Well, that was….interesting

This morning, I picked up JM & we headed to Champoeg State Park (pronounced Shampoo-y) for the Hippie Chick Half Marathon. This was my 2nd year running it & JM’s first.

In fact, I believe that for both of us, this was the 2nd half marathon. As you know, we’ve been training, so we were both hoping not only for PRs, but specific goal PRs. My main goal was to beat last year’s time of 2:25. My real goal was to come in under 2:15, and my super-secret goal was to get pretty close to 2:10.

It was a bit on the warm side today. And I am a delicate flower who wilts in the heat (see Reach the Beach Century Ride, May 2008).

Before the run, we knew it was warm, but we were full of hope & confidence:

The first couple of miles were hard, but by mile 3 I was feeling a bit better. The course is a double loop course and according to Leo, looks something like this:

(I, however, don’t remember running through the Willamette quite that much.)

The first three miles were a mixture of exposed road & paved trail, somewhere between miles 3 & 4, you enter a tree-lined asphalt path, which was shadier & rather pretty.

Splits:

Mile 1: 9:55
Mile 2: 10:14
Mile 3: 10:24
Mile 4: 10:13

Somewhere between Miles 4 & 5, JM & I met for the first time (although I was totally concentrating on not tripping over a stump at the time, and didn’t see her – I did here her yell my name).

Shortly after that is the turn around, and then it’s about two  miles back to the start – then you get to start all over again. At this point, I was still feeling pretty good, and was at mile 6 when I saw the half marathon leaders coming back for their last 3.5 miles.

Miles 6 & 7 were hard, hard, hard. I was really not sure at that point if I could hold on to my pace, but somewhere just before mile 8, my Gu that I took at mile 6 kicked in, and I felt good for the next couple of miles.

Mile 5: 10:20
Mile 6: 10:28
Mile 7: 10:17
Mile 8: 10:09
Mile 9: 10:31

At this point, I was in count-down mode. I knew I could run 4 more miles, and once I hit mile 10, I was feeling super confident that I was going to get my 2:15 goal. Around mile 10.5, I saw JM again, and was so glad that she (hopefully) couldn’t see how much I was hurting.

Right before mile 11, I drank a cup of HEED as well as a cup of water, and I think that was a mistake. The next mile, I felt baaaad, and afraid that I would end up on a demotivational poster (don’t tell me you don’t know which one I’m talking about).

My stomach settled down, and once I hit mile 12, I knew I could run one more mile – cause really, who can’t, right? Also, right before mile 12, I passed a quarter marathon walker who was pretty wiped out, and she high-fived the “Mile 5” sign – she was so stoked to be that far! That really made me happy for about 2 minutes, then I remembered how much pain I was in & lost my happy.

My left toe was hurting so bad, and it felt all squishy. I was so sure that I was going to have a bloody sock & maybe the beginning of the end for a toenail.

The distance between mile markers 12 & 13 seemed to be a bit longer than 1 mile. In fact, it seemed closer to 5 miles, if you ask me. There was a water stop at about 12.7 miles, and that was the only one I skipped (in fact, many of the stops were on both sides of turn-around, and I stopped on each side). I hit mile 13 & could see the finish, but it seemed SO FAR AWAY. And that last bit was on grass, and was pretty narrow – there were quarter marathon walkers finishing up (and walking 2 abreast, I might add), making it hard to pass, but I ran past a few, saw JM at the finish (tried hard to smile for the finish line camera) and then sprinted past a woman I’d been leapfrogging with for the last 2 miles for the finish.

Mile 10: 10:14
Mile 11: 10:44
Mile 12: 10:48
Mile 13: 10:22 (hope gave me speed, here)
Mile 13.1: who knows – forgot to turn Leo off until after a few seconds of walking around moaning quietly – but whatever the time that would bring me to about 2:16 (again, not 100% official, as I didn’t turn off Leo & can’t remember what the finish line clock was).

I got my medal & a cup of water, then wandered around aimlessly for a few seconds until I spotted JM. We got some Jamba Juice (the water station was empty) and some cinnabon bites & sat in the grass & decided to look at our feet. Mine look fine. Mostly. There is some pain & soreness happening, but no blood, no blood blisters. JM”s on the other hand, not as pretty. I just can’t bring myself to post that photo, but I bet she will, so keep your eyes open for that beauty.

(Not a bad photo, considering. I’m pretty sure the official photos are going to tell a different story.)

We laid in the grass & moaned for awhile, then I made a trip to the bathroom, stopping to grab waters from the restocked water station on my way back. Then we had more cinnabon bites, and I grabbed a dinner roll. I was not feeling the soup.

We left, I dropped her off, and now, here I am. Wiped out.

Tonight, I am going to a party. If I’m not dead. I have already eaten 3/4 of a (small) pizza, drank about 5 quarts of water, and tried to motivate myself to move off the chair & maybe nap or shower or be less gross.

That was the hardest race I’ve ever run, and honestly, I am a little surprised that I was able to pull a 9 minute PR out of my ass. I’m hoping for a cooler race day for my next half (I’m not counting the 20K coming up – that’s a trail run and a whole ‘nother story), because I feel that I have a lot o’ potential for shaving some more minutes off today’s time.

I’m glad I did it, though! And I’m really glad that I came so close to my goal time. I’m just hoping that my belly feels happier soon, and that I can sleep all day tomorrow.

Congrats, too, to JM & her PR! And congrats to any other weekend racers!

23 responses to “Well, that was….interesting

  1. Dude – Seriously. That’s fucking awesome. If leo says it’s 2:16, do you think that means it was actually under. Even so, 2:16 is so great. I am hoping I do that well in my next half. I’ll be drawing inspiration for you. I know that was hard!

    Great job girl!!

    • Leo said 2:16:30, and said my last 0.1 mile took 1:46, which seems crazy, considering I sprinted to the end, so I’m hoping that my actual time will be 2:16 or just under (I would love to see 2:15 in that finish time).

      I really felt that I went into the race so strong & that since I did pretty well with the conditions, maybe I really do have a 2:10 half in me somewhere! I have about 6 weeks before the next half (7/4), and think I can PR again then.

      I think that with all your training, you are also going to beat 2:15 in your next half! I hope you’re not as delicate a flower as me, though!

  2. awesome job on smashing your pr! today was such a warm, sunny day too-that makes it so much harder. and then there’s all that swimming in the willamette 🙂
    congrats! enjoy the celebrating!

    • yeah – I really wasn’t prepared for all that swimming – crazy race courses! I just hope I can walk tomorrow.

  3. Great job GR!

  4. I am so impressed with your results this year. You deserve all the fast time and they will only improve. CONGRATS!!!

    Have fun at the party too!

    • I think that I definitely have to credit my running crew – I get so much inspiration from the crazy workouts that we all do. It’s a lot harder to skip a workout when I know that you’re running intervals, or Jen & Zach are doing a crazy long bike ride. Even though we don’t all workout together, just knowing that we’re all working out really gets me going sometimes. I don’t want to get kicked out of the PB&J group for slacking!

  5. ok – I have to say that you really did awesome! And yes, I will post bloody blister photos – tomorrow. I went to my friend’s grad party, and getting ready, driving, and small talking has made me dead again. It’s time to go to bed! Yeah – that’s how exciting I am – a half marathon wipes me out ALL DAY! And again, SO GREAT today! Thanks for picking me up 🙂

    • I went to my friend’s bday party for approximately 1.5 hours, and then I had to leave, because that was TOO hard.

  6. You did it…even if you are a delicate flower!!! I’m not much on taking things like GU during a race cause my stomach always gets very mad at me

    • I’m okay with Gu, usually, just should know better than to try something new. That was dumb! I’m feeling a lot more positive today, though! Perspective is a crazy thing 🙂

  7. Hehe I like the same of the park. Shampoo-ey!

  8. Is it a total cliche to say “You go girl!” Because, damn! I have never done anything like that, and I am as impressed as if you had walked on the moon. Woohoo!

    • Thank you! I really appreciate all the support I get from runners AND non-runners. It was pretty awesome, even if it was harder than I anticipated.

  9. Great report!!!! Sounds like you had a great time!!! Woooooooooo hooooooooo!

  10. Nice work with the PR! Sorry I wasn’t there to see it chica.

  11. Yay Gazelle! That’s a freaking awesome PR – nine minutes (or more) with the feeling that you could shave it even more? Woo hoo!!

    • I’ve definitely improved a LOT as a runner in the last year, and it’s exciting to know that I haven’t tapped all my potential yet.

  12. great job gazelle! you pulled out a tough race and a nice pr. way to stick with it.

  13. That’s awesome!!

  14. AMAZING girl!!!! seriously, awesome job on the race and the PR!!

    • Thank you! It was definitely the hardest I’ve ever had to work for anything, and I was glad that my last half didn’t set a very high bar! 🙂