For the past four months, I've been training specifically for the flat, all-women Hippie Chick Half Marathon. My goal was to PR - and maybe even hit the 2-hour mark, something I've been eying for quite some time.
I've religiously done my long runs, intervals and tempos. I've felt strong and ready to tackle this race.
Then I got sick.
I haven't been sick with more than a little head cold in a long, long time. And I don't remember the last time anything settled in my chest. But this hit me hard, with just enough fever to make me feel horrible and keep me in bed for much of a week.
I started to feel a little human again, but then we had a CRAZY-BUSY week with very little down time (and lots of cake!!)
SO... Saturday's race came along, and I just had to go for it and see what happened. I really didn't think I would do anything spectacular, but often my best races are the ones where I'm not expecting much. My plan was to go out at race pace and hold it as long as I could.
Ready to go at 6:30 a.m. - with the sun already shining. Not a good thing in my book:
I heard someone say it was already 56 degrees at the start. It's always a bad sign for me when I'm warm before I even start running.
And we're off!
Brad, of course, was there to cheer us on and be our personal photographer!
I felt fairly good at the start. I saw Melanie and her running buddy - actually, I followed them for about the first mile, running right behind them like a stalker. Melanie is amazing, and I thought it would be funny to run the whole thing right behind her - maybe without her noticing :)
I was within my planned pace for the first couple miles. Then came the split. Decision time: Do I turn left and stick with the half or go straight and drop to the quarter? I should have dropped down, but I'm way too stubborn. I turned left, ran a little ways, and just after the 3-mile mark, decided I was done and needed to walk.
Too late to turn back. I gutted it out, taking walk breaks as needed until it was over and I was finally out of my misery.
The temp climbed quickly, and the rural roads offered no shade. Heat and sun zap me on a good day, and since I was pre-pooped from being sick, I really struggled.
At the 6.5-mile mark, I lamented the fact that I would be done if I'd gone straight. I even thought about calling Brad to come get me (I didn't have my phone) or cutting the course to skip the middle couple miles. However, I've never DNF'd and wasn't about to then.
Meantime: Brad caught Eryn finishing up her quarter marathon:
Eryn recently battled foot surgery recovery, pneumonia and a back injury. She's working her way back from scratch and did well on her first longer race in a while.
Truckin' to the finish:
FINALLY. I was working WAY too hard:
But I did manage to give Brad a smile and a wave. Such a boost to see him up in the stands.
I didn't have much left in the tank, but I did hit the gas in the last stretch and took out a couple other runners. Then I almost passed out!! (and it was worth it!)
Finally caught my breath enough to pose for a picture with Mom and Eryn:My stomach was really upset from the running, so Brad ate most of my post-race pancakes. We hung out in the cool Hops dugout for a few minutes:
That was a seriously rough race for me. I'm clearly still recovering from my sickness and not anywhere near the top of my game. It's so disappointing to have worked so hard and done so poorly. But that's all I had that day.
I ended up finishing in 2:25:16 - an 11:00-minute average (Garmin measured 13.19 miles)
My splits are really comical... and sad:
- Mile 1: 9:22
- Mile 2: 9:26
- Mile 3: 9:41
- Mile 4: 11:24
- Mile 5: 11:15
- Mile 6: 10:24
- Mile 7: 14:11
- Mile 8: 10:01
- Mile 9: 12:05
- Mile 10: 10:48
- Mile 11: 12:28
- Mile 12: 10:44
- Mile 13: 11:46
- Last .19: 9:00
My tummy was still pretty queasy after I got home and showered. Pizza sounded good, so Eryn and I put on our race shirts and headed to Pieology in Tualatin for some salty refueling.
I've already signed up for next year's half - just $50 this week for 2015 racers. One bad race isn't going to deter me :)