Monday, September 13, 2010

Rochester Half Marathon

Finding the words to write this post was difficult. I guess the best place to start is the beginning.

Sunday morning I woke up at 5am to get ready, eat breakfast and head off to the start line. It had been raining on and off all night but thankfully let up as I was getting ready. My parents wished me good luck and sent me off to the race...alone.


After picking up my timing chip, I headed to the start and found some friends that I knew. I was hoping to see Rebecca, a friend from my running group and I actually turned around and she was right there. We walked to the start together and waited for the race to begin.

We did a lot of weaving around people as it was quite congested and after mile 1 we settled into a good pace. It started to lightly rain as we continued on to mile 2 and 3. I felt good as we ran along. After mile three, we made a right turn and went straight up a hill. I worked to stay with Rebecca, my right hip began to ache and once we reached the top of the hill, I hoped my breathing would go back to normal. I worried that I was slowing her down and just wanted to stay with her so I would have a buddy for the race.

Halfway through mile 4 we started a long gradual incline and I just couldn't keep up. The distance between Rebecca and I started to get bigger and I just tried to keep her in sight. I knew this was going to be a long race as I hadn't even reached mile 5.

I pushed on and told myself that once I reached mile 7, I could walk. I felt extremely slow especially as more and more people began to pass me. I just kept telling myself to get to mile 7 and then I could stop.

As we came into the water stop around mile 7, I stepped off the course, ate a gel and drank from my hand held. I knew I was already half way done and saw that my time goal of 8 min/mile was slipping away.

I continued on, having moments when I felt great and then moments when I just wanted to walk. It was a constant mental struggle to keep going. I started walking through the water stops, drinking Gatorade, hoping that it would give me some energy to pick up the pace.

Miles 8 and 9 just slogged together as I tried to keep it together. Runners kept passing me and I felt like I was going so slow, I just couldn't pick up the pace. By the time I reached mile 11, I tried to tell myself that I just had 2 miles left. It didn't seem like a long way to go, but my legs were not happy. My right hip continued to ache and my knees were beginning to hurt. I was hurting in places I had never hurt before plus I was feeling the cramps in my stomach on both sides!

Reaching mile 12 felt good, but I still couldn't see the stadium where the finish line was so I had no real sense of the distance. As I continued on, a spectator said only 0.1 as I must have missed the mile 13 maker. I just kept running, hoping that I would come in at 1:52.

Rounding the turn and coming into the finish line, I heard the announcer saying my name and I didn't want to hear it. I just wanted to sit down and hide. I saw the clock and it said 1:52:XX. A volunteer gave me a medal and took off my chip. I grabbed some water and search to see if Brian had come to the race.

My legs were in a lot of pain and I tried to sit down, but my right hip cramped up so I stood back up. I grabbed a banana, more Gatorade and walked to my car. I drove myself home in a daze of disappointment and amazement that I had just run 13 horrible miles of torture.

Once I reached home, I immediately took off my soaking clothes and showered. Then I made my way to the couch to lay down. My stomach was feeling horrible and continued to get worse. I started to sweat and was extremely hot. I started to gag and then threw up the contents of my stomach.

I called Brian who had been at a bachelor party the night before and so I had told him to not try and make it to the race but was still maybe hoping that he had. He came over and thought I had a fever so he drove me to the immediate care center down the road. We waited only a few short minutes before seeing the doctor where they tested my urine, took my blood sugar, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Nothing seemed unusual except my high pulse and the doctor said my urine showed I was decently hydrated for just running a race.

I had begun to feel better but the doctor still gave me anti-nausea medicine and told me he thought I didn't have enough salt/sodium to absorb the water I had drank on Saturday and then during the race.

The rest of the day was a daze as the medicine made me drowsy and I ended up sleeping 12 hours straight. It all seems so far away now and completely fuzzy. The only thing that reminds me that I actually ran the race is my sore quads.

Overall it was a pretty devastating race and I was very upset at having mentally and physically quit on myself only a few miles into the race. The only thing I can assume is that I was not prepared for the race and didn't have enough experience with the longer distances. It is scary about what happened after the race and that I have had similar symptoms although less severe after the Boilermaker 15k this year.

Today (Tuesday) I am doing well. Glad to have the race behind me and looking forward to a break from running for a bit. It just seems like I need to take a step back.

Thanks for reading.

29 comments:

Marlene said...

Aw J, so sorry that your race did not go as you planned/hoped. It could have been any number of factors. I do think you were prepare for the distance so don't beat yourself up too much. Sometimes just have an off day and maybe the doc was right about too little sodium to absorb that fluid properly.

Congrats on the half marathon in what is STILL a really good time!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Sorry you had such a struggle in this race. It does happen in races sometimes, and it makes it so miserable. I know that once I begin to feel like that, I just want to stop and lie down on the grass. It took a lot to push through despite the pain and discomfort.

Despite how awful you feel, your finish time is still very impressive.

Rest up, and take care of your body during recovery. You've got more races ahead. :)

Morgan said...

I agree with Marlene, you were def ready for the distance, some days are just off days. Don't stress too much, focus on what you learned from the day and put the worst of it behind you. For as bad as it got you still killed it out there! So many people would kill for a Half time like that! Take care, rest up and get back out there darling!!! Then next one has your name all over it!

marathonmaiden said...

Wow. Very scary about going to the hospital! Take care and that is an impressive finish! Major bummer the race was so icky for you but like others have said: you will go out there and race fantastically in the future :)

WannabeRunner said...

Sorry to hear that the race didn't go as planned, but there are always others. You should still be incredibly proud of your time! No pity parties for a sub 2 hour half!

lish said...

I am so sorry that you didn't have the best race....I am so impressed that you toughed it out....sometimes these things happen...and it sucks...I am still so impressed with all of your training and a great time despite your hip pain...You finished!! You toughed it out...don't beat yourself up....you are GREAT!

kilax said...

Oh gosh! I cannot believe you finished feeling so awful! You poor thing! You shouldn't be ashamed! Like the others said, sometimes our bodies just won't cooperate. I hope your hip feels better soon, and your knees too :(

Andrew Opala said...

That's a crappy feeling :(

I wonder if you looked back on the previous week if you could find anything different about your eating, drinking or sleeping. Or if you had stuff on your mind?

I get these days too and I have no idea where they come from.

Teamarcia said...

Ugh that sounds tough. Can't imagine pushing through and finishing when you felt so awful. Glad you're feeling better!

Badgergirl said...

Ugh! Sorry to hear you struggled so much during the half and had the post-race trip to the immediate care.

Glad to hear you're feeling better though!

Katie A. said...

I think I agree with everyone - you were prepared, but like they say, anything can happen on race day. Don't beat yourself up too much, you still ran a great time - be proud girlie.

I like to think of every run as a learning experience. I work hard on finding something new each time. You learned a lot about yourself that day - use that strength!

Christine said...

I'm so sorry to hear you had a tough race, but don't be disappointed! Running a half marathon is quite an accomplishment and especially in 1:52, that is a VERY good time. Some people would kill you for that time :)

Don't beat yourself up, I know you trained hard. I would check out what to do for your sodium level and get some well deserved rest!

CONGRATULATIONS on finishing a half marathon and not quitting even though it was tough!! :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am so sorry to hear that this race didn't go as well as you would have liked. 1:52 is still a very respectable time. I know that doesn't mean much to you since you had your sights set on something faster, though...

Put this behind you and set your sights ahead. I think we all have our off days, yours just happened to land on a race day unfortunately...

Lacey Nicole said...

Yowch what a horrible experience. I absolutely hate the feeling of "miserable miles" and when they happen in a race it is just doubled in its effect of how you feel about it. training runs you can usually let go, but races make the feeling linger. i can't believe you finished, and finished sub 2-hrs. if i stopped to walk you can bet i would probably just pull out b/c i felt so horribly- physically and mentally. so you need to give yourself credit for finishing, even if it was torturous.

and i'm not sure why or what or anything like that. i wish i could make you feel better or tell you something "definite" but if you want to talk or even want more support about taking a break i am here!!! i wholeheartedly support breaks and did this myself around surgery. xoxo feel better.

Leana said...

Oh no J! First off, I'm glad you are okay now. I'm so sorry your race was a tough one. I know the race wasn't the result you had hoped for. You forged through when it was tough though and that says so much and matters more than the end time. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Oh J, I was waiting for this post and this makes me want to give you a BIG hug.. all I can say is that in distance running there are good and bad days, your first Half fell on a bad day physcially and mentally. Don't give up, you will find you ZONE day and reach the potential we all know you have.. HUGS!! And welcome to the club lady, in the end you earned that medal..

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RunningLaur said...

Everyone else is right - sounds like you were prepared and it just wasn't your day. I'm a big proponent of the theory that your first race at a specific distance doesn't have to be all that good - that way it's a bit easier to get a nice PR the second time around :)

Molly said...

Oh J! That sucks. I'm so sorry about how hard the race was for you, and that you were so sick after! You finished it though, which is huge, you didn't quit. Ugh, there must have been something in the air that day. Sorry we missed each other too, I saw so many pink tops but they weren't you : (

misszippy said...

So sorry to hear it! I am amazed you made it through with such a great time while feeling like that. Don't get down on yourself...you'll feel better next time and run the way you want to.

Brian said...

Pushing through and finishing a crappy race is sometimes more of an accomplishment than running a PR and feeling great. Certainly a PR represents a "victory lap" after pushing through months of solid training, but pushing through the crumby race with no hope of accomplishing your initial goals is a mental struggle that will ultimately make you stronger in life.

aron said...

ugg i HATE these races. we all have them and they do end up making us stronger runners but still they just suck. hang in there, this will make the good race that much better and there WILL be a good one someday very soon.

Aneta said...

sorry to hear that your race did not go so well. but hey u finished!
there will be other races and better times! :)

Chelsea said...

I'm so sorry- especially that you got so dehydrated and felt so bad. Sometimes the best thing that can be said about races is that they are over. I know I had two of those this year! You will have a great 1/2 marathon one of these days. Keep your chin up. You're still a speed demon in my eyes.

Suzy said...

So sorry your race was such a struggle. Congrats on the finish! You will have great race again, just hang in there!

Jeri said...

Wow I wish we would've had each others phone#s on Sunday. I had a similar race where I just felt mentally defeated. :( I'm sorry that it didn't go well for you and scary that you were so so sick afterward. Yikes! Let's plan our revenge for 13.1 sept. 2011. :)

Jamie said...

I'm sorry the race didn't go as you had hoped. It's so defeating to have an off day. You were trained and the off day could have been anything; don't beat yourself up too much girl! You finished your 1/2 and you had a very good time!

FruitFly said...

You finished! And fast! Heck I'm just of the opinion that even registering for a race is a big step in and of itself. So you might be disappointed in your body (and I'd be freaked out, too), but I think you did great!
~RR

The Happy Runner said...

I am just catching up on posts...

So sorry about your experience! But, like everything running (and in life) you learn from it and I'm sure that this tough race will make you stronger in the end.