Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 Parkersburg Half-Marathon Race Recap

This race was so embarrassing that I don't really want to do a recap, but I think I need to.

Goal: 16 miles with 13.1 miles at 9 to 9:05 pace
Reality: 16 miles with 13.1 miles at 9:48 pace (which was also the overall pace of the run)

GIANT FAIL. But let's backtrack.

6am: Alarm goes off, and I get up. Between 6 and 7, I get ready, eat a Clif bar and have some water.

7am-ish: Aaron and I head to the start, which is about 1.5 miles away. This is perfect because I am supposed to cover 16 miles. I bring a small bottle of Gatorade with me with the intention of drinking it before the run.

8am: The race starts, and I am carrying the Gatorade with a few drinks taken out of it. The first couple of miles are just under 9 minutes, so I'm on track. Right before Mile 3 at a water stop, I took a drink of the Gatorade and tossed the bottle; it was nearly full.

Mile 3 is essentially a long hill. My pace dropped substantially, and I was over 9:40, I think. Mile 4 was back to 8:50, so I was still close to being on track. Sometime after 3, I took Gatorade at a water stop, and that was the only time I took Gatorade instead of water.

At the 10k mark, my overall pace had dropped to 9:23, which is still okay. It was unlikely that I could recover and sub-2 the race, but I could still have a good race. I took a gel around mile 6, I think. I should have taken it earlier.

After the 10k mark, I really fell apart though. There were a few times where I was almost crying, and it felt like I was going to have a panic attack. My pace kept slowing, and I couldn't pick it up, even on downhills. My legs were spasming during this time too.

I was trying to figure out how I could run off the course, still get in my 16 miles and get back to the house. I don't know the area nearly well enough to do that, so I kept trucking.

Mile 12 is a pretty big hill, and I took a second gel right before the hill. It was too late. I stopped and walked for about 30 seconds, maybe 45 seconds. Then I felt really bad about myself and started running again. It was pathetic, and that mile clocked in around 11 minutes.

The last mile is basically downhill, and I couldn't get my legs to turn over at all. It was almost 10:30. I saw a sign that said "Pain is temporary, but internet results are forever." I wanted to cry. I finally got to the finish where Aaron was waiting, and I burst into tears. It was awful.

I drank a bottle of water, ate a banana and then headed back to Ali's. I ran faster uphill back to her place than I did the last mile.

One thing I know I did wrong was forgetting it was a 16-mile run, not just the race. For a half, two gels and Gatorade is enough. That said, I only took Gatorade once and that was, what?, an ounce or two. Aaron thinks I don't eat enough beforehand and that the Clif bar isn't quick enough energy. Maybe he's right.

But the biggest thing is that I gave up, and I don't really know what to do about that one.

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