Saturday, May 28, 2011

Soldier Field 10 Mile

Official finishing time today was 1:07:48. BOOYA. That is a 4 minute and 8 second PR. HUGE for me. 27th female out of 6,953. 253rd out of 12,276 total finishers.

While I was at the starting line sardined in between the massive crowd of people waiting to start the race, I begun to feel a bit emotional and was fighting back tears. BUT these were tears of joy. I knew something amazing was about to happen, adrenaline was rushing through my blood and I felt ready to attack the course. For the first time in my life I felt strong, powerful, capable, and fast while standing at the starting line of a race. Today was the day that I not only hit a 4 plus minute PR for 10 miles, it was also the day that I have finally learned to believe in my running abilities.

Maybe that sounds crazy considering that I have been running for 15 years now and completed more then 30 races, but it hasn't always been an easy road for me. Lets just say that my head hasn't always matched my heart, until today. It wasn't that I felt amazing or that my feat was easy today, because it wasn't, it is because I feel like I have finally overcome the demons inside my head. Those damn demons have been imparting those little thoughts that spread like a plague in my mind for years telling me that I feel like hell and need to slow down and that I am never going to achieve my dreams because they are unrealistic. Today was the day that I was finally able to lay these crazy negative thoughts to rest.

Mile 1: ???
Mile 2: 6:37
Mile 3: 6:43

A large portion of mile 1 was in a tunnel that blocked my Garmin signal, so I took off and begun the race by feel. By mile 2 my signal returned and I was back in business stalking the pace on my watch like a hawk. I knew that I went out too fast by mile 3 when I begun to feel a wee bit uncomfortable in the tummy area, but there was no turning back the hands of time.

Mile 4: 6:48
Mile 5: 6:43
Mile 6: 6:41

Somewhere around the half way point my stomach begun to really give me hell. I was being punished for my nutritional indiscretions of race eve where I ate an unbelievable amount of dairy products. Whole milk yogurt for breakfast with an extra foamy latte, a giganto portion of ice cream for lunch, and pizza with extra cheese for dinner. Let me spare you the gritty details, but dairy in massive quantities the day before a race is not a good idea.

Mile 7: 6:46
Mile 8: 6:52
Mile 9: 6:51
Mile 10: 6:57

During these last few miles my body was telling me that it needed to stop because the discomfort in my stomach really begun to become intolerable. But I trucked on. I wasn't stopping. I wasn't going to walk. I was going to cross that line knowing that I gave it my all, and so I did. But thats the whole point of racing, to figure out how to overcome all the crap that is going on inside you and to figure out a way to PUSH through it.

Folks today I learned an important lesson. Not only is it a bad idea to eat junk before a race, it is an even worse idea to eat your body weight in dairy products as your pre-race fuel. It will make you feel like hell, your entire body will feel like the michelin man from all the bloating, and you will want to be rolled up in a ball for about 12 hours afterwards until you feel like you are back to your normal self. Trust me, don't try it.


  1. Sorry about the BLOAT but WOW! You did it! Awesome race. Congrats on your PR!!

    Are you celebrating with ice cream? Bahahaha!

  2. YOU ARE AMAZING! I didn't get a chance to read all of this but wanted to check in. Once kids are in bed then I will have time to savor your wonderful and wise words. :) Congrats girl!

  3. YAAAAAY! Congrats!!

    Yeah - dairy is definitely OUT for me (in general - not just when I'm running). I feel ya though - I know exactly what that stomach discomfort feels like!

    Sooo happy for you!

  4. I am so proud of you for your new 4 plus minute PR...but I am not surprised one bit because you are such a fabulous runner!
    You are your toughest critic and it makes me happy to see you so pleased after this race, you totally deserved a great finish!

  5. Woohoo - HUGE congrats on the PR - AWESOME!

  6. You are my dream woman. Congrats on a time so ridiculous it doesn't even exist in my dreams!

    You inspire me to push myself to become stronger and faster, and to believe in myself. Thank you!

  7. Wow, you destroyed that race! Awesome job! That would be a ton of fun finishing on the Bears field.

    Glad that you felt at peace and completely prepared for the race. I don't want to preach to you at all, but just in looking at all your times over the years, you seem to get to the race course fully prepared and capable every race. Maybe it's about your expectations, I'm not sure. But all you can do in life is your best that day, and it seems like you did that to me in prior races.

  8. Fantastic PR and it's always momentous when you an exorcise some demons. So happy for you!

  9. Wow! What impressive splits esp with an upset stomach you are my newest hero. What a great run! I will remember that about the dairy. I love dairy and have a tendency to OD on it

  10. Yay! Such an exciting recap! Congrats on the great PR and finding a mental/physical balance!

  11. Fantastic race report! You are a rock star!! Great new PR and thanks for the dairy warning :)

  12. glad you made it through the bloat to a super PR! WOW! congrats!

  13. HooAhh! Rockstar!!!! That is one smokin' awesome time! More importantly coming to the AWESOME place of having faith in your abilities!!!! Oh,how I struggle with this. I got goosebumps just thinking of you fighting back tears in the start line and just knowing something big was about to happen!

    Loading up on dairy...That AND I loaded up on saltwater taffy (like 4 pounds) and cheese garlic pretzels yesterday. Had a few regrets there as well! Bloated-yes but even more impressive when the spectators might mistake me for being 3 months along-ha!!

    Great job! Super CONGRATS on a 4 minute PR!!! WICKED FAST:)

  14. Nice job, you are super fast!

  15. Holy guacamole! You are amazing!

  16. You are such an inspiration!! Congrats on your PR

  17. Awesome PR! Wow. Just wow. You should tell us the secrets to overcoming the demons and mental game... I am not as fast as you but I could use some tips!

    Ugh, dairy. I had to give it up a few years ago - its bad to me too. Of course, there are plenty of other bad things I eat that my stomach doesn't like too!

  18. WOW! Congrats on the HUGE PR! 4 minutes is awesome! I am so happy you felt at peace for this race.

    The weather couldn't have been any better than it was.

    I didnt stick around long after the race either- I felt dehydrated and had some tummy trouble due to it and just wanted to get home.

  19. Congrats on that awesome PR! That is really fantastic! You are amazing for pushing through the tummy troubles and the bloatation!

  20. whut the? that is super fast...and trimming off 4 minutes is just bad-ass. congratulations.

  21. Ahhh!! Amazing PR! Congrats girl. And lay off that cheese would ya? lol :)

    p.s. even more congrats for conquering those running insecurities! I bet that is an awesome feeling.

  22. Thank you for your awesome the idea of telling myself to "define myself". Love your words! Thank you Britt!