I set out to be very dedicated to this blog but clearly that has not happened. In short, I've been running really well and enjoyed the 2012 running season. However, like many other things in life, timing is everything. I registered for two half marathons this fall with a potential third in mind but did not commit to that. The two I registered for were the Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon September 16th and the Smuttynose Half Marathon on September 30th. Some would argue a little too close together but they were both flat and appealing for several reasons so those were my two goal races. One would depend on the other meaning that if Phillie went well, I'd take Smuttynose either but if it wasn't the best day, I'd focus on Smutty.
Well about 2 weeks before Phillie, illness hit. Now, I RARELY get sick - I mean I can probably say I've gotten sick less than 3 times within the last year or two - I really can't complain. I'm also a germaphobe and work very had at staying healthy but eating right, trying to get enough sleep (this is what I'm worst at), eeping up with my exercise, and most importantly walking around my office like the character on 'Monk" - not touching any public door handle etc. without washing my hands right after, using a paper towel (I am not exaggerating). Alas, all good things must come to an end in I find myself progressively going downhill in terms of health 2 weeks before Phillie. It was mostly a cough (which 6 weeks late I still have residual signs of) but also cold/flu like symptoms. Awesome. So much for that entire summer training.
We stayed with some friends in southern New Jersey for Phillie and thank god, it soothed the blow of having just about the worst half I can remember but about 5 miles into the race, I was ok with it. It just wasn't my day and I knew that when I woke up in the middle of the night before and thought about the pace I was shooting to run the next day and physically/mentally knew that wasn't going to happen. I made up my mind mid-race at Phillie to focus on Smuttynose two weeks later.
Fast forward those two weeks and I really, healthwise, wasn't any better. Well, now I'm frustrated - was timing really everything and both of these races going to be a lost cause? Now that I had entered the bitter barn, I went to Smuttynose and left my usual game face at home. I did not wear a singlet for any of the running clubs I am associated with nor my coach - I wanted to try to be as relaxed as possible and I felt that this was one thing that would help me do that. I've also come to realize I run my best races when I don't care - it makes sense- no nerves, relaxed, fun running.
Well it worked, I felt leaps and bounds better for Smuttynose and it resulted in about a 2 minute PR and winning the 35-29 female division. I was quite happy! So happy that before I even stepped back out of the car after changing, I was registered for Baystate Half 3 weeks later. Mind you, the day before the race I promised my friends that this was my last half (Smuttynose) and that I was done racing the half distance for 2012. So much for that - typical Gina, run a good race, register for another.
Now tomorrow is Baystate and this is truly my last half for awhile. The bigger deal tomorrow is that my husband Jay will try to go under 3 hours in the marathon so there is really even less pressure on me because really, tomorrow his day. I'm just going to have fun tomorrow and that's truly how I want to run this race. I want to feel good and it just be one of those effortless runs. We'll have some friends and family on the course and plans for a good dinner after- I'm looking forward to an awesome, fun day.