Dismal Swamp Stomp 2015

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I’m sure you’ve guessed by the slow posting of the recap that my half-marathon didn’t go the way I wanted it to.  I finished.  But my goal was 2:30:00 and I finished in 2:43.  Pretty far off.

I started out feeling good.  Like I’d fueled and hydrated properly.

IMG_20150411_074119The course is an out and back.  Soon after I started I realized I was right there with the 2:30 pacer (a volunteer who is experienced and will lead those with him/her to a 2:30 time).  I knew I wanted to grab water/gels along the way and might have to use the porta-potty so I thought it would be a good idea to get out ahead of the pace group for a while (I was wrong).

At the turn around (about 6.5 miles), I used the porta-potty (ew ew ew ew) and grabbed two gels (honey – ew ew ew ew ew).  I drank a little water at almost every water station, but not a lot, just a few sips.  I had one gel at the halfway point and saved the other for around 9 miles.

As I hit the turn around and was headed in the other direction I passed the pace group still headed the other way.  I think I might have had 2-3 minutes on them.

I was still feeling okay and just kept at it.  It was warm, but not too hot and not a lot of wind.  It was cloudy so I didn’t feel overheated.  I wore shorts, which I never do, but I’m glad I did, instead of tight black capris.  I did test the shorts on a 12 mile run because I hate shorts that ride up (which is all of them because I have big thighs).

I started to hit the wall at mile 10 and began doing walk/run intervals.  My left IT band was killing me.  Not my calf this, time, but a new bothersome issue.  And it just got worse and worse and worse.

Walking was a bad idea.  Once you’ve run that far, when you stop everything cramps up, so by mile 12 I was just walking.  I think the pace group passed me somewhere between mile 11 and 12.  SO disheartening.  I walked all of mile 12-13 until I could see the crowd and didn’t want to be put to shame.

I felt horrendous afterward. Actually, I felt terrible around the 12.5 mile mark.  Like I didn’t even know if I was going to walk to the finish.

Afterwards, Josh was there with Nolan and he brought me a coke and tried to get me to eat something, but all I could stomach was water for a good 30 minutes or so.  Nolan was super excited about the ambulance, but all I could think was, “Mommy’s going to be IN that ambulance if she can’t pull it together.”

I think it probably think it took me 45 minutes of water, a little coke, a few bites of pizza and some gummy bears before I could consider walking to my car, which seemed to far away.  Luckily Josh was parked closer and drove me there. ha.

results

I don’t know exactly what went wrong.  But here are my thoughts:

  • I knew I was coming down with a cold for most of the week leading up to the race.  I had swollen glands and a slightly sore throat.  As I predicted to friends and family, I became full blown sick the day after the race (and have now been sick for a good 8-9 days and am just now feeling better – now that Nolan is sick, ugh).
  • Based on all the leg cramping and how awful I felt afterwards, I think didn’t not hydrate properly.  Drink enough water is something I struggle with on a daily basis and this was no exception.  I did buy a hydration belt a few weeks prior, but it leaked everywhere, so I didn’t want to use it for the race.
  • Strength training- I didn’t do it. It’s hard to fit in 3-4 runs and strength training with Josh’s schedule, my work and a 2.5 year old.  But, I think it would have really made a difference in the IT band and calf issues I started having.

So, my plan for a future half marathon…

If you’d have asked me within a few days of the race I would have said, “Never!”  But, now I want a redemption race.  I want to put that 13.1 sticker on my car, but right now I don’t feel worthy.

My plan is to spend the summer focused on losing some weight and strength training.  I want to keep up a 6-8 mile endurance, running those distances every other weekend when Josh is off and then one shorter run during the week.  The weekends that Josh isn’t off I’ll try to do 3-4 miles with Nolan in the stroller if we can get out first thing in the morning before it gets too hot.

Then, come September I’ll start training for the Harbor Lights Half-Marathon which is in late November.  If I’m starting off with a 6-8 mile endurance it should give me some wiggle room for getting in my long runs and strength training, as well.

In conclusion…I finished. :) Thank for all the well wishes and support over the last few months.

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