Sunday, June 3, 2012
Hospital Hill Half Marathon
Ran my second half marathon in 3 weeks and was no more prepared for this than I was for Running with the Cows.
My training was going well with a long run of 13 miles for my Sunday Long Run on 2/19/12. Then life threw a curve ball at me on 2/23/12 with the fire that will always keep the date 2/23/12 in my mind. I have done very minimal training since then running only 130 miles in the last 3 months. That's not enough miles to try and run half marathons on. Looking back to last year I ran 200 miles in that same time frame.
Knowing that HH was to be part of my training buildup to the beginning of my marathon training I decided to run anyway even though I knew I wasn't really prepared. Race day started with my normal routine eating half a power bar and a banana and Gatorade while driving to the race venue. I got to race venue in plenty of time to park and post on Facebook before heading down to the start line. Found the starting line and a group of people with the letter F on their bibs (we were supposed to be in corrals) and settled in to wait for the gun to go off.
The gun went off and almost immediately I knew I was going to have trouble with my shins. I had hoped to stick with the 2:20 pace group but lost sight of them within the first 2 miles of the race. The first major hill told me how bad this day was going to be. My shins were hurting so bad that I had to stop and try to walk up the hill. Walking only made it worse so I resorted to a slow jog. The downhill section made my shins hurt even more. This was going to be a tough day. Little did I know how tough day it was going to be! Around 6 miles I realized that my hands were starting to swell up and was pretty sure my feet were too based on the fact that my toes were hurting like they were crammed in to shoes too small. I've seen my hands swell up before in hot conditions but never had this experience during a race before.
At around the 10 mile marker I knew I
was in trouble but with no medical personnel in site I decided to just keep going forward. I walked quite a bit when I had to and ran when I could. A slow jog was really all I could muster though. I made sure to continue taking water and Gatorade at every aid station so that I didn't get dehydrated even though I didn't think dehydration was the cause of my problem. It was nice seeing friend Tim working at the last aid station. He provided encouragement and i got a few high fives before heading up the final hill affectionately known as Hospital Hill. I somehow made it to the finish line with a total time of two hours 36 minutes and 56 seconds. Was certainly my worst half marathon time in my life but I've only done four so I don't have a lot to compare it to. I was actually surprised by my final time, I thought I was closer to the three hour mark. I had to stay around the medical tent area until my swelling decreased enough that I was able to bend my hands and my wrists. I spent in total about an hour hanging out at the race venue getting something to eat and drink and letting the swelling go down before I made the drive home.
Overall I'm not too upset about my race. My time was slow but I expected that. I finished under adverse conditions when I really wanted to quit. Now I'm ready to start my training vamp up to the marathon in the fall.
I have a few races scheduled between now and the marathon, actually eight including the marathon so I have plenty of opportunity to get my race legs together before the big race day. Looking forward to the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall! That is my goal race of the year. I do have one more half marathon scheduled in July. Not sure if I will still do that one or not based on money but it's in Chicago so I am looking forward to that if I think I can afford it. I'll go if I think I can afford it or I won't. Either way, time to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon! Gulp... :)