Perseverance- Breaking 2 Hours

November 7, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

Oh how was our weekend…wonderful!

What’d we do…oh well I finally broke 2 hours in the half marathon by running 1:54.31 at the Monumental Half Marathon Saturday morning!!

Oh yes, you just read that correctly. 1) I did run another half marathon and 2) I beat my goal and PR’d by 7 minutes.

But you didn’t know I was running another one?!  Nope! I kept this one quiet besides for a few close people. It all started because I needed to run 13 miles this past weekend as training for my marathon. Well my training partner was going to be out of town and it just so happened one of the big Indianapolis marathons and half marathons was happening this weekend.

 Sooo, I figured I’d use it as a training run because I’d be supported with water stations and other runners… least that’s what I told myself when I paid the ridiculous registration fee.  The real reason… I wanted one more shot at breaking 2 hours.  After my disappointing Women’s half in August and how great I felt at my trail half in October, I just needed that one last chance.

Nothing has changed in my running plan besides to run long on Sundays and get at least one or two more runs in during the week. Otherwise I’m doing yoga or resting so there are no unwanted injuries.  And running long on Sundays, I’ve definitely been doing, by averaging 12 miles each week and reaching as high as 18 miles. My shortest run was 6.7 miles and that was after our week in Miami when I only ran 2.3 miles.  So I’ll leave it with there was no specific training plan for this race.

Since I’ve gotten to the point that running 12 miles is “normal”for me (yes, sick I know) this race was easier mentally for me. Instead of needing to pace myself to survive the 13 miles, I entered this race knowing I was going to “float” or just run the first 6 miles, start to pick it up, then give it everything for the last 5 miles. I told myself I wasn’t looking at my pace and I was just going to run. Sorry Garmin.

Tom being the amazing husband he is came with my on a cold Saturday morning. We got downtown about 30 minutes before the start.  Made our way across town and waited for the gun.  Tom was ready to position himself for some good pictures at the start then wanted to make his way down to South and Delaware which was about mile 2.5. Why this intersection? Because 17 months before to the day our lives forever changed here. I felt JBD give me a little tap on the ass as I ran through and pounded my feet on the pavement with a smile on my face, oh how we’ve changed since the day.

That’s me in the purple and black.

I was just running and enjoying the crowds of spectators, runners and the nice weather. I ate a GU about mile 4, grabbed some water and saw a familiar blonde ponytail bouncing up ahead. It was a girl I ran with at IU, well I had to catch her and say “Hi”. We chatted for a few then split our ways as she was running the full. She’s a fast runner, if I’m around her pace,I must be moving. Then I heard a guy next to me say, “dude, we’re running 8:30 pace”. Holy crap, he can’t be serious. I was at mile 6.5 and looked at my watch for the first time, by damn he was dead on, I’m running 8:30 pace and feel great!

Well, there went my race plan, that’s what I figured I’d run the last 6 miles in when I was pushing myself. Okay, well I need to just stay here, click the next few miles off then once I hit 10 I’ll see how I feel.  Mile 7, 8, 9, there’s 10…I still feel great and I’m still running sub 9 and heck yes, I’m breaking 2 hours today!! My stomach felt a little ugh at mile 11 so I figured I’d better just stay at 8:30 pace and not push it because I’m already way below breaking 2 hours and I don’t want to screw it up.

I heard SA and SB cheering for me at mile 13 which was a great surprise! I saw Tom on the fence but I just ran so fast yet again he missed me. Or as he says, “you guys ALL wear Lululemon, how the heck am I supposed to pick you out?!” I’m currently looking for a yellow running hat, no excuses then 🙂

I crossed that finish line feeling strong as I’ve ever felt…in 1:54.31! Hello, 7 minute PR 🙂

There was a huge smile on my face….perseverance paid off.

I got my finishers medal, heat blanket, finishers hat and set off to find Tom. Luckily he got an email that I had finished so he was also looking for me.  He quickly went into protective husband mode and had me put all my sweats, hats and gloves on so I wouldn’t get chilled, snapped a few pictures and we were off to celebrate and enjoy our Saturday.

So there ya go, on my 5th half marathon of the year and after miles upon miles of training, hard work and sweat, I accomplished my goal. I’ll bask in this self glory for a few weeks. Finish my marathon training… it’s less than a month away now! But I know I can go faster next year…so another goal will be set 🙂