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.