I’ll do an event review later, this is purely about race day and my/our experience.
Official time: 2:24:05…not 2:18 like I thought. My watch tracks moving time and overall time. Moving time was 2:18 which means I spent 6 ish minutes stopped in the outhouse and/or doubled over with hands on my knees trying not to throw up while wishing I could throw up and be done with it.
And, that pretty much says it all about how it went down for me.
Do you have any idea how irritated I am with myself for being the one to make Michelle miss the 2:20 goal by 4 f’ing minutes! Like a truly good friend she stuck with me even though I know in my heart she was having a stronger run and could have finished under 2:20. She stayed with me, talked me through the GI issues, the burning hot with the chills at the same time issues, and kept my feet moving.
Before I get to the details overall I had fun. Just want to be clear about that, I had fun running with my best friend. Even though parts of it sucked, and I was the closest to DNF’ing (did not finish) I have ever been, I still had fun, and I’m looking forward to the next 1/2 in 3 weeks.
Done and in the books.
I was on the verge of tears the first two miles just being excited about if finally being race day, my knee not hurting, running with Michelle and it being her first 1/2. The race started out great actually. There was a long out and back, but because we had friends running as well it was fun to keep an eye out for them and give high fives and shout outs. Once we passed all our peeps though it was not as fun. I (and I’m sure every runner out there) hate knowing that every step out = a step back along the same path. LAME! The last out and back was by far the worst. You run past the start/finish area, can hear all the fun and announcements, but have to go right on by and keep going for what seemed like forever before you turn around.
That last out and back is where it really started hitting me. My legs felt like lead, I was burning up hot and sweating like crazy, but every breeze and every patch of shade gave me the chills so bad that my legs were covered in goose bumps, and my GU was hitting me wrong. I felt so bad that at the aid stations I couldn’t tell if I needed electrolytes or water. I would take Gatorade because while my legs weren’t cramping they weren’t moving like they should either, but it was making my stomach feel so raw.
At some point after the 10 mile mark Michelle suggested I take my top off and just run in my sports bra. While I didn’t love the idea of running in my bra you get to a point that you are so tired, sore, ready to be done that you just don’t give a shit. So I took the tank top off and it did feel a little better. It cut down on the chills not having a soaking wet tank against my skin, and the breeze dried the sweat on my body instead of making the tank feel cold. She also suggested dumping water on my head to help cool myself off. Even though I felt cold I was clearly overheated. At the last two aid stations I took water to dump and Gatorade to drink.
That got me through to 13, and as soon as Michelle saw the finish line she hit turbo boost and took off! I was hanging on for dear life to keep up with her. I wish I knew what the pace was for that .1 (for some reason my watch only has the race at 12.89, and I could do some math and figure it out, but it’s beyond me at this point) because it has to be close to the fastest I have ever run!
Almost at the finish line.
Good grief look at how white that stomach is!!! And, really bad form on my part with the heel strike and my shoulders turning so much. Clearly in the next few weeks I need to work on that during my training runs! YIKES!
I don’t really remember hearing or seeing anyone along the finish shoot. I just wanted to hang with Michelle and be done with it.
After water, food, chocolate and champagne, and putting my top back on we are both feeling much better!
It’s hard to know what exactly contributed to my rough day. I felt really strong going into this. Our 12 mile training run was awesome, we ran the whole thing with no walking breaks, I felt like I still had 1.1 in my legs, and we kept a good pace. I felt totally ready for this race.
What I was not ready for was the heat. I had no idea that my GU would not only taste terrible in the heat, but would be hard to swallow and hit my stomach like a brick. I have trained with GU for over a year and never had any issues. But, and this is a big but, this was my first run of any kind in heat. Our long runs were all early morning, cool and our 12 miler we were rained on the entire time so our body temp was pretty perfect. Clear blue sky and sunny hot weather is a new one for me and I didn’t handle it well.
I don’t want to say it’s all the heat, because I did miss two training runs, ate a little differently the night before the race, spent the night not in my own bed, walked around a little in Seattle the day before…and on and on. There are a zillion little factors that can add up to a really hard day.
But, I don’t feel like any of those little things are the “reason” why I almost didn’t finish. I’m focusing on the heat issue, especially since my next 1/2 is most likely going to be just as hot, if not more so.
Changes I have already decided to make:
-I’m getting a hand-held water bottle and running with my own hydration. Nuun works really well for my and my stomach so that is what I will be drinking for the next one.
-I will not be using GU in the heat again. The Power Bar gel bites have worked well in the past so will use those next time. They should fit in the zipper pouch of the hand-haled water bottle I want as well.
-Zella has an open back tank top that I may get. There would be much less sweat soaked fabric stuck to my back. Fleet Feet also has some really light/see through tanks in the store that may work.
-I’m going to do all my runs the next few weeks in low cut socks, no compression. I have some wicked blisters that perfectly correspond to the stitching of the compression socks I was wearing. So, in order to cut down on how much I’m wearing and help with the blisters I will run in low socks and put the compression on after to try and help prevent my propensity for shin splints. However, if I find my shins start to hurt even a little I will go back to compression. I can handle blisters, I can’t handle shin splints at all.
-While I hate visors I may break down and get a visor. Maybe shading my face from the sun a bit would help me feel less overheated.
-Between Elya, Michelle and Dad and Val I have awesome support along the route for the next one. I’m going to take advantage of every offer they have made to either run with me, or be stationed along the way with fresh socks, my 2nd pair of shoes, orange slices, or whatever else I may need.
I’m so thankful I was running with Michelle. She gets all the credit for keeping me in this one. She was calm, didn’t get upset when I had to stop or needed to walk for a few. Each time I doubled over she made sure I was ok to keep going and then talked me through getting my legs moving again. I really don’t think I would have tried to make it much past the 8 mile mark if not for her. She pretty much ran for two the second half of the race. I’m so thankful she stuck with me and that we got to finish her fist 1/2 together!
We got a nice slow easy walk in this morning and we both felt better after. My knee quite hurting after our walk as well. Just had to get the blood flowing again I guess.
Now for a few days of rest and then it’s on to getting ready for the next one!
Anyone have any hot weather running/fueling tips?
Race review/highlights of our day in Seattle tomorrow!