>Hungry Hungry Hippo

>You know that feeling where you’re so so hungry and you are going out to eat, and all you can think about is how hungry you are? So when you get to the restaurant you order 2 appetizers, a big meal, and you just know that dessert will be had too? And then the appetizers get there and you’re like “oh these are so yummy” and you chomp them up. And then your meal comes and you start to dig in. But now it’s not as easy as you thought because you no longer feel as hungry?  So you think maybe if I just take really small bites I will be able to eat it all? But then after a couple bites you’re like shoot, I ate too many appetizers. And then you just end up with no dessert and a doggie bag of leftovers even though you hate leftovers. All because your eyes were bigger than your stomach.

That’s kind of how my race last weekend went.

I came to the race with a huge appetite. By all accounts, I was ready to race. The last (and only other time) I had attempted to race a half marathon was a year ago in Miami….and I failed miserably. Blame it on the humidity, blame it on the mojitos, blame it on whatever you want – I wanted to run a 1:37 and I came no where close.  This time was different. I was hungry, but I had also put in the work that earned me that hunger. Despite my 1:48 from Miami, I was ready to go big – to order 2 apps, a huge meal, and dessert: I wanted to run under 1:35.

Ryan and I got to the race (he was timing it, so bonus for me!) and I even did a little warm up to get ready. It was a small race that would be an out and back on a flat(ish) towpath. The race started and I went out with the lead group of women. I felt comfortable and even marveled that “this must be what the dudes say when they talk about running in a pack and working together.” The first mile marker came: 6:16. Uh oh. I *knew* that was too fast. I knew I wasn’t in shape to run at that pace for much longer. But, instead of backing off to a smart 7minute pace which I knew would be sustainable, I went for it. It felt good. I was running relaxed. Why not?

Ultimately I paid the price. Just after the halfway mark, I got served my main course of the day, and sure enough I couldn’t take more than a couple bites. I was forced into survival mode and I spent the greater part of those miles back to the finish being astonished at how hard and fast fatigue will come on. I ended up crossing in the line in 1:36:39.

“Going hard” in a running race is still new to me. It was evident that I am still learning how to race like this. Do I regret going out at a super fast pace? Nah. I’ll live. It only gives me something to keep shooting for. Do I think I have a sub 1:35 in me? Shoot. I think I have a 1:30 in me. If I didn’t have big dreams I wouldn’t be going through the workouts I do each and every day.

Due to the fact that my latter 6 miles were at a relatively easy pace, I also ended up with some leftovers in my legs. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had another big event that night: Arjun’s Birthday Beer Mile. I am particularly fond of this event, as I have managed to take the women’s title for the past 2 years. This year I was nervous though. There were several good competitors added to the docket and I knew they could give me a run for my money. Luckily though, my multisport abilities in drinking and running prevailed, and I took home the women’s title for the 3rd year in a row, setting a personal best for the event of 7:56.

All in all it was a solid weekend of work and experience in racing. And at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa Godesky is a professional triathlete & coach.

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