Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Comedy of Errors

As much as I wanted to run the You Go Girl with the rest of the bloggy buddies, it just wasn't possible this time around. Instead I chose to run the Indian Summer Half Marathon in Richland. You can't beat a $15 entrance fee!

I knew it wasn't going to be the best race since I haven't done a single speed workout, and my only tempo run (if you could even call it that), was three miles. My longest run was only 12 miles, and I have still had twinges of something in my shin. The good news is, I was planning on going into this race relaxed, and ready to just enjoy it and see what happened. I hoped for 10 min miles, but didn't know if I could even hold that pace!

And then, everything went wrong.

The morning of the race, I got up and packed everything up to get in the car. I drove to the ATM for cash. The ATM wasn't working. No big deal, I drove to another one. -5 minutes. I was just about to get on the freeway, doing a mental checklist, (good thing too!) and I realized I FORGOT MY SHOES!!!! Argh! Quick turn around back to my house, and there they were sitting on my porch. Duh, seriously. Preparing for a race with PMS brain was not going well. -10 minutes at least. My extra window of time to get to the race was narrowing.

Finally on the freeway cruising along until everyone slowed down to 45mph for fog. Really? I was going to be cutting it close! At this point, I was hoping to get there 15 minutes before race time.

I get to Richland and pull off on Exit 5A, following the directions I had printed off. I drove, and kept driving. Hmmm, this doesn't look right? I call my husband. No answer. 10 minutes to race time, starting to panic! I go back and try again. Maybe I went the wrong direction in the roundabout? It wasn't there last year. Try to call my husband again. Voicemail. Driving in circles, clearly in the wrong place, but having no idea where else to go! Husband finally calls back and I tell him where I am. He very helpfully tells me I'm lost. Thanks. I get back on the freeway, and finally figure out I needed exit 5B! I pull in and get lucky with a parking spot, the race has already started. To go home, or race anyways?

I go to the table and sign in, the 5k starts. I ask if I can start the half even if I'm late? She said sure, go for it. I quickly pull my hair back; the rubber band breaks. I dig around the car for another one. Hair up, Garmin searching, tie my shoes and I'm off a good 20 minutes late, 5 minutes behind the 5k racers.

I start overtaking a lot of the 5k walkers and joggers pretty quickly. I knew I was going out too fast, but had a hard time slowing to a comfortable pace. At the 5k turnaround, I was the only one to keep going. After another mile, I start catching up to other half marathoners. Whew! Feeling like I'm actually part of the race now. It was warmer than I expected, and I knew the adrenalin was helping me go out too fast. Oh well. Banked time for later?

Between miles 5 and 6, I see my running partner and cheer her on since she is on her way back. I start chatting with people around me, really trying to enjoy the race but keep going at a good pace. I feel like I have settled in at this point.

Last year, when I ran this race, it was going to be my PR course. It is relatively flat, and small and I was in shape to crush my PR of 2:02. I psyched myself so totally out, and had a horrible running day. I had asthma problems from anxiety and felt completely defeated before the turnaround. I finished in something like 2:17.

This year, I reached the turnaround feeling good. Around this point I realized I did not remember body glide. Yeah, uh oh. I was wearing compression shorts, so my legs were okay. I was starting to chafe under my arms. Ouch! I didn't expect it to be so hot. What can you do mid-race? Nothing, keep going knowing I would pay for it later!

I start thinking through the remaining miles, feeling my legs burning out from my fast start. I talk to anyone I pass, trying to occupy my mind. I try embracing the burning in my legs, which works for a time. By mile 10, I was tired. I walked through the water stop after 10, but set a point to run again. I was going to run it in, even if I was tired!

Miles 11 and 12 always feel so long! I was still passing people, but no one felt like talking, myself included. The sun was warm, and I was getting a headache. Did I not drink enough? No, I think I just had a headache. Not a good feeling on the run.

Mile 13 has a cruel twist. You can see the finish line, but you know it can't be that close, right? Run around a corner and realize you follow the river away from the finish and back again. Up the hill to the finish (why is that always the case?). I was thrilled to see lots of people cheering at the finish line. Sometimes in smaller races, not very many stay to cheer. I laugh when i see the clock at 2:30 something, thankful that was not my time. Finish! Garmin time, 2:10:31

Mile 1: 9:00 (way too fast)
Mile 2: 9:32 (still too fast)
Mile 3: 9:37
Mile 4: 9:48 (better, where I want to be)
Mile 5: 9:53
Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7: 9:49
Mile 8: 10:03 (getting a little tired, water stop)
Mile 9: 9:48
Mile 10: 10:16 (tired legs)
Mile 11: 10:48 (water stop)
Mile12: 11:07 (out of steam, slowed to chat with girl who pulled a muscle)
Mile 13: 9:56 (want to be done!)
Mile .1: 9:20 pace

2:10, 9:58 average pace. Way better than I expected! Not a great time, but one I'm proud of considering!
1231 ascent, 1221 descent (lots of rolling hills)