Monday, November 5, 2012

The All Women's Half (and that one lucky guy!)

Today kids, we get to talk about how running isn't always easy.
(but how even when it isn't, I manage to still look good at the finish. Obviously!!!)

Super cute shirt. Might be in contention for best shirt of the year!

Sunday AM, Newburyport MA. The scene of the All Women And One LUCKY Guy Half Marathon. This, as previously discussed was my 6th Half for the year and one that I have been looking forward to for quite a long time.
I was skeptical of the outcome, knowing that realistically I was in no shape to run a PR. I thought if I was able to maintain I'd be able to make in into the top 50. Looking at last years results I felt that if I had a bang up day I could possibly top 20.
Confused about my summery outfit?
Well, it was 50 degrees and NOT raining so apparently I made a summer attire comeback..

The weather was spectacular. I had no idea how to dress due to the fact that my last 3 races have been in anything from intense drizzle to flat out pouring rain. I concluded that one last race in the summer apparel was in order (and it was a good choice- I was sweating bullets out there..)
I felt ok pre race. I had fueled well, taken 2 advil, 2 tums and 2 pepto per the norm and had tried to stretch out my fussy hip (and by tried I mean, I thought about it. Yeah, that was it...)

Eric wasn't the lucky guy. But he's still a lucky guy, look at his blazing hot girlfriend!!!

OMG THE LUCKY GUY!!!!!!!!!!!
And Eric's finger. Oops..!

I totally demanded to have a pic with the Lucky Guy. "LUCKY GUY" I shouted "CAN WE HAVE A PICTURE???!!!!" Snap, you would have thought he was Robert Downey Jr the way I was all up in his biz...
The race started right on time (big plus) I turned on my ipod (I've been running without it lately so that when I get to a race it's like a big dance party!) And I got down to the business of running.
Mile one went by fine, lots of people faded from the front by the time we reached the one mile mark and by mile 2 people had pretty much set themselves in close to the order that they were going to finish in. I think I passed (maybe) 10 people from that point on.
The other thing that happened at mile 2... My legs checked out.
Legs: Yeah, we're done.
Me: What? Are you serious? You have run 2 miles! This is a Half, did I not mention that?
Legs: Fuck you dude, fuck you.
Me: *genuinely shocked*
I was a bit troubled by this turn of events, as I certainly wasn't laying down any land speed records and there was a hell of a long way to go. My hope was that (as is often the case) between mile 3-6 my legs would go onto auto pilot, I'd zone out and just run like a boss.
Legs: Remember that little bit of Friday speed work? BAD CALL.
Me: Well I certainly am regretting it now!
Legs: As you well should
Stomach: I hurt. I'm going to get in on this fun too! OUCH!!! I HATE YOU!!!!
Me: OMG you guys, knock it off...
I really started talking myself into it at mile 7 when an old dude in his front yard yelled that we (there were maybe 3 of us, 10 or so seconds apart) were in the top 20. My competitive side wanted to hang onto this quite badly. Everything else wanted to sit with the old guy on his front lawn and take a permanent break...
The second half of the race was really, really strange. I'd have a mile of so where I'd feel great- and I'd hope that I was finally hitting my stride when, just as quickly as the energy burst had come on it would leave. I was really, really hurting during those miles. I knew that the brisk pace, the unexpected hills and the moderate headwind were taking a toll on me which was even more noticeable due to my questionable state. I got a terrible case of the fuckits- which is when all my brain can say (despite my attempts to stay positive) is fuckitfuckitfuckit!!!!!
I'm not sure if any final mile, of any race EVER has been so much of a challenge. I was legit exhausted and a bit put out with my situation, drowning in sweat, sad stomach, super sore hip and just feeling like junk. It was a perfect storm of imperfection that led to my partial demise (seriously, it was the polar opposite of MDI when everything just kept going my way!) IT WAS ROUGH.
I crossed the finish in 1:38:47 which is pretty badass.
I immediately sat down and started to cry because
a: I'm a big fat baby
b: I was so so so tired
c: I hated running and decided it was time to retire.
Eric was worried.
Then I stopped crying and RAN to the porta pottie. That was fun.

I look quite well all things considered.

When I reemerged from the porta pottie it was discovered that I had held on for 17th place and a 3rd place AG award.  I was happy about that. Totally worth the effort (really??? yeah, I guess so...)
Honestly, I knew I was due for a challenging race. I've had a few too many awesome ones lately and they can't all be fun! I was very pleased with the time that I ran in considering that I'm built for endurance right now, not speed AND endurance! I am a good hill runner but the hills tired me out- and the wind was in my face for 3/4 of the race and it made things a bit trickier...
It was a good race, well organized, lots of post race snacks, cute girly medals and nice usable shirts. It seemed like an ideal race for somebody to pick for a first Half, or a fun race to run with a bunch of girlfriends.
This elevation profile did not scare me. It should have...

It feels hillier than this. I've been hill running like a BOSS for months- but, my hill training was designed for an 8:30 plus pace and certainly not for a 7:30 pace. I really felt it, apparently I'm a bit weak and under trained dammit!
Anyway, once I got over my vomity feeling and stopped shouting about retirement I came up with all those positive things that I said a minute ago, HAHA...
If nothing else, it's Half Marathon number SIX for the year in the books, along with my second best time ever. So, I'll take it!


  1. I so want to do that race! Next year... Great job!

  2. wow, I can't imagine that time feeling GOOD, let alone all your road blocks. Way to kick it girl!

  3. You are so cute and speedy! Congrats!!!!

  4. I agree with Jen! Cute AND speedy! Also, I'm totally the lucky guy! ;-)

  5. Wow! Awesome job! I ran a race on that same day and was dressed almost completely opposite of you..even had the wool socks on! Ha, ha...and I only ran 8.5 miles (it was a relay)and we almost had the same finish time. I am very impressed!

  6. I am trying to break 2:00. Can't image running 1:38 when every body system is revolting. Great race.