The night before the race, I managed to sleep a solid 5 and a half hours, and woke up feeling good. I got up and while making breakfast I thought to myself,
As soon as I was about to take my first bite of food, it suddenly hit me that I no longer felt "great".
I delayed leaving for the race as long as possible, then TriGuy and I headed down to the start.
I hit up the first portapotty I saw then met Rachelle from Livin the Fit Life. We chatted briefly but unfortunately my conversation was less than stellar in an effort to not heave during our first meeting.
I'm so sorry Rachelle. I'm shy but not usually so incredibly lame.
I made another pit stop right before they played the rousing "Is it Live or is it Memorex?" version of Whitney Houston's Star Spangled Banner, and I then ambled over to the race start. It was a small group of us (229 to be exact), and there were no timing chips. Apparently it was a good thing I took TriGuy with me because he once again had to inform me that I was--in fact--racing as people started rushing across the starting line.
What would I ever do without him?
I started the race knowing that a PR was not in the cards, and I was wondering if finishing it would be a possibility. I ran soooooo slowly. Seriously. I was back with the walkers. And thank goodness for them, because they kept me from being in last place. Selfish, I know.
The first part of the course took us through a tree-lined neighbourhood of mansions. At Mile 2 I took a quick break for water and other amenities, then headed back out onto the course. Once I made it to around Mile 5, I came across my cheering squad (TriGuy, Ann Marie, Erika and her daughter)!
Best sign ever.
I chatted with them for a minute and they assured me there were still lots of people behind me. That would change quickly as I veered off-course to the park to visit more "amenities". I then began 5 miles of almost exclusive uphill running. Normally hills would have made me happy, but not that day.
I texted TriGuy around Mile 7 that I was walking. I tried running a couple of times but my body quickly shut that idea down. It was so annoying, but I knew that my awesome fans were waiting for me at the top of the next hill. I then took another 'break', and really thought about a DNF (did not finish). But since I had less than half the race to go, and only 3 more uphill miles, I decided to keep on truckin'. Why, you ask? Because I'm
I blasted the next mile, then shuffled from one hill to the next, steeper one. I stopped at each water station for H20 and Gatorade. Most of the time I was completely alone on the course and had the undivided attention of the volunteers while I savoured my drinks. I even had a couple of nice little chats.
There were some very steep downhills to lead us back to the finish, and once again, I passed my cheering squad with about 2 miles to go. This time, I had a smile on my face because I knew I would finish. They yelled some encouragement to me, and I soaked it in, oblivious to my peril.
I ran through a crowd of day trippers (the course was clearly not being manned anymore), through some light construction, and haphazardly found my way to the finish line...to a staggering 3 hour finish.
I honestly feel that having my friends cheering me on kept me in the race and I'm so grateful to them for being there! The one mistake I made was my wardrobe choice. On the day of my smashing PW (personal worst) by a full 30 minutes, I would say this was the wrong t-shirt to wear.
UPCOMING POSTS: PT, BLOGGER MEETUP
Hey bloggers, link up at Yeah Write with me this week, and readers go on over for some great posts to read!
Yeah, when people call me stubborn I just claim I'm tenacious instead.ReplyDelete
Seriously though, kudos to you for finishing. I would have just stayed at home on my own toilet.
"Tenacious", I like it! Staying home would have been the smart thing to do, but I couldn't let my friends down :)Delete
ohhh no! I've been there a million times during races. It sucks, but I think the fact that you stuck it out and finished no matter what the cost means even more. So many people would just give up or not run at all. It may be a personal worst, but every time you cross that finish line, especially after 13.1 is a huge win in my book (I know i'm a cheesebal).ReplyDelete
I do feel like I earned this finish in a different way that the other races. Thanks (?) for being able to relate!Delete
Kudos for sticking it out. A lot of people would have taken a DNF or even a DNS. Everyone has their bad days. It just depends on how much you let it take over.ReplyDelete
Here's to the next attempt!!
You're right--I really considered both options! You never know if you're being stupid or hardcore, but having the finisher's medal leaves no regrets :DDelete
Great job for sticking it out, especially when you weren't feeling great. I have had a marathon where my PR went down the honey bucket. Literally. It was awful. :/ReplyDelete
"Down the honey bucket"--yup. It is pretty awful. :SDelete
I think you were a rock star for starting...persevering...and finishing when you could have easily stayed home and called it a day! I am pretty sure I would have :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad we were there to help you along even a little bit - and our signs made people laugh!
The good thing? There will be lots of other GOOD races in your future!!
Honestly the knowledge that you and Julia, and Ann Marie were on your way is what got me to the starting line. I think high fives and personal signs from your friends are about the best thing ever in a race :D We have to do a race together sometime next year; one you don't have a time goal for :DDelete
Well done for toughing it out! A lot of people would have just quit. Every time you look at your medal you will remember how hardcore you are and that you didn't give up! :)ReplyDelete
I *am* hardcore! Or crazy. But I still like to think hardcore :)Delete
The important detail is not whether you call yourself hardcore, tenacious, perspicacious, or a dang fool, but that you call yourself DONE! Ha ha a Honestly, friends or no friends, I would have bagged and gagged it. Way to go!ReplyDelete
That is absolutely true. It was done. By the way, did you have to say "gagged"?Delete
Way to stick it out!ReplyDelete
How did you manage to make me laugh, despite this being a tough race for you! I love the drawings! I am so sorry that it was not the greatest day. I had one just like this about a week ago. So bad I have not even attempted to write the recap.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I had you laughing! Hopefully it made you feel a bit better about your race...it is helpful to know that we're not the only ones :)Delete
HAHAHAHA omg.... these stick figures are hilarious and so is your completely unfortunate story. I've had similar encounters and it is NOT my favorite.ReplyDelete
Thanks Katelyn. Not the best way to race at all! But whatever doesn't work out always makes for a good blog post!Delete
That's so miserable! I've felt sick during a 5K but cannot imagine finishing a Half feeling bad. You are a trooper!ReplyDelete
Yup, no bueno. But I really wanted to finish once I had started!Delete
Horrendous! You are fantastic - a serious athlete, regardless of time. Sticking that out would have been beyond so many people. Congratulations on getting through that - seriously.ReplyDelete
It was horrendous. But I got a shiny medal anyway :)Delete
Sorry you had a tough day. It happens to the best of us. Way to push thru!ReplyDelete
It does, doesn't it?Delete
Oh no! Thanks for the laugh at least. It happens to all of us at some point. The topping of course is the shirt...isn't it ironic? :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, I got so many encouraging comments like "You sure *are* fast!" when I was barely moving. It was bad.Delete
The encouraging comments about being fast are the icing on the cake - you should add that into the post. Hilarious! Not for you, I know, but still. At least you can look back and laugh. And you should definitely be proud of finishing; I think I would have stayed at home on my own toilet as mentioned in an earlier comment.ReplyDelete
Oh I know. I actually had planned to add them but then cut down the length of the post and left them out. I have to look back and laugh because it's kind of ridiculous. But I'm also proud of myself for finishing. I've only ever not finished one race (my first triathlon) and it haunted me for a long time.Delete
Ugh, so sorry you had such a bad race. I have had some seriously awful ones too during my running career, so I completely understand. The good news is, the next one is always better than the one before. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Yes, I'm really hoping the next race I sign up for will have me kicking booty! Sorry you've had bad races too-it sucks.Delete
That was the best sign ever! Sorry you had the worst race ever and hope you are feeling better.ReplyDelete
It really was a great sign! On the other side it was personalized just for me, saying I could have wine and ice cream when I was done :D Sadly, all I had was water and Gatorade...and a nap :P I am all better now!Delete
Worst parade ever is surely the best sign ever. And this was another great enjoyable and encouraging post from you! :)ReplyDelete
Yes absolutely! And thank you--I don't usually get "encouraging" in my comments!Delete
I'm sorry that you had such a bad race and I thank you for making me laugh about it. I hope you're feeling better.ReplyDelete
Thank goodness for personal cheering sections. I think. If they hadn't been there, maybe you would have quit, gone home to bed where you belonged :-)
Yes, it's where I should have stayed, but you know, the race was easy to get to and I had that wonderful cheering squad.Delete
Congrats on finishing! Sorry you felt bad though. Love the sign, so cute!ReplyDelete
Thanks! The sign was awesome!Delete
Oh my, that sounds awful! Congrats on your finish! It may be your PW, but it is an impressive finish!ReplyDelete
Thanks Sarah. Yeah it was kind of awful but somehow manageable. I guess if you have enough of a running base you can just keep going if you're not lying-on-the-ground sick.Delete
Even though I seriously have no idea how you kept yourself going this is hilarious!ReplyDelete
Way to still finish girl! Perseverance is what it's about! I can't get over your doodles. I love it! how long did it take you to draw all these pictures? I love the picture book feel. =)ReplyDelete
Thanks Noelle :) It takes me a few days to get a post up, since each picture can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. (I enjoy the process of drawing.)Delete
Good for you for finishing! That's amazing. I hope you were feeling better soon after!ReplyDelete
Thanks-it took a day (probably running made my recovery a little longer :P )Delete
Loved this and especially the illustrations. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Kiki :)Delete
Oh no, I'm so sorry you were sick.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it blew :PDelete
Oh man, that sucks! SO glad you had a cheering squad to help you with the hills:) I don't think I would have been as determined as you. GI stuff is the worst! Don't worry, I walked a few of the hills too. Thanks for drawing me:) I hope you don't mind, but I saved the pic on my computer:) It saved as "craprunrachelle", so funny! Way to push through!!ReplyDelete
Hehe, yup, that's how I named the picture :) I hope you realized that my less than stellar conversational skills were no reflection on how I felt about meeting you!Delete
No worries:) We will make up for it next time:)Delete
Definitely! I felt like such a flake about all our attempted meetups.Delete
I would have definitely packed it in when I didn't feel good. (Who am I kidding, I never would have been running in the first place). LOVED your shirt. Hahahahaha!! Kudos to you for persevering!ReplyDelete
Oh the shirt! I really should have turned it inside out!Delete
That *is* the best sign ever. The pictures in this post are especially awesome! Nice job!ReplyDelete
Thanks. I really loved the sign!Delete
Wow, you're a trouper!! And do you know Daddy Runs A Lot? (www.daddyrunsalot.com) I think he wrote about that same half-marathon because he mentioned that sign and how it brightened his run!ReplyDelete
I do not know him but I checked out his post. It was a different race but I think it has become a popular sign lately :)Delete
Hey, I give it to you for finishing! My first 10 k, granted run in Kenya with ridiculously better runners, I also was feeling... green... and just stopped off the track at 8 k where my house was. So, I'm impressed you finished despite feeling horrible. Well done!ReplyDelete
I remember that race recap! I would not have started knowing that I was in KENYA! Plus running right by your house is just too tempting!Delete
Hey you finished it! Congrats to you!ReplyDelete
p.s Quite possibly one of the best recaps I've read to date...even if it wasn't your best! :)
Thanks so much Kierston :)Delete
Ugh, that's awful (not your post...that was awesome...the running sick part is awful!) I ran a 5k once and I kept having to step to the side and throw up. I was so embarassed! But for some incedibly odd reason, I kept running.ReplyDelete
You get it! There's some drive just to finish once you're there!Delete
Oh, man! So sorry you were so sick -- poor girl...ReplyDelete
Thanks-I'm better now :)Delete
I loved the your green hue only in the pictures, not in reality. My friend had the same problem in a half in Denver last year. We warn her every time now for a race over 10 miles. You poor thing. Love your determination and stubbornness. Perfect teeshirt ;-)ReplyDelete
Oh no! Does that mean that she gets sick every time she does a long run?Delete
"Worst Parade Ever" - I actually snorted when I saw that sign! I adore your illustrations and completely relate to the stubbornness/determination/tenacity you describe. I hope you feel proud of yourself for finishing. Doing anything with a face that green deserves a parade! Fun post!ReplyDelete
I know, it was such a terrific sign! I like "tenacity"! I *am* proud that I finished and I think I will go organize that parade now :DDelete
Ugh - I've been there.ReplyDelete
Not too long ago, I was scheduled to run the VA Wine Country half-marathon . . . and then a family member died, with the funeral scheduled for later in the day. But, I decided that I'd run, and stayed at a hotel room with some friends the night before the race.
I went to the race early, and visited the portapotty . . . and I'll just say that things were not good. But, I was going to run - I had trained, dammit, and if I ran anywhere close to my PR, I'd have plenty of time to finish the race and get back for the funeral to avoid the fury of my family.
But, I broke out into a horrible sweat just walking to the start.
My first DNF included me not even running a half mile. I turned around when I realized something was wrong and started the drive back. Only, well, I had to stop a few times.
The ensuing sickness lead to almost 20 pounds of weight loss and a hospitalization . . . I can only imagine what would have happened if I had your stubbornn....determination.
Glad you made it to the end.
Wow! I am certain I would not have made it if I'd had that level of illness! It's crazy because you always know what the logical thing to do is, but like you said, you'd trained for the race, dammit! Hope you're better now.Delete
OH no, so sorry you had a less-than-stellar race! Hopefully this means next time the pendulum will swing to the other extreme. LOVE your graphics.ReplyDelete
Thanks! Yes, I hope that's what it means!Delete
You have GOT to be kidding me! I am both equally impressed and horrified by this post. And the Honey Bucket! *shakes fist* I hate them!!!! But probably a really good thing they were there.ReplyDelete
I horrified you?? I feel like I might have to pat myself on the back for that! I was definitely grateful for the presence of the Honey Buckets, though they are not my preferred place to be.Delete
Way to stick it out. It happens to the best of us. I had to be pried off my bike after getting sick during my first 70.3. Determined, Tenatious, RELENTLESS. Onto the next race.ReplyDelete
Oh wow. Being sick on your bike would be pretty awful, especially at that distance. Yes, onward and upward!Delete
I am so beyond impressed that you finished!!!!!!! so puking and upset tummy aside I think you should be super proud of that alone!!!!! :) YAY!!!ReplyDelete
I love that shirt too and I'm also impressed you got the bib #'s on those race bibs ;) lol
There'll be other races ;)
Thanks Ali! Here's a little secret: I take the race date and make that my bib #. Then I typically change one of the numbers up and down on each of the other bibs :)Delete
Ok I have just discovered your blog and this post had me in stitches! Hilarious take on a "misadventure" although I have to say that it seems hardly like a misadventure given that you bit the bullet and finished the race!ReplyDelete
Welcome Gemma! It's true, I did finish. But it's not a performance i would like to repeat!Delete
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