Dusting off the bloggie to share my thoughts on a nice in-person half marathon race that I completed in September.
I had some reservations about doing this race. Mostly because I don’t care for LARGE crowds. I know, silly, because the best races have the largest groups of people participating.
This really was a great race. My training, of course, has been all over the place. Good days training with the bad days of meh training with a few too many rest days thrown in. I still made it to the finish line.
I have had some anxiety issues the past month. The previous race I completed (Boise Front Trail Run) I had a huge issue with my anxiety to the point where I started hyperventilating. I DNS a planned race before this one because of nerves. I had a hard time sleeping the week before and had nerves the morning of the race. I turned off my alarm clock the night before with the thought of if I wake up in time, I’ll go. If not, I’ll sleep in and go about my day. My brain and body woke up before my planned alarm time of 4 am giving me 6 hours of sleep, I decided to complete the race I signed up for.
I had one cup of coffee, a half glass of NUUN orange sport, and a small amount of proats (overnight oats made with protein powder) – my blood pressure was through the roof! My mornings start with 2 cups of coffee but after checking my BP, I just stuck with one. I was so queasy with nerves, I could hardly brush my teeth. This is not how I wanted to start my race day!
Once I got to the start line, the nerves melted away. I felt ready, calm but eager to start my race. My goal time for the race was 3 hours. Once I started out, I felt confident in my legs and that my training was OK. I kept my pace super easy (12:30ish) and walked the uphills (anything with a uphill slant that moved my heart rate to hard) and water stations where I had a couple vanilla and chocolate GUs during the race. I walked to lower my heart rate because I know I can push myself to where I can’t run a single step more. I wanted to run to the finish.
I had a 4 minute potty break at mile 8. Right after that, there was a downed and bleeding injured runner on the course. There was a small group of other runners standing around with one on the phone with 911. Help was on the way, and the runner did not appear to be in immediate distress as onlookers were following 911’s instructions. Once I heard help was on the way, I trotted off as there was nothing I could do since there were others before me with a better knowledge of the situation.
My leggies had a hard time moving after that and I was walking a tad bit more then I wanted to. I was busy telling my legs to shut to and run but they didn’t want to listen. I don’t know if it was the previous pit stops or they were just tired because its been 8-9 miles, but they were out of the nice groove I had before I stopped.
I was dealing with some major chafing for some reason around this time also. I’m not sure why because I have worn this skort all summer long without an issue. Its been a great skort with the gripper on the inside of the legs keep the shorts in place without riding up. This chafing was just starting to be uncomfortable with it to only bring me to near tears at the end of the race.
Right after the mile 11 mark, the half marathon course merges with the other shorter distance participants. Since I am so slow, I got to join in with the bazillion of walkers with strollers. It was hard to dodge in between people – this is what I didn’t want to deal with and why I chose not to participate in the race for the last however many years. I trotted where I could and just decided to go with the flow. I planned on walking up the incline of the road so I just walked with the crowd. Once I got to the Depot, I wanted to get back to running but it just felt impossible. I wanted to scream “Get out of the way – I’m a half marathoner! I’ve already done 11-12 miles and you’ve only done ONE mile as a 5K’er!” But I didn’t. I run / walked through the crowd. I had comfort knowing I was almost done. Thankfully, the last mile was a nice downhill. All the walking the past mile refreshed my legs and I was able to trot comfortably downhill to the finish.
This is the time where my thigh chafing brought me to near tears. I was looking around for my other half then got my post-race bagel, clif bar and string cheese. I was mentally and physically unable to enjoy the post-race fun. It was an immediate walk back to the car that was not-so-fun because of my discomfort. After a verbal decompression with my other half and a much-needed shower, it was time to order pizza. 2 slices of veggie pizza and a 20 minute nap, I felt better. Not 100%, but way better.
I think I know what is causing the anxiety and I have worked to address it. I think it was my melatonin because I stopped it and have not had the anxiety since. This race was my 21st real, in-person half marathon, which excludes virtual races and training 13 milers. I feel accomplished that I basically made my goal time of 3 hours – 3:03 but whatever. I ran more without stopping and more comfortably then I have been in the previous races this past year.
I am happy with how this race turned out.