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Midnight Madness 2013

I have been thinking about this race for months!!  This run is completed in Phoenix on December 31st.  It starts at 1030pm.  It is only 3 miles long.  Plus there are so many little things about this race that makes it important to me.

My dad died on December 31, 2001 and before doing this event in 2010 I just liked to stay in bed with the covers over my head all day.  So when I run at this event, he’s mostly what I think about during the race.  I miss him.  I miss him so very much.  I wish he could have seen the last year.  I wish he could see what is to be the next year.  I know I need to take care of my heart so I don’t repeat his fate.  All my runs are emotional, but this race at least as of now takes first place.

The event is also at night.  If you know me well, you know I am a night owl.  I always am productive and do my best at night.  Can’t help it.  And this race is no different.  This race; I feel great at!

Its also in December and late at night so it is nice and COLD!!  I loooooove it!  I hate running when it’s hot out.  The colder it is, the faster I run.  So when it’s 40 degrees with the sun down, it is feeling pretty cold out. 😀

So with all of these things coming together; its no wonder that Dale and I have hit some personal records here.  In 2010, I did the 3 miles in 34:09.  It was the fastest I had run ever.  So for the last 12 weeks, I’ve looked forward to this event but also nervous about it.  I know that I am not in the shape that I was 3 years ago when I had my injury.  I viewed this race as a tell all.  I put a lot of pressure on my self to preform well at this event.  I know it’s the best race I’ll run and felt if I cant beat my old record…..

Needless to say when they started the race, my stomach was in some knots.  I take a few steps and the first thing I notice is the pants I’m wearing are falling way down. “Sorry, person behind me!” Pun intended lol  I wear these in 2010.  Wishing I had blogged back then so I would remember that the same thing happened then too.  So I’m fighting to retie them.  Get them done and I’m not kidding they fall down again.  So I’m retying again.  Finally I get in to a stride and notice that the song I put on repeat is no longer playing. Darn it!  What happened? I don’t have time to take the phone out and redo it so I’m stuck with fast-forwarding slow songs.

wpid-20131231_231216.jpgNow, I’m really in my stride and I’m looking through the people to see if I can see Dale or Zander.  I first spot Zander and a few seconds later Dale.  It always makes me smile to see Dale during a race but also to see Zander was especially nice.  He did the Turkey Trot but this one was just the three of us.

I’m running along and I hear the nice mapmyrun lady say that I just completed the first mile in 9:45.. Ooops!!  I know that is way to fast.. I purposefully slow just a very tad. But it gave me sooo much hope as I thought there was no way I’d even come close to my time from 2010.

Next, thing I know I see Dale and then Zander again.  Go around the bend and soon the nice lady says I completed mile two in 10:15.   I think to myself that’s perfect.  I’m going to beat my time but I gotta slow down just a tad more or I’m going to burn out before I get to the finish line.  I haven’t done 10-minute miles in 3 years.

The next mile, I’m just jogging along and singing to my music.  My muscles feel great!!  My cardio is great!  I notice I have a little cough, probably due to the very cold outside but I feel the best ever.  I’m still my normal emotional, teary self.  I actually think that helps me.  But I am just enjoying the run more than I’ve ever had.

I’ve been using the training program Hal Higdon’s ½ marathon – Novice 1.  I have the app running the same time as I run maymyrun.  I hear Hal say, “Just 500 feet more!”  But I don’t see the finish line at all!!  I’m so confused at this point.  And then the mapmyrun lady tells me I just finished mile 3 in 11:08

Well, that means I’ve done 3 miles in 31:08 and I beat my record but I don’t see the finish line.  This so messes with my mind.  My what was most perfect run just started spiraling into a complete nightmare.  My legs are the heaviest I’ve ever felt them.  My cardio is messed up.  I’m begging my body to pick up the speed but its not listening.  I’ve totally stopped in my mind.   I know this is all in my head and cant snap out of it.

My fitbit buzzes at me.  It’s an alarm that I have set for 11:01pm.  Remember I’m a night owl.  It’s usually there to remind me to start thinking about bed. But it reminds me, hey I’ve got 3 more minutes before going over my previous time. Come you can do it!  But I just can’t.  I try and try but I just can’t get my body to go.  My legs are now hurting and my shoulder is crying out.  The last 5 minutes of the race felt longer then first half an hour.  And I just cant get pass that its all psychological.

I finally cross the finish line at 37:37. I just wanted to sit and sulk that I didn’t make my time.  Dale had to get pics and I had to fake a smile to my son who did an amazing run.  I’m genuinely happy for him.  But I’m also very upset with myself.

We eventually get to the car and start to drive back.  I start to think about this race and how the race went and what would I want to tell people about his race and why would I even want to share the race.  I was feeling like it was a failure.  But then something hit me.  I did get a fabulous time. It’s not what I wanted but if I’m really honest with myself, it’s better than I thought I was going to get.  I got a new personal record for a mile.  I couldn’t run this race 6 months ago with out going to the hospital because of the pain I would be in.  Dale and I are in sync and have our sights set on 2014.  Midnight Madness 2013 might not have been picture perfect but it marks the beginning of what’s yet to come.

Like this run, life has great moments and not so great moments.  I just need to keep going.  I will get to the finish line.  Although it’s the last run of 2013, it’s the start of our 2014.  I can’t wait to see where it takes us.

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