2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

Countdowns!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Run For Ryan House Half Marathon Report

Friday I headed over to packet pickup to get my bib and shirt and get a feel for where I would be going in the morning. It got me out of work early as well so that was a nice bonus. There were about 5 vendors at the "Expo" - took me all of two minutes to walk through and head back to the car and home.

I was impressed by the shirt for this race. It's a Zorrell short sleeve wicking shirt. I got an XL and it was perfect. The sleeves were real sleeves, not those cap sleeves that so many companies are fond of. The sleeve actually came down a good distance and the length was good. I decided it wouldn't chafe so I was going to go ahead and wear it for the race.

Saturday started at 4:20am. I got up, grabbed a granola bar and some water then took a shower. Eating before a race is something I don't do, but I thought I should give it a try today and see how my stomach fairs. I took my time getting ready and gathering all my gear, etc...

At 5:20am I fed the dogs and headed on my way. About 1.5 miles from my house I realized that I didn't have my Garmin on. Could I do this race without it? Yes, did I want to, no. I turned around and headed back to get it. I like to have my Garmin with me so I know how I'm doing and where I am on the course.

Back on the road at 5:30am...Still plenty of time since the race starts at 7:00am. It was actually a very easy drive and only took about 40 minutes to get there. Parking was also quick and easy and very close to the finish line. I sat in the car for a few minutes to give myself a pep talk (which I had been doing the whole way there). I knew that I could do it, but how bad this course was going to be was still a big mystery for me.

At 6:20am I got out of the car and headed to start doing a nice warm up walk. Nothing fast, nothing fancy just walked around to get the blood pumping and the muscles loosened up. I had spent last night doing more painting in the workout room. Nothing to much, but enough that I thought my calves might get a bit tight. I stretched them out and my hips and stood around with everyone else waiting to get going. We listened to a very awful rendition of the National
Anthem - I applaud the girl for trying, but you don't need to embellish this song, especially when doing so off key.

The weather is beautiful today. Overcast and 55 at the start of the race. It would stay that way pretty much through the entire race which was absolutely great.

The race started right on time at 7:00am. I knew I was in trouble the minute I started. This course wasn't going to be a joke and I was going to suffer. We started right out with a short little hill, but that was just the beginning.

I was feeling okay and didn't think I was going too fast during mile one and that mile passed in 12:20. I am still looking a the massive looming hill that we are on and wondering how I'm going to do this.

Mile two was done in 12:51 and by the end of this mile I was seriously considering quitting and heading back. I didn't know how I was going to make it through this race. The hill is never ending. I continue on knowing it will have to level out at some point in time.

Mile three was another 12:51 and by the time I hit the 5K and I was using some not very family friendly words in my head...Hopefully they were in my head. I was drained and I had barely even started. One of the volunteers said one thing I never want to hear that early in a race - you're almost there. I said, not even close trust me. I grabbed an Accelerade at the water stop. Figured at this point it couldn't hurt. It was green. I'm not sure what flavor it was, but it was palatable although I had to wash it down with plenty of water. I also grabbed a water and I was carrying my water too.

And now I start walking. Yep, that's right, I was already walking. and we're still heading uphill. I look back and see that there are not very many people behind me. I don't care that I'm at the back of the pack. This mile passed in 14:00 minutes.

The hill is very steep now and it's getting hard to keep walking. I just keep pushing myself and moving forward one step at a time. My legs are like jelly and I have a long way to go. Finally there are people that are starting to come back the other way. I cheer them on and most return the favor telling me to keep going. There are also a ton of cyclists on the road today and all of them cheer and provide moral support. I sure appreciated that. This mile passes in 15:02. I take a Hammer gel. It doesn't help, I'm feeling totally depleted.

The hill levels out just a little bit and I can't even jog faster than a 14:30, but I try it just to keep my legs moving a little bit and try to ease the stiffness. Finally, the turn around point is close. I make it around the corner and there's a water stop. Another Accelerade, orange this time, but not orange flavor - maybe it mango or something. Again, something that I can tolerate and it's not making my stomach ache yet. That's a bonus. As I reach the half way point I'm at 1 hour and 30 minutes. I'm so tired, but I'm no the downhill side of the miles now. Mile six passes in 14:23.

I do a little jogging again since it's a good downhill and gravity can help me do the work. My left hip is really starting to hurt now and it's throwing my stride off and making it hard to run. I walk some more to try to ease my hip. Not much relief but it is helping a bit. I keep plodding on wondering why I keep putting myself through this torture. This mile passes in 13:40.

I am still going, but I'm not sure why. I want to quit so bad that it kills me. I know I'm not getting a medal since there are only a few people behind me and there are only medals for the first 600 finishers. Of course, I'm really not sure that there are 600 runners here today. Regardless, I don't care about the medal at this point. I'm just focusing on walking and jogging when I can. I have to keep moving. This mile passes in 13:32.

This next mile I was able to get a good stretch of running in. I find a pace that makes my hip not hurt to badly, but I notice that my right hip is starting to feel the strain of supporting the left hip. The balls of my feet are on fire and I know that I'm developing some massive, painful blisters. I find that running this mile helps me keep going with a little less pain. This mile passes in 12:04. Wow - really.

Didn't think I was going that fast, but it will take a toll on me during this next mile. I'm coming up on 10 miles now. I'm watching the clock and I think I'm going to come in right around three hours. I'd like to do better, but I'm just not sure that's going to happen. I've only done a little running during this mile, but I'm walking as fast as I can. I take another Accelerade - red this time, fruit punch I think. I think I'm going to have to invest in some of this stuff. I could water it down a bit more than they have and I feel like it's helping to hydrate me pretty well and not upsetting my stomach too much. This mile passes in 13:33.

I only have a 5K to go. I can do this right? Push through this and finish. Wrong - I'm suffering now. I feel like I can't finish. I take this jut that we had to make and I tried to cross to soon. I tried. I was just ready to be done I guess. This mile passes in 13:52.

I can't jog at all any more. My body just isn't going to allow it. I'm fading so fast and I am wondering if I'm going to make it to the end. I keep plodding along - more like shuffling at this point. This mile passes in 13:41.

The last mile is the easiest right? Not at all. I have been mostly alone the entire race and I know I should be getting close to the last turn in the course, but I'm not exactly sure where it is. I'm so afraid that I'm going to get lost and end up going further than I need to. I don't like this feeling. There were really no race volunteers around to guide us. There were cones on the road, but it was a construction area so it was a bit confusing. I make a turn where I think I need to and it's another uphill - great. I keep walking and finally I see more police directing traffic and helping runners cross the road and I know I'm in the right place. Thank goodness. I start doing a very slow shuffling jog. I'm very close to the end now. This last mile passed in 14:48.

I have made the last turn and am almost to the finish. They are packing everything up. Geez, how to make a runner feel fast. I keep slogging along and I finally hit the last timing mat. Guess what? There are a ton of little kids handing out medals. Yes, I got a medal. That makes me pretty happy. This last .12 miles took 2:09.

My Garmin time was 2:58:51, my official chip time was 2:58:50. How's that for close? So, I made it through under three hours - barely. My second slowest half marathon. Am I upset by this? Absolutely not - this was a killer course and I wanted to quit so many times, but I didn't.

I can't tell you what was available for the runners at the end of this race. I didn't stop, I didn't look, I just hobbled to my car. I could barely walk and I was afraid if I stopped I wouldn't be able to drive home. Straight to the car where I had a Powerade Zero and two mini Clif bars waiting for me. I headed for home immediately. I was hurting pretty good and wasn't sure how fast I'd be freezing up. Needless to say, I made it home safe and sound.

I came in 451 out of 457 people. Can't be much more back of the pack than that. It did make the run a little lonely, but that's okay.

The after math is pretty bad right now. I'm not sure I've ever been this sore after any race. My left hip is so sore it hurts to sit, stand, walk, lay down, move, etc...The right hip is sore, but manageable. The blisters on the balls of my feet are huge and deep - they aren't just surface blisters, they're further under the skin. I've never had blisters like this from any runs I've done. I guess it had to happen at some point. I totally forgot to mention just how shredded my lungs are too. The effort was so great that I was breathing pretty hard the whole time and I now sound like a chain smoker when I breathe and when I cough. Crazy.

I know that I need to do a lot of work on myself after this race. That's kind of why I did this race. I wanted to see just how much damage I've done in the last two months. Now I know, I've done way too much damage. Time to change that for sure.

Here's a breakdown of my thoughts after my fourth half marathon:
1. This was no where near as fun as a Disney race.
2. The water stops were too far apart for as steep as the course was and they should have offered bananas or some food items on the course.
3. I will pay much more attention to the elevation maps on any future races I contemplate running.
4. Hills are not my friends.
5. I must lose this extra weight.
6. Treadmill hill training is in my future.
7. The mind is an amazing thing. If it wasn't for my will to not fail, I would have stopped after a couple of miles. I saw many people on the course turn around between miles 4 and 6.
8. People are supportive - cyclists and motorists were kind and thoughtful on the course today.
9. I love volunteers and supporters. It really did make the course more doable.
10. I think I need to revise my training plan to sort of reset my mileage and start over on the build up. 11. I may be walking the Goofy, but I will finish.
12. Strength training cannot be avoided any longer.
13. Core training cannot be avoided any longer.
14. I finished my fourth half marathon and it had nothing but hills.
15. Whoever said that what goes up must come down wasn't running.
16. Downhills don't help if you're dead tired from the uphills.
17. Pain sucks!
18. I am envious of people that can make this look easy.
19. I like running a longer race with more people than this. Company and misery loves company!
20. I wonder why I keep torturing myself...but even as sore as I am I love it!
21. It would be good to get some running miles in, in the month prior to a race.

5 comments:

Albert said...

Congrats on the race. Great detailed report. Just finishing any race is success in my book. Enjoyed reading about it.

Jeff W. said...

22. Perseverance may be your middle name.

Congratulations! You faced the "El Guapo" of an unknown course and lived to tell the tale. Awesome that you finished under 3:00 with all those hills.

Hope your legs and hips feel well today.

Richard said...

You showed up and finished when a lesser runner would not have done so. Congratulations!
I'm proud of you!

Anonymous said...

I think it is awesome that you kept going and finished. Many people would have given up with those hills. Under 3 hours with hills and alot of pain is still a good time.
I hope you are feeling better soon!
Lorraine (Chris' wife)

Anonymous said...

Great, great effort, Amanda. Truly, a great effort on your part on a difficult course.

With as many of these things as I run, you would think that I don't have those same doubts sometimes on an overly difficult course. I do, though. We all do, and you're no different in that respect.

When I reach that point in a distance event, my mantra then becomes:

"I can't lose if I don't quit"

Nuff said. Pain and suffering are temporary, but quitting stays with you forever.

I DNF'ed a triathlon back in 2007 in the middle of a lake because I just didn't feel like I had the strength to continue the swim, get on the bike and make it to the run. I cannot think of a single thing in my racing life I regret more than I do that decision to quit.

It haunts me nearly every single day of my life. I would give anything to be able to relive that event and press on through it.

Good job on not giving up, giving in, and giving out. Instead, you went on and persevered. Good job.

-Chris @ runningafterdaylight.com

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