I wrote this last night but was too tired to add the pics!
It’s almost 9 pm on a Saturday night and I could go to bed and sleep. FOR-E-VER. But I have a race to recap!
Let’s just set the stage early – not a whole lot went according to plan today. I will say I woke up on time (big win!) and was actually awake not just stumbling around trying to find a sock or something. My race outfit were some capris and a new Brooks shirt. I didn’t like the muffin top that puffed out of my pants with the tighter shirt so the hunt for something different was on. This was a horrible idea on my part.
I changed my bottoms three times. Then I settled on a skirt that I didn’t even know fit anymore! I put my pivot shorts in my bag just in case I decided on them later, grabbed some coffee, some grub and was out the door. I even packed my bag the night before!
My GPS couldn’t find the address so I simply put in the town the race was in and made decent time – just over an hour. Then I got a bit lost trying to find the fairgrounds but finally followed the train of cars. Of course driving in the dark (and being tailgated by some rude folk) and then getting turned around meant my anxiety level was high. Not to mention, I still needed to pick up my packet, I decided I wanted my pivot shorts after all and use the porta potty.
After I parked and changed in the car, I asked a woman where pick up was and she told me I had better hustle. I think it was about 7:35 am at this point and the race started at 8 am. So I ran. This was unnecessary effort though as I got my packet with ease and there was a bag check.
I was still rattled though and hurried to the porta potty line. I had my phone in my arm band and then I had my handheld (sans water bottle) with my fuel, headphones and car key in it. I rushed in, put my stuff on the shelf and turned around.
Then I heard it.
My handheld had “jumped” off the shelf (karma? porta potty ghost?!) and LANDED IN THE PORTA POTTY! WTF?! I know I screamed but it was all so surreal that I don’t even remember. So, I reached in, gingerly picked it up and sort of unzipped it enough to get my key. The handheld was never going to see my hand again so I left it on the side. I wiped off the key, anti-baced (verb form of using antibacterial – we used this all the time on SAS) it to no end along with my hands, went to the bathroom and then did a death march to the starting line. My spirit was crushed at this point.
I forgot my garmin in the car, didn’t take the meds I was planning and now didn’t have music either. I tweeted about it because I was so damn horrified about what had just happened and needed to vent. I no longer had any fuel, all of the feeling behind, getting lost, running to get my packet, wardrobe changes, “the incident” and just being nervous for the run left me majorly frazzled. I seriously considered not doing the run for about a minute. Nevertheless, a few minutes later it was time to start.
I forgot that half marathons are hard! I started out way to quickly, then fell into the 11 min pace group and then sped up for a while <–mistake. By mile 5 I had met up with the 11:30 pace group and this is where I stayed. The pacers for this group were amazing! One of them found a GU for me and I took my first hit at 5. I made this GU last the whole time! They also gave me big hugs at the end when I thanked them and told them how this was my return to distance racing. I want them to be my besties.
I hit the 10k marker at 1:08 ish, which is right on what I ran in the 10k two weeks ago. The course is beautiful and I kept reminding myself to look around and enjoy it. There were 6 or 7 water stops with Nuun/water and volunteers on the course aplenty. They were great! The shirt is very cute and with all of the support the price was only $40! And the early registration price was $35?! It was a steal.
My splinty shins wanted to make sure I knew they were still there and they proceeded to hover for most of the race. Around mile 9 my quads started feeling crampy. I was not pleased. It wasn’t that they were cramping exactly but felt like they wanted to – at any moment! The pacer who gave me the GU had been running back and forth in our kind of spread out group and she came up telling me I looked strong. 10 and 11 had some rolling hills that made my quads cry and hearing the hills were almost done and that I looked strong was a big boost. So I kept going.
A few times, my gait felt really off – as though I forgot how to run. The balls of my feet were really hurting and I’m thinking I need to get some bulkier shoes. Minimalist styles don’t seem to work with my feet and I’ve been trying to make it happen for a year now. We’ll see.
There was this small dirt hill that lead up to the fairgrounds stadium and finish line. This puppy was STEEP! I said something and the volunteers laughed a bit. Two women who I had been leap-frogging came up behind me and I didn’t even care anymore. Then I saw the clock – it said 2:34:48 and I wanted to be in before 2:35 so I called on some kind of booster and blasted through the finish line (even passing the two women!). I even heard a spectator say something about look at her go! Two friends finished before me and they were cheering for me at the end – it was great!
I have a few other fun things to share tomorrow but I will say, I fought my ass off to finish this puppy! And my time? 2:33:40 – YAY! I was very pleased with my efforts and I didn’t listen to my brain that said I needed to walk. Yep, no walking outside of water stops.
And now I’m off to bed
*at the Disney World marathon, I almost fell IN the porta potty – it was completely in slow motion and I was seriously rattled. Porta potties hate me…