Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Race Log: That Dam Half

Race day has come and gone and I survived!

Rachel picked me up around 6:30 and we were at the start line by 7:15. I took ibuprofen and Imodium, at my Kix and vanilla stingers waffle, stretched out a little, took some pictures, found Charlie and the boys, lined up and took off.

My first mile was around an 8:30, which was too fast, but I felt pretty good. The first 1.5 miles were through the park, then we ran up Mill street and entered The Dam. It was 5 miles straight out, then turn around and run 5 miles straight back. The race finished with the same 1.5 miles through the park and back to the finish line.

My goal going into the race was to finish between 2:00-2:05, though I would have been ecstatic to finish in less than 2 hours. My final time was 2:04:09, 8/42 in my age group, 57/350 women and 178/618 overall. I beat the course, the foremost goal of the day.

Something happened during the race that I'd never experienced before. I made the mistake of thinking that the gu I ate on my training runs didn't really make that big of a difference so I didn't take any with me for the race. I had five chomps with me, but for some ridiculous reason I only ate one of them and by the time I ate it, it was already too late. My calves were cramping and my toes were tingling... definitely dehydrated. I ran with my water bottle but ran through the Gatorade stops without taking any. I honestly don't know what I was thinking! I hit a wall unlike I've ever experienced on any run ever and all of a sudden my finish time didn't matter at all - I just wanted to finish. Around mile 10 I almost quit. Like, for real. I considered texting Charlie and telling him that I quit. Remembering Owen and Eli running 3 and 2 miles on Friday night is the only thing that kept me moving forward. I almost cried at mile 12.8 because I couldn't see the finish line. I crossed the line, got my medal and promptly laid down on the ground because I was losing control of my muscles. Dehydrated for sure.

In the end, I walked 7 separate times for a total of about 5-5.5 minutes. I know that I could have finished in less than 2 hours, but that doesn't take away from my feeling of accomplishment, especially since I kept going when I wanted to badly to stop.

Some things I learned:

  • FUEL!! Fuel before I think I need to and take the sports drinks instead of just water
  • Bring something that I actually want to eat after the race. They had food, but it was cold pizza and chicken strips, which was the very last thing I could have stomached that morning
  • It was a great idea to have more than one goal/focus for the race. If I would have just had a rigid '2 hour' goal then I would have felt so discouraged after I realized that I wasn't going to make it. Having a goal of finishing was a great place to start!
  • Train my brain more for the course. I knew this was an out-and-back scenic race but I did most of my training runs through neighborhoods with tons of turns and things to look at and distract me. I wasn't ready for the boredom of running straight for that long.
  • Organize my play list before the race! I downloaded all kinds of new songs just for that morning but didn't delete old ones so I hardly got to listen to any of them : ( 
  • Reminding myself to run easy, light and smooth helped to distract me from the distance
  • Focus on one mile at a time, not the whole remainder
I was asked several times after the race if I would run another one and my immediate thought was NO! but even by the next day I knew I would run another one. If for nothing more than wanting to put my theories to the test about fueling and training. The goal for the next race is to finish, not walk, and hopefully complete it in less than two hours. Now I just have to find the right race!