Happy Accidents {Carmel Half Marathon Race Recap}

If I sat down to write this race recap immediately after my finish on Saturday, the result would have been drastically different.  Fortunately, I had a lot of happy accidents happen along the way that changed my view of this race … and my overall perspective.

I was much more relaxed leading up to this race day than the last.  Maybe too relaxed :)  I realized on my way to packet pick up that my longest run over the past month was 6 miles – and that was no where near race pace!  No worries, right?  But you know what IS important?  The perfect race-day braid!  {Thanks Summer!}Photo Apr 16, 6 28 04 AMObviously, I wasn’t going into this race for time, necessarily.  I wanted to have a good run and feel good doing it.  {My PR prior to Sam Costa was 2:06, so I had decided I would try to beat that time.  My sweet friend Mary had offered to pace me.}Photo Apr 16, 7 26 57 AMThe weather was nice … too nice.  Low 60’s at race time, but felt warmer than it had been in Indiana in ages (maybe since early last fall!)  The previous Saturday was low 20’s with 15-20 mph winds – each of my kids had on long underwear, three shirts, coat, hat and gloves for their soccer games and were still cold!  Seven days later I’m sweating like crazy in a running skirt and tank!  Only in the Midwest …

Thrilled to meet up with some fellow Indy Mini Ambassadors before the race!FB_IMG_1460829752694

{Melissa and Summer ready for the 8K}Photo Apr 20, 1 26 48 AMNewsflash: I do not adjust to the temperature changes well! I hate to be hot.  I hate having sweat dripping in my eyes.  And I hate not being able to breathe properly.  All of those things happened during Carmel.

{Jenny and Amy joined Mary and I for the half}
Photo Apr 20, 1 27 35 AMThe course is a little hilly but not a lot of traffic because it goes through several neighborhoods, and seriously lacking water stops!  I plan for (expect to see) water at least every 2 miles or so during a race.  Except this race had one around mile 2.5 then not again until mile 7!  Epic hydration fail!  {REALLY wishing I had my Nuun with me by now!}

Even so, the first 4 miles went fairly quickly and I was on pace.  Miles 5 and 6 were a little slower.  By mile 7 I knew I wasn’t going to hit any time goals – which I was surprisingly at peace with – but I couldn’t breathe.  I had to stop every mile to catch my breath and had to slow down A Lot!

Still on the mend from my sub-2 training meltdown, the doubts started creeping back in.  “You can’t do this.” “You should have hydrated better.”  “You should have fueled better.”  “You should have gotten more sleep last night.”  “You should have stuck out your long runs.”  Clearly not the best use of my time …
Photo Apr 20, 1 06 02 AM

I finished in under 2:10 (according to my watch) and admittedly had a pity party for myself on the way home because I was frustrated with my run.

Fortunately, the pity party couldn’t last because I made it back just in time for the first of two kids’ soccer games that day!  My daughter, sporting a knee brace from twisting her knee on the neighbor’s trampoline two days before, played a fantastic game :)  We celebrated with lunch then back to the soccer fields for game #2.  My son’s Green Cheetahs (yes, seriously) were equally impressive in their “we don’t keep score, but I think we won” game!

Soccer was followed up by dinner with my parents and a surprise visit from my brother, sister in law and nephews!  After an evening of pizza and hilarious pool-noodle light-saber duels, we were all ready to crash when our guests had to leave.

The next morning, I was recapping the race for my husband over coffee and realized I had never stopped to check my official time.

Photo Apr 20, 1 53 58 AM

Except that’s not the first thing that came up …. I had Googled the race results page, clicked on it and hit search, using my first and last name: 2:23:08.  What?!  I double checked my watch’s history.  Double checked the search results to make sure there wasn’t another speedster with the same name out there.  Double checked my bib number.  Wait, they don’t match.  Wrong bib number … um, and these are the results from 2015.  

Oooppps!  What’s really funny is that I remember having a great time at that race last year – and I had no idea what my time was.  Nor did I (or do I) care.  Apparently it was 2:23:08 :)

So I hit search at the top of the results page, expecting to get my times for all the past Carmel Marathon weekend races I had done … but what loaded was ALL of the race results info stored on that timing site’s page.  My very first half marathon (Indy Mini 2011), the Flying Pig 2014 I walked with my mom and her best friend for their very first half marathon, summer trail runs, Indy Monumental, Polar Bear, the 5K’s with my kids … over half of the races I have ever run are on this list.  Including my most recent Sam Costa.

Photo Apr 20, 2 11 00 AM

Talk about perspective!  This race that I was so frustrated by, my 2:09 finish — it is my third fastest half marathon to date.

In one quick screen shot, I was able to see results covering my last 5 years of running.  My dear friend Liz had just shared some encouraging words on my last post, reminding me that words like “good” and “fast” are all about perspective.  The Carmel half truly helped me understand that.

During my post-race pity party, our sweet Jen said something profound that I need to share with you.  She confided that not every race can be THE race or you’ll start to hate the process.  And I want (and NEED) to love the process!  

Thanks to those happy accidents (also known as blessings in disguise) like soccer games and dinner guests and poor Googling skills – I was reminded this weekend that I run I can.  Because I want to.  Because I need to .  Because I get to.  

7 thoughts on “Happy Accidents {Carmel Half Marathon Race Recap}

  1. Jen says:

    I’m so proud of you!! The perspective can be so hard to find. The journey may not be easy but that is what makes it a journey. We can learn so much about ourselves as people through this process. Glad God lead you to your accidents! And congrats on your third best finish!!!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Jen, you are so right! They way we handle the “little” things like a bad run can teach us important lessons on how to handle the big things :) Thank you so much for your insight that day – it was exactly what I needed to hear!!

      1. Jen says:

        God knew what you needed…He just put the words in my mouth! Xoxoxo

  2. Fantastic perspective. You just keep showing up and handling what comes with grace. Keep pushing yourself! BTW, if you aren’t on Athlinks.com, check it out – results from virtually every race, regardless of timing company. :)

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Trena – you know I want to be just like you when I grow up, right?? Watching you week after week log mile after mile (after mile after mile) has taught me a lot about perseverance – and how it’s never too late to try something new :) Thank you for always being so encouraging! I will absolutely check out Athlinks!!

  3. mkadens1 says:

    Perspective is a funny thing. I’m glad yours changed so you could see all the goodness! Congrats on the race! It was steamy that day. The weather is nuts!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Thank you so much Marcia! You are right about the weather – what in the world is up with this spring? It can’t decide if it wants to be winter or summer! Thank you for your sweet words!

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