Friday, October 23, 2015

And that makes 10...Columbus Half Review

Last Sunday, I ran the Columbus half marathon, in Columbus, OH. This would be my second half in less than 2 weeks, and my 10th overall.
10 half marathons completed. Wow. I remember training for the first one, all the while wondering if I could actually do it. Oddly enough, even after all my training and 9 previous halfs and a full under my belt, I was seriously doubting I had another race in me a week after the Iron Horse half.
After my less than stellar performance last weekend, I had no idea what to expect this time around. When I signed up for this race I was super excited. Lots of running friends said Columbus was wonderful, lots of fun etc. They were right, but I just wasn't ready for this. 
During my previous race, I strained my right calf muscle. It was tight and painful for a couple of days after the race, but it seemed to be fine by the end of the week, so I didn't really think anything about it going into the weekend. Boy was I wrong. I'll get into that later.

Anyway, about the weekend...Columbus is about 3 hours from my house and packet pick up is the day before, so I stayed in a hotel just outside of the city, Grove City, OH to be exact. Since I like to procrastinate these things, I didn't have the best options, but I'd rather drive 10 minutes into town and park and save $100. Speaking of parking, I left the room at 5:30am and was parked (for free on the street by the North Market) by 5:45am. So...if I ever do this race again, this was totally easy and a lot cheaper.
On another note, someone please remind me that pasta and bread the night before a race is a bad idea...really bad. 

So anyway, I got to packet pick up late Saturday afternoon. Parking was easy and close by the convention center. It was pretty crowded when I got there. I made my way up to get my bib and tshirt and then tried to look around the expo, but it was hard to get a look at anything because there were so many people. 

PSA...get a food sample and get out of the way...there are other people here besides you. Also, you don't need to eat all 10 of yours over the top of all the samples. RUDE

I love the shirt's like me 'Determined'. To do what? I'm not sure, but once I figure it out, look out! Lol

I bought 2 things at the Expo, an ArmPocket and some Captain America Race Dots. I love them both. 

After the expo, I checked into my room and searched for some dinner. I ended up going to Fazolis, but I immediately regretted it in the morning. Sorry Fazolis, I love your breadsticks, but they do not love me. 
After dinner, I watched some tv and tried to sleep...I don't think I really got much sleep. The room was like an oven. It was 30 degrees outside and I had to turn the a/c on so I could sleep. it was 28 degrees when I got up Sunday morning. Yuck 

I'm glad I packed my warm stuff. Geez

Once I got dressed, I headed into Columbus and got parked. I was about 3/4 mile away from the Start/Finish area, so I got a nice walk in before the race. I say "nice" in a very sarcastic manner cause it was freezing on the way; and that also meant that I would hobble 3/4 of a mile back to my car after the race.

The race started at 7:30, but I didn't cross the start line until nearly 8:00. It seemed to take forever. My toes were completely numb, but thank goodness I had hand warmers. Had I known it would take so long to get going, I'd have used the porta potty one more time, but oh well, I'll know for next time.

I felt pretty good crossing the starting line and for about the first 2 miles; then I felt my right calf muscle twinge and I knew it was going to be a rough morning. By mile 3 I was desperately looking for a porta potty, but with so many people, I waited in line over 5 minutes by the time I found some. Two miles later, at mile 5 I had to use the bathroom again, this time, the wait was short, but I was in there for well over 5 minutes (thank you Fazolis). So here I am only 5 miles into the race, had to stop twice, my calf hurts and I've got 8 miles to go. Talk about devastating...all summer long, this was my goal race. I wanted to do well here. It would have been perfect, but I blew it. 5 miles in and I just felt like giving up. Thousands of runners, passing me, left and right. It was tough to keep going, I don't know why I did. What kept me going, was the other runners, the volunteers and the amazing spectators.

Every once and a while, a volunteer would cheer my name (it was on my bib) and I'd get a temporary boost. At mile 8 I started crying...5 miles left, calf was hurting more and more. Mile 10, had to pee again, but refrained from stopping (I think at this point I'd have given up completely if I stopped again). Mile 11, I focused on the crowds cheering. Mile 12, all I wanted to do was walk, but I always make a point to run the entire last mile, and I did. The finish line was finally in sight, tears of joy...thank the Lord! I'm not even going to bother with sharing my time. It doesn't matter. What matters today, is that I crossed the Start and Finish Line.

After the race, I got some food, and water. (Thank you for providing bags to put all of it in! So hard to carry all that stuff after running 13+ miles)
Remember how I said I parked 3/4 of a mile from the finish area? Yeah, so that was a fun walk...
I was so happy to get to my car and sit down and warm up. 

So here's the deal...even though, my running sucked, this was a fantastic race!! I'd recommend it to anyone. First class all the way! The course was great, the support was great, the volunteers were great. I can't say enough about how well I was treated as a runner. I would definitely do it again, just run faster next time and use the bathroom less...

Hopefully some day, I'll get a do-over. 

So, what's next, I don't know. I hope I get a chance to redeem myself.

Until next time!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Iron Horse Half Marathon Review's been awhile. I know. I've left everyone hanging, including myself. I like blogging and running and drinking coffee, but I kind of lost myself this past year. Stress and anxiety have gotten the best of me. I'm hoping that I can finally drag myself out of the rut that I've been living in. I need to do something different, because what I have been doing, isn't working. I've always struggled with food. I've always been a food addict. It's a mental thing with me. I can only be strong for so long and then bam, it's over. Getting help and being supported by friends and family is my best course of action. This past year, my weight has fluctuated A LOT. At one point I was at 151 pounds, and now I'm at 161 pounds. To me that is devastating. It has been totally messing with my self esteem, self worth etc. To top it off, the weight gain has made me give up on my regular workouts, which only makes matters worse, I know. So, surprise, surprise, I was not ready for the half marathon I ran yesterday. I finished, but it was the slowest half that I have ever run. Other than the races that I have intentionally run slower to hit a certain pace. Yesterday, I finished in 2:44:44...and I struggled almost the entire way. I did, however wait in a porta-potty line well over 5 minutes, but that's a pretty bad excuse for my time. Seeing that time, made me realize, enough is enough. I have so many reasons to take better care of myself. My number one reason is for my son, my best little buddy in the whole world. Also, I want to be happy, and I'm most happy when I feel good about myself. So here I go...working on happiness.

Alright, on to the race review. 

This was my 9th half marathon, and my 2nd Iron Horse. This course now holds my fastest (2:25:25) and slowest (2:44:44) half times. It is a very well organized race and in beautiful Midway, KY.

I got up really early Sunday morning, and you see from the look on my face, I wasn't really feeling it. Oh well, I went anyway.

Midway is quite hilly, and the race consists of two out-and-back runs, starting and finishing in same place. It passes by lots of horse farms and is quite scenic.

I've always enjoyed running in Midway, but it has been a long time. I definitely need to come out here more often.

The race started right at 8:00 am and we were off. It was cold at the start, but warmed up quickly once the sun came out. 

I found myself really enjoying the scenery and the miles flew by quickly even though I had to pee (not enough porta-potties at all and the ones they had were way too far apart). 
I walked up several of the hills and ran when I could. By the time I got to mile 11, I couldn't wait to be done. I couldn't get to the finish line fast enough. Why? Cause I couldn't wait to see my bestie waiting for me.

(On a side note, this little guy just turned 5!! I can't believe it!)

The Iron Horse always has really neat medals and this year was no exception!

So, the moral of the story is I started and I finished. That's enough for now. Progress will come. I will improve.

Enjoy your week friends!