Half Marathon Race Report
I went into the Jungle without any real expectations. I had every intention of creating one, by looking up my finish time from last year’s race, but simply did not get around to it. A bout of diarrhea and stomach cramping kept me otherwise occupied.
I laid my race gear out the night before and somehow managed a good night’s sleep. I woke on race day with lingering stomach cramping and a feeling of uneasiness. Who knew what the day would bring?
Cindy and I drove to the race, milled about for a bit, and found our places in the line up. The weather, a perfect combination of cool and sunshine, would not last. Fortunately, we’d be done long before it really heated up.
Once again, I was charged to run by feel alone. There would be no making eye contact with Ms. Garminia (although I allowed her to tag along). The steep hill, within the first ¼ mile, got me huffing and puffing right off the bat. I was annoyed in having to listen to it along with everyone else’s heavy breathing and blaring iPods.
By the first mile marker, I was passing and getting passed. The race was on and I was settling in to an “easy” pace — put to the test by a bit of banter with the runners beside me. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be in the mood to talk back. *what ever*
The race traveled past places familiar and memory-filled. We passed the street I lived on early in my college days, when I was trying to get accepted into nursing school. We passed a restaurant that my dad and I had dinner at many years ago. We also passed the gym where L took me swimming late last year. I couldn’t help but think of how awe struck I was with him as he got out of his car to meet me. *sigh*
Downing a GU, I moved along, leaving the memories behind me and setting out to create new ones. A girl-in-pink missed the turn as the race curved left in switch-back fashion. I hoped to catch and pass her in spite of the ¼ mile (or so) advantage.
Now, a third of the way through the race, I wondered if it made sense to increase to “moderate” pace. I quickly decided against it but made sure that I wasn’t letting my pace fall into a lull. Although tempted, I resisted the urge to check my watch.
My legs were getting heavy as I approached the Mile 9 marker. My stomach was beginning to feel full and I was more aware of the cramps. I downed another GU and contemplated a potty stop at the next opportunity. By the time I arrived, however, I’d convinced myself that I didn’t “need” to go and ran past hoping my judgment was correct.
We mixed in with the end of the 10K runners before turning away from the finish and onto the dirt portion of the run. Here, you can see who is ahead of you on this out-and-back segment of the race course. This was where I picked up the pace, or tried to. The two-way traffic made passing a bit difficult.
On the way back, however, I made room for myself as I called ahead, “On your left.” The sea parted. Some followed and others did not. I high-fived Cindy on the way past and, with a mile to go, I picked up the pace a little more. Then, when my feet hit the track, I turned it up as much as could. And, yes, I did pass said girl-in-pink in the final mile.
Official time: 2:02:50
I was happy for the reprieve in symptoms — which resumed shortly after crossing the finish line. As port-o-potties go, this event has the nicest smelling ones I’ve experienced to date. After returning home, I spent the rest of the day in either the bathroom or in bed.