Monday, April 27, 2009

13.1 miles summed up: Hot, Hilly, Hellish

Here is the race report I wrote up for the tri club:

Heather Zoller-Gritz
Country Music Half Marathon
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Nashville, TN
Race Type:
Run - Half Marathon
Age Group:
Female 35 - 39
Overall Place:
21638 / 22749
Age Group Place:
2058 / 2179

I met my sister in Nashville so the two of us could run our first half marathons. I've been fighting a nagging foot issue but put in the miles and after a good 10 miler last Sunday felt prepared for the race. After running consistently in 50 & 60 degree weather I wasn't prepared for it to be 80 by the time we started (in corral 27, almost an hour after the first runners started) to only get hotter and sunnier along the way. I felt good for the first five miles other than what seemed like constant uphills, not big hills just lots of them (very decieving elevation chart. Cytomax and water on the course and I took some at every stop. At the halfway point I was right where I expected to be, right about 1:30 (I was aiming for 3 hrs).Unfortunately things went downhill (not literally) from there. I started to feel sick to my stomach and felt increasingly dizzy so I sat down in the shade, ate my sport beans and waited for the bathroom. I felt considerably better after about 10 minutes of downtime. At the next water stop I took Cytomax, water and added some salt (literally, from 2 packets sitting on a table).

That did the trick and I was able to alternate running and walking but my calves felt really tight every time I ran. I kept telling myself time didn't matter, I just wanted to finish. At mile 11 my calves started seizing up so bad I couldn't walk, the cramps went all the way down into my feet. I had to stop, stretch and massage them to keep moving, first one side, then the other. I felt like I was getting passed by 100s of people every time I stopped. By that time I just wanted it to be over, it was hot, no shade and I was moving so slowly I really thought it would never end. There were cheerleaders giving out jelly beans and then a Gu station, I had some of each and some water and that seemed to help with the cramps but I couldn't run at all, my calves wanted nothing to do with it so I walked the rest of the way in.

There was good music all along the course and tons (31000 between the marathon and half) of people. There were a good number of shuttles moving people from the finish line to the start. The finish was at LP Field where the Titans play which was pretty cool. I will definitely carry some liquid with me next time if there is any doubt about whether I will need it.

Yesterday at the airport I was talking to a guy in the security line and he said of the 20 halves he has done this was by far the hardest, that definitely made me feel a bit less of a wuss. I am seriously torn between awe of the accomplishment and disappointment that I didn't run much more than half of it. Probably a good life lesson in accepting what you can't change.


Tree said...

MM, My last full marathon (2 yr ago), I had trained harder and better than for the previous three marathon. Race day arrived, I bonked. I bonked badly at about 18 miles.

I think your life lesson is very good. But more than that, I want you to be so proud of what you accomplished and what you did - mentally and physically.

MamaMaven said...

Thanks Tree, I really appreciate that. On the training runs the mental hurdle was the big one, I expected on race day a lot of that would be gone but it was even more so!

Mary said...

Thank you for your post on your 1/2 marathon. I’m training for my first coming up in May and loved how honest you were about the way you reacted to the change in climate and the honest fact that some days are just harder than ever. That being said, I say you should feel incredibly proud, majority of people would never think of embracing a challenge like that. Furthermore, I have done a few past triathlons and am training for a 70.3 coming up in August. Am excited to see what you think off your upcoming tris!

Esmerelda said...

Some days it's good, some days it's bad....that's all. :-D you're still my hero!