Sunday, June 3, 2012

Marine Corps Historic Half Recap

Please note, I wrote this post after May 20th and forgot to Publish, oops.

So, it is Thursday, and I finally feel somewhat human enough to finally give a recap on this past weekend's half-marathon. First off, I finished the damn thing. That is what matters, right? Finishing? I mean, that is what everyone asks when you go home. Of course I finished! Was it my best race, umm... no.  However, I managed to PR by almost 5 minutes from last year's race. What I can't figure out is how there were supposed to be 8,000 people running, and only about 5,000 or so actually got medals. Can you answer that golden question?

Saturday evening

I went out to dinner and had a healthy protein/carb dinner with a new running group that I had recently joined, because I was the lucky soul to get picked to be a part of a ragnar team that will occur in several months. Of course, I am nervous about the race and what to eat. Last year, I fell ill around mile 8, and off to all the port-o-potties I went. I didn't want that sick gut again, and so I made sure to watch what I eat several days prior. I had the chef make sure to make the noodles nice and dry, and I added my own basil grapeseed oil on top. Word to the wise: if you are lactose intolerent, and like to cheat... don't do it around race time. That includes whey protein shakes the morning of. I figured out my culprit last year, and avoided it this time. Oh, and don't try anything new on race day, including those tempting energy Jelly Bellies. When I got home, I went to bed. 5 am came way too early.

Sunday morning

It is game time! This year, my husband ran with me for the first time, ever. Last year, he teased me after the half when I was really sore on the long flight to Hawaii two days later. Whose laughing now? We woke up, and I was perky about the race. A little too perky for my husband. According to him, "You eat this shit up, don't you?" Who wouldn't be excited about lots and lots of people cheering you on, and receiving a gawdy medal to go brag about?

I got my new bottle from the expo with my new Nuun tabs, and allowed them to fizzle into my water. I grabbed some almond butter, and expected to pick up a bagel somehow on the way to the race-- which never happened. Luckily, someone awesome gave me their Cliff bar, whew.

The Race

The race started off nice and cool, and I was pumped that Alison Sweeney was the celebrity for this year's race. If you don't know who that is, she is the host from the Biggest Loser. She finished the half in a little over 2 hours. Pretty dang fast. I jumped in the corral with some of my new friends, and off we went! I was doing great, until the sun started beating down my face. I lost all my hydration within the first 3 miles of the race, and my husband saw the worried look on my face. I wasn't sweating, and my breathing was more rapid than usual. My 9 minute mile pace eased to a 10, and before long, I was at a 11. I would lose my husband in the crowd, and he would look back, and slow down. I felt awful. I couldn't understand why I felt soo overheated. This was not what I envisioned for the race, at all. I was seeing kids and heavier people pace me as if I was backing up. I couldn't understand why my stride was not lengthening.

He fussed at me for a while, and it only irritated me more. Around mile 7, I told him to go on and finish. I didn't want him hanging around. I knew my stubborness, and somehow I was going to finish with a medal regardless how I felt. Last year, there was an overcast, and a bit of a drizzle. I stopped at every water point, and grabbed a cup of Gatorade and water. I was excited to see the crowds of supporters, and it motivated me to push further. This year, drinking anything during the first half of the race, made me feel nauseous. I wasn't sweating, and I didn't need to use the restroom. I knew I was in trouble. I didn't want to see the supporters, and I was just trying my best to finish without puking, or passing out.

The last two miles, I ran my little heart out. In my head, I sang, "M-i-c-k-ey M-o-u-s-e..." and something my toddler says in the back seat over and over that drives me crazy at times, "chugga chugga chugga chugga choo choo!" Oh, yes, my friends, I finished the race chanting that to myself. You laugh, but you do what you gotta do. I saw the end in sight, and I just ran. I was running for water and gatorade, if being completely honest. I was also wanting to sit down to cool off. I am not going to lie when I saw the ambulance on Hospital Hill and knew that I should've been it, but then I wouldn't have gotten a medal, either. I did, however, stop at all of the water stations after I shoo'd my husband away. I even felt wasteful by dumping some of it over my head a few times. It felt good.

Back to finishing... I ran across the finish, wearily accepted my finisher's medal, just to be grabbed by the "town crier". I looked longingly over to the table of refreshments, and was bombarded by the craziest question. "How are you feeling?" Did he really want my honest opinion as this professional photographer wanted to take our picture? Weakly, I said, "dizzy". "Oh, and you can lean on me." Then, lights out... No, no, I am just joking, lol.

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