I am trying out a new format in my never ending quest to simplify blogging.
The most important thing is this weekend was a blast! It would have been a bonus if the half marathon was also amazing, but I wasn’t going to let a bad race diminish the overall experience. I would take a rough race to do it all over again!
Friday and Sunday in Florida it was about 10 degrees cooler in the morning than Saturday’s race day. 61 degrees or so when we left the house to head to the start line…and it heated up fast!
It was clear and sunny! Great for life, bad for running lol Sun and heat has always been my kryptonite.
I was extremely optimistic though because the humidity could have been much much worse in Florida. I hoped I could just run the Galloway method (4 x 1) and be happy.
Our race shirts made me so happy! The etsy shop did an amazing job and I loved the feel of the tech tank. I have a very hard time fitting clothes and I ordered a large but I actually could have got away with a medium this time :)
It is rare for me to know anyone at a race so seeing so many familiar faces and being able to chat is good times! I am so thankful to Holly for diving in and getting everyone together.
I ran with Jodi and Rick for a little over a mile. It was great to see Jodi doing so well after surgery and fun to run with my Instagramming buddies.
Rick, Holly, Me, Jodi, Tammie
I started intervals during the second mile. I told Jodi and Rick I was dropping my pace because I was struggling in the heat that early on. SO pretty out but oh so warm. I ran a very easy pace and thought I can do this until the end…LOL…that didn’t happen.
I took water at mile 3 (I think)…maybe 4, anyway I just know I had one cup and about mile 5 I saw Gatorade and luckily I grabbed two cups. I drank every drop and realized I really should have carried my own Nuun and been drinking a whole lot more. I was so sweaty!
By the half way turn around point on the course I had been struggling with my stinging eyes for quite awhile…I was squinting and I just couldn’t stop the sweat flow long enough to get any relief. My eyes were so bad when Holly went by me I almost missed her. She touched my arm and I was srurprised! “HEY!!” Truly my eyes were a mess. The hydration stop still had water at this point and I took a sip and used most of it to wash out my eyes. The eye burning hindered me for several miles until somewhere around mile 9..that is when the crazy amounts of walking started and at least it cleared up my eyes.
The best thing during this part of the race was seeing Holly, Tricia, and Teresa go by looking strong and smiling! I also saw Tammie, Jodi, and Rick (Instagram buddies), so I knew everyone was at least surviving!
Did I feel bad I was dead last?! Maybe a tad, but honestly I was more worried about getting so sick I wouldn’t be able to have fun the rest of the weekend. I am very prone to heat sickness and in the past I’ve had a few bad bouts of chills, sweats, elevated heart rate, nausea, and it has lasted hours.
When I started seeing a cardiologist this year he gave me a big lecture about never pushing myself in the heat and to never ever have those symptoms again w/o going to the hospital. I have managed the heat much better the past few summers and stayed healthy :)
Back to the half way point for just a minute…
The hydration table had peppermints. I thought it would feel refreshing, so I took one and sucked on it slowly. Well, I got horrible side stitch not long after that.
I also had no idea the turnaround point would be my last real hydration opportunity. I may have cried had I known LOL
I was taking walk breaks and the pain in my rib wasn’t subsiding, then I got the really bad - breathe in breathe out pain- and it wouldn’t let up…I was so frustrated..and I desperately needed some electrolytes. I was feeling a bit nauseous and I started getting chills even though I was sweating excessively.
I was getting to place I knew I wouldn’t be able to recover from if I pushed too hard. I was defeated. I started walking more and more.
I took a P.O.P. stop during mile 9… I was so over being hot and of course there wasn’t a cloud to be found! I don’t remember any clouds floating by thick enough to really give me a break from the sunlight until the very end of the race!
By that time I had been past water stations that had no water or cups…I was worried. Video below!
The possibility of no hydration to the end was starting to sink in.
Here’s the thing, I was already walking a ton, but my thinking was not really clear. There was a strip of stores along the course a few times. I could have hopped into a store and purchased my own sports drink and went on my way, but I never thought of it!! I run in my neighborhood, never past stores, so the idea of stopping to buy anything during a run is foreign to me, about mile 12 it dawned on me I should have went into a store right after the halfway point and maybe I could have had a very different day. Of course at the time I wasn’t sure all the stations would be out of supplies…but still, I can’t believe I didn’t think about it.
About mile 11 the hydration stop had jugs with just a few sips of water left in them, there was a bunch of us and just a few jugs, so we were trying to throw some water in our mouths and pass it on. Crazy!! I felt sorry for the girl at the water stop there was lots of complaining.
I kept walking then running a few steps, on repeat. I was not following 4 x 1 ratio…four minutes was too long. I tried to run 4 minutes a few times and the weird chills started up, heat sickness was looming so I just walked.
At mile 12 I felt my phone vibrating and I knew it was the girls texting each other at the finish area trying to meet up. I was envious they were all done LOL I wanted to be done. I sent them a message to tell them I would still be a bit longer.
I felt bad I couldn’t dig deep and push through. I started thinking about all the hot races I had run during 2017 and in very humid conditions…and still finished way better. This was a low point, I really started beating myself up. As I was thinking about those races…Petersburg Half (HOT! But Gatorade at almost every stop) Park to Park Half~ I carried a disposable with Nuun in it, Highbridge Half~ I carried my handheld and refilled it several times with Powerade …I realized I really couldn’t compare experiences, I had plenty of hydration for those races.
All 13 miles of this race I had two cups of Gatorade and one cup of water, other than that just a swig of water! I couldn’t let myself be sad…being able to have fun the rest of the day was much more important!
As the finish line approached and I saw my friends…annnnd yep, I could be sad. LOL I wanted to smile, but the tears welled up…I tried to hold them back but the tears were forcing their way out.
I had to go off to the side and get myself together for a few minutes.
Of course, the ladies were all supportive and made me feel better and the tequila shots helped lol
The fact remains though this was the toughest and slowest race time I’ve ever earned. I nailed the backwards PR.
GO big or go home…I bested my personal worst by 7 minutes or so…and that previous personal worst was earned while stopping to get sick behind a bush!
I ran an 11:32 avg pace the first 6.55 miles - the second half my average pace dropped to 13:45.
Overall I finished in 2:45:09 (12:36 avg pace) …OOOOOiiiie.
I am not dwelling on it. I loved every other minute of my girls weekend!
And if I go run this next year I’ll be sure to carry my own hydration!
Have you ever had your eyes burning for miles from sweat?
Been at a race that ran out of cups and water? This is was a new to me, I hope I NEVER repeat experience!
Do you think the peppermint gave me a cramp or was it coincidence?
Have you had a time when a solution seem apparent but you couldn’t think of it because you were too hot? (like go in a store and buy yourself some Powerade!)
What was your personal worst half like? Tell me all about it!!