**DISCLAIMER: These are my thoughts on my race. This does not mean I think less of runner who have different paces. Remember, 4 minutes or 16+ minutes, a mile is a mile!!
Before I start on the poo-poo, self deprecating part of this post, I just want to say it was an absolutely perfect running morning in Houston! Clear skies, crisp temps and lots of porta potties (this will be important).
This race has both a 5K and a 25K and surprisingly, the 5K starts 30 minutes earlier than the 25K. At first I thought this was a terrible idea, then when I realized the loop course was shared, it made perfect sense. The 5k-ers would be done by the time the 25k-ers got to the return portion of the loop. Good planning, HMSA, good planning! The 25K is 3 loops (5.15 miles each) of Memorial Drive starting downtown at the Wortham Center and going out to Shepherd and back.
Batch and I left our house around 6:10am and were parked (FREE) by 6:30am. As everyone in our car (Mom was with us to spectate) had the need for a porta potty, we grumbled our way out of the warmth and walked 1.5 blocks to the start area. The good part of being early? ZERO lines for the bathrooms. Score. After standing there for a few minutes, I realized I needed to take advantage of the no lines again. (cue ominous music) We stood around for a few minutes and then Batch decided he’d rather sit in the warm car for the next 25 minutes so we did. We hung out in the car until the last possible moment then walked back to the porta potties (bit of a line this time). Yes, if you’re keeping score, that’s 3 porta visits before the race started. Instead of realizing something wasn’t right, I thought, “Oh good, all taken care of…no race day poopy diaper fears.” (music playing)
Batch and I lined up around the middle of the pack which in hindsight was a little too far back for a no corral race as we spent the first mile weaving and then running faster than desired to hit our target pace for the mile. Rookie mistake by non-rookie runners (music plays again here).
My/our (yes, my husband is a rock star and usually races with my goals in mind) goal for this race was MGP. I’m not sure I want to officially state what that is, but you can figure it out from the splits below. (yes, my MGP scares me- Go Fast, Take Chances, right?) Since the race was a 25K, MGP meant we weren’t all out “racing” but we were testing the pace. Although I never felt “good” during the race, our first 9 miles were consistent and on target.
Disaster struck at the end of the 2nd loop (~9.6 miles) when my stomach revolted. Thankfully we were close to porta potties (loop course win= knowledge of water stops and potties). Batch grabbed my handheld from me and stopped to refill it while I dashed into the porta. I felt like I was taking forever, but he later told me it was only ~1:20 (see the 10 mile split- porta stop). I did NOT want to stop but I also did NOT want a poopy diaper. Batch encouraged the stop and then said ok, now you can focus, let’s go. We took off again, but I just couldn’t get going. Batch knows me VERY well and usually can pick the right “trick” to help me out. Sunday, there was no trick, I was just done. At first nothing specific “hurt”, I was just dizzy and felt like I could just collapse on the side of the road. Batch didn’t want to accept that. He encouraged, told me I was stronger than I was acting, even turned to getting mad at me. It didn’t work, except to get me to yell back at him. I’m hoping our exchanges were entertaining to someone on the course. He finally did what I asked him to do and left me (ran ahead). Sometimes when I’m struggling, I don’t want the added stress of feeling like I’m ruining someone else’s race on top of my own. I just needed to be alone in my head and try to get it straight.
I never did find that extra gear, although the dude who passed me only to blow a snot rocket on my leg did make me try (I wanted to return the favor- yes, I’m 2). It also took me a good 20 minutes post race to stop “seeing stars.” Overall, I know it’s not a bad time. It’s just not what I had in the mind for the day and it felt WAY harder than I would have liked.
Clearly something went very wrong for me on the nutrition front in this race. Sadly, I did nothing different so I’m a little confused. My body has been having trouble accepting gels mid-run so I’m searching for alternatives. I’ve considered all liquid fuel, but how do you carry enough for a marathon? If I go with liquid caloric fuel, how do I carry that and Nuun? Suggestions? Thoughts? Tips/Tricks?
Official Results: 2:09:24/13th AG/302 overall