Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thank goodness that’s over (MI Half)

Have you ever seen more pitiful finish line pic?

MI sad

Look at the lady behind me and then look at me. So sad.

pitiful finish

So. I did the Mercer Island Half.

It sucked a lot. Way more than I expected and I am a tad disappointed about it.


I thought I did an OK job prepping for this race. I was running lots of midweek runs at decent pace and had been keeping up with my long runs like a champ. I even took to going out early Sunday mornings for my long runs.

I was nervous about how heavy legs felt after the <4mile St. Pat’s Dash but otherwise things were all good the week leading up.

On Saturday, M and I had the ever so difficult task of our first cake tasting and then we went to lunch and headed to MI for packet pickup.

It was a really nice expo and the number of runners actually surprised me. We had a pasta party at home and I got pretty darn good sleep the night before, so getting up at DarkO’30 was alright. M even was up and at it to come support me and be my sherpa.

We made it to MI in no time but they led us on a wild goose chase to find parking…0.65 miles away. And it didn’t count toward the 13.1! It was easily the nicest morning, weather-wise, that I can remember in the past 6months, sunny and bright at 8am. I ran down the clock waiting in line to use the bathroom. It was WELL worth it though plus, I made it to the start line in plenty of time.

MI pre

MI start

The run started off pretty good. I felt like I was working but it felt fine…except for the fact that WE JUST KEPT GOING UPHILL. Slow and gradual climbing for the most part but it definitely started to get to me by 4mi. These miles were all under 10’ so I was pleased but feeling worse and worse.

I didn’t look at my garmin again until mile 10 but I knew after 4 I was getting slow. The race had lots of support and plenty of water stops but all of the work I’d been doing on my tummy issues have led me to believe that I can’t drink water during a long run.

Having ridden around MI on my bike many times I knew that around mile 12 there was a crazy hill. Like, get off your bike or at least get into granny of a hill. I dreaded and looked forward (mile 12!) to it the whole time. I just wasn’t sure how I could get up it running. Looking at the people ahead of me as I approached it and it did not look good, everyone appeared to be struggling. I attempted to run it but was not getting anywhere. Halfway up I walked and tried to gear myself up for the next ~1.1miles.

In retrospect I think I got into my own head about this hill. It was a constant fear the whole run and I let it get to me.

The last mile started out fine, a sharp downhill (yay!) and then went into small rolls as we headed to the finish. less than a half a mile to go and I got suddenly VERY sick to my stomach. I think it was my standard GI issues combined with a lack of water and I got a bit panicked. But I was so dang close. I got to jogging again and finally saw the last (up)hill to the finish.

I called M and told him I was close and FINALLY finished.


It was a 7minute PR. Good. Sadly, my only other half was Tucson `07, my first year of running ever. So I fully expected a PR. But wanted MUCH better. I had personal goals to meet time-wise and didn’t but what bothers me the most is I’ve still never met my #1 soft goal. To not feel like crap after a long race. Cause I do feel like crap. Bent over in a Starbucks bathroom sick. After eating and drinking a bit I was OK but I hate how scary I feel. Something I need to think about.  

I’m really glad I did it even though it sucked. It has been a great motivator and a good stress reliever. There is something great about owing yourself a long run and being able to do it. So, I will leave it with a cool crop of one of M’s shots of my finish.



speedyDMD said...

You are such a ROCKSTAR!!

The Devil's Starchy Fingers said...

A seven minute PR is great particularly on a hilly course. You should be very proud of yourself.

However, I am going to give you crap for not hydrating. Water is not the culprit of your GI problems (it's water, it can't be) and you HAVE to drink on your long runs. Dehydration effects performance too so if you are looking to improve your know what you have to do. Keep playing with the food/hydration situation and you will find a fix I am sure of it.

Congrats again on a great race!! Looking forward to running with you in July.