To begin: You wanna know what my goal for this year was? To run a 15K (9.3mi) in the fall. And that was a pretty lofty goal in my mind. I mean I was going to work all summer on it. But then competition reared its not-so-ugly head and I was suddenly smack dab in the middle of some good ol' fashioned half marathon trainin'.
I think I experienced every positive emotion there is to experience yesterday. Confidence: As I crawled out of bed at 6am feeling so sketchy, but officially making the call to race. Calm: When I sat cross-legged on the grass centering myself in the sun. Excitement: As everyone gathered on the lake path while the seconds were counting down to 8:30.
Sheer Giddy-ness: When I took my first few long strides and Junior Boys' "FM" poured through my headphones. Awe: As I came up to the halfway marker and the clock said 1:05. Pride - In Others: When I watched walkers struggling, but digging deep to strike up a jog again. Blessed: For the gorgeousness of the day and the route...the crystal blue lake, and the golden light streaming through the treetops. RELIEF: When the finish line came into view! Pure Unadulterated GLEE: Seeing my family. Seeing the clock. Putting up the horns. Sprinting to beat Two Hours and Fifteen Minutes.
THANKFULNESS: To have finished.
Now for the nitty gritty...
So I went back to work following the Day Of Sick, felt strong at the beginning, but steadily lost steam as the day wore me down. Anything I ate (namely tomato soup and Saltines) sat in my stomach like a brick of nausea. All I wanted to do at 5:00 was go home and take nap. Instead? My car took a nap in the form of a dead car battery WEE! And after roadside assistance dude charged it up and I got my battery replaced at Firestone in the burbs, I finally got home at 8:30 bleh. Just enough time to whip up some tasteless, saltless, butterless noodles and a pouch of tuna. Seriously was the grossest meal ever and not the "carb load" yummy meal I had envisioned weeks ago. But it was quick, easy, and mild. Still sat in my stomach until the next morning :( At least I had Twister. Chris bought me Twister at Target for $5 because he knew it was my favorite cozy calming movie :) Perfection!
Ok fast forward to the race. All the lovey dovey wonderfulness aside, it definitely wasn't an easy feat. The first half was good, great really. I was running almost exactly 10 minute miles which didn't feel too fast or too slow. It felt refreshing. All I could handle for breakfast was one waffle--and with the total of like 600 calories from the day before, plus zero calories from Sick Day, the gel I had around mile 4 was MUCH needed. After mile 7, I felt the wall approaching and approaching quickly. Nausea came on and the last thing I wanted was a gel, but I knew I had to take it. Luckily it didn't make me feel sick (yay Hammer!!) and helped tremendously for the remainder of the race. What helped most of all? WATER! I carried my Fuel Belt bottle and refilled it at every water stop...mmm glorious water! Especially in the hot sun!
Everything after mile 10 was kind of a blur; at that point, I had to switch into mind mode because my body was pretty pissed at me. Oddly enough the parts of my body that hurt were NONE of the parts that hurt during my training (i.e. knees, hips, CALF MUSCLE). The two things that hurt the most were the sides of my two big toes (from blisters that had formed) and my ass??? Like the muscles inside? So bizarre and something I had never felt before! I will say that I really...really........REALLY wanted to walk. I wanted to walk SO badly. Especially when I saw other walkers. Ahhh yeah that looks so refreshing! There was this one older guy who would run, then walk, so I'd pass him. Then he'd start running again and pass me. And repeat. This happened maybe eight times and it kinda drove me nuts because it was like passing the same landmark over and over! Like I was running in a loop! In any case...I didn't walk. I just couldn't do it. (Mostly because I knew it'd be too hard to start up again!)
The last 1.1 was redonkulous. Very much "one foot in front of the other" without anything else entering my mind. I saw the finish line down the path hill, "hit restart," took a photo of myself with my phone (took it along in case I passed out somewhere along the route!), hunkered down, and focused on the glorious bright orange cones ahead of me.
As I neared the end, I scanned the crowd for my family. I finally saw their [probably shocked?? ha!] faces, threw up the horns, and sprinted to the finish. My official race result time was 2:15:07, but I sprinted for a reason and that was to BEAT the impending 2:15 on the clock haha! My watch said 2:14:58 ;) But 2:14, 2:15, either way that is friggin redic. How this happened I'll never know.
Anyway, as I've mentioned this race was very bare bones. No medals like most people get who run Halfs (and Fulls obvi). Not even a cheap cotton tshirt. I paid $10 and got my bid number. But for some reason, I really liked it this way. The volunteers were super sweet, always ready with water cups, and cheered for everyone. The light smattering of spectators also cheered for everyone, not just their family/friends. It was a small and humble race. But this felt just right as this race--and more specifically this week--was honestly one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had. I was knocked down right at the very end of my training, and it made me realize how I don't have complete control over everything. All I have is, well, what I have. In this case it was three months of training and my glutton for punishment attitude. Oh and, above all else, a HELLA lotta freaking awesome people in my corner. Everyone that wished me better, wished me good luck, told me I'd kick ass, and sent FB msgs and txts, (i.e. the best fam and friends a girl could ask for, Chris, Tamra, CLAIRE WHO KILLED HER HALF YESTERDAY AND SHE RULES, etc etc etc)...well, I couldn't let them down now could I? ;)
In conclusion? I feel like CRRRRAP today. I was sick to my stomach virtually the entire day following the race, so I couldn't eat anything. I managed a large pretzel and a Bloody Mary :) but that's it. Normally I'd dive face first into a pile of greasy lip smackin' wings, but the thought of any foods made me want to vom. So I pretty much didn't scoop up my lost calories. OH WAIT I had some gulps of honey while sitting in a tubful of icy water when I got home? Today my muscles are so sore I can barely walk, and I still can't eat without getting sick at the thought of food. But how did I really expect to feel right? ;)
Let's wind down this epic post with some photos of how hilariously crappy I look, shall we????
Am I crying? Am I going to toss my cooks? WHO KNOWS?!
Such concentration on the pain!
Aww FAM!!!! I look weird because I'm trying not to offend my boyfriend with my stench.
The guy who started it all, my runner step-dad. And it was his 49th birthday no less!!!
Ok THAT is all I got (REALLY Katie? Are you sure that's ALL you got?) Pshhh. Until, wait for it.....NEXT TIME :)
bib number: 2319
overall place: 657 out of 836
division place: 38 out of 64
gender place: 236 out of 360
time: 2:15:07 (but in MY mind 2:14:58 HA)
~link to my stats