On Sunday I ran a half marathon that most definitely did not go as planned. But before I go into that, let’s look at what went into the morning.
Race Day Eve: On Saturday I left work for a few minutes to pick up my race packet. The lines for the 5K packets were super long but the half marathon lines were quick and easy. I got home and made a glorious meal of a turkey burger and salad. I like to eat more carbs during dinner two nights before the race, as well as for lunch the day before the race. I will say I got some carbs in with a Narraganset lager too 😉
I put out my clothes (the skirt ended up being replaced with capris) and tried to be in bed early. However my brain wasn’t able to turn off and I was awake until after midnight.
Pre-race: I woke up Sunday morning to it being dark and pouring rain, with a “real feel” temp of 40 degrees. You can obviously assume that I was thrilled… After a breakfast of a multigrain english muffin with margarine and a banana I was quickly on my way to the start/finish area. I was lucky that I lived close enough to walk there. I met up with the ladies from the Saturday Fleet Feet at the Mighty Matthew tent. It was super convenient to have a place to stay dry and to keep our bags! After a team photo I stretched and was ready to start.
First Half: I felt pretty good the first half of the race, despite the rain. The Team Mighty Matthew runners started in the second corral, about 1:30 back. In the second mile I found the 10:30 pacer and decided to stick with her. Around mile 1.5 I tried to fix my headphone and lost the pink cover for my earbud and I was so mad! But I wasn’t stopping to get it. My goal was to stay with the 10:30 pacer until mile 7 and then speed up. I kept it pretty even for the first 6 miles and was happy with it. I fell a little behind the pacer at mile 4.5 when I walked to take some water and my first honey stinger, but still kept an even pace slightly behind her.
Second Half: Around mile 7 (and the start of the second loop) I started to fall back. At this time my quads and core started freezing and tightening up. I did all I could to keep running and had the hardest time going any faster than I was. However, despite the slower pace, my body felt strong and I felt my form stayed good. I felt so good around mile 9 that I almost forgot about my second honey stinger. Despite slowing down, the only person to pass me and stay ahead of me was one of my Saturday running partners! I was very happy to see her do so well! When I got to mile 10, I told myself that I could make it and tried to speed up as much as I could. I kept thinking of little Matthew and kept trucking. I passed about 5 people in the last mile and almost caught another one of the Saturday girls. I was so mad when I saw my finishing time of 2:22:23 but I was just happy to be done.
I headed home pretty quickly after grabbing a banana and watching another Mighty Matthew runner finish. I was mad at myself and just wanted to get home. I must say it was nice to simply walk home and be in the shower within 20 minutes. I was so so cold, and was still cold to the core after a hot shower.
While I know everyone has bad races and this was not the greatest day to run 13.1 miles, I still can’t help but be frustrated about my performance when I know I’m capable of much better.It was also hard to know that aside from the ladies from Fleet Feet and my boss, I didn’t have anyone out there rooting for me. During the last two races I had the motivation of M. and my Mom. It was hard to look forward to a solo walk home. I took a lot of time Sunday night to reflect on what may have caused my slower-than-expected time.
1. The weather – pretty self explanatory. But I can’t compain too much because it was over after 13.1 miles. While I have a lot of respect for anyone who runs Boston, I have 5x more respect now that I ran in similar weather to what Boston was held in this year.
2. I could tell at the end that I was dehydrated. I only took water at two water stations, and only drank about half of my Nuun bottle. I honestly didn’t feel thirsty. It’s hard to remember that even when it’s cool, you still need to hydrate!
3. I didn’t sleep well the night before, with roughly 6ish hours of sleep. Ideally, I’d like to get more shuteye before a race.
Despite what happened, I found motivation in mile 12 knowing that I’m lucky to run. Sure, I may not be the most gifted runner, but there are so many people who would kill to be able to run, or walk, or be active in any way. In perspective, it was just one race and I have more exciting running adventures coming up so it’s useless to wallow on a not so great race. At least the shirt is kinda cool and the medal is super cute and right up my alley with the anchor!
Would I run this race again? Honestly probably not, unless I ran for Team Mighty Matthew again. The course was boring, it was just two 6.5 mile loops. I wasn’t thrilled with the food after – there was only bananas, oranges, turkey sticks (?), and some weird promotional fiber bar. I would have killed for some pretzels or something salty. Otherwise it was a decent race, but I’d be lying if I regret forgoing doing a 13.1 relay on Memorial Day for this race.