I feel like I’ve been hit by a semi
I’ve literally had no energy to post the last two days. I’m still mentally and physically drained from my half marathon on Saturday. It’s one race experience that I would love to forget ever happened. So I’m going to write about it so the story will always be online to come back and haunt me.
I was looking forward to the Women Rock Half Marathon. Firefighters, bling, and bubbly at the finish line. A fast, downhill course. Lots of friends and family running with me. What more could a girl ask for? Apparently next year, I need to add buses that drop you off on time for the race to my request list. That’s right… by the time I made the 1/4 mile hike from where the buses unloaded to the actual starting line, the race had started without me and hundreds of others that had been on other buses arriving a little late to the party also. What was supposed to be a nice easy warm up and training run for my upcoming marathon quickly turned into a real life game of Frogger, trying to weave in and out of the walkers and slower runners to catch up to my pace group.
About a mile in, I spotted a familiar red ponytail bobbing and weaving in and out of the crowd as well. I bulldozed my way through the crowd to catch up to Moe, my co-coach at the Y. She’d been on a late bus as well and was busting ass to get up to the faster pace groups. After a string of profanity that would make a drunken sailor blush, we decided to team up to find the best route out of the traffic. Moe is one of those disgustingly fast people who qualify for Boston without trying on like their 3rd marathon attempt. So I was a little surprised when I found myself feeling pretty comfortable settling into a sub 8:00/mi pace on a pretty warm morning. We kept each other company for about the first 7 miles or so, until I spotted the porta potties where we had been dropped off and no line. I made a quick pit stop and told her to go on ahead.
The next few miles were a breeze. I was secretly trying to catch up with Moe, thought I spotted her, but it turns out it was some other redhead in a lime green sports bra. What are the odds? I was still making decent time and then it hit. My arch started to cramp. Shit. The last thing I need is plantar fasciitis 8 weeks before the KC marathon. Doing some quick math in my head, my shoes should still be good for another hundred miles or so. Right around the time I was solving for metric units to calculate the forces being placed on my plantar fascia with each step, I felt that not so pleasant twitch start in my calf. I still had about 3 miles to go and the worst uphill of the course. It was also a long, hot, shadeless stretch into downtown from here. Grabbing water at almost every water stop, I tried my best to stay on top of fluids. My pace slowed down to about 9:00-10:00/mi pace. The last mile was a down hill into downtown. Instead of running right into the arms of a sexy, partially clad firefighter, I found myself being escorted by a couple of fully clothed volunteers to the medical tent.
Normally, I would welcome a post race massage, but when it involves grinding into the knots that had formed in my calves, hammys, and quads, there isn’t enough Enya music and scented oil that would take me to my happy place. It didn’t help matters much that both doctors working on getting me cooled off and stretched out happened to work at the two clinics I send most of my athletes to, so when they saw my name on the chart, they just had to rub it in that I, of all people, should know better than to let myself get that dehydrated. Yep, I was kicking my own ass for that one. It just so happened that just about every runner I know was there, and were waiting for me to finish so we could have a little post race bubbly. My first visit to the medical tent in 40+ races was seen by several of my friends. My reputation as a badass runner was shattered. Turns out I’m a mere mortal in the running world.
I was tackled by Moe as I left the medical tent and forced to take a photo with her and several incredibly chiseled shirtless men. Twist my arm. Had I not felt the need to puke, I would have been all about getting some digits. Found my sister and another friend before heading to the post race party to drink some really warm and flat champagne. Ok, so that was probably about as smart as Team Ortho not having any porta potties in the post race party area. My sincerest apologize to the friendly volunteer I tackled trying to get out of the drunk tank to the nearest bathroom.
While it wasn’t my greatest racing moment, I still managed to finish in 1:51, and that’s including my pit stop. Had I stuck with Moe, we would have likely been sub 1:45. We’re already planning the strategy for the next race we end up running together. Which would be to get on an earlier bus, find a fast pace group, and bust ass.