Sunday may as well have been re-named half marathon day. It’s all I’ve been thinking about for the past month. I could hardly sleep last night my nerves were going berserk. Even though I consider myself a runner, and I exercise regularly, training for a concrete event (13+ miles no less) is very different than simply running to get your endorphins flowing. The longest organized race I’ve ever participated in was a 10K, which I really really enjoyed. So I figured it was time to step up to the plate. Half marathon, here I come.
And now that I have lost my half marathon v card, here are a few things I learned today:
1. It is NOT wise to cram your feet into pointy 3 inch stilettos (and then walk 20 blocks in said heels) the night before – unlike the rest of the normal running population, I had to apply band-aids to multiple blisters before the race this morning (so painful).
2. 13 miles is INSANELY long – WHAT was I thinking?
3. If you are going to run for longer than a soccer match, you may as well be playing IN a soccer match – can you tell I miss soccer?
4. If they cancel the full marathon because the temperatures are too high, it means you shouldn’t be wearing pants – strike 4?
Needless to say, I was kicking myself for signing up for the friggin’ race by mile 1, trying to figure out a legit excuse to call it quits by mile 2, and seriously considering if finishing was that important to me by mile 2 1/2…the thought that kept crossing my mind was HOW could I face the blogging community if I were to give up? I’m NOT a quitter, and under normal circumstances, I’m highly competitive. So I sucked it up, and ran ran ran.
The race started at 8, so I woke up nice and early to get ready, had a teeny cup shot of coffee with almond milk, a couple calcium chews chocolate treats, and hit the road.
At the starting line, my stomach was butterfly-tastic. There were approx 10,000 people participating so it was crowwwwded. I inched my way to the front(ish) area, since I signed up for a pace group WAY too slow. Then the race started and I was on my way.
Central Park is hilly.
I realized very quickly that I had no idea what I had gotten myself into and that I was a fool – and my thoughts didn’t deviate much for the next 11 miles.
Miles 1/2 – Uphill, grrr. Mile 3 – Downhill, sigh. Mile 4 – Uphill, grrr.
Around miles 5/6 I hit a wall. I wasn’t yet half way and I was dying – it was ugly. My playlist (which normally gets me moving) just wasn’t pumping me up, and I couldn’t even fathom getting through the first loop of the park, not to mention finishing an entire second lap.
Suddenly, I realized I was drenched with sweat and hadn’t had a drop of water to rehydrate myself. Hellooooo? Sometimes I can be quite dense (it’s not like I’m a nurse or anything, oh wait…). At the next water station I got a cool cup of H20 and felt light years better. Duh.
I crossed the half way point and looked at my watch, 45 minutes! What!?!
I freaked!!! If I didn’t slow my roll I was going to poop out by mile 8.
At mile 9, I did.
New tactic: walk through the fluid stations and adequately rehydrate (clearly chucking a cup of water near my face while running wasn’t doing the job). So, the rest of the race continued with a similar pattern: fluid station, Gatorade, water, run…
Finally, I saw the end of the race and all was right in the world again. I crossed the finish line and checked my iPod stopwatch: 1 hour and 43 minutes.
I definitely agree with Melissa that training in the opposite direction (harder direction) than the race helped a ton, as did knowing the Central Park loop like the back of my hand. Otherwise, I may have died.
At the end of the race Kyle was there waiting for me with a clean t-shirt and a water bottle and he asked me “which part was the worst?”
Ummm, miles 1 through 13?!? Seriously. The whole thing. It sucked. I think it’s safe to say I have completely lost the will to run a full marathon. No thanks. I love running, and I love competing, but on my own agenda (crowd free for one).
So post-race what’s a girl to do? Get some grub!!!
(I actually waited a while before eating since my stomach is uber sensitive), but eventually I had a nice brekkie of toasted Alvarado street bread with EB and a bowl of strawberries and mangoes.
Followed by some frothy caffeine love.
I spent the rest of the day refueling, hungryhungryhippie style (lots of hummus and dried fruit). And since this post is already insanely long, I’ll stick to mostly pictures only from here on out.
Lunch at French Roast.
Mountain of hummus. Warm fresh gooey pitas. Enough said.
Avocado and tomato salad. Perfect.
Iced coffee. Apple slices with chunky sabra hummus.
Dried pineapple rings. Hummus and spinach sammie.
HUGH JASS salad (spinach, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, brocc slaw, and chickpeas galore) which I mixed all up and then dumped hummus on…
Too much hummus? No such thing.
Dessert cup of carob raisins and super salty peanuts.
I’m already aching…tomorrow may be a yoga and massage kind of day.
To avoid those pre and post-race blisters, my one tip is make sure you invest in some good training shoes or orthotic insoles – it will make the run a whole lot easier!