This past Sunday I ran the Biggest Loser Half Marathon here in my home town. The rain just would. not. quit. We saw more than 11 inches, and the forecast of thunderstorms for the weekend did not help my race anxiety.
By Friday, I knew it was going to go one of two ways: Heavy rain and maybe thunderstorms, or no rain, cloudy, and incredibly humid. In case it was the second one, I took my own advice and started hydrating early and often. Thank goodness I’m a Nuunbassador! https://instagram.com/p/1ltQZrJgSp/ I had no intent on PR’ing this race. It was just a supported training run on a day I had 12 miles scheduled. Plus, I’d get a medal. Two, actually, since walking last year’s 5K gave me Legacy status. Woot! But at the same time, who wouldn’t mind a PR? I laid out my race gear Saturday night while I was worrying myself to death about the morning.
Did I mention this was the first race I would ever run by myself? Mark registered for a race in Auburn the next weekend, so he was out on the course spectating, holding signs and generally being my race Sherpa, but I was on my own for 13.1 long long miles.
By race morning, the weather had settled. No rain, mid to high 70’s with 90+% humidity. Perfect race conditions! (that’s sarcasm, folks). I made a few quick wardrobe changes, put Aquaphor on my feet, and we headed out. I met up with my sister and our friend, and we were repping Sparkle Skirts and Half Fanatics pretty well.
A quick port-a-let stop and we headed to the corral. I lined up in the mass of people between the 12:30 pacer and 15:00 pacer and hoped for the best.
I won’t go mile by mile this time around. The weather was BRUTAL. By the first mile and a half, I knew the day was going to be about surviving for me. I took my intervals down to 2/1:30 and tried to hang in there, and I messed up my lapping when I did, so I don’t have my true splits. Around mile 7.5 I was pretty sick and honestly thought I might have to drop out. I went through 3 10 oz handhelds of water + nuun, 3 salt tabs, one handheld of plain water, plus water on the course. When I finally did finish, my face was more caked with salt than I’d ever I’d ever seen, my skirt was soaked, and I had a blister the size of the state of Georgia on the ball of my right foot.
But it was still a victory for me. I was miserable, but I stayed positive and put one foot inf front of the other to keep going. I tried to run at least for 30 seconds at pretty much every interval. And I was frustrated, not at my body, but at the conditions. I could feel that my legs could’ve given more. I just reminded myself that I will do that much better at Tinkerbell. In 3 weeks!
My sister and our friend waited around for an hour for me to finish, but I’m glad they were there to run me in. And, as promised, I got two medals!
512/547 (runners only, walkers were in a separate category)
Age Group: 73/78
Race Review Organization Race communication could’ve been a little better. There were changes to the location of bib pick up and the start line, and these weren’t really announced, but just replaced the old information on their website. Also could’ve communicated better with the chance of bad storms, what alternate plans would be, other than “find shelter”. The Course I’m used to running in downtown Mobile, with the knowledge some of the roads need paved badly and the outer lanes are very cambered. The middle part of the course was pretty dull. Water Stations There were only water stations every two miles, and by the time I reached the halfway point they had all run out of gatorade. I know its tough to get volunteers, but with the conditions as bad as they were, there needed to be stations at every mile. Crowd Support Um, I saw a friend of mine holding a funny sign twice? Otherwise, pretty non-existent. Par for the course here.
Tinkerbell Training, Week 6
M: 4 mi easy
wu, 2×1600, cd 3 mi easy – If I did decide to make a run at a PR Sunday, I wanted to save something for the effort. R: 3 mi easy 2 mi
Su: Biggest Loser Half Marathon