I initially was a little disappointed in my time.
I didn’t push myself hard enough. I didn’t dig deep enough. My “I didn’ts” kept playing over and over in my head.
But, then I looked at the bigger picture.
I registered for this race only a week before the race date.
Sure, I had been training in anticipation of maybe running it. But, that was that. I was running it, not racing it.
It was my first race back since the Chicago Marathon where I was in a type of IT band and knee pain so deep that I cried during the race.
I got through the Birch Bay Half Marathon with some “feeling” of my IT band but nowhere near that excruciating and sharp pain I experienced in Chicago.
It was a darn windy race. Right along the bay, it was scenic but having to run against 15-20 MPH headwind doesn’t make for a fun race.
And, this was a no-frills race. Traffic was not blocked off (with an exception of the first mile or so). Us runners ran on the shoulder while cars cautiously passed us. There were no porta-potties along the course. Volunteers were limited but those who were there helped with a smile. The mile markers were not always accurate.
But, you get what you pay for. And, I was fine with that. I paid 60 dollars for a half marathon a week before race day. It’s rare to find a marathon in the Puget Sound area that’s less than $100 even six months before. (Bryce signed up for this half back in December and it cost him $30!)
It was a fairly flat course and as a “training run,” I was happy with it.
Although the racer in me did get a little dismayed every time another runner passed me. (It didn’t happen often since it was a small race, but when one did, I sang “Let it go” from Disney’s Frozen but replaced it with “Let her/him go.”)
With a big kick in the end, I clocked in at 1:51:37 which was 43rd overall out of 331 participants.
How many people can say they just ran their first race since injury and it was their second fastest half marathon time out of 15 half marathons completed? (Hint: I can!)
In 2013, I had four big races and PR’d all of them. I’ll be honest. It was kind of weird not getting a PR this time around.
I’m fine with that.
I’m still foam rolling and stretching like crazy. I’ve accepted that this is just going to have to be part of my before and after running routine from now on.
I can’t take the risk of getting injured again.
I’ll get back into full force and speed eventually.
There are more days of racing to come.
And I am really thrilled about that.