I fell behind on race reporting.
I never blogged about my best race ever, the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. It was when I realized I was very much succeeeding at self coaching. I wanted that for the confidence in the knowledge I've gained as a student of the sport and the ability to apply it. I wanted to know myself better as an athlete too. The training process I had designed was proving effective. The mental prep was working.
Race weekend with the hubby there to support me (and take my entry included beers at the finish), I was surrounded by authentic friends and athletes who "get" it. I had been reminded about aiming my sights high yet realistic by other athlete buddies at the expo. A few weeks earlier I had won a 10k with a small prize purse and was just opening my mind to my potential. My buddies won't let me sell myself short. Now, neither will I. Hubby and I spent extra time at the expo having fun with our pals.
From start to finish I truly pushed myself to the limits and discovered more about me as I focused on moving fast and intelligently on the course. I was coach. I was athlete. I was a friend who wanted my buddy to have a great race as much as I wanted one for me. I was a relentless competitor. I was an individual racing amongst other athletes as our journeys merged on race day. The start line had been very chilly and the course is known to be flat and windy. I was working hard enough that although I noticed the wind fighting my pace I didn't ever feel cold.
I immersed myself in the energy that comes with a big ocean side St Paddy's themed race. I processed it through each step to use as propelling adrenaline. I gave out positive vibes as I created them and opened myself to feeling every aspect of the course: the volunteers, my "Sherpa" husband's love, the crowds, memories of past races and small moments with other competitors. I dug deep especially in the end. Accepting the pain of pushing hard and conquering the fatigue from concentration on executing a stratgy is a skill constantly being honed. On the day, Shamrock was a place to transform pain into magic. It hurt and it was beautiful.
I executed metronome pacing with toughness and willpower. I gave it my ALL and I knew I had made this day possible training independently from outside perspectives yet with a supportive network of people in my corner. I had tremendous gratitude. I had also found an empowering acceptance of my ability to train myself and to use that to be the strongest athlete I could be. I ran it in 90 minutes I had an 11, yes eleven minute PR.
There was just nothing left crossing the line physically yet my heart was brimming over with excitement.
THIS is why we race.
I look like a mess but this was the best finish photo I have. I raced it like a dream and learned more about myself.