Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ouch! My 2011 Hartford Half Marathon experience

Setting the stage:

Three days out I started checking the hourly forecast for the race. It was looking to be windy and in the 50's. Totally reasonable. Disney was in the 50's and I was quite happy in what I wore. However deciding to change what already worked, I lay out my new running skirt (did my recent 9 mile run in it with no problems) and 2 different colors of the Lululemon shorts I've been wearing all summer with no problems.

Saturday morning the weather was looking even better! Partially sunny, 50's, and very light wind! Fantastic! I settled on my favorite LS Lululemon Sunblocker top in pale pink and my Lululemon All Sport shorts in grey. My outfit was perfect. I wear these shorts at least once a week and even wore them on Thursday's run. I topped off my outfit with my Lululemon headband, Brooks Summons shoes, Balega no show socks, ifitness single pouch belt, 3 Hammer gels and my Amphipod hand held water.

Nothing I chose was new. Everything had seen runs longer than an hour. All should be perfect. The only thing standing in my way would be me. Not having run this distance since January seemed pretty scarey but I really wanted this.

Race time!

We started at Starbucks. Carol Anne graciously held my bag in her back room and we used a nice bathroom just before the race. With everyone else me, my husband Steve, and friend Gary made our way to the start. I instantly spotted the pace leaders for 2:45 and 3hr. Quickly we learned though that they were running for gun time not net time and ended up losing them in the first 2 minutes.

However all was not lost. I had my trusty Garmin and this was not my first race. Add in that my wonderful husband promised he would stick with me, I had no worries. I had my plan... run 1 mile walk 1 minute. If necessary at the half way mark I would change this to run 5 walk 1.

First mile passed with a 16 minute pace! eek! Second mile 15 min... third, 4th and 5th were all around 12 minute pace though so I quickly made up time. I felt great with only one exception... I couldn't stop fussing with my shorts. I did bring my body glide with me just in case but I hadn't planned on using it. Use it I did and work for me it did not.

Those darn shorts! My the half way mark I wanted to cry I was in so much pain. PAIN! Not irritating. Not annoying. Down right PAINFUL! I just kept reapplying the glide and reminded myself I had to get to the end to feel better.

Come mile 11 though... long slow up hill (went downhill around 12.5!) I couldn't take it. Mentally I was spent. I had run more than usual so I was tired, but my real problem was the pain. I couldn't push through it like I wanted to. When I hit the down hill part I forced myself to just run. Run as fast as I could manage. I did manage it and finished having an asthma attack. I'm ok with this because I knew how to recover without my inhaler (only realized within the last 3 years that that was what I had experiencing for years.) I was much more ok not being able to breathe than suffering one more minute with the chafing.

Official net time 3:03

Not my best but not my worst. I am happy with it. I had a great time. The course was gorgeous. Constant rolling hills. The volunteers were very friendly. The water was plentiful. The crowd was constant. I can't wait to do it again next year.