My 1st half marathon time is 3:00:03. So walking uphill just puts a few extra minutes on it. No big deal. And my garmin is a little off.
This is going to be a long post - which will likely be 2 posts or so of recap because I got lots of pictures and video that I want to share with you!
I want to give mad props to those that finished Boston this year. I understand how hot it is to run in the heat - which was like the hottest day of the year so far for us. Big ups. There is no way I could have ran the whole 26 miles unprepared for any heat.
Friday, I ended my day with a dime sized blisters. I parked my car at one of the post-race shuttle locations and I biked back. Well, since I didn't want to tax my quads too much biking uphill - I pushed my bike, in my bike shoes. Which are not really make to walk in. I got a blister on the back of my right heel, and had buy some moleskin to cover the blister pre-race, which saved my hide Saturday.
Woke up at 9:30am. Had one cup of coffee, a lemon-lime Nuun, 2 pieces of toast, one of those with apple butter, the other with a smear of refried beans and a scrambled egg. And as much water as I could choke down. I was already feeling a little bloated. All my gear was ready 2 days before, so getting ready was trouble-free. I got to the start about 11am. Race starts at High Noon. It was warm. I slathered on SPF 85, which I think sweated off with the noon-time sun beating down on us.
I did get a sunburn on my right side neck, chest & shoulder. But I actually blame that on the nearly hour wait for the bus at the end of the day.
I was getting emotional and all teared up before we started. I had a cup of water and was listening to the band that was playing music. I think it was the heat, the nerves for the race, hormones, the music, surrounded my sunscreened, sweaty, fit runners. All my senses were overloading. And it has become a bad habit to cry at the finish line or watching people finish a race. Running has made me sensitive, and I had to move to the other side of the park to compose myself from the large crowd before the start.
I couldn't tell where I started from. It was middle to near the back of the pack. We walked to the starting line and were able to run out the gate. I could really tell it was warm. And I was going to be walking lots. Cynthia said hi after the start and zoomed off ahead of me.
The heat. So bad. I really wish I would have taken the Camelbak with me instead of a handheld that I got at Pulse Friday. I frozen water in the bottle but it was all melted by 12:30. I had warm water in there the next couple of hours. I had my cell phone in my right hand and bottle in the left. I had 2 gels in the pocket of the handheld but stuck those in my sports bra (which I didn't even notice at all!) and had my phone in the pocket & I took it out only to take pics. And I was really hating not having my hands free, but I liked having my phone with easier access then the back of my pack.
I took my gels at mile 5 & 10. And really, I didn't feel I needed the 2nd one, but since there is salt and stuff in those (I used Hammer raspberry and huckleberry) I figured that I needed it just because I was sweating so dang much. I accidentally grabbed gatorade somewhere in between there. I drank water at every water stop, a cup or 2 at a time. And sipped on the warm handheld every time I needed to wet my mouth or when I really needed water. I wasn't sure if everything was really going down, but I didn't feel it bubble up into my throat. I felt bloated at the end for sure. (like I said, I didn't need that 2nd gel) and all the water after mile 11 was a little much while running, but it was hot and I was really thirsty.
It was hot. And I was afraid of heatstroke or muscle cramps. So I didn't run as much as I expected. But walking uphill, I was passing people. Big steps. Jogging a few seconds when I could, but I was afraid of overheating when I ran. Left, right, left, right, using my powerful butt muscles. Thankful that running has built up my hammys. Because I was feeling it in my hams. I was proud my body was doing the Toughest Half Marathon, and my legs felt surprisingly good.
Mile 8. It is steep. It is like a wall. Trail of tears, it is. The last couple of pictures was around that area. My pace slowed. There is no way I could have run up that. I would have walked anyway, and everyone around me was stopping on the side of the road stretching, resting in the shade. You know, that would feel good, but my rule for running and races is DON'T STOP. Keep Going. Stopping is bad. I won't make any forward progress if I stop. Who cares if I walk because I am not going to win my age group or overall. I am in it to finish it. And I didn't stop and I pushed all thoughts of me slowing further and kept sinking one foot in front of the other into the dirt. Didn't think about my legs. Just looked at the ground and did one foot in front of the other. Pressing on. God, it was hot.
Top of the hill. Oh thank god!!! I could run down and usually after mile 6 of running, my legs are a little sore. Hey, I was at mile 9 - 4 more miles to go and my legs felt awesome! There was shade and I was passing people trotting down the hill and I was getting passed. No big deal. I think I looked at my Garmin and my pace said about 11 minutes. Awesome!
Here and there, I noticed the blister on the back of my heel - when I walked. Thank god for that moleskin because it didn't pop but it did eventually get bigger! I noticed some hot spots on the tops of my toes starting in this race. I wiggled my toes in my shoes but they formed into blisters. I blame the shoes and the heat. I got a blister on the side of my big left toe and top of middle toe - where I have a callus. Right foot is 2 small blisters on my 2nd toe and one on my callus on my middle toe.
The water stops and volunteers were great. The water that they sprayed on us and having cold water to drink was such a blessing. The music (the Rocky theme - awesome!), their creative signs, the sushi and whipped cream, their taunting of beers in their hands, thank you for being out there in the heat cooking with us.
I walked/jogged the downhills of the last 4 miles. I wanted to finish strong & not crawl to the finish line. I wanted to walk around and enjoy my post race beers.
One of my finish line pics from The Idaho Statesman.
Everyone loved the sparkle skirt and there was only 2 of us wearing Team Sparkle? I am glad that I wore it and the sequins did carry me far! I got a lot of shout outs and questions about it. I love wearing Team Sparkle and need the rest of the colors, since I only have blue and silver.
At the end we got our swag - a white long sleeved cotton shirt with this years Samurai Sailtoad logo and a bottle opener - which I can't find today!
Food was baked potatoes with fixin's, string cheese, bananas, oranges, rice topped with mixed veggies, cookies & fortune cookies with quirky fortunes. Food was eh. Gatorade, chocolate milk, lots of beer (which ran out quickly!) cans of pop and lots of bottles of water were available.
Overall, I didn't think the race was so hellish. Just the heat is what got to me. Will I do this race again? Yes! Next year? IDK yet. Maybe.