I signed up for this race before I decided that Galveston 70.3 was going to be my “A” race. I really wasn’t sure how I should approach it. I wanted to do well – the competitive side of me always sometimes wins out, but I also didn’t want to burn myself for the hardest race to date the next week. A few days before it was all about telling myself it was nothing more than a training run. I think I was trying to convince myself as much as the people I was talking to.
After talking with some people within the days before, if I truly recovered correctly, I could probably swing it. Give me an inch, and I’ll run a mile, er, 13.1. So it was decided that I would try and push myself as far as I could (granted if something started to hurt I would slow down, not worth risking injury.) I hadn’t really rested up and done my normal routine for a race leading up to it. I honestly don’t think a different preparation would have led to a different outcome, either.
(Um, thanks to my friends who I stole the pics from, but I had to show us off. Aren’t we cute?)
We all got there early since we had to park and be bussed to our destination. What do you do when you have tons of time? Take lots of pics and share lots of laughs. I’m super excited because everyone in this picture is also doing the Marine Corps Marathon, but I digress… We all use the port-a-potties a few times and decided to head to the corral with about 30 minutes to race time. (Corral 4 holla!)
With more time on our hands, we do things like this:
Once time got close, Andrew ditched left to go to his “fast” people corral. I took a honey stinger gel with about 20 minutes to go. We all anxiously waited for the gun and soon, we were off. I knew Brian wanted to try and PR. He’s been training hard and has gotten ridiculously faster in the 3 months he’s been running with the Luke’s Locker program. We immediately drifted apart and I knew I was on my own for the race. I desperately wanted another sub 2. I have gone sub 2 once last November and the closest was a 2:05:43 the weekend after my PR.
Immediately I tried to catch a good pace that I thought I could maintain. I knew I was probably going fast, but refused to look at my watch for the first 3 miles. I realized I was probably screwed around mile 2 when I was sweating something fierce. I have serious heat issues. I can’t handle it well and this would be the first really hot run this year. I knew I wasn’t going to be alone in feeling like I wanted to die later. I also started burping up my honey stinger gel early, which discouraged me from taking another. My stomach has yet to cooperate during an actual race. So no, I did not take in any calories during this run.
I knew through mile 4 that I was working a pace that would keep me sub 2. I also knew that I felt like dying already. The heat was taking its toll (it would be over 70 by the time we finished). I tried to keep my head down and really kick out the miles. I also knew that I started to slow down. I was really proud of myself, I ran mostly on feel and only looked at my watch to see my mile splits. But I began to get discouraged early seeing myself slow down and feeling like I was working MUCH harder for a slower pace. I remembered really hating that stretch from about 6-8 from last year. It’s a bear. Slow and steady uphill that makes you kind of want to cry right in the middle. By then I was really feeling the heat and slowing down. Every water stop I poured it on my face and over my head. By the time I made it to the next stop, I was way overheated again. There was no fighting it. I was about to experience an epic blowup. Please see below:
At about mile 9-10 I came up on one of my good running friends, April. Thank goodness I saw her. We paced off of each other for a few miles. As she stated perfectly, misery loves company. And we were two miserable souls in search of a finish line. Even with the downhill home it was a really hard race. It reminded me of RnR San Antonio and that will go down as one of my most hated races. I walked twice during this race – mile 11 and mile 13. I was really angry with myself for mile 13. You are so freaking close and I wanted to give up.
As soon as I finished wonderful friends and my husband surrounded me to make sure I got cold towels, water and some calories. Learning from RnR San Antonio last year where the same thing happened, I had to find a cool shaded spot to sit and take in fluids and calories. If I didn’t, I would have to see a medic. And that’s what I did, until some woman with a megaphone came through and yelled at all of us we needed to move it on through the runner area. We found a bunch of friends and I saw for a while and tried to take in some more fluids.
Special shout-out to all of my Luke’s people for being amazing and to the Ninja’s and TPG who gave me something to look forward to in this race. I love you all.
Here’s the thing that worries me about this race. I didn’t vocalize this to April, but for the first time ever in a race I wanted to give up and quit. Not the “oh this is really hard” kind of give up, but I did not want to do it anymore. Which scares the daylights out of me. This coming Sunday, I have to swim 1.2 miles and bike 56 before running another half marathon in even hotter weather. This will be the hardest race I will have done thus far and I’m scared. What if I really want to quit then? If I can’t get through a half now, what about when its really hard?
Where is my spark? Where is my drive? Its a bad time for her to take a vacation. Maybe I’m burnt out. This is the most training for a race I’ve ever done, and you know what? I’m freaking tired. And hungry, all of the time.
So, with a heavy heart this week I will do nothing but rest these tired legs and butt. I will come home and sit in sweatpants and catch up on my DVR. I’m going to read before going to bed at a ridiculous hour and sleep in. And you know what? I’m gonna find that bitch determination and show her that she doesn’t get to leave just yet.
Because I am not a quitter.