6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snohomish River Run Half Marathon 2012

I woke up to the rain POURING on my roof!!  If not for Alma and my 6 Halfs in 6 Months goal, I probably would have gone back to bed.  A Half in the rain did not sound like fun.  Out the door by 5:45AM!!  Arrived at Alma’s and we set out to the Race along with her buddy.  I am a horrible co-pilot and got us slightly off track, Iphone to the rescue.  The parking was ideal so we ventured off to check out the start area.  Lots going on!!  I saw the CRAZY lines near the start and knew that the Honey Bucket near the parking lot would be a better choice.. Stripped off my toss-aways and tried to mentally prepare for the cold/wind/running for 2 hours.

The race started late due to the porta-potty line, but it was good because I got to meet some new people and see my friends.  Including Stacie who was there with her 11 year old daughter, they were running the half together.  I was amazed at how poised and confident her daughter was approaching such a feat, other than some goose bumps she was READY!

I was not sure what to expect for this Half, I had not felt great all week and had some strange aches and pains. My goals were A- Sub 2:00 and B- No 9 minute miles.  The race started and we were off…

1- 7:57- I carpooled with Alma and tried to keep up with her buddy who was going for a 1:44. The wind was gusting and my hat flew off, I quickly turned to grab it, guess my French braid was not the best to hold it on my head.  A guy in a Ninja Turtles shirt passed me, I used him as a pacer with hopes of taking him over in the later miles.  The road was LONG and straight, it was slightly drizzling at this point with wind gusts on an off.  Overall my body seemed good.

2- 8:08- Feeling strong so I settled in to people watching and enjoying the views of the river. I loved the gals with "Sexy Legs" written in sharpie on their legs.  I admired their effortless mid-foot stride as my right Achilles started to hurt.  I have had strange pains all over my body lately, I feel like an old lady.  I shook it off and planted myself next to the white line on the road, it was more level there and I didn’t want to waste effort.

3- 8:21- The LONG straight-aways were a bit BORING, I tried to focus on my music and keep my legs turning over quickly.  I knew that if I wanted to beat my PB for the year I would need to keep the pace below 8:18, somehow I knew that was not going to happen on this day.

4- 8:17- I got a surge of energy and Passed Ninja Turtle guy, I was hoping to stay in front of the costume folks (spoiler alert didn't happen).  I believe it was about this mile when the race stunk, literally there was a manure farm or something and it smelled bad.  I tried to pick up the pace and decrease breathing through my nose.

5- 8:36- I loved seeing the leading runners and looked forward to the return trip.   The gal in second place was cheering on the slower pack, very classy!! (it just so happened that she graduated with Alma, small world)  This mile Karen, a blog reader and Tall Mom herself, introduced herself, I love this!!  It is uplifting to me when people take the time to tell me that they read my Blog.  I tried to keep up with her, but she was on a mission for a sub 1:50 and I didn’t have it in me. 

6- 8:24- I got a little boost of speed/energy as we turned back toward the Finish and I could see loads of people.  Seeing my buddies on the course on the return trip was a highlight for sure.  I saw Stacie and her daughter, Danielle, Jen and got waved at by a few people yelling out “Tall Mom!”  About this time I thought it probably would have been smarter to switch to the 10K since I have not put in many long runs beyond a 10 miler, but I wanted the 6 in 6, so I was in for the LONG haul.

7-8:41- I took a Gu and was hoping it would kick in, no such luck, I started to fade as D passed me in her purple spandex.  Ninja Turtle had faded into the distance by now and I was in preservation mode.  Training, coupled with the rain picking up was taking a toll on my mental toughness..

8- 8:45- This mile my left bicep started to cramp horribly.. I had to switch my Garmin to the other wrist it hurt so bad. This really messed with the stride and cadence. I grabbed my arm, shook it out but nothing helped...it would continue to hurt the rest of the race.  I have had cramps in the typical places before, calves, hamstring, arch, etc… but bicep??  I tried holding my arm in any position I could find, if only to get some comfort from the pain.    

9- 9:11- In twinging-pain, with the rain picking up I started to lose it mentally.. I really wanted to be DONE. I was freezing and I hurt. I cursed myself for my lack of LONG training runs.  I stopped and walked through the water stop.. I was really thirsty and hoped that the electrolytes would help with the cramping.  I knew I should not walk for long or I may not start up again.  I tried to do the mental math and guess my finish time, but my brain was off.  At that point I gave up on pace and Finish Time, my new goal was to FINISH period!!

10-8:58- The little break helped get my legs moving again.  Next I got passed by a gal in a full wonder woman costume and shortly after 2 more wonder women... UGH! I wanted to keep pace, but it wasn't happening.  With 5K to go I knew that if I stayed sub 10min miles I would finish in about 1:55, which was OK by me.  I started to shiver which made my bicep hurt worse, I wished for a sling to hold up my arm.

 11- 9:26- On to the trail and my legs were done, coupled with the heavy rain and the bicep cramp and I was not in a good place. I loved seeing the other runners, but I did not love getting passed over and over and over.  Everyone seemed like they were full of energy and enjoying themselves, I wished I had a buddy with me to help me through the tough spot.  Getting through the next 20 minutes was not fun…the scenery was beautiful and on a normal day I would have been smiling.  I was NOT SMILING!!  “This is what you get, you should have trained more.”  There were little inclines and I slowed significantly with the topography, shuffle shuffle..

12- 9:57- At the turn I stopped and drank electrolytes and hoped I could make it the rest of the race without having to walk again.  The volunteers at the water stop and throughout the race were amazing so positive and happy although they were soaked and cold too.  I tried to massage my arm and to warm up, but it wasn't happening.  My clothes were soaked, body was shutting down, I could not warm up… This mile seemed to last forever.  I weaved around the 10K walkers and tried not to run into the Halfers coming the other direction.  It was like a busy obstacle course.

13- 9:39- Feeling deflated and upset with myself.. I tried to spot people in front of me to mimic their legs so I could just keep moving. I saw the car and knew that the Finish was not far away.  Just 1 lap around the track…..come on body!!

.11- 7:50- I saw the Finish and found one last burst of energy.  I could see Alma cheering for me, which was AWESOME!! The guy I had leapfrogged the last 5K passed me at the very end, good for him J


Crossed the line, got my medal and bent over…my legs felt like 300lbs of dead weight.  I saw a line for water?? I never use bottled water at home, but after I finish a race I would like to have something to drink without waiting in line.  If they did not want to do bottles, OK but have a water table separate from the food line.. just a thought.

Made my way to the food line, when Alma and her buddy showed up.. He set a new PR, and Alma placed 2nd in her age group, celebration all around!!  I downed a couple oranges, grabbed a slice of bread and ordered lentil from the list of soups.  The warm soup tasted amazing.. We wandered around for a bit chatting with folks then gave in to the rain and cold.  Thankfully on our way back to the car we saw Stacie and her daughter smiling about to Finish, this was a highlight of the day.  I worried that the cold and rain would make for a tough race for a young one, but she rallied through like a champ!!  And just before we got in the car Jen was “Wogging” by, I blew her a kiss, she is training to walk the 3 day for Breast Cancer which is AWESOME! One thing about Jen, she always has a beautiful smile, regardless..

Got to the car, changed in the parking lot, and set out.. Overall I am pretty proud of my time, but if I want to do another Half I really need to train better. It is painful to lose steam and have to tough it out for 5 miles. Not sure what is next. I sort of want to hibernate for the winter but I doubt hubby will let me.  Sorry for the complete lack of pictures, the rain makes camera’s disappear..


Anonymous said...

Congrats!! That is an amazing time, especially with all the trouble you had!! Hope you are feeling better by now.

Kerrie said...

Sorry I couldn't be there to run with you buddy. :(

Now...we need to get our costumes started for Santa Runs!

robinbb said...

While physically you had a really tough race, I think mentally you really fought hard and I think you won. A 1:55 is a great time, especially considering your body wanted you to quit. I congratulate you on finishing and reaching your goal of 6 half's in 6 months. I have really enjoy training for a half marathon and I bet you can really see your fitness coming back if that is what you want. Sometimes a mental break is necessary to get us going again though. Hugs to you Mel!!!

Danielle C. said...

Awesome to push through in less than ideal conditions (to say the least). My shoes felt like they weighed 5lbs each by the finish (and took over 24 hours to dry out..so gross). Nevermind the huge headwind we were running into for the first 5 miles. The last little out and back was also mentally brutal.

I looked for you at the finish, but the lines were crazy. It was pouring by that point and I didn't feel like standing outside freezing in my wet clothes. :(

It was awesome to see you out on the course, tough to not have any spectators due to the closed road...but the volunteers were all amazing.

(so not) SuperRunnerMom said...

It was miserable day, weather wise. I was there spectating and saw/cheered for you around mile 10.5ish. You looked great - like you were feeling strong. Great job.

Tiffany said...

Congrats on 6 in 6 months! I would be jumping for joy if I got that time- you should be proud of yourself. You could have given up a hundred different times but you didn't. THAT, my friend, is what makes you awesome :) Good job

Amy @ Run Mom Run said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough race! That bicep thing is totally weird, I hope it isn't something that reoccurs! It was fun to see you anyway, thanks for waiving when you saw me on the course! I think that wind the first three miles or so discouraged everyone! It was rough.

Sybil Runs Things said...

Your mental toughness is awe inspiring! Great job pulling through, mama. 6 halfs in 6 months is so cool.

I yanked a pic off the photo page, but I only got one other pic at the race for my blog post. No one wanted to drench their phones!

Rachelle Q said...

Sounds like we had a similar race. I don't know what it was but after mile 6 the wheels came off and it was a struggle. Ugh! I also got passed by wonder woman and was quite disappointed:( nice to meet you before the race (rachelle aka hikermom) Nice job pushing through!

Sue's Ramblings said...

Great job TM! Sub-2!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Biceps cramps???? What happened?

KCA said...

It felt bad for me too. That wind, rain and cold wasn't my favorite. I kept listening to Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" on repeat and thinking to myself, you are getting stronger, because walking at mile 10 sounded really appealing. Glad it's over and thanks for the mention in the post! Hope to run into you again at more local races!

Stacie said...

I'm obviously emotionally overwhelmed from the whole experience since your race report made me tear up :) I'm so happy you were there to share in Makenna's big day and to make her feel special. So glad you were able to see her finish. Congrats on a great time even in the crazy weather. You are always an inspiration.

Unknown said...

Well done congrats, 6 halfs in 6 months is brilliant I started running 4 months ago and don't have a half planned til next year I hope at some point I could see myself being able to do that. Weather or not I do it is another thing but being at a stage to do it is ace. Well done again. Check out my blog and have a look at my progress it would be nice of you. mattpattrunningblog.blogspot.co.uk

fancy nancy said...

You toughed it out and still did GREAT!! I so would have stayed in bed...cold rain and a half marathon...yuck! Hibernating always sounds better than it actually is!!