After a week of torture, your patience has paid off... my recap is finally to race morning. Sunday morning, I was out of bed by about 4:20 am and started getting myself ready. The plan was to meet the girls in the lobby of their hotel at 6 (?) to walk to the start area of the race. The race started at 7:30 so that left us time to use the bathroom and get into our corrals. It was a cold walk to the start area and my nerves were getting the best of me. Luckily once we got to the start I started feeling more relaxed.
“The girls” all had a VIP sticker to “potty like a rockstar” so while they got their rockstar on I decided to go drop my bag off at gear check and get in line for the port-a-potties. After about 5 minutes waiting in line for a potty, I realized I had forgotten my bondi-band in my bag so I had to run back and grab it and get back in line for the bathroom. Believe it or not I spent nearly an hour in line to go to the bathroom. I think I finally got to the front of the line at 7:27 (remember the race was to start at 7:30). Luckily the race was delayed, I was in corral 20, and with the staggered start I had enough time to get to where I needed to be. I made small talk with a girl next to me in my corral. She had lost 75ish pounds running as well and this was her 2nd half as well. Having someone to talk with helped with my nervousness. One of my favorite signs of the race I saw while waiting to cross the start line: “I don’t know you but I am proud of you.” I think I finally crossed the start line at about 8 am.
I’d love to give a mile by mile recollection of the race but unfortunately it just wasn’t that type of race for me. I went into this race wanting to do my absolute best but wanting to make sure that I enjoyed it for what it was – a fun weekend with the girls. The course was VERY congested but this was definitely to be expected given the race was sold out (20,000+) runners. I struggled to find an “open” space to run and did a lot of weaving around people. Overall, I was focused on just keeping my focus ahead of me, I was pretty sure I was watching the scenery. But, in hindsight I don’t remember much of it. I remember thinking “I remember seeing this yesterday when we drove the course” but I don’t remember many specifics.
|notice all the turns on the course!|
There were A LOT of turns on the course and with the crowds the turns were congested so I had to slow at every turn. I felt pretty good at 5k, I was on pace for a PR but I knew that I would slow down but I just kept trucking on reminding myself to enjoy the run. I took my Chocolate #9 at about mile 4. Because I had heard about the lines for the port-a-potties on the course I stopped at just before mile 6 when I saw one with only 2 people waiting. It took about 3 minutes to get back on the course – I HAVE to figure out a way to run in fewer layers. Going to the bathroom involves pulling up my hydration belt, spi belt, shirt, and long line sports bra and pulling down two different skirts and of course underwear. That’s a lot of layers and they tend to get tangled on each other. At the 10k mark, I felt pretty strong but knew I was slowing down. I was okay with this though because again I was just truly enjoying putting one foot in front of the other and running. I took my second and last fuel around mile 8 or 9 I think. I wish I had taken a third fuel but for some reason I just didn't. The miles are a blur, but looking at my race data, I didn't take my first walk break until almost 9 miles into the race. All of my walk breaks were short, I wish I knew exactly how long but I don't have that information right now. My stomach was starting to bother me so I had to take another walk break before my second bathroom break at almost mile 10.
I was starting to really feel exhausted but I was determined to finish stronger than I had at my last race. I didn't want to push too hard, but I wanted to make sure that I felt like I gave it my all. I took 4 more short walk breaks between mile 10 and mile 12. However, just before mile 12 I got a jolt of energy and decided to just keep running until I crossed that finish line. This was a HUGE part of my feelings of success for this race. Despite my time not being what it was last time, I think I showed progression as a runner and that to me is a big deal. At my last half, I walked several times in the last mile (and once within a half a mile of the finish). To finish strong felt amazing - it was awesome passing people as I rounded the corner to the finishing chute. I nearly killed myself in a pot hole, but luckily I caught myself before I went down. I did manage to twist my knee but kept on trucking as fast as my legs would carry me. I crossed the finish line and was super proud of everything I had accomplished.
All in all, I ran a slower time - but it was a much hillier course than I ran last time. Granted, it wasn't big hills, but there were alot of long "rolling hills" and they added up. Not to mention I spent 6ish minutes in the bathroom versus maybe 1-2 minutes last time. If I take everything into consideration I am extremely proud of my performance especially given the fact that I hadn't been properly maintaining my training this last month due to injury. I took 6 very short walk breaks between miles 9 and 12, but I expected I would need to given the lack of long runs in the last month. I had only run 6 miles twice, and other than that I think I only had 4-5 runs of 3 or so miles. Definitely not enough for a months worth of training!
More analysis in pictures (info taken from my Garmin):
|The two spikes at 6 and 10 are bathroom breaks, the other 6 small blips between 8 and 12 are walk breaks.|
|Miles 6 and 10 are slower due to bathroom breaks|