|Dad and I before the race|
I will admit that it wasn't until the last month or so was I feeling it on my training runs. The first four weeks I think I was tired and I realize I hate running in hot and humid weather. I was debating on whether or not to run the Parks Half Marathon. I was going to use it as a training run for another half in October. But when no one else was interested I decided to bag it until my dad showed interest. We decided to run it together and I put it back on my racing schedule. I was very excited to run with my dad. I have always (and still do) looked for affirmation and approval from my parents. I was excited to be doing something that my dad enjoys doing. My dad enjoys running. Over the last 9 years I have asked him to run a race or two with me, 5Ks or 5 milers, and he kept saying how his knees hurt and wasn't up for it. I kept running and I kept racing. He ran with the wounded warriors at work and paced them through some 10 milers. My dad is a life long runner and has never run in a half marathon. It's kind of crazy that I ran one before he did, but he was never interested until now.
|My friend ran her first half and totally kicked my butt coming in 24 minutes ahead of me. |
It's cool, I'll catch her next time ;)
|Just happy to be coming in under my own volition|
The day of the race I was excited and nervous. I made sure I had everything ready. In trying to prepare for getting out of the house I realized I didn't have time to make my usual running breakfast of rice and beans in a tortilla and went with almonds and a bagel. I've eaten that before and thought it would sustain me. I also drank a small bottle of water and I was ready to go.
My dad, friend, and I made it to the race start. It was in the low 60s and cloudy when we started. It even started to drizzle just a tiny little bit just as we passed the race clock at the start of the race. It was still a little too warm for me, but manageable. I've been in races where it was 80 degrees and sunny at the start.
|My dad could easily have come in an hour before we did.|
He looked great the whole time.
At the mile 12 aid station the medic saw me as I passed her and said, "Get water NOW!" I must have looked terrible. I didn't tell her my concerns because I only had a mile to go. It was the worst mile of my life. I kept thinking I run a mile at least once a day. I just have to keep going. But I couldn't. I was doing a lot more walking than running. I kept telling Dad to go on ahead because he was feeling fantastic and I just wanted to suffer alone. I remember looking at the path at mile 12.3 thinking I could just lie down right now and not get up. I could curl up and be content to not finish this race. Running sucks. And then I remembered my friend m00se saying, just enjoy the run. I tried. I really, really tried. I had not only hit the wall, I had slammed into it and it knocked me on my butt. I had bonked. I saw the minutes on my watch tick by and knew then I had blown my goal and I was not even going to come close to my first half marathon time. I was beside myself. I knew my dad was frustrated. I was very frustrated and all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep. I had never felt that way before.
In retrospect I had bonked. I looked it up later and all of the signs of wanting to just curl up and lie down and of not being able to move clearly indicated I had bonked. I spoke to my spin instructor who is also a distance runner. I told her what happened and she told me I had bonked. She said that salt balls coming off my face and my inability to use the bathroom showed that I was dehydrated. She also thinks that my kidneys were starting to shut down and that I should have gotten IV fluids after the race. My neighbor, a nurse, did not think it had gone that far, but that I was definitely dehydrated. Come to find out, I was not only dehydrated I was also way under fueled. I found my mostly uneaten bagel in the car when we returned from the race. I had forgotten to eat. I guess I got caught up in the excitement of running with my dad and the thought of getting a PR, I had forgotten to finish my breakfast. I was running on a handful of almonds and a few bites of a bagel. I am the first to tell people to fuel up before a run and what to eat. I have run so often I know exactly what will carry me through each distance. And for this crucial race I did not follow my own advice and simply did not remember to eat. Ridiculous! Frustrating! Irritating! I could have done so much better.
|Completing our first half together|
|Dad and I post race|
I wish I had the following verse with me on the last five miles of the race:
Our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17)