I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Honestly - this was one of the hardest half marathons I've done... & not because it was physical. This was a pure mental race for me. If you've been around here lately, you probably figured that would happen, especially when I do a blog post a few weeks before talking about how I'm not sure I wanted to do it.... & then how the day laid out -talk about sprinkling more mental stress on a mental situation... yeahhhh ... it was tough.
But let me back up.
Friday, I went to the packet pick up, which was at a new place because they are doing construction on their usual location.
For me, it worked out WONDERFULLY because it was right next to my work & I was able to run over at lunch, easy peasy.
The parking was easy, & because I know how to get around quickly in the circle that is the Fairgrounds parking lot, I was in & out so fast. The expo was nice this year too because I felt like it was able to spread out a little more & the aisles just felt bigger - & there seemed like more vendors. Maybe it was just because I was able to go at lunch & it didnt seem like as many people were there like after work? Who knows....
I did notice the board though in the expo that gave the heads up on the running situation....
Oh, they had no idea how it would play out....
So after work, I thought what I could do to carb up & I ended up getting a veggie bowl, full of rice & veggies & cheese. Lots of good carbs happening. After a full belly & getting all my stuff together, I ended up getting to bed early...
Only to be woken up a half dozen times because of storms coming through. OH MERCY... did the storms ever come through. If it wasn't dogs freaking out, it was my phone ringing with the National Weather Service telling me our area was flooding out. OK - I got it the first 2 phone calls... So it really was a restless night.
Not to mention, our little blind boy.... oh my.... We've been piling pillows on the edges of the bed so he doesnt fall out of bed. Well, yeahhhh - that doesnt work. Poor little guy fell off the bed at 5am race day. Freaked me out. He must have busted something in his mouth because he was bleeding from his gums. It stopped fast, but it was enough to have my nerves in a frenzy from the on set of the day.
I turn on the news & find out that our race time that was scheduled at 7:30 was moved back to 8... mmm'kay.
So we adjusted for that half our, got all ready & headed out... but knew things werent going to look good.
This is what it looked like at the stop sign at the end of our road - at 7:15am... when its normally sun up, bright skies. This aint looking good at all.
We got downtown & it was chaos - PURE CHAOS. They had every road blocked off - not even race roads - but construction roads on top of race roads. It took us nearly 40 minutes to get around just a few blocks. Finally, I told Ricky, OK, we just gotta pray & I said, "JESUS - PLEASE OPEN UP A SPOT FOR US"... & I have to tell you - as soon as I said AMEN, a car pulled out of a parking spot in front of me. A free parking spot. We both started laughing & I said, "Why didnt we pray earlier?"
We had a few minutes before 8 so I head to the potty lines & I see one of my small group girls dad in line who was running & then hear my name & see one of my precious Joysters standing next to me - I had to run over to her line & hug her... & then we got talking about how bad the skies looked - to which she informed me the race was put off to 8:30. We had no idea....
|I just saw there's Ricky walking away in the background - haha|
So we headed back to some tables that were right in front of my car - so if it rained, we could jump in the car...
|The skies... they looked so strange|
But then I got a text from my aunt & uncle who were walking the race & they were just down the block, so we went down there to see them.
I've turned my aunt onto KT Tape & she had brought some in case we saw them so I could wrap her knee. Ends up, we had plenty of time to do it because the news was coming around that the race was now moved to 9:00!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!!?
At this point, I am getting a little freaked out. I mean, I ate 2 eggs at 6:30 expecting to run at 7:30 ... & now we're not starting till 9? Not to mention, I hadnt had any water in all that time waiting - PLUS, it was so humid. I knew this was going to throw my game off.
We finally made it to the line at 9:00 & do you know - we STILL didnt take off.
The funny thing - all these delays & it didnt even rain. The skies looked bad but we just had a few sprinkles. But when we lined up at 9am? It DOWN POURED. ARE YOU KIDDING ME AGAIN???
|What is that guy doing behind me???|
I did find out later that they had to delay it that 3rd time because there were tornado warnings near the area. Geeezzzz....
Finally, at about 9:15 - 1 hour & 45 minutes after the original start, we finally crossed the line.
You think about that... an hour & 45 minutes & I should be over half way done- but we're just starting... in rain... & humidity. Hello horrible race.
I will say, the first 4 miles, I felt great. Kept my pace where I wanted it - didnt have any injuries.. the rain let up. I was thinking, this is going to be great.... & then the wheels fell off quick.
I think it was because I was so dehydrated, I just went down fast. At mile 5, I ended up stopping at a water stop & drank a water & took an extra one because I was so thirsty - which is the first sign of dehydration - but when I drank the water, it was the strangest thing ever... it was like I drank the water & it instantly seeped out of my pores as sweat. Same when I drank the 2nd cup ... I could feel it going down my throat & then my skin instantly started sweating. Uh oh... this wasn't good.
I started feeling light headed & my heart rate was sticking in the 170's & I couldnt get it down. I told Ricky I had to walk for a bit to get my HR down....
& I did OK again until about mile 7.... Ricky even told me, "You look spent"... I felt spent.
We head into Churchill Downs at mile 8 & there's a hill down into a tunnel, it made my shins cramp up so bad - & then my feet & my calves. Everything was cramping up on me. Hello - dehydration is real. So real.
By the time we got out of Churchill Downs, I was just praying for a Powerade station. & of course, when you NEED a station near, its NEVER near. Even if I could see it, it still wasn't near enough.
I wanted to just run as fast as I could at this point to get it over with... except I couldnt. I just felt so off. My stomach was growling so bad, my water & nutrition were totally off schedule, my head felt light, my stomach felt woozy... downhill was where I was going.
I even went into a full fledge panic attack at mile 10. Like FULL FLEDGED. Like hyperventilating & couldnt breath panic attack. I am the worst runner ever at this point. I just stood in the middle of the road & cried. Yes, I am a big baby... Ricky was like, "I'm getting the car. You're leaving. You came this far but you're going home"... & then I got mad. I am less than 3 miles from the finish line - I'm not stopping!!
let me tell you - Ricky takes all my emotions in a race. Poor guy. Let's have an applause for this guy.... clap... clap... slow clap... clap...
We finally made it to mile 12.5 after which I had another panic attack.... seriously - this was the most mental race I've ever done. How many people stop & stand in the middle of the road during a race?... this girl... right here.
Seriously, the finish line was literally around the corner & I felt like I couldnt take another step.... a lady on the side lines saw me & said, "GIRL, you got this, you're almost there"... let me tell you, have you ever felt HANGRY? There's got to be a run equivalent. I couldnt even look at the lady. I was just so angry at the world. No encouragement in the world was helping me. I felt like I was just in a tunnel of misery.
Does all this just sound like something you want to sign up for? I make races sound like so much fun.
But I trudged along to that corner & took the turn & saw the finish line & let me tell you, something in me - I call it again that RUNGRY emotion - that's the word!!!! - & it kicked in & I looked at Ricky & said, "LETS GET THIS OVER" & I took off...like the fastest pace I ran the whole race.
& man, I dread seeing those finish line pictures because they are going to be the most emotional race pictures I've ever received. I was just so happy it was over. The medic people were even asking if I was OK because I was just trudging at that point & near hyperventilating again from that fast run & crying again.
I got my medal & went over to take my picture... I told the people, "Better late than never, right?" & they were so sweet & encouraging to me. They made me laugh & got my spirits back up.
I legit was so hungry, I thought I was going to pass out. Ricky was like, What can I do for you? I kept saying, "I JUST WANT A BANANA..... GET ME A BANANA... WHERE ARE THE BANANAS???????"... I ended up getting in a line & Ricky tried to jump past this line not realizing that WAS the line for the bananas. Apparently, everyone else had the same thought I did because the line was FOREVER long to get a stinkin' banana.
After I got that banana & Ricky got some snacks & we got more powerade & chocolate milk for him, we sat down.... & I just had to decompress.
|I IG'ed this as soon as I sat down|
I just hated this race. Not "This" race - but hated "my" race. I hated my time... which isnt my worse (its my 3rd worse & only 4 minutes slower than my race last year) but it really was my worst mental race ever. When they say that running is half mental & half physical... believe it. Let me tell you once again about it.
I later read from so many running friends that the time delay & the humidity did a number on them too - so that actually made me feel better about things. Glad to know I wasn't the only one being effected by the changes.
|Finally back to the car|
It all was a learning thing, for sure.
We left from there & went & got real food & I was just off the rest of the day. Just felt so weird about the day.
I know dehydration got to me all day long because it was like 7pm at night when I realized, I hadn't peed all day long. Not one time. Even after all that water on the course & drinking 3 cups of water at lunch. Yeahhhh - the humidity wasn't my friend.
Finally after drinking more & more & peeing at 7pm, I felt more like myself...
& I enjoyed a sweet treat to celebrate that I survived this race.
Ricky told me I'm not doing this race again next year... & then he shook his head because he knows how I am. I now am ready to train for a fall half marathon. haha. I dont take defeat easily. I want to be better.
But I am ready for a break from running right now - just again, for the mental side of it.
We'll see how it plays out....
I'm just thankful for all the encouragement I got from sweet messages & texts from so many of you. Honestly, when I was in my worst moments on the course, I thought of the things you all said to me. I felt like you all were my best cheerleaders I could have.... so thank you. Truly - thank you!!!!
Race #8 in the books....
I told everyone that asked me how it went... I survived... standing...
you have no idea what a feat that was for me on this day.
It was enough though. I crossed that finish line knowing that I can dig deep for strength when I needed to. There's something to be said for that.
I woke up on Sunday, not even the tiniest bit sore - which is so strange for me. I'm used to not being able to walk, or thighs or back or knees hurting. I have no soreness whatsoever in this. So that's one good thing. & I'll take any good thing I can get from this race.
Tell me something good about your weekend