I will start on a positive note. As mentioned before this was my stepdaughter Madi's first half marathon. She did AMAZING!! Seriously she did awesome. And she managed to have a wonderful time in spite of the horrible weather. I will let Jim share all of the race details with you since he actually ran the race with her, but I can't tell you how proud both of us are of her and her AWESOME race. She finished in 2:28:27, below her goal time. Way to GO Madi!! She definitely has the running bug and this won't be her last race!
|After the race - freezing. You can really tell how hard the wind was blowing - look at Madi's blanket straight out to the side.|
Now for me. This was my third half marathon and my slowest time ever. I finished in 2:56:31. That is a lightening fast pace of 13:28. In one way I'm mad at myself for the poor results, but on the other hand I'm sort of proud of myself for even running the race and finishing it.
I knew going into the race that I wouldn't finish as strong as I would like because I had really only trained for about 6 weeks due to an injury. My long runs went like this 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles, 9 miles, no long run (Boston), 11 miles - and then race day. That's it - I had 5 long runs before completing this half. In spite of the limited training; my training runs were going well. I felt strong and my times were improving. If you had asked me 2 weeks ago where I thought I would finish I would have said around 2:30-2:35. And then last week I got sick. I had a terrible head cold. I thought I was feeling a little better by Friday, but then Saturday I ended up being the sickest I had been all week. On the drive to Oklahoma I went through an entire box of Kleenex and I felt completely miserable. I had to take cold medicine all day, and Nyquil the night before just so I could get some sleep. Nyquil the night before a race is probably not generally the best idea. On Sunday the cold had moved into my chest. I knew going into the race, I wouldn't have a great race time, but honestly in the back of my head I was still hoping for a 2:45.
We knew there was rain in the forecast for Sunday's race, but we were hoping it would be a light mist or would miss us all together. Not so much. I woke up at 4:30 am on Sunday and looked outside - no rain - YES, maybe it would miss us. It was currently about 49 degrees, windy, but no rain. I dressed in shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt with a short sleeve t-shirt over top of it. As we continued to get ready it started to rain. The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 am, so at 5:45 am we headed to the lobby only to hear that the race had been delayed to 7 am due to lightening. Well, maybe with a delay the rain would move out. I walked outside to get a feel for the temps, and it seemed very cold and it was pouring rain. I decided since we had time I would go put on a pair of running tights under my shorts (thank goodness I did this). We tried to wait out the rain as long as possible, not wanting to stand in the rain too long prior to the race. This almost proved disastrous, as we barely made it to the start line and checked our gear bags. We had less than a minute to spare before the race started.
I felt miserable. I was so sick, and it was 45 degrees, pouring rain (I mean pouring!) and the winds were a consistent 20 mph. For a pretty good stretch during the first part of the race you were running directly into the wind. It was freezing cold. My lungs were on fire due to my cold and I was thinking to myself - Why am I out here - why didn't I just stay in the hotel? If I had felt the way I did on a normal Sunday, I would have stayed in bed all day - but not only was I not in bed, I was running a half marathon in the freezing cold wind and rain.
I felt tired and winded the entire race. I was already walking at mile 3. After I crossed mile 2, I decided I would run 9 minutes and walk 1. At some point that became run 5 and walk 1, and then run 2, and walk 1....it kept changing. I was just beat, and beat up by the weather and completely drained of energy. In spite of this my first 6 miles were still pretty strong (for me).
Between mile 8 and 9 I desperately had to go the bathroom. The porta pottys along the route always had ridiculous long lines, I kept thinking they would thin out as I went along the race, but they never did.
Finally I couldn't wait anymore so I stopped. It took almost 5 minutes. I finally get inside the porta potty and the drawstring in my shorts have a knot in them. My hands are literally so cold and numb and swollen that I can't feel them. I can see my hands, and I'm trying to untie this knot, but my HANDS WON"T FREAKING WORK! No matter how hard I tried, nothing happened, my hands were too numb to feel or work. I left the porta potty. I wasted 5 minutes, and I still had to go to the bathroom. I was miserable.
I ran for about 3/4 of a mile with my hands under my shirt trying to get some feeling back in them. Finally it worked, and while running I was able to untie my drawstring on my shorts and stop at another porta potty for another 4 minutes. But at least I got to go to the restroom this time. I'm not trying to make excuses (well I guess I kind of am), but I did lose over 9 minutes during the porta potty fiascos (as validated by my Garmin). And when my Garmin beeped to let me know I just completed mile nine in 17:04 - I knew there would be no way to make up that time. This would be my worst half marathon time, and was definitely my worst half marathon experience. I couldn't wait for the race to be over.
|If I had just finished in my "moving" time, I still would have had a 3 min PR.|
|I was happy with the first part of the race, slowly getting faster each mile. In mile 8 and 9 is where I lost time for the stupid Porta Potty.|
I finally finished and joined Jim and Madi to learn how great she had done. I was shivering from head to toe - as were they. I was trying to put on a warm jacket and gloves, but once again, my fingers were completely frozen and numb and I had a hard time doing this. I couldn't get my jacket to zip and putting gloves on, well they ended up only half on. We headed back to the hotel in the pouring rain. It literally never let up the entire time. It was 3 hours of solid rain, the temperature dropped all during the race and ended up at about 45 degrees. I don't think I have ever been that cold in my entire life. My heart truly went out to those poor people running the full marathon because the rain didn't let up at all. It was stilling coming down hard when we left OKC at around 1pm.
My final Garmin mileage was 13.34......what? I ran an extra quarter of a mile? Jim and I were both talking about how far off the mileage seemed. At mile one my Garmin already showed 1.04 and there was only one slight left turn. I know Garmin's aren't 100% accurate and if you don't run the tangents exactly during a race you can add up a little extra mileage - but this seemed pretty excessive. It got so bad as the race progressed that my Garmin would beep the mile end, and I couldn't even see the race mile marker. This did not add to my great race experience.
So, to also end on a positive note. The trip itself was fun. It was really great to be there with Madi as she got to experience her first race and see all the excitement and nervousness she was feeling. We gave her a cute running necklace after the race to remember her day by. She was on cloud 9 all the way home. And lastly, at the end of the day I finished the half marathon and have another one under my belt!