|"Running is terrible. Meow."|
Egads, this race was a doozy.
I had a premonition this was going to be horrible. I woke up at 4:54am, got dressed and ready, then proceeded to have some stomach issues til we needed to leave at 5:30am. I won't get into the details, but yikes. Seemed like an inauspicious beginning to my day.
Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?
The Beginning I lined up with a slower pace group than normal. 10:40/mile (2:20 finish) instead of 10:20/mile (2:15 finish). I figured it was the smart thing to do since the humidity was very high (almost 90%) and there was a chance for high temps. Looking back, probably not a good idea. I kind of felt like I was trotting along and never found my stride. In fact, I eventually lost the pace group... and kept going slower and slower and slower...
Just before mile 3 the quarter marathoners split off. Man, I really wanted to go with them. I started to think, "Would I really get into trouble? I'll still get my medal..." but I stayed the course (literally).
The Beginning of the End
Miles 4 and 5 weaved through a nice neighborhood and up some hills. Hey, I was told this was a flat course! I wanted to walk. I was having a really hard time breathing in the soupy air (not quite gasping, but I could never get a deep breath). It wasn't terribly hot, but it was foggy and thick – kind of like running through a cloud on Mars (or so I imagined). Additionally, my left leg was locking up behind the knee.
I can't remember the first time I seriously considered walking. I think it was near mile 5. I was losing sight of the pace group and people were dropping like flies all around me. One girl would run/walk so that every time I caught up to her at my slow trot she'd start running. Honestly, that was kind of annoying.
When we turned into the Metro Park (miles 6 and 7) I wanted to go home. By this point, I had a blister or two forming. I never get blisters. NEVER. So naturally it made me really whiny. My tummy still felt gross and I kept thinking about calling Alex to come get me, or faking an emergency so the nice first aid people would drive me back. Before mile 8 I had to stop THREE times to chuck rocks out of my shoes.
|Smiling for Alex / glad to be done.|
Miles 9 - 12 had me walking a little bit. Let's face it: I was ovvvverrrrrr it. This made Cap City seem like a dream. At one point the 2:30 finish pace group passed me. What a downer. I knew immediately that my time was definitely going to be 10+ minutes slower than Cap City. Instead of motivating me to pick up the pace, I took a little pity walk while I ate my complimentary GU. (Another thing I don't do normally - I usually eat chews.)
Ultimately, I finished strongish. I ran the last mile at a respectable pace. I smiled as I crossed the line (mainly because Alex was taking my photo and hollering at me). I'm not that sore today and I wasn't very tried after. I'm a little relived by that. My feet were rubbed raw and burned, but I took a nice bath and didn't walk around too much yesterday, so they're okay (Plus, I'm wearing fluffy moccasins today.)
The course was lovely and the weather – minus the humidity – was nice: overcast and kind of breezy, but it wasn't my day. I had a bad attitude going into it, I'd skipped my 5 and 6 mile runs the week before, and I didn't really run the beginning. I trotted. And so, the rest of the race was a trot to keep up, some sad walking breaks, and general grumblings of "why do people sign up for these? This is it. Never again."
|I'm here for the chocolate milk.|
Things I've learned:
- I hate running in humidity. I am not a summer distance runner. Give me a 30-50 degree day and I'll love you forever.
- My audiobook wasn't great. I was listening to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. It's an okay book, but not too riveting. Not to mention, around mile 11 the protagonist starts drinking a ton of liquor discussing how nauseous she is. I had to switch over to music at that point...
- I should have started with a different pace group. 10:20/mile didn't exist (they had 9:55), so honestly I'm not sure what I would have done differently. But Lordy, this was night and day from the 10 miler a few weeks ago (where I ran a few miles under 10 minutes.)
- Attitude is everything. I wasn't feeling it, I just wanted to go home, and it sucked.
- Well, running slower means I'm less sore.
- I don't want to be in the back of the pack again.
Will I run another half?
During the race (miles 5-end) I kept thinking how stupid long races are. They are SO self-indulgent! "Look at me run a stupid distance! Look at my medal!" In the car on the way home I told Alex it was ridiculous. I told him I wouldn't do it again. I was so totally bummed with my result and it wasn't fun. I said I'd keep doing 5-15Ks and 10 milers, but never a half.
Then I sat around at home for a while. I really like running far with my running group. I woke up today and thought, "Well, I still have half a season left. Everyone else is training for October 19*, so maybe I should train for October 19." Get a shot at redemption! *Can I also add: it totally sucked to be on a separate training schedule from my running group. It certainly didn't help my summertime running sadness. One point of commiseration: the only other dude in my group to run Em City also had a horrible day. Yay for shared misery!
So, in conclusion: It sucked. I hated it. It was slow. I wanted to die (quit). BUT I might sign up for one more half in the (cooler) fall.
2 mi 10:31 min/mi
3 mi 10:19 min/mi
4 mi 10:33 min/mi
5 mi 11:06 min/mi
6 mi 10:44 min/mi
7 mi 10:44 min/mi
8 mi 11:34 min/mi
9 mi 13:45 min/mi (I was pouting with my GU here)
10 mi 11:42 min/mi
11 mi 12:04 min/mi
12 mi 11:34 min/mi
13 mi 11:53 min/mi
13.6 mi 10:40 min/mi
Final time: 2:33 (Cap City was 2:19) :'(
What a change from the last two races. Bummer. Oh well... onward and upward!