1st Half-Marathon...not a pretty one...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

OK, let's put it out there.... First of all, I was just more than willing to let this race and the fact I did it fly under the radar - obviously by my activity feed I had a half marathon scheduled for Sunday (that & whole team thing too...) but still, I don't blog nearly enough so just figured I could get away with a "no comment" kind of a day....
But on the bus on the way home Jen said to me "I feel a blog coming on...you know you have to blog about this..." And of course there's usually a funny side to everything - this unfortunately is more along the lines of potty humor!! Nothing like a good "potty joke" to bring out the nine year old in all of this! And by the end of the trip home, despite still feeling queasy, we had pretty much covered every line/joke possible to describe my race - and definitely crossed a line for too much information!! But at least I was laughing....
Obviously now you get the picture... I don't know what I ate differently - had tried to be very careful all week - maybe it was nerves, but whatever it was it hit me!! And hit me hard!! Tummy troubles like you would not believe (how's that for a delicate way of putting it?)
Now, when I went into this whole half-marathon training program my intention was to just finish - I thought surely to goodness I can do this in less than 3 hours (max time)!! And as the training progressed although I am by no means the fastest I tended to be somewhat in the middle of the pack - good days & not so good days but overall happy with my progress. I was never about the pace/speed just the fact that I was out there all winter running distances that most days I felt surreal about...
As race day approached our coach advised us that we had done the training - we would be ok and there was no reason we wouldn't be able to do this (barring injury of course) so just enjoy the day.... But she (& other experienced runners in the group) also reinforced the fact that you just never know... something could come up, you could have a bad day, a bad run - could be the weather, could be anything but just remember it's only one day, one race - there will be others!
So, I kinda had a goal time in mind but still overall I was just focusing on the fact that we made it through the winter, we were on our way to a HALF MARATHON - this in itself was huge - what started out as "at the back of my mind, some day..." kind of a thing was now in my face - we were actually on a bus to a different city to run 21 friggin km - WTH - and on purpose..... Anyway, my holy cow I would be so thrilled time was 2 1/2 hours - doable although I was worried as my shoes were showing signs of wear & tear and the last few weeks of speed training brought out some new aches & pains - but again, I was here, that in itself was good.
I ran with a friend I met through the group - we had been pretty consistent with our times together & each of us had good & bad days so the intention was to start out together but of course not hold each other back...
We were passed by the 2:15 pace bunny early on and our intention became not to let the 2:30 pace bunny get past us and that became our incentive. My stomach was in knots prior to the race but again, I was more concerned about my shoes & my calves/shins not hurting. We hit the 8km mark & were both feeling good - I was gurgling a bit but still, the sun was shining, it was a great route with lots to look at (big, gorgeous homes overlooking the lake) and the crowds were enough of a distraction that we were both positive about our times so far.... Unfortunately, my tummy decided to ruin the party.... Almost at the half way point I told Julie to go ahead I needed to stop at one of the stations... It went downhill from there.... By the time I hit the 5km left marker I was in agony - I literally couldn't run, kept trying but the fear of all hell breaking loose kept slowing me down!! (I know, too much information, but you know what I mean?) I tell you, I kept looking at the police at every intersection wondering which one of them would consider this an emergency situation and get me back to the finish line - to heck with completing the race!! The power walkers kept passing me and although I told myself it wasn't about the time I was frustrated that I couldn't run (insert potty humor here!!) and my stupid body was not cooperating! I was still smiling at the crowd of well wishers & appreciating the fact that they were there and trying to tell myself to just finish strong- the mind was willing, the body not so much....
I crossed the finish line and it was all I could do to hang on... I started to feel dizzy and nauseous and was thinking "great, let's just pass out now to top this whole thing off!" Needless to say I couldn't bask in the glow of "finishing" I felt crappy and I just wanted to go sit in a quiet corner!!
But, when you run with a group like that...how can you be standoffish? There was concern expressed & they knew it wasn't a good finish but still, I did finish (didn't really have a choice did I?) and there were others that had a great time - not fair to deny them their kudos because I felt lousy.... Julie did finish at the 2:30 mark and Jen - she did 2:08 - an amazing time & how can you not be happy when your friends have done so well??? Celebrations need to be had - I may have been more subdued about it but proud & happy for them all the same. We headed off to the chili area - needless to say, I did not have any but it was good to be part of the camadre of race completed... There were some good times & there were others too that were disappointed in there times, but again, there was satisfaction in having completed it whether it was pretty or not!
Eventually on the ride home the humor of the situation did become clear and of course we had all kinds of lines/descriptions for my race - and as in any thing someone else always has a similar story to tell...and bottom line it could have been a lot worse....
My official chip time was 2:42:09 so really, considering I was aiming for 2:30 that's not bad - it just felt like a much longer time when I was still out there. I did it, I completed a half-marathon - woo hoo - and I know what it feels like to push through...

As Jen put it so well sh*t happens! emoticon (such a good friend!)

So, two days later, still feeling a little off so apparently it was a little more than nerves but our wind up party is tonight and I'm looking forward to sharing everyone else's experience (I think I have had enough discussion of my own!!) and making future plans... And considering the fact that we've already signed up for Around the Bay (30km) the end of March and a Full Marathon in May I guess I'm in this for the long haul...figuratively & literally so what the heck... And next time.... Imodium....

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***I apologize for any visuals this may have caused, but really, it is funny (now) & yes, it did need a blog!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD5915724
    Great job finishing when many others would have quit! Congratulations on completing the half. The next one can only get better, right?!
    4076 days ago
    Oh my friend, that is a fun recap to read now that it is behind you...no pun intended...oh my gosh, I am still making potty jokes. I need to stop!
    You did great, Kath...it will happen to all of us at some point and likely more than once.
    4076 days ago
    You did it!! You finished! I like what John Bingham says: The miracle isn't that I finished, but that I started! :D
    4077 days ago
    Well, at least you can be assured you'll never forget your first half marathon. emoticon
    Congrats on finishing and considering what was going on ... you should be really proud of that time!
    4079 days ago
    Sorry it didn't quite turn out as planned, but WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!! You completed your first 1/2 marathon. That's awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to say your blog made me chuckle - something I could totally see happening to me....except I am no where near the 1/2 marathon mark....yet! :)

    P.S. A friend of mine is doing the 30k Around the Bay also!
    4080 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/11/2010 2:36:41 PM
    I can't believe you hit such a good time while sick. Great job.
    4080 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6372002
    Oh my goodness - you poor thing! I can only imagine how uncomfortable that must have been. BUT you did it! You finished it and with not too shabby a time either! soooo ...

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4080 days ago
    sorry your 1/2 marathon wasn't as rewarding as you had hoped..those tummy troubles happen!!
    but damn, your time was pretty good!!
    Now, you can try again, and KNOW you will do better..

    4080 days ago
    Oh man! Sorry to hear your tummy ruined the party but you're right, you STILL came in at a respectable time so good for you! Just think, your next half will be an automatic PR! :D
    4080 days ago
  • MJASR5
    Congrats on finishing! I, too have had those tummy issues on my long runs. It is so frustrating! Good luck on your full marathon. emoticon
    4080 days ago
    Congrats on finishing your first half!! I laughed so hard reading this, not AT you, but because I dealt with the SAME junk on my first half last year! At least you finished, and that is great. Way to push through, in spite!

    I have been trying to fix my tummy problems myself... Just posted a topic about this on here, and someone posted a link to a Runner's World article about that very thing that I found extremely helpful.

    Hope your next race is AWESOME!!
    4081 days ago
  • 13-1GIRL
    emoticon emoticon
    4081 days ago
    Congrats on finishing despite less than desirable circumstances. You are amazing and I personally think you had an awesome ending time.
    4081 days ago
    Oh my - certainly nothing could have prepared you for this! But you did it in good spirits and really, could next time be anything but better! LOL!

    Congratulations - you totally deserve them!
    4082 days ago
    Congrats on finishing the race! Who would have thought that you could get not only cardio while running but a nice "cheek" tighting at the same time. emoticon

    4082 days ago
    emoticon You did it ! enjoy getting to this point, and you have a goal for next time

    4082 days ago
    A runner's worst nightmare...been there. Congrats on a "job" well-done :) This is the great and crazy thing about running - every day has its own mind. A great time no matter how you look at it. Upright and smiling!
    4082 days ago
  • no profile photo GEOGIRL
    Congrats on finishing your half! It sounds like quite the experience and I'm so glad you can laugh about it now. You've got it right, sh*t does happen but your attitude is amazing and you completed the race!

    Cheers to your next one being the perfect experience!
    4082 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4811290
    Congrats on finishing, and with a great time!! Woohoo you did it!
    My first half is this sunday, and my tummy is already doing some dances when I think about it. But up to know I'm able to tame the nerves and be relaxed about it.
    And yes, this will be one of those story's that will become even more funny as time passes!
    4082 days ago
  • KARVY09
    Congrats on your first half! I think it sounds like a good one, even if you didn't get the time you wanted.

    Your next one will be even better!
    4082 days ago
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