(I'm gonna add pictures to this post when I get around to it, so stay tuned.;)
Today I ran my long awaited, 4th half marathon. Okay, so maybe I haven't been waiting that long to run it but the past few weeks have gone by SO slowly. The esposo usually drives me to my races, but I was "supposed" to be in the parking lot at 4:45am this morning so I let him and Baby J sleep in. I don't run in the morning, and I had never gotten up to run a race that early in the morning, so this was a new thing for me.
I got ready, had a piece of peanut butter toast, started drinking a Powerade, and took an Immodium. I couldn't find the stopwatch I usually run with, so I used an old one that I didn't know how to work very well. (Yes, that was blatant foreshadowing.) I got to the start of the race and their were several buses lined up. I got on the second one and we were off pretty quickly. My fellow runners and I were taken up the Provo Canyon and then past Vivian park, which was about 5 miles up a steep hill. It was still really dark outside, but I saw about 40 people standing around next to a bunch of porta-potties. We then waited for what seemed like forever. I popped about 3 blackberry shot blocks while standing there. I've been fighting off a cold, and it was really cold for August, so I also made frequent trips to the porta-potties to blow my runny nose and pass time. I started worrying that my immune system was gonna slow me down during the race but knew there wasn't anything I could do about it now. (Just to add a fun fact, I read recently that you're 6 times more like to get an infection after running a marathon because your immune system is suppressed.) So, cheers to recovery time I guess.
Per advice I received on the Marathon Mommies blog, I started taking Immodium before my last two half marathons so nature wouldn't call while I was running. In the Provo City half, it worked like a charm. The second time I ran the Salt Lake half, it worked well too, until after the race when I started getting sharp pains in my stomach. After realizing that the race wasn't gonna start when I thought it was, I started worrying that I would start getting the sharp pains this time during the race, since I took it so early. Having to wait so long sure gave me a lot of time to second guess myself.
The race finally started at around 7:05. I was off to a quick start, but screwed up my watch at the start, and consequently, wasn't able to time my race. You'd think with a college degree I'd be able to figure out how to use a stop watch, but I guess I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. I even practiced last night because it wasn't my normal watch, but I started the timer too early and then tried to stop it, and never got to the right screen again. I figured I'd just try to judge how fast I was running from the markers and people around me, and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I didn't see any mile markers until mile 5, which was a major bummer. I thought I was running at a good pace though, so I wasn't too concerned. Around mile 7 there was a turn-a-bout where we ran back up the canyon, uphill, for probably a little less than a mile. I also wasn't expecting that, but it didn't turn out to be a huge deal to me.
I was bugged that there weren't as many aid stations as I thought there were gonna be, because I felt thirsty a lot of the time. I took my Vanilla Powergel around mile 7 with no water until like mile 9 I think. (I don't remember.) For the next few miles I was feeling okay. Then around mile 11 I started getting sharp pains in my stomach, reminiscent of those I felt after the Salt Lake half. I slowed down significantly and was moaning out loud. (So embarrassing.) A girl running next to me looked at me with a concerned look and I started feeling like I wasn't gonna finish the race. I'm glad there weren't a lot of people on the trail running the other direction because my face must have looked so sad. I started feeling like such a loser thinking about facing my husband and brother at the end waiting for me. I didn't want to let them down. I started speeding up and just decided to fight through it. (I don't usually get too many pains in my side while I'm running this distance, so the only thing I could think of that was causing my pain was my stupid Immodium.) I'd say about half way through mile 12 I started feeling a better and the pain subsided. I wasn't sure how far it was to the finish, but when I started seeing more people surrounding the path, I decided to kick it in. Even though I was unsure on what my time was going to be, I felt really cool because people started cheering me on because I was giving it everything I had. My official time was quickly posted on a tree at the end, which I thought was super cool. I finished the race in 1:42.35. (That's a 7:50 pace.) I met my goal and set a new PR, so I was happy about that, but somehow it felt a little anti-climatic because of the way I struggled the last few miles.
But anyways...it feels great to have met my goal. I feel like I'm starting to tap into something I haven't found before with my running, and I'm excited to set the bar a little higher and run another race.
How About a Women-Only Triathlon? [giveaway!]
29 minutes ago