more casual about an accompanying nutritional program.  The result? Race times that waffled between 2:15 and 2:45 and consistent weight gain during the training process.  Until today.  The See Jane Run Marathon was an absolute success, in which I shattered my PR by nearly 20 minutes with a finishing time of 1:58.  I ran nearly the entire race, taking 30-second walking breaks at mile 7 and 10 and walking through four water stations.  UG #5 can officially be checked off my bucket list.

While today’s race was a finish-time success, I still have some work to do in preparation for 26.2.  I need to work on my pacing – I started too strongly and felt weak toward the end of today’s race, which is typically when I like to pick up the pace again.  I also failed to warm up adequately and felt my stride tighten halfway through the race.  I’m glad I’ve been sprint and hill training, but may need to develop some mid-length routes that incorporate more hills – the two big hills today were huge challenges for me.

Ultimately, the pros outweigh cons today by a huge margin: I PR’ed, feel fantastic post-run and have created a running playlist worthy of a gold metal at the London Olympics.  While still daunted by the 26.2 miles I’ll run in October, I’m feeling confident that my body and mind are ready to take on the next phase of training.

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One thought on “Race Report: See Jane Run Half Marathon

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Beating the Heat | Recreation and Whimsy

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