Once upon a time, like a year ago I didn't even bother training for HMs because unless I was trying to hit a PR, I could pretty much just roll out of bed and run one. Losing my healthy fear of the half was why I did a full, but I'm back to the half now.
and clearly not giving it enough credit
But I'm ahead of myself. In the beginning there was a plan for DH to meet me at my work and we'd go pick up our race packets. The line was crazy getting into the parking lot where there was a $5 fee. I'm torn about whether or not that is annoying. Usually the expo is at the convention center where you have to pay to park but this year it was at a hotel. I guess I figured the hotel was making enough money from people staying there for the race that they didn't need to charge $5 for the 10 min or so we'd need to park. They also require you to show your id to pick up your stuff so I couldn't dart in and grab everything while he circled the block.
Then while we were inside DH's step-dad called him to firm up plans for Saturday EVEN THOUGH I had gone over the plans in detail including maps, times, and we're doing the same thing we did last year. I can't even be grumpy about it because let's face it, they're giving up their Saturday to stand around in the cold to cheer us on for something they really don't quite understand anyway.
Race day - got up, drove to my work building where I can park free on the weekends, ran into some people from work, and huddled in the building where it was warm until the race started. DH was with the 4:45 pace group. I was somewhere in the back because I was going with a 12 min/mi pace goal - nice and easy just finish. I was cross about the goal of just finish and already swearing that I'm going to train for the next one in March and run with the big kids.
Then the race started and off we went. It was crazy windy, but I figured once we got out of the big shinny buildings the wind would die down. I was totally wrong about that. It was windy and cold the entire race. I hit the 5 mile mark a little under and hour so things were going pretty ok. Then things went awry. About mile 8 I started steadily losing speed. I hit the 10 mile marker at 2:06 yikes majorly losing it. Then it took me a full 45 minutes to do that last 3.1 miles. Yea so this was hands down the worst half ever. Doesn't THAT make me feel good about me.
I could blame at least part of it on the wind, it was this gusty swirling sort of thing that was pretty bad at times but I dunno. I think I just bonked.
There was a point about mile 11 when I really wanted to just start crying. It should be noted that I am not by any means an emotional person and I don't even remember the last time I actually cried especially for no reason. My feet were killing me so that was a factor, my calves were cramping a bit but nothing I haven't run through before. I think I was just feeling sorry for myself then I was angry about the fact that I was feeling sorry for myself. There are times when what I need is for my grandfather to show up and give me a proper Texas talkin' to - "cowboy up fer god's sake whatsamatter with you"
So I get to the finish - barely, grab a drink, eat some random stuff and head up to where I was meeting DH's folks. It was a long way off. I know this because I never turned off my watch so I know it was about a mile up to where they were NOT when I finally got there.
On the plus side though some of the little pack of people I had been running with who were doing the full passed by while I was there looking for the in-laws so it was nice to cheer them on. This is a little past mile 16 for the full.
I went to my car thinking I'd call them to see what was going on and they had sent me a text letting me know that DH had just gone by and it was cold and windy so they were going to be in the front of my work building. That's fine and all but it was 2 blocks closer to the finish line so if I had known they were going to do that I could have dropped my change of clothes off at my desk that morning and just met them there - but whatever, they're giving up their Saturday so no grumpiness allowed.
I found them huddled in a bus shelter even though the building was open so they could have at least sat in the comfy couches that no one ever sits in inside the lobby. I did feel badly about that so I ushered them inside, got them processed through security and up to my department where they could hit the pumpkin spice coffee krups and watch tv in the break room all nice and cozy.
I got changed, was briefly abused by a guy who was here catching up on some work so he could take this week off, "good lord what ARE you wearing, hey you should do your hair like that all the time.." oh SHUT it. Then he tried to make us feel guilty for drinking hot coffee and sitting around while DH was still out there running. He did at least act a impressed and when I told him that I had only done the half he said that half of infinity is still infinity so I suppose that sort of made up for the outfit and hair comments.
So then I booted up my computer and pulled up the website to track an athlete so I could see when DH crossed the 20 mile mark and know when to start herding everyone down to the finish line. I was briefly freaked out when it said that he had already finished. But but but that's impossible. It's only been like half an hour from when he was at the 16 mile mark, what the heck?!?!?!
It was last year's race results. I guess they were not doing the track an athlete thing this year so I had no idea where he was. I did the math on it and figured he was still pretty much on track to finish in 4:45 so I went with that and we all got down to the finish at 4:25 so we'd have plenty of time.
It was kind of fun to cheer people along down the finish. Some people just cruise along like this is nothing and others are clearly in a great deal of pain. It's also fun to see the families go nuts when their person gets in sight. I lost my voice yelling "finish strong" hundreds of times, yea clever right but I couldn't think of anything else.
Then the 4:45 pace group came through - no DH. Ok, ok it's fine he probably just lagged behind a bit.
5:00 - no DH. soooo he's probably having some knee issues or something, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Are you SURE we didn't miss him? Yea I'm sure besides if we did miss him he would be looking for us here and let's face it, the crowd is starting to really thin out. MIL and StepFIL huddled thinking I couldn't hear them whispering about getting the car and going to look for him. Then they pasted these bright smiles on their faces and looked at me. If I hadn't been so worried about DH I would have burst out laughing.
5:15 this is starting to be NOT COOL. Where is he? We walk down a little way so we could see further down the street and to burn off 30 seconds of nervous energy. I was just about to ditch the in-laws and take off running backwards down the marathon route when he showed up running with this woman clearly they were pushing each other along.
Story is, he's been sick for a couple of weeks. He was ok except for a lingering cough that he just can't shake. He took some musinex but by about mile 18 it had worn off. The wind was awful and he said that if he ran or took a deep breath he would go into a coughing fit. With the wind he just couldn't catch his breath so he'd been walking for a while. He ran into his new best friend there at mile 20 when she was having stomach issues and wanted to quit. He talked her into toughing it out. He said he wanted to start running again but after he talked this woman into hanging in there he felt responsible enough to stick with her. He said he was worried about how we were doing but didn' t know what else to do. That is 100% in character for him so I'm not even a little bit surprised.
He's bummed about his time, but you know - no grumpiness at least until after the folks cleared out. So basically we're both feeling sorry for ourselves, but we do at least both have new shinny finishers medals.
I'm trying to think of this as a learning experience. I'm not sure what I learned though, I'm not as tough as I think I am and DH should have listened to me when I said "are you sure you're up to this with that cough and all?"
Here is a picture, we're smiling - no grumpiness you know.