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Race Report - US Half Marathon - November 4, 2007

michelem2010-05-01 23:14:35 +0000 #1
Some of you know that I was training with the Pancreatica Pacesetters to run the US Half Marathon today in memory of my Aunty Pat. Well, about a month-and-a-half ago, I started getting knee pain while riding. Then, I fell on my knee while riding in the Koncoti Challenge. Then, I started getting hip pain. All this to say, that my longest run was about 9 miles and that was well over a month ago. Since then, I did one run of about 4 miles and one of about 2.5 miles, but had to stop both times due to pain. Lots of rest and physical therapy and I was given the okay to run this weekend. On Friday I had diarrhea all day and into the wee hours of Saturday morning, so I didn't get much sleep. We took BART into SF on Saturday and walked close to 2 hilly miles to the hotel. Then we walked to the Expo and back - probably another mile or so each way. We met up with the Pancreatica Pacesetters for a team-sponsored dinner. The food was NOT conducive to a pre-race meal! A bunch of appetizer-type things, including spicy crabcakes, mini-cheesburgers with onions, some kind of cheese-filled tortellini with sauce . . . all things that wouldn't sit well on my tummy even if it wasn't previously upset. So, I didn't eat there, but instead opted for an Odwalla smoothie drink from the neighborhood Walgreens.

The nice thing about the dinner was getting to hear the other team members' stories about why they were running the race. One family that was running had just lost their family member (wife/mother/sister) to pancreatic cancer this past summer. It was very touching.

Set the clock back, set the alarm, and called the front desk for a wake-up call just to make sure! Woke up at 5am this morning and drank a protein/carb drink, two bottles of water, and a small cup of coffee. Peed about 8 times and left for the race at 6:30am. Got to the race start at about 6:45am as the sun was coming up. The horn sounded at 7am and we were off. The weather was beautiful - no fog and clear as a bell. At first I was worried that I was overdressed as I began to feel warm right away, but as we went over the Golden Gate Bridge there was a wind and I was grateful for the long sleeves. I carried a bottle of water and a package of Clif Shot Blocks. Boy am I glad, as I was able to slowly suck on the Shot Blocks and take small sips of water throughout the race rather than try to drink a full cup of water or Cytomax at the aid stations. This way, I only came close to puking once, at about the 1/2-way point of the race. It came up in my throat and nose, but I did not spew.

I really held myself back at about a 10 minute pace for fear of hurting myself or burning myself out too soon. I did fine and felt good and strong until we got over the bridge. Then, we had to do a pretty steep downhill on dirt and rocks to get back over to the other side of the bridge. That downhill really hurt and I had to slow WAAAAAAY down. I hadn't practiced on any downhills and definitely not on anything other than asphalt. Going back across the bridge I felt okay again. The view was spectacular and I cried a little bit thinking how my aunt would have enjoyed this run so much and thinking about how she would have been encouraging me had she been running with me. We had another downhill after the bridge and I started to hurt pretty bad again. Around mile 10 I started getting a cramp in my calf. By then, I felt like my pace was more of a shuffle. I walked a little bit (maybe a 1/2 mile?) and just couldn't get my pace up again. My cardio was fine, but my legs hurt so bad! When there was one mile left I was thinking I could psych myself up to pick up the pace for one mile, but I just couldn't do it.

But, I made it over the finish line! Looking at my watch it appeared that I had made it in about 2 hrs. and 15 minutes. I just checked the official results and my time was 2:16:11.2. So, not too horrible. The person that came in first place came in around 1 hr. and 9 minutes and last place came in at something like 4 hrs. and 20 minutes, so I guess my time was pretty respectable considering.

I can see how this type of thing can get addictive. After I finished I started thinking how I probably could have done much better had I been able to complete the training as planned, not gotten sick on Friday, etc. . . . but, realistically, I think this is my first and last race. My joints just really, really don't like the pounding of running. And the bike is just so much fun!

THANK YOU to all who donated and encouraged me. I feel as though this was an important part of the grieving process for me. And, if anyone still wants to donate (it's tax deductible), the Lorenzen Cancer Foundation has extended the donation deadline through the end of November (link below).

crazycanuck2010-05-01 23:29:02 +0000 #2
Hi m! thanks for getting out there and doing your best! I'm sure you would have preferred to have had a better lead up to your race but you did it!!


blueskies2010-05-01 23:48:59 +0000 #3
Wow, Michelle, you really persevered in the face of some tough physical challenges! What a lovely way to honor and remember your aunt...



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