Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saint George Half Marathon

Seems like a while since I posted, and during that time I think I became more of a runner than ever. Running is like one long never ending learning process that occasionally knocks you down but you just have to keep getting up. I ran the Saint George half marathon on January 22nd my second half and I can't wait to run another one.

The short of it. Didn't get out of the house on time, horrible traffic to get to the race start, barely made it got to the start line and had to double back almost missing the start of the race, stomach cramps leg cramps, muscle spasms, bloody nipples, blood soaked bib and tech shirt oh and a new shiny pr of 2:20;20 a pr by 10:15 in just 78 days since my last half marathon.

Now the long and probably craziness of it all.

Had a plan to get up at 7:30 and get some breakfast and be out of the house around 8:20 with the start being at 9pm and the race only being 10 minutes from my house. Well used the snooze button twice and woke up at 7:40 and then it's so hard to get the wife up in the mornings that around 8:15 when I decided to jump in the shower I told her that she needed to either get up or I was leaving her. Finally got out of the house around 8:25-8:30. Still plenty of time but did not factor in the horrible bottleneck of craptastic roads the city has by the start of the event. Sitting at the light about a mile away for three cycles contemplating jumping out of the car and running to the start line. Even made the decision if hit it hits 8:55 I would be abandoning the car.

Traffic finally moves and we pull into cracker barrel with still 10 minutes to spare. The wife was going to take son and get some breakfast and then head up to the mother in-laws tell the end of the race and meet me at the end. So rush to the start line and as I am walking over I see all these runners take off and I am like NOOOOOOOO I check my watch and its 8:51 and I am like why the heck are they starting 10 minutes early and am freaking out. Then I remember just as I get to the start line that they were running a 5k too and that its start time was 8:50 and that made since as I am like all those people must be crazy running that fast at the start of a half marathon.

Hear the announcer say 7 minutes tell start and am like cool start getting my ipod ready and my watch (my awesome $15 target watch thank you very much) ready and then as I am digging through my pockets I come across my wallet. Crap the wife needed that to pay for breakfast and I still have it. Rush back to cracker barrel and toss the wallet at the wife and then run back to the race start with 1 minute to spare (yes for those people who were eating cracker barrel this morning that was me the crazy dude that came running into the restaurant calling out my wives name and then throwing my wallet from half way across the room).

Race starts and everything is going great despite the near misses. Run the first mile in 9:17 and the second mile in 9:16 perfect pacing (without a garmin thank you very much). Keep to my plan and walk through the water station and mile 2.8 and still have a fairly good mile despite the walk break and log a 9:56 mile. But this is where it probably all went downhill, did take a water and drank it and this would be the only water I drank besides the 20 ounce bottle I was running with the entire race. Mile 4 went great with a 9:57. Overall perfect 4 mile time of 38:26. Lost a little time on mile 5 because of few hills but still logged a nice 48:44 and 10:18 mile for mile 5.

Between mile 5 and 6 is where we start started to get lapped by the leaders as they did a long loop and short loop. And this is where I started to bleed a little time as well as I stopped at the water station again at mile 6 and then walked the huge fraking hill that was just beyond it dropping me to a 59:25 for the first 6 miles. This is also where I started to lose track of the time, keep in mind no garmin so I looked at the stop watch every mile and did the math in my head as I went a long to track my splits.

Miles 6-9 are kinda of a blur, I knew I was bleeding a little time as I came in at mile 9 around 1:32xx but mile 9 is where it went all wrong horribly wrong. Mile 9 was the same water station as mile 3 as we were on the second loop and this time I grabbed a Gatorade. Keep in mind when I started to lose weight I gave up all sugary drinks and only drink water, never much of a fan of sugar anyways it was fairly easy (fried foods is my kryptonite), I also never trained much with Gatorade either. So I started to drink the Gatorade as I walked through the water station and 4-5 sips in I got bad muscle cramps in my stomach, the sugar and probably the lack of drinking all together did me in. Mile 9 was nearly walked the entire mile (my plan had been working fairly well up to that point of taking short walking breaks every time I hit a new mile then running the rest of the mile, normally a 1 minute walk break followed by 9 minutes of running that had been keeping me fairly close to my 10 minute mile goals). The stomach cramps would stop me every time I tried to run. I lost nearly 5-6 minutes that mile alone as I ran mile 9 around 15-16 minutes.

Around mile 10 the stomach cramps had started to subside and then one of my favorite running songs that always gives me a boost (ok here is your opportunity to laugh) Miley Cyrus Party in the USA came on and I took off like a bat out of hell running mile 10 back at my start pace of a 9 minute mile. Mile 10's water station was the same as mile 6's so once more I walked through the station (and didn't even take any water) and up the massive hill from hell once more.

Around mile 10 was also when I looked down and noticed my shirt was fairly red as well as my bib. Darn band aids must have come off somewhere and I was becoming a blood soaked mess.

The hard run mile did me in as well as the lack of drinking likely though as mile 11 was soon followed by muscle cramps, and some severe muscles spasms. I tired to keep the pace but knew know that there was no chance of the 2:10 or even possibly the 2:15 I had wanted. Now my goal was to finish with a 2:20 PR by 10 minutes, get a sub 11 minute mile pace and finish as strong as possible, leg cramps and muscles spasms be danged. It was hard as every time I felt the spasms and cramps coming on I slowed to a walk wanting to finish as strong as possible and sprint the finish line this time.

Mile 12.9 to mile 13.1 was sheer insanity once that finish line came into view it was screw this pain, screw this torment I am finishing and I fraking sprinting across that. You could look down at my legs and the muscles were jumping like Mexican jumping beans in a freaky and quite intriguing way. I took off though and just as we came up on mile 13 I saw a lady that I had talked to a little around mile 11 or 12 sauntering in at a good jog. I am full out sprinting though and was like lets go finish line finish line lets do it lets do it finish strong sprint sprint sprint and she took off we me. We came across that finish line pushing each other like lunatics. I think I might be more proud of mile 13.0 to mile 13.1 of anything I have ever done running. Despite the pain, despite the dehydration and electrolyte deficiency I finished at an all out sprint and no one can ever take that away to you.

With my muscles visibly jumping like someone had asked them to dance we loaded up on some food and made are way to the board to get the official time and a massage. My legs hurting and cramping and really wanting to sit down I laid down on the grass and dear lord the cramps came on with a furry that had me swearing and cursing the heavens. Yes that was me fellow runners on the grass near the massage station cursing up a storm. Another runner came up and helped me work out the cramps, runners are awesome by the way and the wife brought me some Gatorade. feeling a little better we decided to stand in line for the massages.

After and hour wait finally got my massage and the masseuse knew something was wrong right off the bat. And had me iced and had my wife run to get me some more Gatorade. Muscles still doing the tango she was afraid to give me too deep of a massage. Oh and cramps in the balls of your feet might be the worst cramps known to man, give me those leg and calf spasms and cramps over the feet ones any day.

Limped home and took some pics for you. The wife forgot the camera and when she went home to get it while I was running her key snapped off in the lock of the door but she did get a good video of me at the finish line.

Up next the marathon, may the lord have mercy on my soul.

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