First of all, I repeated my faux pas from the Chicago Half...I ate breakfast. At the end of the day, there's really not a lot of difference between a 10 mile training run and a 10 mile race when you're me. So why did I change up my eating plan last minute?? Stupid. All I had was a granola bar, a lot of water, and probably a cup and a half of coffee at 5:30am. But I was crazy nauseous through most of the race (which started at 8am). Tiny sips of water throughout the course seemed to make it worse, and taking a gel felt out of the question. At mile 6 though, I forced down half. It wasn't awful, but--hint, hint--it came back to haunt me later ;) Meanwhile, my IT band was being a little jerk the whole time too. Claire even noticed it, saying I looked like I was hobbling a little throughout the second half. Gar! While not completely debilitating, it definitely made for a slower run.
The Finish. Claire told me about the a wicked hill at the end of the race, right before the finish line. I tried not to think too much about it. But of course we hit Mile 9 and I could not WAIT for the race to be over. Claire decided we were going to finish strong. (What? You mean NOT the pathetic shuffling I had been rocking the last few miles?) After the hill, only a few hundred yards remained. The finish line was as clear as day. But I seriously had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get up to a
And I knew it was coming.
There has only been one other race where I had to hold myself back from throwing up everywhere: a 5K in my friend Monica's old neighborhood and my third best 5K finish. This time, however, I couldn't hold back no matter HOW hard I concentrated: my first ever race vom experience! Luckily I had just ran 10 miles and burned off anything and everything I had eaten in the past five hours, aside from the half gel and some water. So it was no biggie; Claire and I agreed it was kismet. Her son doesn't have to be the only one barfing at the finish line!
But speaking of Claire's kids, not only did I meet (and re-meet) several members of her posse at the race, I also met her hilarious husband and little lady! T just cracks me UP!!! After the race, we all hung out for awhile at their house. Claire poured me a cup of coffee (a girl after my own heart! haha!!), and her daughter proceeded to show me all of her stuffed animals (totally something I would do at her age...and honestly up to like 12.). I basked in my ultra-fave post-race glow, as well as the warmth and coziness of their home. And if that wasn't hospitable enough...Claire literally sent me home with a running store!! She gave me a foam roller, a stack of Runner's Worlds, a long sleeve running shirt, and some SHOES. Yeah sure, all stuff her huz really wanted her to get rid of and probably would've ended up in the dumpster or local Goodwill, but now it all has a new home. I used the foam roller last night and it was heaven and hell all wrapped up in one! Going to try the shoes out, probably tomorrow when I actually run again. This three-day break has been lovely ;)
So 1:52:42 was my chip time...11:20 min mile pace. It is officially--including both of my Halfs--the slowest race I've ever run, and by an entire minute per mile at that. How do I feel? Well honestly, I'm not particularly bummed about it. I know I went slow and I also purposefully threw in some walk breaks for the first time in a race. I can't exactly blame the heat as it was comparable to the Chicago Half weather. I have a lot more training miles behind me in this cycle than I did at the Chicago Half, so that's funny. But I also had a more easy-going spirit coming into this race than any of the others. 'Just have fun' was my mentality. I did and then some!! So when it comes down to it, I wouldn't change one iota about the supremely awesome day I had!!!
And with 3.5 weeks till the Summerfest Half, I hope to channel some of that easy-going spirit, even without my running buddy by my side :)