Women’s Half Marathon Race Recap

September 5, 2011 By Lauren and Tom
“Relish the bad training runs. Without them it’s difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones” Pat Teske
Saturday didn’t go quite as planned. My legs didn’t have the jump to push on; my iPod died at mile 7 and it was hot.  So it’s now safe to assume that I didn’t achieve my goal of breaking 2 hours BUT I did learn some invaluable lessons that one can only learn from racing and I finished.  My time was a 2:08 which was 2 minutes slower than what I ran at the Flying Pig in May and 7 mins slower than Giest. The great part about the race that I’m still smiling about today is that it didn’t feel like that long of a race despite my hurting legs. Mile 10 was there and gone before I could regret signing up for the race. During the Pig and Giest in May I was mentally kicking myself at mile 8 for thinking running a half was a good idea but not Saturday. So I’m mentally starting to adjust to the distance which is a big step forward and I know the mile splits will start dropping at some point.
So now for the race details…there were four of us from our Sunday running group that were running, so we all met at 6:30am downtown to walk to the starting line. The starting line was packed with all women of different sizes, shapes and ages all wearing brightly colored running clothes (most in Lululemon, my favorite).  Most women were lined up ready to take on the 13.1 with a group of their own sweat sisters and all seemed to be enjoying the vibe of standing in a sea of all women.  Sorry men but it seems you guys are the pushy ones at a crowded start.  7am on the dot and we were off.
LG, me, NH and SA…ready to take on the 13.1
 I set into a nice, easy pace which I knew if I could hold I would break 2 hours. I didn’t want to start too fast with the fear of cracking towards the end so I started working on running a consistent pace.  The first few miles clicked by pretty slow but once I saw Tom, my parents and my in-laws around mile 3 things seemed to be moving right along as planned. We hooked around downtown and then started to head north before we would loop back around down to the finish.  Just before mile 7 my iPod died. The song cut out and I took a deep breath hoping it was just a bad song, nope dead. I stopped for a second to see if I could figure it out and nothing. Damn it. I took my headphones out, wrapped them around my sports bra and continued on.

That smile didn’t last much longer.
My miles seemed to slow after this point, losing my music is not an excuse or the reason but it surly didn’t help.  Miles 7 through 10 actually seemed to go fairly quickly. I would mentally get from one water station to the next, knowing I would have a huge support group waiting for me at the end. Even though it was one of the uglier running days I’ve had I actually never thought about quitting. May be it was because we were running through a section of town, I wouldn’t want to be walking alone or that despite the crappy day I was still enjoying myself.  Every time the thought of walking crossed my mind I would look around and not one woman would be walking. CRAP… these women rock! One foot in front of the other running would get me there quicker anyway.
Soon enough I turned the last corner to see the amazing site of the finish line. Of course I could only slightly grin when the girl behind me exclaimed “OH THANK GOD, THERE IT IS!” I feel ya girl…lets finish this last block together. I crossed the finish line and was quickly greeted by NH and LG. They could tell I was suffering and were quick to grab me from the crowd. The next hour is actually quite a blur, I felt like death.  I took Gatorade from each of the aid stations on the course thinking it would help me on a hard, hot day and my body completely rejected it.  My group was amazing at taking care of me and trying to get something that would help. The Sgt would appear with stuff from I don’t even know where but nothing but going home was going to help me.  Once Tom realized how bad I was he quickly scooped me up and took me to the car with AC and home to change and lay down.  The culprit of the stomach pains seems to be the Gatorade. I don’t train with it so my body isn’t used to it, lesson learned. I will NEVER touch that stuff on a race course again. I will actually probably run quicker by those aid stations from now on just remembering the death feeling it brought me. Due to my deathly dead feeling there are no post-race pictures, Tom is a smart husband J
NH finishing with way more energy than me.

A few more steps…

Until I recovered I never thought I wanted to run again, well after a few beers and food I was already thinking to the next race. My wonderful group of friends kept checking in on me to make sure I was feeling better and I learned yet again how amazing they all are. I learned to race how you train, which doesn’t involve Gatorade for me and I think I need to have a few runs without an iPod so I’m not as dependent on the flow of the music when times get tough.
It seems as today is the first day of fall and the cooler weather is my favorite time to run. Why couldn’t you have come on Saturday cool front?!  I’ll give my legs a little break this week but then starts marathon training! LG and I have a trail half marathon Oct. 2 and the full trail marathon Dec. 3.  All running days can’t go perfectly as planned and of course it’s slightly disappointing to not have reached my goal but I’m healthy, having fun and giving it my best shot and what more could I possible want out of life.