Monday, October 28, 2013

St. Louis Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Recap

Spoiler Alert:  I did it!  I ran my first ever half marathon on Sunday. 

needed a few days to reflect on the half before writing this post.  Be prepared for a long post.

My half marathon journey started Sarurday when J and I attended the expo.

The expo was very nice.  There were lots of booths.  I have been to other expos before with J and this definitely was the nicest.  J and I picked up a few items including 10% off a new Garmin for him plus a $50 mail in rebate.  Such a great deal!

After the expo, J and I drove the marathon course which was 12 miles of the half marathon course.  We noticed the course was hilly but not steep hills.  I am always worried about hills (knee problems) but I figured these were gradual so it wouldn't an issue.

J and I ate our pasta and went to bed early.  When the alarm went off at 3:50 we got dressed and out the door by 4:50.  

The race started at 7 but we weren't sure how the parking situation would be nor if we would need to check our bag.

Luckily, we found a lot close to the start and finished.  So we stayed in the car to keep warm (it was 34 degrees!). We got out of the car around 6, hit the restrooms and headed to our respective corrals.  I was thankful for my throw away sweat shirt because boy it was cold.

When the wave starts began, I shedded my sweat shirt and waited to start.

I lined up with the 2:30:00 pace group and hoped to stay ahead of them.  Then it was time to run.

I felt good at the start.  I got into a groove and felt confident for at least a 2:30:00 finish.  But at mile 5 that's when things went down hill.

During my long runs, I have been having pretty painful back pain when I get in 8 or more miles.  Stretching never really helps but I always push through and finish.

On Sunday, mile 5 was at the top of the biggest hill in the course.  I knew when we drove it that it would be hard but I knew I'd be okay.  As I started up the hill, I slowed down but kept running.  At this point the 2:30:00 pace group passed me but I thought I could catch back up.  Boy was I wrong!  My back started tightening.  I mean it was shooting pain through my entire lower back.  I kept pushing and got to the top of the hill but my pace dropped. I was hurting and knew I had a lot more miles to run.

After the first hill, I had several gradual hills to go.  At every hill my back would tighten.  I kept pushing but around mile 8.5 to 9.5 I hit a low spot.  I began to cry on the hills because of the pain.  I didn't stop but I was miserable as you can see from my face.

I had joked with J that any time I wanted to quit that I would say "do you think they should make iPhones for babies?" .  Why this quote?  Well it's off Bad Lip Reading Game of Thrones and makes me laugh but even that didn't work.

I was in a low place during those miles and I'm still not sure how I made it.  I think it helped that at mile 9.5 the St. Louis Triathlon Club was set up wearing Halloween costumes cheering.  I high fived the entire group.  Their cheers gave me the energy to finish.

The finish wasn't pretty but I did it.  The last 2 miles were horrendous!  I was running near a man who was screaming at his wife to run and to finish strong.  Who does that?  He screamed over and over.  It was awful.  I felt so bad for his wife.  You could tell she  was in pain but he wouldn't stop.  I was too tired to get away from him but I knew I couldn't finish beside him.  When I saw the finish line I took off.  I did it!

I ran the entire course!  My time wasn't what I wanted it to be but I didn't stop.

Getting my medal and after race photo was a blur.  

I went to the car to warm up, change, and rest prior to watching J finish the marathon.

I was worried about him because he was injured going into it, but he finished and PR'd.

We came home and surved our bodies.  I had chafing, blisters, and possibly losing a toe nail.

I woke up yesterday feeling extremely sore.  I quickly made an appointment with Precision Healthcare for an Active Release Therapy treatment.

After the treatment, the doctor noted my back is so tight that the muscles are pushing on a nerve.  So the pain I was feeling during the race was nerve pain.  No wonder I cried up some of those hills.

Once I had that diagnosis, I reevaluated my race.  Yes, I didn't reach my goal time but I only had 8 weeks to prepare.  I also ran the race with muscles pushing on a nerve on my back.  I didn't stop and I didn't give up.  I am now proud of myself.

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1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a strong race! I also thought the hills, especially at the end, were awful. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done to keep running on Jefferson as my body was begging me to walk.