Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zooma Women's Half Marathon: Race Report

A day of rest before a race report is a good thing, I think. If I had reported on this race yesterday, I'm not sure I would have had many good things to say! LOL

I didn't sleep well the night before. Apparently my body thinks that if I'm going to run a half-marathon, I need to be up at 3:30 like I am for Disney. I tossed and turned, tried praying, tried counting sheep, trying singing soothing praise songs... nothing worked. At 5:15 I just gave up and went to check the weather on the desktop computer in the living room. It was a couple of degrees warmer than projected, but still just bitterly cold. I had packed everything up the night before, so I got dressed and then started the car so it would be warm before the drive. Left a little before 6:00 to pick up my BFF.

We arrived by 6:30 (for a 7:30 start) which was according to the instructions on the website. We hit the porta potties immediately, then went back to sit in the warm car and eat breakfast. Around 7:00, we got out of the car to head for the starting area to use the bathroom again and to stretch. When we got to the start line, we noticed that the expo had moved to a small area that resembled a greenhouse. We decided to go inside and see if there were restrooms - there were!! We got in the restroom line and stretched while we waited! :)

It was 7:25 so we headed outdoors. It was still just so cold. We had each dressed in layers, but I know I was still really, really cold. The great music helped to pump everyone up and my BFF commented that she wished she could buy the race mix! Around 7:28, an announcement was made that the race wouldn't be starting until 7:45 to allow for everyone to get in and get parked. This REALLY, REALLY made me angry. The website specifically said that we were to plan to arrive at 6:30. I followed the instructions. I shouldn't have to wait around in the freezing cold for 15 minutes for folks who didn't plan well. There was no traffic congestion on the interstate, no accidents to block the way. GRRRRR

Anyway, the start went well and we headed out and over the interstate. My assignment was to pace my BFF through her first half-marathon, but she is an incredibly fast runner. I told her a couple of times that we needed to slow down, but it became quite obvious that her "slow down" was still much faster than my "fast"! Unfortunately for me, I used up a ton of energy at the beginning, which ended up coming back to haunt me at the end.

The first massive hill came right after the mile 3 marker, and it went on for about a little more than half a mile, according to the elevation chart on my Garmin. It was very, very rough. The middle part of the race was through two small towns and it was a rolling course, not much different than I'm used to running in our weekly training runs. That was a fun part to run!

But the end of the race was a series of hills, two of which were a mile long each. That was absolutely exhausting. And by the last hill, my left hip was giving out. I had had trouble with it during training for the princess, and also way back when I was trying to build up from the 5K to 10K. I had been pushing hard for the entire race, and I had just pushed beyond my ability.

I don't remember much about the last 3 miles... except that we just kept going up hill. The very last hill went up, turned a little corner and then went up quite steeply. When I reached that steep part, my left hip just gave out. I had to walk for a few minutes, catch my breath, try to walk out the sore hip. I felt dreadful having to walk in the last mile, and it was very discouraging. I'd never had to walk in my other half-marathons. :( I fought back tears when I noticed my BFF dropping back to walk with me. I didn't want her to see me so upset.

Before I reached the top of the hill, I decided that I wasn't going to allow the course to get me. So I started to run again, even if I had to go slowly. The rest of the course was downhill, until the finish line. Who puts the finish line on the top of a hill??? It was horrible! There would be no smiling and waving finish line picture this time! LOL

When all was said and done, I did get a PR... in fact, I beat my Disneyland time by 6:59 which seems absolutely impossible considering all the hills! My official time was 2:16:24. I truly can't believe it! I know that a fast runner might be inside me somewhere, but I just don't have the desire to push her to come out like I did yesterday. It was really unpleasant. I know some folks might love that feeling, but I'm not one of those people! I know that I'm getting faster, slowly, and I'm completely content with that. I like finishing feeling strong... not like I'm going to collapse and die.

Fortunately, my hip feels much better today. The only thing that still feels sore are my quads, but I would expect that the day after a half. I'm anxious to get out there tomorrow and have a nice relaxing run! :)

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