Monday, April 28, 2014

Iron Girl Half Marathon Recap

I'm officially a half marathoner! Woo!

As I am writing this, all I want to do is go back to sleep. I slept 8 hours like a log last night but I'm still exhausted. I managed to do some grocery shopping and meal planning so we have some tasty meals coming up this week. Yay!

Enough of boring stuff, onto the race recap!

Short version for those who just want the pics: I ran. It was a challenge. I came in 18 minutes earlier than expected. I was exhausted but extremely happy. I love my medal. I am proud of myself. The End.

Full story:

I slept much better than I expected the night before the race. I woke up at 4:50 AM and started to get ready. Dad was already up and getting ready too. I let Joe sleep until 5:15. We arrived a little after 6 am for the 7 am start.

After standing at the starting line for a half hour, we were told that something happened with the race course (there was an accident, we passed some car parts on the side of the road during the race) and to disband until they were ready to start. Ugh, I just wanted to start already!! Everyone was filled with nervous anticipation and were frustrated that it was taking so long to start.
And we're off! Finally!!

Finally, at 8 am we were lined up and started the race! I walked until we hit the blue mats and then started my watch and started a nice slow jog. Miles 1-3 went pretty fast and I was feeling great. I left the 13 min/mi pacing group a half mile in and decided to stick with the 12:30 min/mi pacing group since I was feeling good with the pace but it also offered a bit of a challenge. The crowd and volunteers were amazing and the best part of the race. I loved reading the signs and high five-ing some adorable kids that came out to support their moms/aunts/grandmothers. I passed up the first water station at 1.5 miles but took a swig out of my water bottle on my water belt just to get some water.

Soon enough we hit mile 4 and I was feeling great. I took my first GU an hour in (lemon lime sublime, yum!) even though I didn't feel like I needed it. I always take some form of nutrition in at 1 hour and then every 45 minutes after that so I decided to stick to the nutrition schedule I was used to.

Around mile 5.5-6.5 the big hills started. After passing through the halfway point at mile 6.5 we encountered what is so lovingly referred to as the "b*tch hill." Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy, but I think a few of the hills after that one were worse. There is a moderate incline to a steeper short hill followed by a few steps of flat and then up a moderately steep hill for a much longer distance. And after that it was nothing but up and down until mile 13, but the hills got less intense near the end, or my legs were numb and I just didn't care. Something like that.

During the one hill, I followed this lady with mint green shoes. I just kept chanting to myself "mint shoes, mint shoes, mint shoes" over and over. Then I was thinking about mint ice cream and shamrock shakes, but then I was back to my chant and the hill was over. NEVER stare at the top of a hill you are going up. Looking at how steep the hill is and how far you have to go will just mentally defeat you. So I stared at mint shoes lady for some hills and the pacers for others. I remember looking at one hill thinking, "no way I can run up this the whole way!" I just focused on the next few feet ahead of me and I looked up a few minutes later and realized I was at the top! "Hills aren't that hard," I thought to myself.

I believe it was around the 7 mile water stop I started taking gatorade and water. I was warned by runners and websites that it is not wise to mix gatorade and GU, but since the gatorade was watered down I felt it would be fine. The gatorade was a welcome flavor break and it was lemon lime, my favorite!

I was happy that I had no stomach upset since I usually experience some around 7-7.5 miles. Mile 8 I consumed my second GU (tri berry, also yum!) and all but finished my water bottles on my belt. Mile 9, I started really feeling fatigued. Only 4 more miles to go! We hit a shady section of the course and it was a lot of rolling downhills, a welcome change from the crazy amount of steep hills we just went through. Mile 10 my stomach was not happy. I tried to ignore it and just keep on keeping on. Surely this wasn't the GU+Gatorade no-no stomach upset I was warned about.

Mile 11 I was feeling really sick. I remember thinking, "I'm definitely going to throw up but I just want it to happen already so this pain will go away!" The hills were starting to get to me at this point and I just wanted to be done already! Around 11.5 miles I threw up in my mouth a little bit (sorry TMI!), but I felt substantially better. Just needed that reflux to clear I guess.

Then we rounded on mile 12! I was running with my pacers and they were telling a few of us to kick it into high gear now and it was okay to leave them and finish strong. Around 12.5 miles I thanked them for being awesome pacers and bid them ado as I picked up my pace. There was a substantial incline and I was regretting my decision to go faster, but I couldn't and wouldn't quit now! The final small hill I powered up and was estatic when I rounded the corner to the finishing shute. The last few yards was flat out and I sprinted my booty off passing a bunch of people. I saw the clock at 2:41 and really gave it everything I had and finished strong.

I gave 2 thumbs up to my dad and hubby and dashed across the finish line ecstatic, relieved, and slightly disoriented. I felt bad for the younger guy who gave me my medal since I was all sweaty and then wandered over to the chip removers. I really fastened my chip well on my shoe so it took her some time to get it off. I didn't mind waiting a few extra moments. I just sipped my water bottle and then proceeded to get my big gatorade bottle (lemon lime, of course!) and enjoy the full flavor. Usually I do not like gatorade by itself since it is so sweet/salty, but it tasted like the nectar of the gods, even though I partially regurgitated it 1.5 miles ago. My friend from work was running with her friends but hadn't finished yet, so we went to the food tent. I got some cookies and fruit salad and sat and stretched on some grass for a bit as I ate (and husband stole a cookie).
Yes, yes it does.

After the mini feast we went and took a bunch of photos near the finish line.
Me and Dad :) He ran the family 5K because guys were allowed in that race. 
Me and hubby <3

My coworker came in with her friends around 3 hours 30 minutes and then it was off for brunch and mimosas. The food was great, but the service was terrible. Since we were a group of over 8 people, gratuity was already included and you can tell that waiter was not concerned about trying to do a good job at all. We had to get his attention to order, get his attention for drink refills, get his attention to get the checks, and then one of the girls took all of our bills to him so we could get out of there. Essentially the only thing we didn't do was get our own food. I wish that tip wasn't included because he did not deserve a dime. But my pancakes were good (banana pancakes!) so the best part was the food and the company. Those of us who ran crooned over our medals and shared our experiences. My dad and husband were sort of odd balls but fit in with the group well as my dad shared his running pedigree and hubby discussed possible plans to run a 5k in August.
One of my many favorite female characters on GoT!

The remainder of the night was spent with some Aleve and a lot of stretching. And then it was time for Game of Thrones!! We were debating watching it tomorrow, but ended up giving in. It was a rather good episode and I was glad we stayed up and watched it. I'm thinking of watching it over again since I was tired and still kind of out of it.

Perfect end to an awesome day! Next week is the start of marathon training!

1 comment:

  1. OOh yay! I am so so proud of you! Congratulations and what a wonderful run! Sorry about the sickness though but glad it passed relatively quickly!