I definitely tried to be prepared.
As you know, I spent the week prior to race day eating lots of carbs and drinking lots of water..
The day before the race, I really loaded up on carbs. I had two bagels for breakfast, along with my banana and yogurt. For lunch I had a bag of rice. For snack I had a potato. For dinner I had some spaghetti. And for an evening snack I had lots of popcorn. By the end of the day, I never wanted to see a carb again.
Yet I woke up at 4:30am the day of the race to eat another bagel and banana. I drank a little coffee and a bottle of water.
Before heading to the starting line, I stretched, rolled, and stretched some more.
By 6:30am, after using the restroom multiple times, I was in my corral.
As I looked at all the “professional” racers in Corral A, I wasn’t sure if I should be part of their group. But then I scolded myself for having such thoughts, and told myself of course I am part of this group!
The elite group started first, and three minutes later, our group was set free!
I was surprised at how many people took off running at high speed. I didn’t let myself get caught up with them. I chose not to run with my iPhone so I could enjoy all the sights and sounds of the race, but that meant no App Lady telling me what my pace was. I basically was running where I felt comfortable.
I knocked the first few hills out without a problem. Especially since I had the downhills to recover. And by the time I got to Holy Hill I was feeling great. My knee didn’t hurt, I wasn’t fatigued, and I was proud that the carbs were doing their job.
So I booked my way up Holy Hill, wondering in the back of my mind if I could possibly be one of the fastest. By the time I got to the top, I was completely out of breath, but I had the downhill to recover once again.
That was mile 8. By mile 10, we’d had two more big hills to climb, and my quads were feeling it. The cramping forced me to stop three times to loosen them up. I finished the last mile very strong, and was proud of my 1:48:22 time and being second in my age group to make it up Holy Hill.
But that part you knew already from the Short and Sweet Version.
Here’s where it went sour….
We headed back to the hotel almost immediately. I was ready for a shower and looking forward to lunch at Pappy’s.
After my shower, however, my stomach began cramping up. I laid down a bit, hoping it would go away, but no luck.
We headed to Pappy’s anyway, where my hubby enjoyed a nice meal of pulled pork, and I enjoyed the luxury of the bathrooms.
We boxed up my meal, and he kindly drove me home while I slept.
Once home, I spent the rest of the day between the bathroom and the couch. I was in so much pain, that I thought an ER trip was going to be in order.
I mentioned that I may be dehydrated, so hubby gathered some information off the internet and immediately brought me some water and made me drink. I started off with small sips, as everything hurt me. But as the evening went on, he forced me to drink more and more. I obliged, even when doing so made my stomach hurt more. At this point, I was ready for a trip to the ER where they could just give me an IV and make it all go away. After many hours of drinking water, I could feel the pain subside, so I knew it was working.
I stayed on the couch all night, drinking water whenever I awoke. By morning, I was no longer visiting the bathroom as often and the cramps were noticeably weaker. I still decided it best not to go into work. I hated making that call, knowing that I was letting the race beat me.
I spent all of Monday on the couch as well. I made myself some jello but could only muster a few bites. Then my hubby brought me some chicken noodle soup where I downed a whole 4 spoonfuls before pushing it aside.
Later I asked my son to go uptown for some saltines. I managed to force 6 of those down, and surprisingly felt much better after that. It was then, that I felt well enough to turn on my computer to see how I finished and to share the news with you.
I’m doing better today. I awoke hungry, so I ate some cereal and then took a shower. I decided to push off going into work one more day. I’m still on the couch, but at least I’m upright.
So will I run another half-marathon?
My hubby probably wouldn’t like it very much.
But I’d like to think it’s not out of the question.