Monday, September 12, 2016

High Bridge Half Marathon 2016

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap to tell you about the half marathon I ran this past weekend. 

Join in it is fun! with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

I ran a half marathon and it was hot! That is the short version.

Race start time was 7:30 a.m., so it was about 78 degrees.
Guess where that old dew point was sitting - 70 at the start of the event and 72 by the end. It got even more rain forest like as I ran LOL ugh!!!!



The plan for this race was multi faceted. 

  • Test the trail surface and see if my feet respond better than on pavement.
  • Try to do a pace run for what I hope to run for my Nov. race hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
  • Anything under 2:23 would have made me ecstatic 
  • Add a few miles at the end to get back on my long run schedule. 

I woke up at 5 a.m. cleaned up my kitty litter, got everyone happy, drank lots of ice tea and water, ate a deviled egg, showered off, put my sunscreen on, and got out the door by 6 a.m.

The trail (limestone) is an hour drive, and I kind of knew my A goal was going to be out the window. 
My B goal was to Not pass out and just shrug off the $60 I wasted. 
I confess I was regretful that I signed up for this and that I was missing the pre-sunrise hours. I probably would have got my 15 miles in if I started running by 5:30 a.m or 6 a.m.
During my drive I gave myself a pep talk about how good it would feel when this was over. 
The little town of Farmville does a nice job with this race. Parking is easy and plentiful, bib pick up easy, plenty of rest rooms, everyone is friendly, easy to find start line; the race is on the state park trail, plenty of after race bananas and snacks, and 8 water / Gatorade stops on course. 

I like the shirt but it is boxy





























The race director got things rolling right on time. 
I took off and ran a mile before I turned my timer on. I decided to be optimistic and try to stay right under an 11 minute mile. I opted to use to use 4 x 1 intervals. 

10:19 10:59 10:24 10:45 
Since I never run this fast anymore, I felt like I was rocking it! Even though the sun was up, there was a good amount of shady spots. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone just a little. Right before mile four, I opened my sport beans and started fueling. I entertained myself by checking out people's tattoo choices. 

10:52 11:05 11:21 10:59 
I continued to feel pretty strong. My Garmin was beeping right at the mile marker signs and I tried to ignore the slower mile when I saw it, and get back to my 11 min. a mile goal. It took a whole mile to get all my sport beans down. The course was an out and back, so at this point the leaders were flying by me. Those 6:00, 6:30 pace peeps amaze me...how the heck do you run that fast in the heat!? It was awesome to watch them flying by...only in my dreams...
I dumped all water from water stops down my back, as I was wearing my pack. 

10:55 11:34 12:13 11:49 
This was my last rally. Had it been a 10 mile race I would have called it a win! I was drenched in sweat at this point, I could tell chafing was happening in all kinds of places, and I felt like I couldn't lift my legs more than an inch off the ground by the time mile 11 rolled around. Heavy, heavy legs. I tried to rally a few times. I said little tiny steps to myself and tried to be light on my feet, but it didn't last. I chanted the word progress. Even slow movement is still progress, right. Then I started feeling wonky. Too much sun. I wondered if a second pack of sport beans would have made a difference?? 

12:36 and 59 seconds for the last .11
I completely lost my timer rhythm. I was walking tooo much and my feet hurt, something weird was going on with my left orthotic, and I was starting to feel overheated...I had Nuun in my pack, but I couldn't drink. I was having an acid re-flux kind of thing...
During this long last mile, I realized I wasn't going to run the additional two miles I needed for my long run. The medics rode by me and quizzed my alertness, one kept telling to pick my head up LOL I must have looked a fright. I considered crying for no reason. I was concerned about a young boy running near me, he was about 13 and had hardly any hydration at the stops.

I was very bummed I couldn't hold it together the last three miles, I felt very disappointed in my performance. I didn't want to take the AG place when they called my name, but the reality is there were only seven of us old gals there, so 3rd...it is what it is.
My official finish time 2:26:47.

The lady that took this pic finished in front of me. She had a dog waiting for her at the finish that looked a lot like Meranda's Baylee. The dog had that adorable happy Lab smile, I think that is why I smiled :) it was sweet to watch all the happy tail wags. 

After I walked to my car I did consider running those two miles I owed my training schedule, but my orthotic was doing something strange in my shoe. When I took off my shoe, I realized it broke. Seriously, too heavy on my feet much!?....apparently so. I really think all the pounding when the inserts have been wet, took a toll.  All the sprinkler runs and even when I have no sprinklers, my socks are soaked after a hot run. Anyway...
I found a rest room after the race and splashed water all over me and changed clothes before I drove home. It felt so good to get out of my wet clothes! 

I think I quit running forever a few times while I was driving home.

I was so so hungry on my way home. Often I lose my appetite especially after a hot run, but I had the rungies for some reason! I assume it is because I was working so hard. Even with the walk breaks I was completely in the red zone, my heart rate barely came down the entire run.
I feel like all my brutal heat training let me down a bit. I expected to get to the end feeling strong at least, but what are you going to do ¯\_()_/¯

It's a fun race when it is a tick less humid, this was actually where I ran my first half marathon ever. I thought about that first half a lot while I was running :) I had a very different experience that day!

When I singed up for this, I really just wanted to use it as a training run and not have to do another long run alone, however as the event got closer I really did want to have a decent finish time. I really should have used 3 x 1 intervals because it was so hot and let go of a time idea, but I just couldn't do it...
So, total fail on the training idea, but it turned out okay, I'm still standing!

Ever have that strange sensation when you are so hot  and thirsty, but can't get anything down? 
Hottest race you've ever run? 
How do you do with the whole race as a training run thing? do you still set a time goal? 
Ever plan to run extra miles after a race and bail? 

42 comments:

  1. YES! Heat and humidity really mess with my stomach! It makes me nauseous and I usually end up slowing my pace down to prevent passing out :s Boston Marathon in 2012 was one of the hottest I have ran and I did have to walk some to keep my heart rate manageable.

    Good for you to push through this tough race! No matter your finish time, missing a goal pace is always better than not trying at all! I have attempted to use races as training runs before, but I always end up racing them. The inner competitor in me just can't take it easy!

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    1. That naseua is the worst! It break my heart at a big race like Boston, but then it is the one race where you can just soak up the atmosphere:)
      It is way harder to really take a race as training run lol I would have been much slower if I let myself go at what was comfortable.

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  2. Heat and humidity unravel me as well. I start harboring (that's my tech term) gels in my mouth cuz I can't bring myself to swallow them. My hottest race was my first marathon at 93 degrees and 90% humidity. Uggg. I also ran a Ragnar where my run legs were 95 degrees but they were much shorter. Still brutal. Way to hang in there and finish. Those conditions are no joke!

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    1. Thank you Marcia :)
      That would pain my heart to have to deal with extreme heat during your first marathon run. It makes everything else so magnified. That is true - the conditions were no joke

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  3. Good job, Karen! I hope your feet have recovered nicely!

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    1. Thank you Susan :)
      I am feeling better now, but it seems to be taking longer and longer... I hope it isn't a sign of things to come

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  4. Ugh to the heat and humidity! I'm impressed that you ran it! And since you got the AG award, that tells us how tough the conditions were. My toughest? Probably the Florida Beach Half I ran a few years ago? Or the Zooma Chicago half a few years ago? I fall apart in the heat and humidity. The proof is in my finish times. Pretty bad.

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    1. Me too - I tried to put my brace face on and I did make it awhile but I couldn't keep it together!
      That was really the best I could have offered that day :)

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  5. Karen, this was the most hilarious race recap I have ever read! First of all, a deviled egg before a race??? Is this normal? I love deviled eggs and my mom makes the BEST ones. You had an awesome race especially considering the dew point made it feel like a DEATH MARCH! I usually lose my appetite after a long or hot run. Dogs can really cheer you up. :) Don't give up on running. You will figure it out. Are new orthodics going to be expensive?

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    1. Haha! I have been eating more deviled eggs for breakfast - trying to cut a few more carbs lol it's doing me no good weight wise but I do love them lol
      The dog was the best! Total distraction for a few minutes is just what I needed!
      I saw my Doc today and I a few $$ lighter. The lab is going to resurface and seal this pair. I made the decision to order a second pair. It was really hard on my feet to not have them and I can't run w/o them. It'll be a little over 400 - stupid expensive feet.

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    2. Oh it really did feel like a death march LOL I know - so dramatic ;)

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  6. Wow! I feel a hot flash coming on just reading this! Way to hang in there! The hottest race I ever ran was a 5k in July and I thought I was going to just fall out...said I'd never run another race in the summer. But I have ....just nothing over a 5k. This old menopausal body just can't take the heat anymore! :)

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    1. I feel ya! I have the same menopausal issue - once I tip hot it is hard to cool again. Luckily so far cold is fine!! I won't race in summer - I should have known better this time of year lol

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  7. I think you did great considering the weather. I've finished slower than that. (In fact my last one was 2:35:xx) Don't beat yourself up. You f###in ran 13.1 miles!!

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    1. I have actually finished slower too my friend - I've always had heat issues - I guess I just expected after such a rough summer I may have toughened up a bit! But no lol
      Oh you are right - 13 is still a long way!!

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  8. Great job in that heat and humidity and with a broken orthotic! The hottest half I ever did was the first one I ever did. Thankfully it wasn't also humid, but I went out way too fast and by the turn around point I had sworn them off forever! NO MORE HALFS! of course I was signed up for another by the next day. I nearly had heat stroke though for real, it was so hot.

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    1. Thank you Christy! I was so happy to see your marathon went so well.
      Heat is no joke, I have had heat stroke symptoms more than once, I guess it is good I got through it with no lingering effects :) just a dull headache in the afternoon.

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  9. I read this last night, and was nodding in agreement to distracting myself with people's tattoo choices... I did the same on Saturday! except I got tired of looking for tattoos!

    Congratulations on the AG award! Don't take it away from your self! you were there giving it your all, you deserve that award!

    I think my race on Saturday was one of the hottest I have run. It was 76 with a 'real feel" of 93.


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    1. I am glad you survived your hot race :) We were stuck in the same mess it sounds like!
      Some tattoos are just so interesting, and some make me say - why????!!! LOL
      Thanks! If I had not taken all the extra walk breaks I would have felt good, but I was pulling the struggle bus the last few miles. You know, I want to run one now when it is cooler just to prove to myself I will be okay! LOL Crazy... I hope I have a happy long run this weekend.

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  10. Karen, that time would be my half PR -- by a lot! And I can tell you right now, I would never see that time on such a hot day. I can't handle heat. At all.

    But I feel ya, my 5 miles Saturday afternoon were really just as miserable (and less than half the distance). I hope the weather down there has gotten less humid as it has up here -- my last 2 runs have been MUCH better.

    ZOOMA Annapolis was probably my hottest race, Heartbreak Hill was right up there, but less humid. And my 5 miles this past Saturday was worse than either one.

    I don't ever treat races as training runs. Slow as I am, it's just not in my DNA. I'm really not expecting much from either of my 2 halfs coming up (heat, again), but I'm sure I will get it into my head I can do well. Oh well.

    I also say you earned that AG award. I guarantee you, if I'd run this race with you, I'd be at least 30 minutes behind you.

    That really sucks about the orthotic breaking, though.

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    1. Thanks Judy! I never know in the heat how I will perform, so I will take it. I don't do well in heat either, obviously LOL I would feel okay if I had not taken all the extra walk breaks. I didn't get sick so that is a plus! I really did think after all this crazy heat training I would stay strong, makes me very nervous about my race. In November we get hot hot days and some cool ones. It is a coin toss!
      This morning the dew point dropped here a bit so it felt manageable :) First time in ever???!! LOL
      My new inserts are coming, I guess I better try to avoid sprinklers with them lol
      Are your next two halfs near home? Maybe you will get lucky and have good weather for one :)

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  11. When I get really hot like that, I feel so claustrophobic ... I feel like someone is smothering me. I have to just stop & do some deep breaths.
    Look at you doing half marathons ... I remember your foot issues & you didnt know what the future held. Never give up, right? :)

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    1. That is how I get! I feel like I can't get a good breath - the last mile was pitiful LOL
      I am trying to hold onto never give up :) My feet have been giving me a fit, but I am trying to get this done!

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  12. I know that feeling of getting ready to run a race and then just not wanting to waste the entry fee. The heat can be so killer on the mind and the body!!! Great job and pushing through despite all the challenges, and congratulations on the AG placement! Craziness that your orthotic broke. There is truly nothing better than seeing happy dogs - they really do make the world better!!!

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    1. Thank you :) The heat is a frustrating element for sure! It makes me crazy we have so many months of it.
      Happy pets are always a boost :) Thanks for reading while on your vacation :) Your pictures are amazing!

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  13. KAREN! Congrats on the AG placement. You totally earned it and should be proud of it! I hope to get an AG award someday when I am in the 100+ years old age group. The competition will likely be easier at that age ;).

    All kidding aside I know exactly what this race was like for you. The half marathon I did last november was 80 degrees at the start and I laughed out loud when the race director said "we're lucky to have some cool weather this morning!"

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    1. Oh I remember you saying that in your recap!! That would have ticked me off LOL that is tough running weather.
      I always say that about Boston, maybe at 100, but the reality is...not even that old for me :/
      I am trying to smile and feel good about it - why not right :)

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  14. Congrats on the age group placement! That's impressive given the heat. Bad news on the orthotic breaking :( I'm glad there were at least smiling dogs at the end :)

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    1. Thank you Chaitali :) I saw my Doc yesterday and new pair is on the way!

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  15. Lady that may not be the finish you were hoping for but you take that AG award you so deserved it! Great job for you to continue I am so impressed!!!
    The Tupelo (North MS) on Labor Day weekend is the hottest races I've ever done! They start at 5AM but by 6 your are dying and 7:30-8 your in full zombie mode!

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    1. Thank you! It is not that I am ungrateful, but I just wish I could held my pace steady! I would have felt so good about the whole thing, but that is life.
      I don't how any of you southern gals do it! I could not survive in air that felt that sticky all the time!

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  16. I think 2:26 is a great finishing time no matter the weather conditions, but ESPECIALLY in heat with a high dew point!! Way to go!

    Placing 3rd is a big deal, even out of "just 7." It's in the top 50% of your AG competitors AND it's a podium award. Own it! It's not like you got 3rd out of 3 :) Congratulations!!!

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    1. Thank you!! Okay, I like that - I will own it. I did do the best I could that day, just more walking than I hoped would happen, but it was hot lol I will own it :)

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  17. Don't be so hard on yourself!! You did a great job on a hard day. I always try to remind myself that not every run will be filled with rainbows and puppies (though that would be cool), and to do the best I can offer that day.
    Yes, the heat/humidity totally messes with my stomach and trail running also makes me hungrier if that is possible.

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    1. Thanks EB :)
      I sure could some of those rainbow and puppy runs right now LOL for real :)
      I hate when the tummy isn't feeling well, it seems a lot get that yuck feeling.
      I was really hungry LOL

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  18. Gosh, it sounds like you were close to having a heat exhaustion or something! I am not surprised the medics were paying attention to you! I am happy you made it through okay - that is hot and nasty out!

    That is incredible your orthotic broke. WTF. Did you end up wearing your road shoes?

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    1. I was struggling the last mile especially - walking cooled me off and helped. I have actually felt worse in the heat because sometimes I never get over the naseua feeling all day. I actually felt pretty good once the race ended so that was good.
      My legs were drenched and my socks were so wet - I think my feet hitting the orthotic wet did them in. Think of all the soaked morning runs I have done in them! No break from the heat for the fourth month now.
      I did wear my road shoes! Good call :)

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  19. It is TOO HOT to perform well in a race. Cut yourself some slack. And just lookie there -- you placed too. That speaks volumes. Congratulations! Woo Hoo!! That's too bad about the orthotic breaking. I hope you can have them re-made quickly. Question: you only ate a deviled egg beforehand? Perhaps you needed more carbs? I'm so impressed you can chew those sports beans during a race. I can't chew anything at all. Thanks for linking, Karen!

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    1. It was too hot, but I got to thinking and that could happen race day - some years race day has been awfully hot, so I wanted to try and see if I could hold on. I got my answer LOL Sometimes I have had a banana w/ peanut butter before a race and felt great but never in that hot of a condition, so it is hard to tell! I did have carbs the two nights before, so I thought that was plenty.
      So far sport beans is about the only thing I can take. I can't Gu.
      Ali told me to own it :) I am trying to own it, it was the best I could do under the circumstances. if I could have skipped the extra walking I would feel a lot better about the whole thing!

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  20. Karen, OMG you can't catch a break with your feet. Congratulations it sounds like you did an awesome job. I will let you in on one of my little secrets. I don't race in humidity, my body just can't handled it. I actually decided to not sign up for a race because it was just to humid, so I applaud you for actually going through with the race.

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    1. ha! these feet are my thorn lol I went in and ordered a new pair of orthotics and when they come in I will take the broke pair and resurface them. For now, the Doc glued them together for me and so far they held up for two runs :) This morning I was being careful to not get my feet wet in the sprinkler. I leaned in and kept my feet out as much as I could lol I really think my feet being so wet all summer contributed to orthotic issue.
      Thanks, I am not a fan of heat and humidity at all! I did the best I could, but I did walk a lot :/

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