Sunday, February 10, 2013

ralston creek half update

earlier this week, i was diagnosed with bronchitis.  not exactly what you want to hear a few days before a long race.

i decided to ran a 5k yesterday to see how the half might go today.  my lungs felt fine, but my legs felt like lead.  it was fun and quick, but chilly.  as the day progressed, it got colder and colder until it started to snow.  i love snow, but snow right before your half marathon is not exciting.  not. at. all.  it is the opposite of exciting.  it is unpleasant.  bothersome, even. some might find running in the snow to be fun.  i find it treacherous; traction - and not landing on my butt - is a big deal to me.

when i woke up this morning, i rushed to look out the window.  the snow did not accumulate much during the night.  what a relief.  i checked the temperature.  only 5 degrees colder than the day before.  yay!  i put on pretty much the same outfit as the day before, but added a vest and some gloves.  all set!

hubby dropped me off at the start line and i met up with a friend from dailymile.  my friend, b, is the one who turned me on to this run.  of course, i signed up last minute (again!) and without much time to train (i hope this is not going to become a habit).  we chatted while waiting for the start of the race and then she took off, hoping to beat a 2:25 time (which she did).  she has been running for 25 or so years, which really impresses me.  b ran with another friend of hers.

there were 2 waves of runners, one at 9:00 for those slower than 2:15 and one at 9:45 for those faster than 2:15.  i started out slow and steady in wave 1, but the cold really got to me.  five degrees can make a huge difference in performance.  or maybe it was the bronchitis, i don't know.  the paths were slippery in places, i was coughing like crazy and my eyelashes kept sticking to my cheeks.  i had visions of falling on my rear or breaking a leg so at the 1-mile mark, i decided to slow down and walk a bit.

as i walked along, the runners ahead of me kept getting further and further away.  i would run a bit to keep sight of them, but then returned to walking.  pretty soon, i was all by myself.  no runners behind me and i couldn't see the ones ahead of me.  thank goodness for the course volunteers.

running can be a lonely sport.

the fastest runner from wave 2 passed me at mile 5 and it was a steady stream of passers after that.  it was nice to be part of the crowd, even if i kept getting passed.  :)  i love how encouraging runners can be to other runners.

the course was fairly hilly, including the switchback-that-never-ended around mile 6 or 7.  it literally was back and forth, back and forth, up the hill for a mile.  the nice thing was being part of the group.  i think if the runners from wave 2 weren't there (passing me in a steady stream), i may have given up. i am not sure how i would have given up since there was no course support in this area, but i am sure i would thought of something.  ha!

after getting to the top of the switchback, gravity decided to help a girl out.  what goes up must come down, or so the saying goes.  running on the downhills, walking on the flats or uphills - either way, i was being passed like i was standing still.  the course in this area was really beautiful with a clear view of downtown.

mile 10 hit, and boy i was tired.  i kept coughing... and being passed.  by mile 12, i was only being passed occasionally but that was because there were only a few people left behind me.  this area was icy and slippery again.  i was mainly walking at this point with an infrequent sprint.  another few runners passed me at mile 13.  hubby met me at the mile marker and took a couple of pictures before booking it to the end to catch me crossing the finish line.  done!  i looked behind me and there was no one else; i was the last runner.  my time was around 3:06.

this race was a struggle for me.  i enjoyed parts of this race and hated others.  (the swag bag was full of samples and trial sized goodies.  yay!)  actually, if you know me, the one thing i really love about running is the race medal.  the rest of it was just working towards getting a medal.  lol.  i think i would do this race again, but i really need to limit running when i am not well, and be more consistent when i am.

by the way, when i got in the car, hubby asked me if i wanted to eat first or take a shower.  i replied with shower and he said 'good choice.  i can smell you.'  so funny.

next race: san diego hot chocolate 15k in march

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