Monday, May 9, 2011

Runner's.... *ahem*

Now that we are a week removed from Reno Rock 'n' River 1/2 Marathon I can finally write my race report... ;)

You know, its a funny thing doing a distance/race for the first time.  There is no PR, or PW for that matter, it just kind of is.... You've finished, and you can mark that item off your Bucket List.  My Bucket List (maybe I should actually write one down) has been getting a lot of action this year (first triathlon, first 1/2 marathon) and there is more to come (first Olympic triathlon, first 1/2 Ironman... maybe another 1/2 marathon and on the non-athletic front, graduating from college in Dec).  For better or for worse, I don't have a lot of self-doubt about my ability to cross the finish line, I do have some about getting to the starting line because I've been hurt more than my fair share, but crossing the finish line, especially for the first time, just hasn't been a big deal so far.  This won't be true when I begin to race the same distances for PR's, that's when it will get ugly, or emotional, or both.

But anyways...

May 1st turned out to be a "brisk" (read: cold) morning in Reno.  Kirsten, Beki, and I got up before the crack of dawn to eat our breakfasts, begin to hydrate, and head out on the road for Reno.  The drive up was actually quite beautiful with the sun rising in the east turning the Eastern Sierra Mountains a subtle shade of pink or purple that reminds me of why I love mornings so much.  They are... quite, peaceful, beautiful, perfect in ways that sunsets and the end of the day just aren't for me.  It was a quite ride north, but I'm guessing that may have had something to do with nerves and not enough coffee than soaking up the beauty of the morning. ;)

After we parked I was SUPER thankful that they had gear check at the start/finish line, because I decided on erring on the side of under-dressed for the race and was wearing only shorts and a short sleeve shirt for the race, so my sweats and sweatshirt were nice to have in the 40* morning mountain air.  The three of us hit the porta-potties before grouping together with the rest of the 1/2 marathoners and the official start countdown.  Now here is where I made a mistake... because I was cold, and the porta-potty was cold, and being out in the sun was warm(er) I didn't give myself the time I should have (you're welcome) in preparing my internal system for 13.1 miles of running.  I didn't know this when we set off at the start, I didn't really know it at mile 1, 2, or 3... but I began to realize the error of my ways around mile 4.  To save you from the details, we'll leave it at this... I was uncomfortable until mile 12 when I finally allowed myself to stop at a porta-potty just a mile short of the finish line (what can I say, I'm stubborn and wanted the discomfort to just go away through sheer power of my mind... or something).  To say that my discomfort ended at mile 12 would be a lie though, because after 12 miles of running, coming to a stop and then trying to get yourself running again is painful and mentally draining, but at least I felt a little better while doing it.

Between mile 4 and mile 12 I realized a few things....
  • There is some interesting running apparel fashion out there.  I'm pretty sure the zebra pattern leg warmers with pink/black tights under them was my favorite, but I can't be sure.
  • It takes a lot of mental strength to let people pass me, I always want to use them as the "rabbit," but that doesn't mean its smart, and many of the people who passed me in the first half, I passed in the second.  
  • Pacing is everything, and that fact is almost worth coming up with the funds for a Garmin, or something easy and lightweight like that.  My birthday is coming  up, maybe there is someone I can con into that as a gift.. haha
  • When you get tired your brain will tell yourself all sorts of things that are ridiculous once you have the presence of mind to actually think...  Somewhere in mile 12 I had my first real doubt about my 1/2 Ironman in July.  And it wasn't in a quiet, polite voice in the back on my mind saying "maybe the 1/2 isn't for you"... it was a loud, thundering voice speaking in definite terms "You don't want to do that 1/2 Ironman, imagine how much more it will hurt than you are RIGHT NOW."  Now this is probably might be true, but I am not afraid of pain, and I know come July 17th, I will be more ready for that pain than I was on May 1st.  And I will survive.
From mile 12 to the finish I spent nearly 1/2 mile following a guy who was having a much worse race than I was... how do I know?  He was vomiting... every 4-5 sets he would retch again, sometimes it would bring up whatever fluid he has drank on the run, sometimes it would just further fatigue him and slow him down even more.  On more than one occasion he was offered assistance by fellow runners and race officials alike, but he was having none of it.  When or how he finished I have no idea, once I had gotten too close I couldn't stay behind him because every time he'd retch it made me want to, and that wasn't what I had signed on for. 

Coming around the final corner to see the finish line made me realize just how little I had left in my legs... would I have felt better if I had take water just once, or eaten the Gu I brought with me?  I really have no idea, but I'm going to try to start training with water/Cytomax on my longer runs so that on July 17th, when its warm and I've just finished a 56 mile bike ride and 1.2 mile swim I have no worries about how my body will react if I try to eat something.  My one wish... I wish they had a time clock at the finish line, I think seeing those seconds tick away would have helped find that 100 yard sprint finish in my legs that without I couldn't pull.... 

Crossed the finish line....

I am a 1/2 marathoner...

Waited for Kirsten and Beki (who both PR'd!!!!)...

Finally we went to check official finishing time... 2:04:25
247th Overall (795 Females)
49th in Age Group (139 in my Age Group)


Brooke said... did all of the race without water or fuel?????

Bari said...

You kicked ass in that race! I can't believe you followed a puking guy and didn't hurl.