I have completed a number of half marathons in my 10 years of running, and every time I finished a half I would ask myself if I could do that again - as in run another 13.1 miles - and every time, my response was "absolutely not!"
This is my third installment of my "Glass City Marathon" blog posts. If you have not, please check out my two other posts, please find them below.
Glass City Marathon: Race Day Nutrition
Glass City Marathon: Last Week of Training & The Expo
I had the most difficult time sleeping after Coach Kemp arrived at midnight. Every hour or so I would wake-up to check the time. By 4:30 am, I simply gave up on trying to fall back to sleep and figured it was time to get at it. On Saturday I actually had an early morning-nightmare that I mixed up the race day. I woke up on Saturday freaking out that the race was actually on Saturday and not Sunday. So I was ok with waking up about 45 minutes prior to my planned wake-up call. I showered, not sure why I even thought to do that since I was planning to sweat it out, but it actually felt good. Had my breakfast, rolled out/stretched, and made sure my blog post was published.
Coach Kemp and I debarked a little later than I had desired, but it all worked out ok in the end. Actually, maybe it was meant to be. While we were walking we came across a herd of deer on Drummond Road! I have never seen deer in Old Orchard, sure I have seen then on the University/ Park Trail and they are frequently spotted in Ottawa Hills, but was unaware of their presence in Old Orchard! Here is my reaction to seeing them:
And then there was my needed bathroom break, which made it necessary to sprint to the start line. We made it in time, but once we got there I realized that one of my Yurbuds behind-the-ear contraption part was MIA. Coach Kemp freaked. He was worried I was going to be upset; how in the world would I run 26.2 miles without music, or struggling to listen to my music. But, I quickly noted that these mugs will stay in my ear! Thank goodness this happened to me many weeks ago. Remember my post about that experience? Where can I buy stock in this company?
The race officially began at 7:02 am, and I was in Corral C! Of course the first few miles consisted of lots of weaving and bobbing, which is always fun! Not. The half marathon, marathon, and relay runners ran together for about 8 miles. I obviously understand this concept, and can't imagine an alternative, but it just makes the course a little hectic at the beginning. And the 5-person relay race, in which each racer runs varying distance of the 26.2 miles brought a challenging aspect for me. This was nothing serious, but I would become frustrated (not really) when the relay racers would run past me. I wanted a big sign that read: "I have been running for 10, 15, 20 miles... Please do not sprint past me, thanks!" I had to constantly remind myself to not become competitive with the relay racers since they were running on fresher legs than I. They had blue on their bib, so I was constantly looking at the bibs of those that speedily went by, to boost my self-esteem, lol.
My Garmin is D-O-N-E, and have not worn it this whole training period; however, I do have some of my split information from this new (to me) App, RaceJoy! It is a super neat app that tracks you, the runner, during the race. Your friends and families can "track you," send you notes of encouragement, and lots more. Oh, and you can also allow the App to post your progress on Facebook and Twitter! My results as indicated by RaceJoy.
Total Time - 00:27:32
Pace - 9 min 10 sec
Total Time - 00:57:01
Pace - 9 min 10 sec
Total Time - 2:09:49
Pace - 9 min 16 sec
Total Time - 3:11:05
Pace - 9 min 33 sec
Total Time - 4:26:24
Pace - 10 min 10 sec
As you can see, I started out really well. At Mile 10, I first saw Coach Kemp who joyfully found my earbud wrap, but again, I am certain the earbuds would have stayed in for the entirety of the race. It was cool, so I was not sweating a lot on my face/head.
Things began to get a little difficult around Mile 15.5 when we looped around Olander Park's lake in which the first sign of wind was felt. Now, the wind was only bad for about a .5 mile, but it served as a forewarning of what was ahead... Miles 17-19 were pure dread. We were running against the wind. At this point, around Mile 19, I saw the 4:10 pacer pass, and was rejoiced that I had been doing so well, but also certain that I would not be finishing around 4:10! I tried to bring back memories of my Fargo days running against the wind, as those were tumultuous, but it was pretty miserable.
At Mile 19.5 I saw Coach Kemp for the third time. He actually passed me in the car on Sylvania Avenue, and I could barely lift my arm to acknowledge his presence. At that point, I was freaked that somehow the running had taken a toll on my upper extremities. Now, I think it was simply the wind as I was able to undress and wash my hair post-race with no difficulties.
At this point, Mile 19.5, I was exhausted from running against the wind. At Mile 21, I hit my WALL! At the water station, I had to walk, and I was really disappointed in myself for stopping; however, my walking pace may have been faster than the rate of my run.
A few additional stops to walk incurred again at Mile 22 and 24. I really tried to self-talk myself out of these walking periods, but it was challenging not to. I am still thankful that I am so familiar with the route, as I could give myself landmarks to run to before stopping!
Here is my "sprint" to the Finish Line. I know it does not look much like a sprint, but at that moment, I was giving it my all, lol
Question of the Day: Have you ever heard of RaceJoy? What other race-related Apps are out there that I am unfamiliar with?