My Distraction.

October 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away) | 13 Comments

It was pretty clear to me when I finished my last 10k that it was likely a sub-2 hour half marathon wasn’t all that realistic for me right now.

Because I can run a 10k full out, but it’s only 6 miles.

13.1 is another story altogether.

So over the past couple of weeks I decided that I’d be happy if two things happened at my half:

1. I finished in 2:05, because that means I gained a full minute per mile in speed since my half in April, and

2. I finished strong. That is, I ran the whole distance, even if it hurt. I wanted to sprint to the finish line; I wanted to avoid hitting a wall.

When I got the negative yesterday, one of the consolations I thought of was that I knew I could run HARD today.

And truth be told, it became imperative for me to meet the two goals above. Because if I couldn’t have a pregnancy, at least I could meet another goal; one that *I* had control over.

So this morning, when I started the Smuttynose Half Marathon, I kept myself in check. The first 6 miles whizzed by at 9 minute miles. My heartrate was nice and steady, high per my usual race rate, but steady. I felt really good, not like I was going too fast.

Miles 6, 7, and 8 I could feel my muscles start to get tight – just like my last half, so I held back a little more; figured it would be good to slow it down a bit and not push too much. I ate an energy gel that they passed out at mile 7.5. I stopped and walked (fast) through the water station at mile 8. And I got a little burst of energy from that gel.

I hit mile 10 feeling TIRED. I slowed down to what felt like a jog to me because my heart rate was in the 170s*. I kept going, going, going, going, but I nearly said out loud “WTF am I DOING? This is SO STUPID.”

But I kept running. And somehow, I made it to the water station, took gatorade AND water, and felt better. Made it to mile 11, and then mile 12.

By that point I COULDN’T stop. I tried once to walk a bit, but my muscles were screaming so much that I had to keep running. Oddly, that was the only way it didn’t hurt as much – run.

And then I hit mile 13. And when I saw the finish line, I had enough left to sprint.

I finished, according to my watch, at 2:04:53. Just under the 2:05 I wanted. I finished STRONG, I ran the whole way.

I accomplished my goal.

So yeah, I may not be pregnant this time. But I have no control over that part, not any at all.

But I did something GOOD today. Something that *I* have control over. I pushed myself through weeks of training. And I DID it.

And that makes me feel really good.


*I have a really high resting heart rate; in general it’s in the high 80s-low 90s. It’s gotten better since I’ve been running – there are mornings where I’m in the high 70s before I start my run. But whenever I run a race, I try and target the mid 160s, otherwise I fizzle out.



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  1. Sounds like an awesome race. You hit BOTH goals. That is supremely cool. You made it happen. You.

    Feel very proud! This is the kind of thing you hang on to for a while.

  2. Congratulations!! That is awesome that you hit those two goals. I’m sorry that this cycle is a bust.

  3. Congratulations on the race! I only wish I could say it twice over, for two different reasons. I’m glad I can say it at least once, though. This is a great effort.


  4. Congratulations! That is a PHENOMENAL time. You should be very proud. I am so impressed with the effort you’ve put into the training and all the progress you’ve made.

  5. You did an amazing thing today. And I’m glad that there was something to have control over, after a disappointment that you had no control over … *hugs* of congratulations, and in empathy … I was sorry to read about your BFN.

  6. Serenity, I came by today to see if your 2ww was over. I was so disappointed (and actually really surprised) to see the negative result. I don’t know why surprised–I just had a good feeling. (And don’t you know good feelings = some kind of medical intuition?? eyes rolling…)
    Hugging you in my heart.

  7. That is fantastic! You are fantastic! Congratulations on hitting your goals.

  8. Serenity I am so sorry that this cycle was a bfn. I wish we were friends in real life so I could drive over to your house (not that I own a car) and give you a big hug and drink lots of red wine and eat runny cheese. Or chocolate. Or all of the above.

    But I am SO proud of you for your half marathon and for meeting both your goals. That is a superb time, and a HUGE improvement from your first race! It sounds like you really listened to your body all the way through. And it makes me feel a little bit better about not being able to run my half to know that you did so well.


  9. Yeah for making your goal!! The great thing about running is that you can usually get faster and better with more training! So…find a new race and focus on that. It will take the sting off of the things in life you can’t control. (Oh, how I wish that I could train again.)

  10. I really sorry about the BFN… HUGS. I am so impresssed with your race, OMG Serenity, you are a strong woman. I am so proud of you. Congratulations on the fantastic race

  11. Congratulations, Serenity. I am SO proud of you and happy for you. xo

  12. Congrats! That’s a fantastic time, glad you met your goal.

    Running hard and training for longer distances is something I miss terribly.

  13. That’s amazing, congrats! At mile 12 you may have unknowingly followed age old race advice – although it sounds counterintuitive, sometimes when it gets tough it’s better to try and speed up than too slow down!

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