May 17, 2015
7am – 65 degrees at the start, 97% humidity
Race 4: Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon
Well, race #4 and half marathon #6 is in the books! Thank, God cause that was a rough one!! Going into this race I was under-prepared in my training. First, I had a bad chest cold this spring that caused havoc on my long run schedule for about 3 weeks so that threw me off. I ended up only getting up to 8 miles for my long runs and I was supposed to get to 11. So, I had to adjust expectations going into the race. I wasn’t planning on a PR, for sure. I just wanted to finish. Then, I saw the weather prediction for the day and *gulp*, my heart sank as I saw it was predicted to be 97% humidity that morning. Ugh.
I got up at 4:15am to begin the getting ready process. Mike (my roadie) said we needed to leave at 4:45am in order to get downtown and parked by 6am.
The Q bathrooms were open so I hopped in there when we first got downtown. However, true to form I need to make another visit before the horn so I headed to the portapotties. The lines were crazy long, but I made friends.
Thankfully I made it back to the start with 10 minutes to spare! About 5 minutes before the start we had a downpour of rain, but luckily Mike had a big umbrella and I put my garbage bag on, afterall. We all started off together, but I told MaryAnn to take off as she had trained with Tom on her long runs and I knew she could race faster than me, for sure!
I got rid of the bag before mile 1 was done. The humidity kept getting worse as the morning continued. I was glad I had worn my fuel belt just so I knew I could get access to water whenever I needed to and not have to rely on the water stops. For the first time ever I got water or powerade at every water stop. I remembered to be cautious about taking in too much water so I began to take 2 cups and dump one on my head and take two sips from the other! It worked very well! I felt much better after those little showers! I also took part in the various hoses that were along the route! Ah, what a treat. Did I mention it was bit humid? I decided at about mile 5 that I needed to make a plan for finishing this sucker. I knew that running the whole thing was probably not going to work this time given all the variables. So, I decided I would run the 10K and after that point I would switch to the run/walk program. So after 6.2 miles I ran 5 minutes/walked 2 and so forth. This felt doable. I needed to be able to commit to a plan that would get me to the finish in one piece and not crying on the side of the road!!!
Suddenly around mile 8 or 9 I got a sudden burst of adrenaline and started running normal again (and singing and clapping). Some runners commented that I had way too much energy for that part of the race!! I told then you just have to fake it!!! Then at mile 10 I crashed, had my GU packet, and focused on getting through the last 3 miles. It was all uphill on the shoreway! I did the best I could to finish strong doing the run/walk program. I wasn’t injured I was just so uncomfortable from the humidity!! I just wanted to be done and get my chocolate milk!!
Lesson learned from this training cycle and race?
1. Long runs matter!!!
2. When you need to adjust your expectations to accomplish your goal it is okay to do so!!
Here are my stats:
Time: 2:41:59 (12:21/mile); My slowest time for a 1/2
10K: 1:11:34 (11:31/mile)
Division: 173/232 (bottom third of age group)