Half Marathon? Only Half Crazy.

So it came and it went and I survived. The All State Half Marathon. I have been excited/nervous/terrified/prepared/unprepared for weeks.

I have gone through a cycle of emotions. I registered for this in mid-April- right before an exceptional performance in the Lakefront 10 miler. This made me excited for this because I had just done 10 miles- so not only did I do them well, but I was in a good place for my training. I actually felt prepared.

I took a week off to rest- and started up again and then began dealing with my injury, and was really scared when I couldn’t run over 7 miles- that put my training at a two week standstill. So naturally I felt unprepared.

I’ve been seeing my physical therapist and she has been torturing working with me for about 1 1/2 weeks and taping my knee. Last weekend I did 10 1/2 very slow miles but I was able to do them.

Going into this I wanted to be on the level I was during the 10 miler and I knew I wouldn’t be. My goal was to finish and keeping any stopping/walking to a minimum to none.

I will say Fleet Feet and All State had a very organized, and enjoyable packet pick up. The shuttles the day of the race were also very nice as well.

I prepared last week by doing my PT stretches and doing lighter workouts. I ran with a running group on Wednesday which was nice because I could push myself a little. I did a light tempo run on Thursday and rested Friday.

In terms of nutrition I don’t really “carb load” I tried to make sure all week I had a good balance of healthy carbs and protein (and veggies).

Friday for lunch I had greek chicken with Kale and Spinach and feta orzo. Pat bought me dinner at Noodles and Company. I had my usual “pre-race” Tuscan Linguine with shrimp, a side of asparagus and ciabatta roll- oh and my favorite Peach Fanta Zero.

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I had 4:30 wake up call for my race so I was in bed early. I got up, made my breakfast- a bagel thin with a little cream cheese and tried to no avail to “use the restroom” before leaving the comfort of my own bathroom. I also had half of a Clif bar and got a taxi to go to the shuttles.

Normally the only time I’m up at 4:30 is because I am just getting home from the bar.

I met a friend at the shuttles and because it was so early there was no traffic and we were down at the race site by 5:30. We checked our gear and walked around and sat near the beach. Finally it was time to make peace with the fact that I needed to go into one of the porta potties 😦 (for those of you who aren’t runners- it can be problematic during a long run- because it’s better to try to potty beforehand to avoid pooping your pants during the race)- yeah you can shit your pants. There are conflicting theories on why this can happen- but ill cover it another time- bottom line is I am genuinely motivated to avoid pooping in a bush on the course- true life.

It was finally time to hop into a porta and take care of “binness” and line up. This race had pacers- which I liked. I wanted to stay behind the 2:20 pacer and ahead of the 2:30 pacer.

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Overall my race went well. I went out strong I did my first mile under 10 and felt good and did mile 2-3 around 10 minutes. I wore down a little around mile 5, I took a gel, and took my top layer off because I was REALLY hot. The race was rough for me right around the halfway point, then again around mile 9. Between mile 7 and 9 my stomach was upset and kind of threw up in my mouth a little. It was really gross and I just drank more water. This happened to me last weekend but I thought it was a fluke. I may need to experiment with some different gels.

Part of mile 11 was roughy but once I realized I only had two miles left I got a little of my mojo back.

My goal was to do 11 minutes or less for average pace, and finish around 2:20. I finished in 2:30 but it was still a 10 minute PR from my last half.

I did want to die a little inside when am Elite runner was passing me (like in the opposite direction towards the finish line- and I was in like mile 4- #turtlemoment)

The post race party was awesome, Dole has these AMAZING frozen dark chocolate covered banana bites- I ate like 3 little packets- and I hate bananas. I got my medal which is massive.

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I threw on a clean shirt and got my picture taken and grabbed a slice of Lou Malnattis, then hopped on a shuttle. I was having a lot of post race GI pain- another great side effect of running- I really just wanted to go home.

Overall it was a great race. I am proud of myself. I am already motivated to do another to bring my time down even more- sans injury.

I know I need to work more with fueling during the race. I felt like I had adequate energy but did have a little upset stomach- so maybe I need to experiment with some different gels. I’m thinking of signing up for the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Chicago Half in September but that will mean training through the hot hot summer.

I’d like to do two more half Mary’s before the end of 2013, and try to keep on my goal of 1 race per month. I’m so excited and proud, although I don’t know if I’ll ever be crazy enough to do a full. But I’ll never say never. It’s something I’d like to do, but I was tanked after I was done yesterday- but I never thought I could do a half either.

What are some of your fitness goals?

What is one thing you would like to do- but aren’t sure you could do?

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