Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hobbler Half Marathon = fail on my own personal level

The inaugural running of the Hobbler Half

Before I say write another word.  Let it be known.  I despise EXCUSES.  Seems like if something doesn't quite go the way you want it to, or you don't perform up to snuff, it's easy to make excuses.  I can see right through it in others, and quite frankly HATE it.  You either made it happen or you didn't.  End of story.  I'm pretty hard on myself.  I get that.

So today I ran my first half marathon since THIS one.  It's the longest distance I have done all season, and certainly since my injury last September.  I knew that I wasn't quite ready for 13.1 miles, but I needed a good training run and decided my approach today would be simply that.  Just another training run.

Got up at 4:15am and headed down to Springville sucking down a Monster on the way.  Got parked, checked in, bib assignment and loaded a bus to the top of Hobble Creek Canyon.  Well, I don't think it was the complete top - but it was about 13 miles up.

Stretched, warmed up, people watched and delighted in the sunrise.  At 7:00am, the horn sounded and off I went.  Since I was approaching it as a training run, I told myself to slow it down and concentrate on form.  I have been sick with a cold for the past 7 days that has been steadily getting worse, so I also knew I would be struggling for air, and I really  wanted to make sure to pace myself.  I set a loose goal of sub 2.  Meaning 2 hours or less.  I knew I was capable of it.  I did THIS one in 1:40:58  and my second one in 1:54:51.59.  I figured even moderating my speed, and all the downhill, I could certainly post sub 2.

I also was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my neck.  Right at C5-6 which is pinching the nerve running down my arm and into my thumb and forefinger on my right side.  Form was that much more important.  Doc cleared me to run, but I found raising my head while running to cause pain, so with head down, and smooth arm movement, I was off to a pretty good start.

About mile 2 I wanted to ditch my sweatshirt.  I dropped it on the water table with the request that they bring it down the mountain and I would get it at the end.  Now, usually, I am not good at drinking water while running, but I left the house in such a hurry that I had forgotten gum, and shot bloks so I had no fuel or anything to keep my throat moist.  The water stops were my new best friend.  And they had one every two miles so that was great!

About mile 7, I started to feel a hot spot on my right big toe.  I knew what was happening, but chose to keep pushing.  At mile 8, my nose was running so bad (from my cold), that I grabbed the tissue I had stuffed in my sports bra (yeah, I stuffed my bra), and while it was in plastic, the sweat had still seeped through, so they were soggy!  But the funny part is, I blew so much booger crap that it soaked them and they kind of just fell apart in my hands!  EWWWW  GROSSS!!  I had no choice but to toss them to the side and wipe my hands on my butt.  Sorry to whomever was behind me.

About mile 11, I hit the wall.  HARD.  Only the second time in my life.  But hit it I did.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep going.  Just moving my feet took extreme effort and everything in my body hurt.  I coughed and thought my chest was going to explode in flames.  My knees, my hips, my feet, and my right big toe were killing.  Luckily, I kept going to mile 12 and the water stop.  I took a few precious minutes to walk, drink two cups of water and I have to tell you, the feeling of the H2O hitting your muscles is pure heaven!  I picked up my run again, only it was more of a trot/shuffle. 

I didn't get more than about a quarter of a mile and I had to stop again.  Just walk.  I cried.  I let myself walk for about another quarter of a mile and then out of sheer ......I don't know......craziness?  I forced myself to pick up my feet and jog again.  I started thinking about the finish line.  Knowing Splenda would be there, with Sissy.  Water bottles.  Fruit.  Shoes off.  I even changed the song on my ipod to a Zumba song that I knew the dance to, and made myself go through it in my head.  Anything to take my mind of my body and get through the last mile and half or so.

I finally rounded the corner and saw the parking lot of Springville High.  The Arts Park was next to that and the finish line was there.  Usually at the end of a race, I have tried to save a little something to sprint in with, but this time, I had nothing.  I saw Splenda and Sissy and my heart was instantly happy!  Splenda who could have stayed home and not battled Miss Attitude.  Not driven BACK to Utah County like he does every frickin work day.  He could have stayed home and just relaxed.  Instead, he knew it was important to me, and so he was there. 

I tried to talk Sissy into running the last few feet with me, but she was not pleased with all the attention on her, so I garnered the last of my fuel and finished up.  I had looked at the clock, knew I didn't reach my goal, and tried to not cry some more.
(I am barely moving my feet)

(Sissy - come run with Mimi)

(Sissy stopped - she didn't like people looking at her)

I grabbed water, and met up with Splenda and Sissy.  I REALLY wasn't feeling good.  Lightheaded.  Dizzy.  Unsteady on my feet.  And my whole body hurt.  We grabbed some oranges and a banana and headed for some shade,  I started stretching and trying to make sure that I didn't puke.  I sure felt like it.

I took off my shoe and was met with this:

(so gross - and it hurts!)

Gross huh!  First blister I have EVER had from a run.  I just don't get them.  Lose toenails sure, but no blisters.  I blame the socks.  I have run in them before, but never this long of a distance.  I should have stuck with my regular race socks.  Piece of advise:  if you are at the running store and they try to sell you these really cool socks that are designed for running and even tell you which one goes on your right foot and which on the left?  Don't.Buy.Them.  Or at least, don't log more than a 10k in them.

We hung around a bit, I checked some results as fast as they could get them out and then we loaded up the two cars and headed back home.

As Sissy listened to her Disney tunes, I thought back over the race.  I was disappointed in myself.  As much as I try to say it was just a training run, I am too competitive for that.  I got sucked into the RACE of it, and put too much pressure on myself.  Even at mile 10, I looked at my watch and thought I could still meet my sub 2.  But between mile 11 and the finish- I lost it.

I reevaluated my goals for my marathon.  All along, I have been dreaming of qualifying to run Boston.  At my pace today though, that won't happen.  So am I being unrealistic?  I don't know.  Can I really gain that much speed between now and October?  I don't know.  But I do know that I am gonna try.

I also realized how much I love this.  Running.  I love it!  Even when I feel like I failed, it lasts only a few hours and then I am ready to take on the next event.  I am happy that I have found something I am passionate about and that I have the physical strength to do it.  I realize I am blessed to be able to do the things I love to.  I am grateful for that. 

I was reminded back to mile 10.5 when I realized I was heading for trouble.  The thought occurred, "When your best isn't good enough, then you get to work and make your best get better."  

My final results:
14th out of 27 in my age group
241 out of 434 overall.

I got some work to do.

PS - a huge shout out to the staff and event coordinators for the Hobbler Half.  This was the first ever time they held this event, and they did an EXCELLENT job!  Will be back next year for more!

PSS - an even huger shout our to LOP who was my captain two years ago on Ragnar.  I saw her name in 4th place for our age division and she had a killer time.  Well done Laurie - you freaking rock!

PSSS (is that even real?) - My last HUGE shout out to my Splenda Daddy.  I make it to my finish lines, sometimes purely on the knowledge that I know he will be there. 
(Splenda was amused by what he refers to as my "white trash ice bags)


Mrs. Organic said...

I can't believe how fast you ran with a stinkin' cold! You will smoke the competition in the next race.

And those white trash icebags are awesome.

Emily :) said...

You are my hero! I think you are amazing!

Vanessa said...

I still think you are awesome...and you were only 5 min. over your under 2 hrs. goal!!!

Pedaling said...

That was painful to read...ouch!
You did well.
You will make that Boston Marathon goal sooner or later, I just know it.
That's great that you love to run so much,,,wish I did. I went out running the other day and was completely pathetic.

tammy said...

I always wondered if you stuffed. Now I know.

I think you did great. We saw a bunch of runners up this little canyon when we were going to the lake last weekend. I don't know what race it was, but it was a freaking 104 out! I don't know how you guys run in the heat. Even the guys at the water tables looked like they were dying. One runner was on the side of the road puking his guts out. Anyway, it made me think of you. Not the puking part, but the running part.

tammy said...

Oh and we use frozen veggies as ice packs all the time. I'm thinking of stuffing my bra with those.

Becca said...

Oh my friend, I feel your pain! I've been there and done that and quite simply put...IT SUCKS! And because I know how it feels and have lived through it I will not tell you to get over it and to find a way to feel good about what you did instead of what you didn't (even thought you should). Instead, I will tell you to get to work and make that next goal!

And if it helps to know, I'm going on my third try to qualify for Boston this year!

Missy said...

I would collapse just filling out the registration! I would also have called an ambulance for that Killer Blister!~~~

carma said...

I am totally impressed. I'd consider 14th in your age group pretty darn good. It seems a little excruciating at times from reading your blow by blow. I would seriously have had problems from step 1: Getting up at 4:15.

Be proud of yourself. It may not have been what you were aiming for - but it was still awesome!!!!

Garden of Egan said...

I can't believe you are disappointed with yourself! I wouldn't even have been able to walk it.

I think you are amazing.

I also think that toe looks like it hurts worse than anything! (I'm an expert in pain you know)

I love ya!

My verification word:

Now stop it!

Just ME the MOM said...

I am amazed and think you did awesome. Love your determination and stamina, even if you think you didn't have it. You're amazing!


CountessLaurie said...

It's interesting that you talk about excuses. Something someone said in the spring was very close to what you said and it's been on my mind lately. In this case, I don't think it's an excuse to say the chest cold affected your performance. I think it's realistic, so don't be so hard on yourself.

And when you come to Boston, I WILL be at the finish line with a BIG-A sign just for you!!

Mae Rae said...

hey sweetie, i am not going to say don't badger yourself, because i know you will do it anyway. I am not going to say you'll do better the next time, because I am not a mind reader.

I am going to say that I love your ambition and strength. I love the fact that you are 43 are running half marathons. And last but not least, I am going to say...I love you for being you...white trash and all!

Heidi's Quorum said...

I just want to say that I am really proud of you! I smiled through the whole post. You DID it! Failing is only failing when you don't even start what you are doing. You didn't fail! You succeeded, again. I think it's really great! love, Heidi

Writing Without Periods! said...

You should be proud. Wow, that toe looks like it hurts. Hope it's better.
Happy week, and pat yourself on the back.

Braden said...

LOL White trash icebags

wendy said...

I can't believe you can run a half marathon. Lets see.....I am going to try some math here. Is it 26'is miles in a marathon.
half of that is 13'is (I always do math with an "ish")
I can run 1/26th of a marathon
meaning One mile
I am a whimp
I only have gravel areas/roads to walk on here and they are alot harder to walk/run on then pavement.
and I always end up with a blister and I am a boob when it comes to blisters.

so in a nutshell....or sports bra
You Rock!!!!!!!

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

All I've got to say is ding dang ouch. This hurt me just to read it. And I love your ice bags.

Cheeseboy said...

Okay, all of that pain and you finished only 10 minutes behind my BEST EVER half time?! Oh, that is so not right!

Terri Ferran said...

Wow woman! I want to say something clever and smack-ish instead of something all feel-goody, but what can I say that applies?

You Rock! I think you are amazing, even if you are way too hard on yourself.

P.S. They don't call it the "Hobbler" Half for nuthin'!

I'd say you were quite the "Hobbler" by the end.

P.P.S My word verification was "dowaft". I will use it in a sentence:

"If I could dowaft as good as you at running, you would still be twice as good as me!"

Erin said...

That is one huge blister. Wow. Sorry it was such a difficult one for you!

tiburon said...

You freaking amaze me. I am so proud of you.

And that blister made me throw up in my mouth a little bit..but not as much as your neck puncture.