Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Inagural Half-Marathon

Inspired by the post-marathon logs over at Academom I am attempting to recreate my inagural (that's what it said on my number) half-marathon.
First, let me just say that when I read in some running book that runners should get to the starting line, like, three hours before the race, I scoffed. With a starting time of 6:45, I have to say my plan was to make it to the starting line by then.
I had to wake up and dress Son once I was ready. Middlebrow and Son drove me close to the starting line and dropped me off. I did not sleep well last night, and woke up at 4:30, never really getting back to sleep. So when my alarm went of at 5:30, I was ready. By the time I made it to the starting area, it was a freaking mad house. They had girls singing patriotic songs. Why? I don't know. And the lines for the bathroom! Oye vay! This is why they tell you to get to the starting line three hours before. Because you'll be in the bathroom line the whole time.
Did I get in this line? Yes I did. Another thing I didn't factor in: nervous race bladder.
So after waiting in line, I started about 10 minutes after the "official start time." To make matters worse, I had some kind of watch snafu and didn't time the first mile. So how long did it take me? I don't know.
The first mile was fine, easy, if too fast. I'm not sure how fast I was running. I saw one person I recognized on Foothill (classmate of Son's and family). Mile 2, fine. Mile 3: ooh! This was a tough one. Up hill to 21st South. When I ran this part of the course with a friend, this is where we nearly died of heat exhaustion. Luckily it was only about 7:15, so it wasn't hot yet. Then downhill to Sugarhouse Park. Yeah! I showed my novicity by letting go and just running, fast. I didn't care. I took advantage of every water stop.
The turn around at Sugarhouse Park was fine, not as brutal as I predicted (it was here I thought I'd start to lose it). It all felt okay. I saw another person I knew, who did not see me. I was encouraged by the anonymous strangers who cheered for everyone.
I did not start to lose it (and by "it" I mean my normally cheery disposition) until around mile 7 when there had been no water since mile 4. The half-marathon is the bastard step-child of this race. Around Wild Oats on 11th E I could be heard muttering under my breath, "Where's the fucking water?"
I saw Middlebrow, Son and Friend near my house. I had run this part of the course during training, so I felt fine. Especially since some angel had water in front of her house, and then there was (finally!) a water station.
Then off to Liberty Park, more water there! The highlight of this section was when the marathon leader (yes, a Kenyan!) passed me, with his 2 News media escort. We all clapped for him. He didn't even look tired or sweaty. Did I mention that he also seems to have no body fat?
Miles 10 to 13 were the longest three miles of my life, mostly because State Street is hell. You may not have noticed, but even at 9 in the morning, it has too much pavement, no shade, no sprinklers, etc. It sucked.
Somehow I managed to run faster once I saw the "Mile 13" sign. I'm not sure how. My feet hurt, and I could feel the blisters. But I just wanted to finish.
And I did. I even found Middlebrow and Son and saw Son finish the "Kid's Marathon" (1 K). We got our snack bags and went home. All in all, I felt okay.
Until my stomach started hurting. But no one wants to hear about that. I'll let you know my official (chip) time when I know it.
The last question is, if I got up at 5:30 this morning, what am I still doing up?


Sleepy E said...

Hey, congratulations on your finish! I was training to do a half-marathon a couple of years ago and got hurt doing a 10-miler and never got to do it. So good on you for powering through! It is masochism thru and thru, but I congratulate you...well done, Dr. Write!

Lisa B. said...

May I just say Wow. And also thank you for this detailed report--gripping. Seriously. You are awesome!

lis said...

hey lynn, I was just looking at times. your chip time was 2:12:??

great job!

the lack of water was maddening! I'm writing them a letter. we may not be running 26 miles, but we deserve some water, damn it!

Dr. Write said...

Yes! My chip time was 2:12:19. So I feel pretty good about that. Especially since I had no idea and guessed about 2:20. And my pace was 10:06, which is about what I predicted. And given that the marathon winner was slower than his normal pace, I feel very good about the whole thing.
And yes, I will also write a letter about the water situation, too. Insane!

val said...

OH my god! Wowser! That's just fabulous. My anti-running status remains... but I am so proud of you.

Just think, you didn't even have a mad beast chasing you and you paced at 10:06!

madeline said...

Yaaay! Running rocks.

I've promised my family I'll only do halfs from now until I finish my diss.

Fun stuff. :)

Counterintuitive said...

Very fun read for a recovering running addict, kind of like soft porn. I remember those State street miles when I did the marathon--they were killer.