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Monday, August 23, 2010

Fun = FAIL

You know how they say the memory of the pain of childbirth fades quickly, otherwise women would never have more than one child? I never really understood that. I loved giving birth to my girls. It wasn't easy and it hurt like a son-of-a-gun, but I loved every minute of it. I am wondering, however, if that same idea might apply in the case of races. If so, maybe I will run the Hobble Creek Half again. Otherwise, I probably won't.

I'm sure you can guess that accomplishing my one goal to have fun was a big fat FAIL. All that stuff we read and people say about how much running is a mental sport is TRUE. I had a lousy attitude from the time we sat on the bus seven miles from the start for more than 30 minutes and it became obvious the race would start late again (it began about an hour late last year). Then I listened to a conversation in the port-a-potty line that added to my grumpiness (more on that in a later post). Once the race finally started, I spent way too much time being annoyed about the late start and the heat. Also the thought that I would be presented with a carnation at the end was not pushing me along. I kept thinking if I'm going to pay to run 13.1 miles, I want a medal!! You might be starting to understand my mindset as I ran.

As I started the race, my Garmin couldn't find the satellite so the only data it tracked was my time. I wanted to stick to around 10 minute miles so I could count the race as a "planned marathon pace" long run. At the exact moment I passed the ten mile marker, my watch gave me the 1:40:00 alert. The last three miles were about the same, but I don't know exactly because I made a 5+ minute potty stop just after I hit 10 miles. I kept putting off stopping because there was always a line, but I finally didn't want to wait anymore. So if you figure in my bathroom break and the fact that I forgot to stop my Garmin right as I crossed the finish, I was right on my target pace. The G-man was at 2:18:17 when I finally stopped it. My chip time was 2:17:55. When I looked at the results, I had to remind myself I didn't race and I ran this same race last year in 2:00:42.

Here are some other random thoughts about the race...
  • I would rather have a medal than a shirt.
  • I walked through all the aid stations.
  • I was more critical of how this race was managed because I was able to compare it to the two other half marathons I ran this year.
  • I was sick the past two weeks and almost didn't race at all. I got a virus a few days ago that caused me to get sores on my throat, made the roof of my mouth swell and had me running a fever Thursday night. Just another factor in how I felt on race day.
  • I saw Alicia before the race started. I was bummed that I didn't see her again after the race though. I hope I can talk her into joining me for a run soon!
  • I never used my energy gel. My stomach was a little grumpy off and on, so I didn't dare put anything in it. Oddly though, my stomach didn't bother me at all after the race. I went home and ate lunch and didn't spent any time in the bathroom. Maybe I am finally figuring out how to fuel and my body is starting to appreciate the pre- and post-race Imodium.
  • The guy who passed me singing along to his iPod made me smile. I wasn't ornery all 13.1 miles.
  • I need to move somewhere flat. As someone who struggles with IT band issues, all these downhill races are not the best. My left leg bothered me off and on, and it was pretty angry by the time I got home. I've been spending some quality time with the foam roller.
  • I didn't get a pre- or post-race photo of myself, and I'm sure the race photos will show me looking about how I felt, so we'll have to see whether or not I share them on here. I did get a picture on my phone on my way home though, and it made me smile. I'm pretty sure my girls are going to want me to go running every weekend so "Aunt" Stacey can come play with them. She dressed them up like princesses, painted their finger and toenails, did princess hair, put make-up on them and even decorated The Bean's cast. Stacey really is amazing. I don't know what I would do without her (and not just because she is my go-to girl when I have a race)!

RUN: Friday night as I set my alarm and my husband set his (for more than an hour before mine so he could go try to shoot Bambi), I commented that we are both nuts to voluntarily do activities that require us to get up so early.


  1. Sorry it didn't turn out to be much fun, but the princess picture is great. I'm with you on the hills and IT Band struggles. I used to love downhills for obvious reasons, but now I dread them. Next time can only be better, right?

  2. What a miserable experience! :(

    I'm trying to develop a good place when I run, where my mind does not wander. I concentrate on my breathing and stride and not on too much on the things around me.

    When I feel my thighs are tight, or that I'm a little gluey inside cause I didn't drink enough water ... it starts an avalanche of crappy thought.

    I think this whole race yelled "Psych!" or "Head Fake!"

    Too bad - you need to make this learning improve your running later.

  3. ...but you finished!

  4. I really loved reading your race recap. I like how honest you are about how you were feeling.

    I've had a race like yours about a year and a half ago...a lot of the same thoughts you had during this race, I also had. It makes it hard to get out of that attitude.

    I think you still did amazing! (I agree with you on the medal vs. flower). Enjoy your rest day!

  5. Wait - Hobble Creek doesn't give finisher medals? SERIOUSLY?! I guess I don't want to do it. That is basically one of the only reasons that I do half-marathons! I need as many medals as possible!

  6. Sorry the run didn't go well. :(
    I'm with you--I want a medal! Especially if the entry fee was expensive!

  7. Be proud that you finished under such tough conditions... I decided during my last 10 mile race in 90 degree weather that I was done racing anything over a 5k in high temps. Yeah, not tough at all, but I'm ok with that!

  8. I agree, I want a medal for EVERYTHING, not some flower! Good on you for sticking with it and getting it done at your marathon pace!

  9. Sorry you didn't get a medal. You can have all mine but I have no idea where they are. Annoying that it started late. If you get up that early the last thing you want to do is wait around for a race to start. AND Having 4 kids I totally forgot the pain after each one but REMEMBERED the second I got pregnant again. Wouldn't trade it for any of them though. Congrats on finishing even with all the complications.

  10. I will not return to poorly run races, I experienced one last November....a HM...started like yours, way late...that's bad enough! Good job on hanging in there and making the most of it!! Congrats!

  11. Well, I can guarantee that your next race will be better than this one!
    Although your one moment of levity makes me wonder if I should sing throughout my next race, which I would love to do, but always figure it might annoy other runners, hey maybe not.
    You have to be happy with that pacing sans G-man. Seriously, how can our bodies figure remember a 10min/mile pace and maintain it? Pretty incredible.
    Glad your girls had a great time!


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