Thursday, May 17, 2012

Half-Marathon Recap

Well, first and foremost, we did it! We completed our first half-marathon.

It was hard, it really took a toll on me, and I hated it by mile 9, but we did it. And I have to thank J for getting me through it.

After all the training we've done for the past 5 weeks or so, I managed to get a nasty head cold the week of the race. I was so congested by Tuesday I really didn't know what to do. Thank you to all of you out there that recommended a neti pot! I used it daily, many days even twice, and it certainly helped clear out most of my congestion. But I was still tired, really tired, sniffling, and even wheezing once we started running.

Should I have still ran the race? Maybe not.

Should I have taken cold syrup before the race? Probably not.

Should I have slowed down my pace from mile 1 versus still trying to go for the time I wanted? Definitely.

We got to the race with plenty of time to wake up, stretch, and get our bib numbers. Although this race does not give medals at the finish line, they did have t-shirts which we were both excited for. They also gave out larabars (which I love!) and all natural fruit strips.

The goods:

While the material used for the women's shirts is light-weight and breatheable, the mens shirt is like heavy duty sandpaper. I have no idea what happened.

I was hoping the photos taken along the race course would be up by now to share, but unfortunately they're not. So you'll have to deal with the limited photos my mom took before and after the race (Thank you!!).

Before the race we were all smiles.

1. My mom made her way through the runners to find us lined up to snap these photos. 2. After the Star Spangled Banner, they played the Black Eyed Pea's I've Got a Feeling. I thought my mom was going to start running with us she was so excited. It was pretty cool though. See, J & I were introduced as Mr. & Mrs. at our wedding to this song. So this is me and my 5 side chins when I smile (what is up with that?!) giving J that look like we are ready to run this. Or maybe it was the DayQuil kicking in, who knows.

Ok, back to the race. miles 1-6 felt pretty good. I felt a little tired around mile 3 and knew I should probably slow it down, even tried to, but the first 5 miles were crowded, and it was too easy to keep a faster pace. Mistake number 1. No matter how many times I told myself this, it still happened: do not start off too fast. We were running right under a 9 minute pace, my original goal was a 9:09 pace.

It was hot Saturday, and surprisingly enough for being a coastal town, there was very little breeze. I was not used to running in weather this warm. It was also hillier than I expected. We were forewarned about the hills, but it was still tough. I'm pretty sure there was never more than a quarter to half a mile that was flat.

We took our first cup of water around mile 5. By mile 6, I was feeling the heat, I was feeling the tiredness from my cold, and the hill I making my way up was just too much for me to handle at that moment. I didn't know what else to do but to take a minute to walk. I figured slowing down now would help me finish out in the end. We took our first set of GU Energy Chews here and then got back to running. By mile 7 I needed more water, and the water station was out! I couldn't believe it. It was hard to not get mad but I knew all the stations were run by volunteers so I so appreciated them being there.

From mile 8 through 13 I really struggled. Full body chills, even on the top of my head at times. And poor J, I would say things like, "I feel like I'm going to pass out, I'm going to walk for 30 seconds, you go ahead without me." Like he was really going to leave me after I just said I'm feeling light-headed! So no, J never left my side. And even though I was getting so frustrated with myself for feeling weak and not making the time I told myself I wanted to finish in. I finished. I had to. I had to do this not only for myself, but for J who has trained with me the whole time, and my parents who were waiting at the finish line. Well, I really didn't have to do it for any of them, but I certainly used that as motivation to get me through it. (Sidenote- my poor dad. He did not want me to run at all, and apparently everytime an ambulence went by with the sirens on, which happened more frequently than I expected for a half-marathon, he feared it was me!).

My parents were waiting at mile 13. 

It took a lot of energy to get that hand up and wave. Ha

As you rounded the corner for the last .1, the announcers were calling out runners names and towns for people to cheer for you. I thought that was awesome. And they picked me, not J to call out! Ha. That could be because I looked like I needed it more....Our official time: 2:12:55, 10:08 pace. Slowest run I've done to date, but given the circumstances, I'll take it.


Our "we finished" photo that my mom snapped. Yes, my eyes are only half open. It happens.

By the time we got home I knew I needed to eat but absolutely nothing sounded good. While J was ready for a huge deli sub, the thought of anything heavy made me feel sick. I'm pretty sure it was a bit of dehydration talking because the only thing that sounded really appealing was a smoothie. I whipped a heavy one together using a Chobani greek yogurt, vanilla protein powder, a whole banana, frozen mangoes, strawberries, and spinach, almond milk, chia seeds, and water.

 It was soooo good. Just what I needed.

And unfortunately, guess what my body needs now? Medication, and lots of it. My cold has traveled to my chest, per usual, making it hard to breathe and giving me a fantastic sounding cough....the things I do to run!

Why yes that is an empty bottle cough syrup....that's because this isn't my first rodeo with a chest cold/blocked airways. So while I wait for my new bottle to be filled, I still have the bottle from the last time this happened....ugh.

Sidenote - In the background of this photo is a new love of mine! Have you tried Honest Tea? You really should. The half & half is my original fav but yesterday I grabbed their zero calorie lemonade on my way back from the doctors and it was just as good. And, it's made with stevia, no splenda, sweet n low, etc, which I appreciated as well.

I am so thankful for my amazing husband who took on this endeavor with me. I'm pretty sure I've talked him into running another one with me once I'm 100%, oh and don't have busy plans for the 6 weeks leading up to the race (like here, here, here, here, here, and here). I have to. At this point, I have to do it for myself. I really hope it was the cold that made me feel so sick and weak and not just me! Ha. But next time, I will most definitely be picking a flatter course. Maybe in the fall, we'll see. Stay tuned. :)

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