November 15, 2010

Pensacola Half Marathon- UGH!

I. Hit. The. Wall.

I considered this one of my "hometown" races, as it was in P'cola, only an hour from me. So, I drove down that morning and breezed through packet pickup. What I didn't breeze through was the porta line. Once again, not enough portas for runners and I didn't get to warm up. I was defending champ for this race, and had aspirations of winning it again.

1. The first mile is always super fast at this race, even though the distance. I call it bayfront mile b/c the view of the bay is spectacular. 6:30

2. I am already not first female. Some gal I've never seen before took the lead early and held it the whole way to run 1:23:xx. Mile 2 begins going under the "graffiti bridge". 6:34

3. The first of 4 major uphills is here. This one is short and sweet, then immediately descending over one of the bay bridges. 6:36

4. We start up Scenic Bld, the longest, but not steepest hill. At this point, I was already feeling "not right." TP was running with me and I said, "Something isn't right." To this he asked what was wrong, I said that it just felt too hard. 6:40

5. I pass another Brooks runner, but he has on the black ID training shirt. He says something about how "brave" I was to wear the bright uniform. I told him that at first I wasn't a fan, but that at this point, I have really started to like the Brooks brightness gig. Still going up. 6:48

6. We make the turn that separates the half from the full and this road is much flatter, but not smooth. We are on one of the most traveled roads in Pensacola; you would think they would repave at some point. 6:40

7. I found myself in No Man's Land. Years of training and running has taught me that when racing, it is ideal to race with/near/behind someone else. It can help keep your focus and focal points in check. 6:41

8. This is where the wheels totally fell off. We approached the biggest/steepest hill of the race and I absolutely was convinced I might pass out. I had that ringing in the ears and had trouble breathing. I began walking a bit. 7:03

Sidebar: I was thinking, "WTH is going on?????" In 22 marathons and hundreds of races, I have only needed medical attention once, and that was due to cold, not HOT. It wasn't even *that* hot or humid. I started thinking about my fueling and hydrating. Hmmm, maybe not enough water pre-race? That could be it. I downed a gel, but thanks to the weirdly-placed water stops, I had nothing to wash it down with.

9. I started trudging again and started feeling more human. Regroup, regroup, regroup, I told myself. A man nearby said, "Nice recovery. You okay?" I think I nodded or mumbled something. Still feeling less-than-stellar. 6:43

10. At this point, I was wondering why I underestimated the hills of this race. We were now going over the final bridge, which was actually an interstate overpass- beautiful, right? Good thing crowd support was good here. Trying to just hold on. At this point, I knew I was crashing and burning, but just trying to finish without dieing or walking. 6:57

11. My least favorite mile b/c it's the road I drive in on almost every time I come to P'cola. I know how far it really is to the finish line, and it's not close enough. 6:46

12. And now the sun is beaming down. The road is divided and a police officer is waving me to move over. There is a car sitting straight in the middle of the lane. I'm not really sure what's going on here, and likely I was too blitzed to understand basic communication at this point. 6:58

13. The last mile of this race is totally frustrating b/c it's residential. I am visual runner and like to see the line from afar. It's windy and narrow, but I hear the announcer in the distance. Death March. 6:53

13.21 1:19

2nd OA Female, 1:29:02

I was angry and confused after the race. I am still not sure what happened out there. I felt fine on my run this morning, a little tight in the hammies, but nothing major. I guess just sometimes things don't go as planned and it's not our day. So... moving on!

And... I have more things later to share about hiring a new coach! Yippeee!!!!


  1. Sorry you had such a cruddy race. You are still my hero for gutting it out and running what *I* consider an awesome time. Looking forward to the coaching announcement.

  2. sounds like such a tough race! i know it's not much consolation but that is a rocking time. not what you were hoping for but you totally stuck it out and gutted it out. that's more impressive and counts WAY more than time. so congrats.

    exciting about coaching announcement! can't wait :)

  3. Ahhh I'm sorry! Races like this -- the ones with no solid explanation as to why your body randomly rebels -- are frustrating and totally perplexing. I wonder what was up? Glad to hear you are shaking it off and moving on. Interested to hear about the new coach!

  4. Sorry girlfriend, if only they could all be wonderful all the time! I guess that really makes us appreciate it when it is. I cannot wait to hear about the coach! Exciting.

  5. Ugh, sorry, maybe you are fighting a cold/virus or something? I can't wait to hear about the new coach!

  6. Ewww! I hate it when that happens and know it too well :/ Takes a while to process and get over too. Nonetheless, I'm impressed with how you kept going and used good self-talk!

    New coach? Sounds like these things are gonna be even more few and far between!

  7. still smoking fast though! :)

  8. Great recap! I'm sorry the race didn't go as planned. You were still great! Sometimes life throws you a curveball, but you handled it well! Great race!