The proprietor of the B&B I was staying at was also running the half marathon along with her daughter. The three of us walked to the start line together and then hung out. The race started 30 minutes later than expected. We didn’t realize this until we were already packed into our starting corral, so by the time we did start I had to pee again. Junk.
The course was basically a double loop. The only truly scenic bit was the start/finish area. The rest was through suburban residential and commercial areas. Having said that, there was great crowd support the whole way, something I haven’t experienced in a race before. The race was touted as being flat. Eh, not so much. Half of it was. The other half consisted of annoying inclines, most of which I had to deal with twice because of the double loop situation. There were also no pace leaders for the race, so once again I was left to my own shoddy pacing.
The day was beautiful. Dare I say too beautiful. The sun was out in full force and there was nary a cloud in sight. I didn’t think to bring sunglasses with me because on Friday when I checked the forecast for race day it said cloudy. Oops. So, I pretty much burned the hell out of my eyes leaving me looking like I’d overindulged in the wacky weed for the rest of the day. Always classy, that’s me.
The race started out well. There were well over 10,000 people running, so I was engulfed in a large crowd the whole way. Unfortunately, I got shin splints in my left leg in the first mile and had to back off the pace for a while. Then, at mile 2 I burped up bile and came very close to vomiting on myself. Gross does not cover the taste I had in my mouth for the next couple of miles.
Thankfully the shin splints went away around mile 4, but it was replaced by intermittent arch pain for the remainder of the race. Truly annoying, but what did I expect with my half-assed training for this race.
Halfway through I realized how dehydrated I was when I noticed my lips were super dry and I wasn’t sweating anymore. I brushed my arms and salt would flake off, but there was no moisture. The sun was really doing a number on me, so I made sure to grab a bottle of whatever liquid was being passed out at every aid station from there on out and kept it with me until it was emptied.
And, as I am quite familiar with by now, I was passed by everyone and their mother. The race had a staggered start and I was in wave four out of six, so there were a few thousand people behind me who zoomed on by me at some point. They included, but were not limited to, people old enough to be my grandparents, a woman who was as round as she was tall, guys in drag & tutus, a guy in a cricket uniform and a cow. Real morale boosters, let me tell ya.
Being tired as hell, I’m pretty damn proud that when I saw the 11 mile marker, I pushed my dead legs for the remainder of the race. During almost all of my training runs I run the last mile plus at a faster pace and I was happy to see that I could do the same during a race. I even sprinted the last 200 meters. My time was a disappointing one and a half minutes slower than my previous HM. Eh, again, what did I expect with my lackluster training.
The goody bag was pretty good. I got a decent cotton race t-shirt, a medal, various drinks and snack bars. Also, there was a jar of cranberry sauce. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
I realize I’ve just whined like a little bitch, so let me take a moment to point out some things I’m really grateful for about the race.
- I finished.
- I’m now sporting a kickin’ farmer’s tan.
- My bib number was 12345, which was also the combination to the air shield on planet Druidia in Spaceballs.
- I laughed at myself when the ultimate musical trifecta played on my ipod—Gonna Make You Sweat, Move This, and Rhythm is a Dancer. Nic, I hope you’re proud of me. [Editor's note: Because I'm outside the US, YouTube will not let me access some of the original videos for these songs. A-holes.]
- I did not require the assistance of the paramedics like so many other racers did. Seriously, it was actually quite scary how many fit runners were dropping like flies out there.
- I did not lose control of my bowels.
- I did not puke.
- I wasn’t rained on.
- I wasn’t freezing.
- I was not passed by the guy in the rhino suit.
- My compression legging things worked wonders. I just wish they had thigh-high versions as my quads are a bit sore today.
- Did I mention that I finished?
Actually, the whole experience is just super awkward no matter what the doctor does (i.e. not talk to me, talk to me about the procedure, talk to me about anything other than the procedure). Every single time, that stupid speculum is freaking freezing when they violate me with it. Jebus H, people, can’t you have a warming pad or something for that thing! Give a girl a break here.
Anyhoo, that’s about enough TMI from me today. Hope you all have a great week. And congrats to all the other weekend racers!