Well, it has been 4 days since my first half marathon...and as you can see, I haven't blogged about it yet...It was a little bit of a disappointment. Since Sunday, I have had a chance to think about everything, re-evaluate what I should and shouldn't have done, and I am all geared up to do it AGAIN!!!
Let me give you a recap of the week leading up to the race, and then the day of the race....
I did the normal "taper" that everyone talks about, where I only worked out twice during the week, so that I could relax my muscles and legs. During that week, I for whatever reason, lost 6lbs. Let me just tell you, that I am ALWAYS trying to lose weight, and during the whole 8 weeks of training, I didn't lose even ONE pound...so, of course this 6lb weight lose in 5 days, was AWESOME!! (but I didn't even think of how it could potentially affect my running...) On Saturday evening, I went out to dinner with my family and had a pasta dinner along with bread. (carb loading...like everyone says) I also drank plenty of water leading up to the race, and felt really good all week.
I walked outside at around 5:40am (we were leaving at 5:45am) My neighbor Jen was at the end of her driveway waiting...she saw me and told me I better grab a "throw away" shirt, so I wouldn't be cold while waiting for the race to start. The temps were in the high 40's/low 50's by then, but there was a slight breeze and chill in the air. I ran back inside and grabbed a long sleeved shirt to wear. I then ran back out and waited with Jen for Dr. Mohan. (My 3 other running friends all live in St. Louis, and they were taking the MetroLink down to the race...I had spoken with them earlier and everyone was SUPER excited!)
Right at 5:45am, Dr. Mohan can pulling up in a brand new Jaguar, for us to ride to the race in...Super Cool! I told him we were riding in style!
We had a little bit of trouble getting down there because of exits being closed etc, but at around 6:20am we arrived and I went off to find my friends. My friend Becki had picked up some balloons, and I spotted them right away (good tip for anyone who is meeting people...It was super easy to find them!) They were right at the back of the 9:55 pacer. We stretched some and talked and just all were super excited. At 7am, the race started...Becki had handed all of us a balloon, and we released them as we crossed the start line (I'm hoping for a cool pic of this from the photogs)
The first 4 miles were really good...I felt good, and the weather was not too hot yet. We were keeping a steady pace, and actually when I looked at my watch a few times, we were actually going faster than I would have wanted (sometimes it said 9:30ish, and sometimes 9:20ish...way to fast for me to start out a race...I am the type of runner who starts out slow and can really pick it up at the finish)
Right after mile 4, I started to feel a little dizzy and not like myself. My legs felt heavy, and my feet started to hurt (which had never happened to me during a run) We had just done a Gu and I was carrying my Golite handheld, so I was sipping water. Around mile 5, the heat really started to pound down on us, and I was.not.feeling.good.at.all!!! I didn't want to mention it to the other girls, because I didn't want to discourage them, so I just pushed on. Me and Becki had been out ahead of Kris and Sarah most of the time, but around mile 5.5 I dropped back to run with Kris and Sarah. Sarah mentioned she thought she might have to go to the bathroom....
At mile 6, I spotted my husband and parents and my little running supporter Logan, along with some of my parents friends (their daughter was also running the half...this was her first race, EVER) This did cheer me up, and I was able to show a smile and a wave:
Right after this, I saw some porta potties, and even though I didn't need to pee, I told Sarah that if she wanted to stop, I would stop with her. She took up my offer and we stopped (note: I never normally want to or have to stop during a race...first time EVER!) But, I was just not feeling good and I thought maybe stopping for a minute would help. Sarah ran to one of the potties, while I stood outside...then out of nowhere, I couldn't control it and pee started to run out of me...I freaked because I couldn't control it, and I ran into one of the open porta potties and went to the bathroom. (At this time I didn't know what was going on...these were things that never happened to me...especially only 6 miles into a run. I felt like I couldn't control my body!)
After I was done, I ran out to find Sarah, and I didn't see here anywhere...I waited around for a few more minutes and started up again...not sure if she was still in the bathroom or had gone ahead and started back up again. At around mile 7 I spotted my friend Sarah's husband, son and parents and in-laws, so I ran up to them to see if they had seen Sarah, which they hadn't...so, I decided to wait with them for a little bit to see if she came by. (And again, I felt like I was going to pass out...I started to get tunnel vision, and everything around me was a blur) I do remember Sarah's MIL ask me if I wanted a banana and I took it and ate half. I finally decided to push on without Sarah.
I took off again, and did a run/walk thing for another couple of miles...My legs just didn't want to move, and I was almost running slower that I was walking...It was such a horrible feeling, and I just couldn't understand it. I tried to listen to my music and just concentrate..I tried to focus on my breathing and tried to force my legs to run harder, but NOTHING was working. At one point, I JUST WANTED TO QUIT! I told myself that the one thing I have ALWAYS told my 18mos old son, is to "Never Give Up!" I knew I had to push through this and prove to him and myself I could finish this!
Around mile 9 the route looped back around, so I could see everyone on the other side of the road running back. I told myself I would run this, focus on looking for my friends. At mile 10, out of nowhere, someone yelled my name and came up from behind me and hugged me...IT WAS SARAH! I guess I had ran past her while she was walking...It was soooo great to have someone with me to finish this "excruciating race"! She was also feeling it...I haven't mentioned yet, that the heat continued to rise, and the course was HILLY, HILLY, HILLY! This of course didn't help anything!
We continued to do a run/walk for the next 2 miles. We pretty much walked the hills, ran the downhills or the flats. We did stop at every drink station, and I did fuel up on a little gatorade, which I think might have helped.
At mile 12, I finally started feeling better. There was one big hill that we decided to walk, and then I told Sarah, lets run the remaining bit, and cross the finish line running!!! She was really starting to hurt too, but she agreed. We finished the hill, and then took off at a run. My legs really felt weird, and I was having shooting pains in the front of my calves, but I pushed on.
We crossed the finish line TOGETHER and gave each other a huge hug! We had done it...through the heat, hills, pain, and just a HORRIBLE run day, I had done it! Mine and Sarah's 1st half marathon, and we had completed it together!
Afterwards I was still really, really dizzy and at points thought I was going to pass out, plus I had HORRIBLE leg cramps, where I couldn't hardly stand, and it brought tears to my eyes. This happened 3 different times after the race....again,something I had never, ever experienced before!
It was such a relief to see my parents and my husband and son...We did get our race pictures taken together, with our medals. We also took some with our own cameras:
I really didn't start to feel better until we reached the car. We went to lunch with Becki and her husband, and it was nice to get something to eat and not feel sooo dizzy!
That afternoon I was not feeling great about the race, but my husband kept telling me how proud he was of me...It did make me feel better! I took a long shower and nap that afternoon, and by that evening, felt a little bit better about everything. Here is a pic of my and my son that I took once we got home:
So, for final results: (not very proud of them, but I will still share)
Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time: 2:39:15
Chip Time: 2:31:47
Overall Place: 7403/10705
Gender Place: 4181/6821
Division Place: 977/1460
6 Mile Time: 1:00:30
So, this was the long post of my first "kind of successful, kind of not successful" half marathon. I am now evaluating and re-evaluating what I should or shouldn't have done, and what caused me to feel the way I did throughout the race. Has anyone else ever felt this way, and what do you think the cause was? Do you think the weight loss could have contributed to my body breaking down like it did? Why did I cramp so bad after it was over? These are all questions I need to figure out before I start my marathon training in a few months. I will tell you this:
Even though I had a bad run, I am ready to get back out there...I know I can do it, and I will!!! Also, I plan on running another half marathon before my marathon in October. I need to prove to myself that I can do this...because I know I can!!!
In speaking with a lot of other runners who ran this race, everyone said it was extremely hard and hilly!
Contests to check out:
Amanda: RuntoTheFinish: 3 Changes Challenge- Ends May 15th
Jamie: Running Diva Mom: Inspire Towel Giveaway- Ends April 18th
Jamie: Running Diva Mom: Run Like a Mother Book Giveaway- Ends April 15th
Erica: I Run Because....I Can: Gu and RoadID Giveaway- Ends April 16th
Lil Runner: CEP Compression Socks Giveaway- Ends April 23rd
Laura: My Reason to Run: Runningskirt Giveaway- Ends April 29th
Tonia: Racing with Babes- Food and Music Giveaway- Ends April 20th