Pace Yourself

With two weeks to go until the Pan Mass Challenge I am starting to feel a mix of emotions: excitement, happiness and a small dose of nervousness. Although the PMC has been the best weekend of my life for the past two years, it is not a weekend that passes without a lot of effort. Biking 190 miles in two days is a challenge: mentally and physically. I have been trying to prepare myself with bike rides in Central Park and riding on my trainer while watching the Tour De France (yes, just call me Dupree, from the movie You Me and Dupree). Unfortunately, a lesson that I have been trying to learn for 27 years, is still posing problems for me; the lesson of pacing oneself.

The other day, I decided to ride 3 laps of the park (each lap is 6 miles). I started out strong averaging 18.5 miles per hour. By the second lap, my average dropped to 18.1 and by the third I was down to 17.4. I went out after it and crashed and burned.

One of my most memorable swims was in the 200 backstroke at the Ivy Championships in 2004. I went hard. I was more than 2 full seconds ahead of the field at the halfway point. Unfortunately, I crashed and burned.

Event 16 – Women’s 200 Yard Backstroke

Molly Brethauer       Harvard       JR

28.05        57.59 (29.54)      1:29.20 (31.61)           2:02.95 (33.75)

I finished the event in 5th place.

During my first half marathon, Boston’s Run To Remember, I ran my first mile in 7 minutes. I finished the race in 1 hour and 58 minutes, making my pace over 9 minutes per mile. Again, I crashed and burned.

Today went I rode 4 laps around the park, I tried to pace myself. I started off nice and easy; however it wasn’t long before another bike rode by me… a girl. Clearly my plan of pacing myself went out the window. I raced around for 2 more loops before complete crashing and burning. On my last loop, my average pace dropped significantly. Thankfully, I finished my ride ahead of the girl who caused me to forget my pace.

So while I am still learning to pace myself in many aspects of my life, I can go to sleep tonight, tired, but feeling victorious. I won. Who cares that no one else in the park knew there was a race going on.

 

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