Posting has been wildly sporadic as I continue to settle into my life and make some major decisions. More to come on that. But my first half marathon was amazing! I have run the distances before, but not in a race environment, which can always throw wrenches in the best laid plans. Also, I have never run that distance after taking about two weeks off from the training plan. Let me back up a moment to tell you about that.
So about three weeks ago, I injured my right hip flexor. As in to the point that it was affecting my walking stride and I was limping. I went to the doctor who was really unsure of the situation and told me that he didn’t think it was really bad and gave me some pain meds and muscle relaxors (seriously!) and told me to take two weeks off from running, elliptical, and bike. I jumped into action and activated my athletic trainer contact, who gave me an excellent rehab plan and told me to slowly add activity back in. I was devastated. Running is my outlet and it was gone. Plus I knew the half was coming up and I was determined to finish it.
So within the past two weeks, the longest distance I ran was 4 miles. It was pain-free so that was making me happy. I was more concerned that my legs would not be able to endure the distance. I was pretty sure that I was cardiovascularly able to finish.
Race day came and I was super nervous. A DNF is something that is super scary to me and realized that it was realistic if my hip flexor decided to give up.
I was armed with some new music and some good friends to pump me up prior to the race. This was a night race, which was also weird for me, because I had to plan my fuel during the day. We had to be there at 715 and the race didn’t start until 10. Luckily my friend that was doing the relay had a friend there that was in my corral. We made our way to the corral and stood there for about an hour and people-watched. Finally we started. We were so far back that it took us 10 minutes to get to the chip mat/official starting line. My new friend and I separated because I was planning on pacing faster than her.
The first three miles were a crazy cluster. People were walking and then you have the newbies that just stop right in the middle of the road. Or the groups that run spread across the road. There were several points where I pulled off and was running in the grass to get around the traffic. After about mile 3 the course started to thin out and I situated myself comfortably into a good pace (9:30-9:15/mile).
The best decision I made was training with my camelback on. I ran the race with it and was so happy to breeze through the water stations which were also clusters. The weather was also perfect….right in the place where it is comfortable but not too cold and it wasn’t raining.
My mind was very busy with the on-goings of my life so I didn’t even notice the mileage until my quads started to act up around mile 9. I pulled off the course and stretched really well, which my legs appreciated. I pulled back on the course and headed onward. My hip flexor was holding up quite well! Around mile 11, it started to talk to me a bit. I pulled off again and continued to stretch a bit. The course was more hilly than I expected and most of my training was done on mostly flat surfaces. I’m pretty sure that my legs weren’t ready for the distance or the hills :). The last 1/2 mile seemed to last forever. Of course the last 400 yards included a fairly steep and long hill. At least I knew that I would be able to see the finish line at the crest.
After sprinting to the finish I finally stopped and my legs were toast! I made my way to get some powerade and a banana, then on to the “self-treatment” medical tent. This was awesome! They had biofreeze and ice packs and were assisting the runners. I got ice packs on my knees and calves which was a good time. I walked onward and picked up my medal. While exiting we had to go through a building. I found a little spot where I could stretch and relax for a while, since I was waiting on my friend to finish the relay. This is when yoga training really comes in handy. I started eating the banana and instantly felt sick. Not good. This told me that I had completely exhausted any form of fuel that I had in my body. I slowly ate the banana and hoped that I could keep it down. Luckily, it stayed down. My friend called to tell me she was done and I met her and her race partner. We took pictures and discussed the particulars. At this point, I started to get super cold. I neglected to bring a change of clothes, so I was soaked and the chilly air was not helping. There was an after party with food and alcohol that was previously very appealing to me. Since the banana didn’t go over so well, I knew that alcohol was not going to even cut it :(. I said my good-byes and told gave my food/drink tickets to my friends to haggle over. I got home at 330am ;). I instantly went to bed.
So all in all, my first timed half marathon was amazing. Definitely something I will be doing again. Especially armed with the knowledge that I have from the first one!
As most of you know, music is a big part of my exercise routines. So here are some of the songs that got me through the run in no particular order:
“The Hardest Part” Ryan Adams
“Traveling Song” Avett Brothers
“Dirty Talk” Wynter Gordon
“Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho” and “Skull and Crossbones” Hans Zimmer (From “Pirates of the Caribbean”)
“Commander” Kelly Rowland
“Ces Bottles Sont Faites Pour Marcher” Eileen (that’s the French version of “These Boots were Made for Walking”)
“Note to Self: Don’t Die” Ryan Adams
“Talk on Indolence” Avett Brothers
“King of Anything” Sara Bareilles
“Like a G6” Far East Movement
“Brother Lee” Citizen Cope (this is what I came through the finish line to 😉
So its sort of all over the place, but everything has a really good beat.
One more endurance event under my belt. Now I am going to start really working on my strength training and rehab-ing my hip flexor. So hopefully I will be able to post some of my workouts now!