On Sunday, I ran the Gobbler Grind half marathon, the second race in the Harvest Half Series.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect because the Kansas Half hadn’t gone so well (at least not in comparison to what I wanted). This time, I had a little bit different expectations. I still really wanted to reach the finish line in 02:15, but I also knew that I’ve been racing a lot this Fall and that it just might not happen. But I was going to at least try.

And it didn’t happen. I kept up with the 02:15 pace group until Mile 8.5, and fell just a little behind on a big hill. Then, I had to stop and use the restroom. That was frustrating, because I had to wait for another person to go first, which took a few minutes.

Between stopping for the restroom and just feeling like I couldn’t hold the necessary pace, I ended up finishing the race in 02:22:19. But this time, I was less disappointed and I still felt good at the finish line.

I have to keep in mind that I haven’t trained for any of these races. I trained for the full marathon, which was on October 2nd, and I’m simply riding out the benefits of that training. It was a surprise to run the KC Half Marathon in 02:15:55, just 13 days after the full marathon – and so it’s probably just not possible to beat that time right now. And that’s okay.

Because guess what? I’m just a regular girl. The real goal is to run the distance, in this case 13.1 miles, and enjoy the experience. Does it really matter in the end how long that takes? Not really. I’ve gotten so much faster and so much stronger, and that’s what really matters.

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t want to get my 02:15 – you can bet that I’m going to put in some training after my races are over and I’m going to do what I can to make that happen.

I have one more half marathon this weekend (November 20th). This one, I’m going to make it a point to run slowly and take my time. My coworker is volunteering on the course at one of the aid stations – I’m going to stop and chat. I’m going to look around at the scenery. I’m NOT going to worry about getting anywhere near 02:15 – at least not this time.