Today was the Hippy Chick half marathon. I signed up for it months ago, but was feeling a little unenthusiastic about it as of late for a couple of reasons. I've cut back on my running a bit to fit in Poekoelan. I did something to a muscle in my hip flexor about 6 weeks back and it still bothers me - I was playing a game sitting on the floor when it happened. During my taper this last week plus, I've not been feeling particularly rested. I got all of about 4.5 hours of sleep Thursday night and Friday was a late night due to taking pictures at Davan's dress rehearsal (a post on that to come). To top it all off, I was practicing a Poekoelan hold with Anthony yesterday and aggravated an old toe injury when I caught my bare toe on his shoe.
All-in-all, I could have been better prepared. I went anyway. Anthony drove me over there this morning. Davan went back and forth about going, but ended up staying home to get some sleep for her big weekend this morning and to sub at Do Jump for Lena who had a meeting.
I was feeling pretty iffy before the start this morning, but it was a lovely morning, which helped.
The starting/ending location for the run was at a sport's complex with a playground in a style that Davan loves, so we took a picture to taunt her.
I realized when I asked my Garmin to sync up that I'd made a mistake by not charging it. I was pretty sure it was going to give out on the run. I had, though, charged up my MP3 player and loaded it with a playlist that I was really hoping I wouldn't have to repeat. It was three hours long.
Shortly before the start, I decided to hit the bathroom one more time, feeling like I could easily go. The line was quite long, though, so I decided it was probably just a nervous bladder and I'd be okay until a port-a-potty.
It's a popular race and there were a lot of ladies there, so the start took a while. Anthony tried to get a picture of me at the start, but several things happened to challenge him, one of which was the camera cord flying along.
We ran mostly on back roads with no traffic at all. At the beginning, as usual, there was a lot of passing and being passed as people found their pace. I started off a bit fast, but it didn't feel like I was pushing at all, so I went with it.
After a mile or so, I found myself well ahead of the 11:30 pacers, but behind the 10:30 pace, which was about right for what I predicted for myself.
The first water station was 1 mile in and the first mile flew by with lots of distractions. I got a quick sip of water, but decided I could wait until the next one to use the port-a-potty, as there was a line. I ended up making that same decision at each water station right up until mile 10 when I decided I could make it to the finish and did.
My injured toe only hurt the first mile or so, then it subsided quite a bit and other pains took over.
I really enjoyed the flat course with all the other runners. While there were a lot of us, I didn't feel like we were having to jockey for position too much. It was entertaining seeing everyone's running outfits - some were dressed as hippies, some just plan wore odd combinations. There were times you could see the people ahead for quite a while and a couple times to see people behind.
The course was kind of like a snake that had eaten a large meal for the half marathon. There was also a quarter marathon and, for them, it was just the snake. On the way out, you did the bump out for the half, then to the turn around, then straight back. So, the turn around was well over half way. I was quite pleased to get there. That tail end of the snake was fun both ways, watching the runner passing.
Speaking of passing, the winners of the quarter marathon passed me going back to the start when I was on mile 2.5. Wow. Some people are really fast.
Just before mile 10, my watch's battery gave out. So it wouldn't feel bad about itself, my body started giving out, as well. Mile 11 was tough, mile 13 was positively brutal. I know my pace dropped off a lot, but I also passed a lot of people in those three miles, as a lot of runners were walking by then.
I was really glad to see the finish line. Really glad. Nearly teary glad.
You can see that I'm not exactly sprinting along here, just before entering the stadium where the finish line was.
Still, I ran the whole way and really left it all out there. I was so very tired after crossing the line. Throwing up occurred to me, although I did not. Passing out also crossed my mind. I did not to that, either. I did resort to slow, slightly confused stumbling about for a bit, though.
I'd projected I'd take about 2.5 hours. My official time was 2:24:51. I was pretty happy with that, although, prior to mile 10, I thought I might do even better. Ha!
I was 185th out of 395 in my age group and 849th out of 1860 overall. Both of those total numbers include the walkers, who did not have a separate category. I averaged an 11:06 minute mile, which I was happy with, but was not a lot faster than the speed walking pacer who was advertised as 11:30ish.
I have a few things I want to change for other long events. I found I could not eat even Shot Bloks while running, although I did force two squares down. I need to get my in-run calories via liquid, which means a fuel belt, which I've been eyeing for a while anyway. I also need a new sports bra, as I've got a spot that's rubbed raw. Anthony told me to get what I need and call it my Mother's Day gift. ;)
I'm signed up for the Portland Marathon in the fall...but I can't imagine running what I ran today twice. I tell you, I was done in at the end. Nothing left. I suppose more training and a slower pace would help, but it seems really far fetched. I feel like I need to give the marathon a try, but I also feel like 10Ks are my event. I really enjoyed that length. 13.1 is kind of obnoxious.
I was pleased to enjoy a Jamba Juice sample at the finish.
However, the pancake breakfast didn't work so well for me. I ate some, gave the rest to Anthony and then went back for a second Jamba Juice sample.
I was barely able to handle the stairs up to the condo when we got home, but a shower and a massage, courtesy of Anthony, for the calves, quads and hips helped a lot. I was able to walk to Veggie Thai, a local favorite restaurant, for a celebratory lunch.
I am tired this afternoon,
but doing well overall. I'm glad I did the run. I felt stronger than expected for most of it, even if it didn't exactly fill me with confidence regarding running a marathon. I'll be glad to hit the hay this evening, but first, I've got Davan's opening night to attend.