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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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« It's the Climb | Main | Staten Island Half: Just the Data »

Staten Island Half Marathon Recap

More often then not, I spend the 13.1 miles of a half marathon negotiating with myself over my pace.  My commitment to my goal waxes and wanes almost incessantly.  I recalculate.  I justify.  I angst.  

It's exhausting.

It's no surprise that I got my Philly PR (1:57:36) by running with a pace group.  There was nothing to think about.  All I had to do was stay with the guy with the flag, and the PR was mine.

It's also no surprise that I fell apart in Brooklyn when I had to run without music.  I need something to escape into to quiet my mind.

As I travelled to Staten Island last Sunday morning, I couldn't help but catalog potential excuses for not PR-ing.  The ankle that I had twisted at the CMC still hurt.  I didn't have my special race-day playlist because my iPod had died again.  I hadn't had time to foam roll before I left my apartment because I had spent so much time dealing with my music emergency.  I hadn't eaten my two-hours-before-the-race meal for the same reason.  It was probably going to rain.  I had my period.  

The race hadn't even started and my mind was already at war with itself.

And then something amazing happened: just before the race started, I focused.  Maybe it was because I was with friends who laughed with me at my mess of a morning.  Maybe it was because I just couldn't bear to have another bad race.  Or maybe my meditation practice is finally paying off.  Who knows.  For whatever reason, I was in the zone.

The race started smoothly.  I had plenty of room to hit my target pace right out of the gate.  My random iPhone playlist turned out to be awesome.  I mouthed the words to my music pretty much the whole way.  (Yep, I was that girl.)  The course was hilly, but I managed to spend most of the race between 8:44 and 8:50, which was just fast enough to eek out an 18 second PR (1:57:18).  (On a flatter course, I  think I could've pulled off something closer to 1:55.)  I started loosing steam a bit in the last mile, but, overall, it was a great race. 

There were tough spots, but they were moments, not miles.  For the most part, I was able to cruise and just enjoy the effort.  I checked my pace frequently, but I didn't vacillate.  My mind was made up.  I was going to PR.  

It wasn't the most scenic race.  The crowd support was pretty thin.  But I walked (hobbled?) away feeling great.  I shouldn't have needed this race to prove to myself that Brooklyn was a fluke, but I did.  And now that I've got my confidence back, I think I need to pick out my next half.

-Gym Belle-



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