The Race Report that was hard to write.
a.k.a. Carolina Brewsfest Half Marathon. (I ran this in 2016 and got a PR!)
I decided to run this race because 1) My new running club was running it, and who wants to be left out?
And 2) maybe I could get some redemption for my crummy Run the South in April… maybe?
So this year. I did the same sprint/interval training, and felt pretty fast. Then I went on vacation. Probably gained some weight, but didn’t really notice or care. I haven’t paid much attention to the scale because I feel like I’m where I want to be, in terms of body size and composition.
Fast forward to now (June). I’m 10-15 Lbs more than last year. That’s a crummy feeling that I’m trying to shake. *Trying* being the key word there.
I’m in week 6 of the Lean Fast Strong Capable plan from Ashley Keller, a fellow West Point grad and mom. The plan is kicking my butt—challenging in all the right ways!—but I haven’t been very disciplined about my nutrition at all.
Which brings me to why this was hard to write.
Last year I felt like I was really killin it. Training hard, recovering well. I even felt like I kicked butt at a Spartan Race! But then there were a series of setbacks: dehydration at a Spartan Super (where I entered the elite heat!), lack of training for the Army Ten Miler, buying a house (not a setback, but didn’t leave time/energy for training!). There were probably more, but when I checked my website for a memory-refresher, it’s not working right now… ugh. I guess sometimes I feel like a failure when my times aren’t improving. Which I know is silly, but that’s how I feel. My trajectory was in the right direction, and now it feels like it isn’t. I had so many instances of GI problems this spring that I thought maybe I should just give up distance running altogether. When I described my issues, on the way home from the Brewsfest race, to a friend (lack of energy, running slow, tummy troubles) she asked “Could you be pregnant?” And I can see why she said that, but sadly no, that’s not the reason. I’ve just felt meh.
OK, so bringing it back to the race report. What a long intro!
Race: Carolina Brewsfest Half Marathon
Goal: Since I haven’t been running fast/well, I had no time goals, except maybe to come in somewhere around 2 hours.
Gear: Oiselle bra, shorts, & hat. Garmin. Mizuno’s. iPod nano.
Gut: Woke up at 5 to eat 1 egg and rice, and hydrate with Nuun. Felt fine prior to race, but made many bathroom stops beforehand too.
Pre-race: Hung out with my teammates and stayed cool.
The race: Attempted to run with my teammate Sasha, but she [is crazy fast and] dropped me after a few miles. I didn’t want to go out to fast, so I just ran my own pace. Cruisin along fine until mile 5 when I saw a port o’ john and thought “I better go.” (The same potty that I passed in 2016, didn’t use, and then later regretted big time when I had to pee in an empty lot in the ghetto!) I didn’t really need to, so I wasted time and messed up my rhythm. As I exited the potty, the 2 hour pace group passed me. I thought I could stay well in front of them but… I was wrong. No worries… just keep going.
BUT the heat was starting to get to me, and there was only shade on portions of the course. SO, nearing the turnaround (mile 8), I started to do some walking breaks. The GI distress reared its ugly head, yet again. Only this time, I told myself who cares, doesn’t matter, I might start feeling better soon. I stopped at another potty after the turnaround and yet again, that only made it feel worse. I had seen some teammates coming up behind me when I turned around, and didn’t realize one had passed me when I made my pit stop. I vowed to stay in front of the others (stupid competitive impulse) but figured if they caught me, I might at least have company for awhile. The next water stop had cold Gatorade, and I’ve never been so thankful for cold Gatorade. I walked along and drank it, around mile 9, and miraculously started to feel better! I began to run again, and the goal became to run it all the way in, and maybe, if I was lucky, to finish strong.
Fast forward a few miles, and I passed a lot of people on the way to the finish. It was HOT and I was definitely hurting and tired, but managed a barely-sub-9 min mile, which felt amazing for a race that I thought was going to be a suck-fest like Raleigh 2016, the Spartan, and Run the South.
I might have managed the ugliest race pics I’ve ever seen of myself… LOL
Results: I beat my Run the South time by 2 minutes, so I was happy with my 2:08:16. 23 of 60 in my age group. I was feeling OK but not great. I skipped the beer at the finish cuz my stomach still didn’t feel so awesome.
BUT I celebrated cuz it was 15th half marathon, and I managed to overcome the crappy feeling mid-race and finish kinda strong.
Plus the medal was very cool… and useful!
I went home and took an excellent nap with this little guy!
Will I run this one again?
Only if it’s cool out… the heat was absolutely oppressive and brutal. The hills were tough too. I did love the crowd support at the end though 🙂 Plus the medal, T-shirt, and post-race refreshments were all great quality!
My Garmin stats: Love that my training exertion (TE) was a 5 (the max!) and average heart rate was 177.. whew! At least I know I gave it my all.