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HM #7: the hot one that I'm so proud of


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Marathon training has not gone as perfectly as I planned. Add in a monster heat wave and I am mentally & physically crushed. It was so hot this week that the largest school districts in the state closed for 2 days. That is unheard of!

The race offered free downgrades to shorter distances. If I wasn't training, I would've changed to the 10K. They said they were adding water stops, sponges and would have cold towels at the finish line. The forecast was supposed to drop for Saturday, but they still warned that the race could be called off if the wet bulb temp (heat + humidity) got too high.

I signed up for this race as a training run. My goal was 1:49, faster than marathon pace. I assumed I would be in tip top shape at this point of the summer. Obviously, I needed to change my goal. If it had been in the 90s, my goal would be to finish. Since it was 80s, I thought 1:59.



DH and the kids dropped me off and as I walked down this road I thought about all the women who had trained all summer for this, for the women that were racing their first HM. How difficult that would be. This is a training run for me. A training run with 4,000 other women. Go out and have some fun.

I sat down to stretch. (And take some pics)


I thought about how crazy running in MN is. This year I have raced in slushy snow in Feb., bitter 20 degree winds in March, the coldest day in June on record and now coming off the hottest week in August in record. If you don't believe in climate change, please come visit!

Ortho doesn't do corrals. You line yourself up by pace. I adjusted my goal by 10 minutes, so shouldn't I have adjusted where I lined myself up? That's really a no brainer and I have no idea why this didn't even cross my mind until after the race. I started right where I usually do: 9 minute pace. I could see the 1:55 pacer ahead of me.



I call this one: Pink & Ponytails

And we're off and I feel great. I know it's silly, but I had started to doubt my ability to run 8:30s. I thought my summer 5 lb. weight gain had slowed me down and that my marathon goal was unrealistic. Luckily, this raced talked some sense into me.

The course was a little out and back for the first 3 miles. Around 2.5 I saw the leaders coming the other direction. I love this! So powerful and inspiring. I was surprised by how sweaty and red they all were. In less than 3 miles, we were all sweaty messes. oh uh.

At the first water stop I immediately dumped one cup down my back and drank another. I don't carry water with me and I usually skip most water stations. Not this time!

Mile 4 was the first big hill and my pace slowed. This was my first race wearing a Garmin, which helped me in the next few miles. I did my best to keep the miles under 9:00s. The heat was getting to me. I was taking 2 waters to cool myself and powerade to drink. I felt wasteful taking 3 cups, but I needed it!

The 1:55 pacer passed me around mile 8 or 9? I told myself to keep my eyes on them and that I'd catch them at mile 10. It was a nice plan. And giving my eyes something to focus on for awhile helped. But I was hurting. I couldn't eat a GU. The thought made me want to puke. Lesson learned: bring some sport beans for when GU thoughts make you nauseous.

I actually ended the race with more fuel than I started with. ha! I grabbed the Hammer gel they had at mile 9 because I thought that maybe if it were already in my hands, I'd be more likely to eat it. That proves how much energy I had: the thought of unzipping my skirt pocket to pull out a GU was too exhausting. But for some reason I was able to put the free one into a front pocket. Hey! That's $1.29 I just saved!

At mile 10 I got super emotional because I knew I'd finish. I have never questioned my ability to finish a race. For some reason I was hit by how tough this was. In all the events I have done, this was the first time I appreciated what it meant to be an endurance athlete. Every part of my body was tired and I kept pushing. Mental toughness!

I had expected that since I was in the midst of marathon training that 13.1 wouldn't feel so long. It felt so long. The race was along the river until mile 8 where we turned onto this God-forsaken wide, boring road with absolutely no shade. Man, I hate Shepard Road. It's an easy road to close so lots of races end here. We ran this thing for 5 miles.

I could barely see that 1:55 pacer in the distance, but I knew if I stayed close to 9s I'd get under 2. I play fraction games in my head. You have 30 blocks to run. You've run 1/30th. You've run 2/30ths, that's 2/15ths! And so on. It may be strange, but it works for me. Take your mind off the pain.

That finish line. That sense of accomplishment. That feeling is so so good.

1:58:01
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In my head, that's how I leapt across the finish line.

And thanks to my fancy Garmin, I get to analyze data! Number geek and proud of it!!
My splits:
8:35
8:31
8:28
8:58 (hill!)
8:43
8:46
9:02
8:55
9:05
9:01
9:25
9:40
9:28
(See? The last 3 miles were super tough. No negative splitting this puppy! If I had been able to eat something, I think I would've had some energy to push more at the end, but I could not stomach it.)

chips says pace was 9:01
Garmin says 8:57
either way, I say, awesome!

While this race is no where close to my PR, I am proud of my effort. I know what I can do in the heat. And once my lovely Fall temps return, look out!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
REDRUNNERMOM713 10/11/2013 10:25AM

    You are so inspiring! I love reading your race recaps. Most definitely awesome! Happy for you!

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 9/21/2013 12:24PM

    Love how the half is your training run! You always bust out fantastic times, even with the temp obstacles. When's your big race day?

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LOSINGLISA 9/19/2013 7:52PM

    Wow!! Congratulations!! That's so awesome. You must be so proud! emoticon

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MWWENSIN 9/15/2013 11:05AM

    Great job on your half. In houston we have only one month of the year that we can guarantee will be cool and that's February. It's 80 degrees even in November.

Great job at beating the heat. Great job at keeping your mind engaged in the race.

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CRYSBROWN1 9/11/2013 4:06PM

    Running + Heat = no bueno! Great job on managing a good pace and powering through this race!

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WINDSURFNERD 9/10/2013 10:14AM

    Congratulations on conquering the heat and your doubts! I'd say if you can do a sub-2 hour HM in those conditions you're in better shape than you give yourself credit for...good on you, great blog and way to celebrate the victory!! :)
Naomi

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BOILHAM 9/10/2013 7:41AM

    Good job. You beat the heat.

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AMBER281 9/7/2013 3:19PM

    Awesome job!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 9/6/2013 3:51PM

    emoticon job! Running in the heat and humidity is no joke. You had an amazing race considering the elements. You should feel very proud!

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FITFORMYFAMILY 9/5/2013 8:48PM

    I say awesome, too! You are definitely good at speed and perseverance. I'm proud of you!

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OPTIMIST1948 9/5/2013 5:53PM

    Fearless in the midst of heat adversity. Id say you did AWESOME.

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MICHSTATE 9/4/2013 10:18PM

    Awesome job!!!!!

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LEWILL1982 9/4/2013 1:38PM

    That's amazing! Congratulations and what an inspiration! The heat has slowed me down this summer, but I know that I can run faster with people so I can't wait to see what happens when it cools off!

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RAINEMARIE214 9/3/2013 3:20PM

    Congrats on the race! Running in the heat is awful, but you did a fantastic job!

I love having my Garmin when I run :)

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CARADAWN 9/3/2013 9:11AM

    Congrats on finishing a tough race! I try my best to avoid running in the heat but since I live in Houston it is pretty impossible. I think your pace and overall time for the half marathon was amazing! Your body can carry you across the finish line but your mind is the one that has to be convinced you can do it - GREAT JOB!

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MELLOYELLO01 9/3/2013 8:45AM

    Wow...that is AWESOME! Congrats on completing a HM in that kind of heat!

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 9/3/2013 7:40AM

    Wow! You are a CHAMPION!!
Great race! Great blog! Beautiful spirit!!
Congrats!!
I'm so jealous!! I really want a 1/2 under 2 hrs. I'm hovering right around 2:04. I keep trying though :) You give me inspiration to keep at it.

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PINKBEANBOO 9/3/2013 6:15AM

    emoticon another great race!

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HONEYBADGERRUNS 9/2/2013 3:39PM

    I wasn't going to comment until I read this seven times so I could be inspired again and again but yeah, you are a bag of awesome with sparkly gold stars! Will you pray that my next half goes this good??? ( I don't care if it should be well, I'm going with good!)
I love your race strategizing skills - so great and I'm taking notes. Can't believe how you fought the heat - your fall marathon will be amazing!



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LISAINMS 9/1/2013 9:56PM

    Awesome mental toughness in the heat! I play fraction and percentage games... whatever to give me a mental boost of closer to the finish.

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MARGARITTM 9/1/2013 7:47PM

    I say awesome too!

Nice job!

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ICHBINDOOF 9/1/2013 7:41PM

    Fantastic! I play the fraction game with myself too. I mean how many times have I run 1000 meters? probably a million, why not one more?!

You should be so proud of this- racing and running is sometimes more mental than physical and it sounds like you killed it on both sides =]

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CHANGINGHORSES 9/1/2013 7:20PM

    Wow, that is awesome! I think you did great! Running in the heat is tough. I will run my half on Sunday, Sept 8. I am in the last week and it is hot and humid. My last LSR stank because of the heat. I am hoping that it cools some but like you, I am ready either way. I will get it done! Thank you for sharing your half, sometimes it helps knowing how others think and feel.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYLADY4 9/1/2013 4:20PM

    I think that was a great run considering how freeking HOT it has been. emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/1/2013 11:09AM

    Love reading the race recap! What a tough race!! But you are mentally and physically tougher!! emoticon

Can't believe all the weather you experience and run in! That is impressive. Don't have too much variety here in Los Angeles. emoticon

Great job braving the heat and humidity and not having fuel, wow. That is a lot of determination. emoticon

Awesome job! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WORTHEYMOM 9/1/2013 9:48AM

    You are incredible! Congrats girl! Running in this freaking heat is crazy, but to run a half in it is amazing!

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