Howdy from Mississippi! I am FINALLY home! More on that later. I have pictures and fun stores to share with you from the expo etc, but I figured I would just start with the half marathon/recap for the actual race and then backtrack ok? OK! Here we go!
Michelle and I didn’t get finished packing up boxes until 11:00 pm Saturday night. I don’t think I fell asleep till close to 12:00. My alarm went off at 5:45, and I did NOT want to get out of bed. My legs were THROBBING from working the expo and being on my feet all day long for three days, and I was suffering from a very severe lack of sleep. We crawled out of bed and got dressed for the race.
I opened the curtain….and it was pouring. Not raining, POURING! Are you KIDDING ME?!? Well….what could we do? We got dressed to head out to the course.
I stood by the window so you could see the rain.
We were not paying attention to the time and I look up and it’s 6:55, and ya…the race starts at 7. whoops! We start hauling butt through the hotel and ran UP the hill to the corrals. Before Michelle headed to hers, we found someone to take a pic for us. (I had my phone in a ziploc bag so some pics are blurry.)
I headed to my corral to find that it is full and people are standing on the outside. Um. this will not do for Heather. I find a spot where I could stand if I could just get over the big white gate…So I fling one leg over and ask some random guy about my age if I can borrow his shoulder to hold on to so I can climb over. He gave me this strange “you-are-a-crazy-woman” look but I did it anyway. I mean, help a sister out dude!
Well, come to find out, all the rushing was for nothing. The race was TWENTY MINUTES LATE! I was starting to get nervous because I was cutting it close to make my flight as it was.
and then, if it was possible, the rain got harder. look at all the people behind me, don’t they look miserable?
The race finally started, and we were off! After a couple tenths, we hit our first hill. Oh. My. Gosh. This southern girl is used to flat running. a small incline in my neighborhood is considered a hill to me. At this point I knew it was going to be a long race. Not to mention the fact that the road was PACKED the first 3 miles so I had to do a lot of weaving.
I kept up with the 2:15 pace group for the first three miles but them had to let them go. Looking back it was so dumb of me to think I could hang with them with NO training and expo legs. These are the things I had going against me:
-expo legs. 3 days of walking/standing ALL DAY, lifting heavy boxes, etc. Never hurt so bad, even after my full marathon. It was so uncomfortable and I had dead legs race morning.
-lack of training. Since my injury issues in February I have taken 6 weeks off then run 3-4 miles 2-4 times a week. Since April I have done 2 five milers, a 6 miler, and a 10 milers. Since APRIL. That is IT. ya…
-hills and rain. I know most courses won’t have everything Ideal…but come on people. It was monsooning. I described it was “Katrina rain” because that’s how hard it was raining! And yeah…this girl doesn’t run many hills, esp. ones with HUGE pot holes making my knees scream.
It’s funny how at first everyone was trying to avoid puddles and then it was just raining so hard it really didn’t matter. I started sloshing through puddles, I literally couldn’t get any more wet.
When we hit mile three I knew I was in for a mentally challenging race. It felt like I had been running forever, and I was already ready to be done. I decided to take up a run 3 walk 1 ratio just for my sanity. I had to keep telling myself “one foot in front of the other, just put one foot in front of the other.”
Oh, not to mention there were maybe 4 bands along the whole course…how exciting….and hardly any spectators. I thrive on spectators, so this made it even harder. BUT, I am so thankful for the volunteers handing out water, and the cheerleaders along the course as well! So up and down the hills we kept going….with rain pelting us in the face, some of the streets were so flooded water was rushing over the top…it was bad. It was really really miserable and bad. I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I felt dumb for thinking I could run well after only “training” with 3 and 4 mile runs after working my first big expo.
Not to mention…I forgot my IT band strap in the room and my hip and knee started KILLING me around mile 6 or 7 and didn’t let up the rest of the time. THAT added to the joy of this race. Wringing out my skirt every couple of miles was fun, too. ha.
The rain seemed to get harder if at all possible…I was chaffing in places I NEVER chafe, and then the wind picked up and between that and the water rushing down I was being blown off the road in parts! If you want to see just how hard it was raining, check this out:
I got to about mile 10 or so and I hear someone yell my name, it was Becky! I actually saw her a couple times, as well as some other great blogger spectators and runners, and it was so great and encouraging to have people shouting my name and cheering for me! The last mile was really rough, I was so over it and wanted to be done.I almost cried a few times…..
We turned the last corner, thrilled to almost be there…only to encounter the biggest freaking hill…OH MY GOSH. Finish line FAIL! What sick and twisted RnR people chose the TOP of a huge hill as the end of the race? I was ANGRY at that point, went through the shoot, got my medal, water and banana and hurried back to the hotel room so I could shower and not miss my flight. I was so nauseated and in pain, I have never been so ready to be done.
I ran a 2:35, 15 minutes off my PR (which was also run injured) So…I’m not sure how to take that. I had a LOT of things going against me, but I FINISHED and I think I gained a lot of mental strength along the way!
I can honestly say running that race sucked way more than my full marathon. I just didn’t care after awhile. Sure I still tried but I didn’t bust my butt to run as fast as possible. I didn’t see the point, especially since I was injured and miserable. Why add to it right? I am so glad I ran, as Michelle said, it was a “mental PR” and I learned a LOT of lessons about myself, my training, and racing from this one! It definitely showed me I still have a LOT of work to do to get where I need to be and that my IT band is still not healed. Even though it was fine on my 10 miler last week, I think it was all the lifting, twisting, etc. of the expo that did it.
ssooo…here is my takeaway:
-the city was really cute and I enjoyed it greatly. Everyone was really friendly
-The hilly course was not so fun.
-the race starting 20 minutes late was even less fun
-The expo exhibitors were not so happy b/c we were told 15l had registered but it was right around 6k…so much much smaller RnR race than normal ones.
-I thought there were not enough water stops and I didn’t like how you could only have cytomax (which is gross anyway at every other station.
-The medal was really cute. I am all about glitter.
before and after…it’s hard to tell, but I am literally drenched.
My clothes are still wringing out wet after being in my suitcase…yeah…laundry is a must tomorrow! Ok, so what’s next?
QOTD: Have you ever raced in the rain? How did it change your plans?
PS Enter my raffle! win a running skirt, compression socks, and other cool gear! http://runningwithsass.com/win-stuff/