Another half marathon was run today, and it may have been my most difficult since my first one. This had nothing to do with the course, it was all me. The Folsom Blues Half Marathon was my 27th marathon and the second time I have run this race.
This race is special because it is close to my house, it actually runs by my work, and I ran my Personal Record (PR) there last year. Not only that, it is the second time they have ran this race, and I am trying to be a legacy runner.
I had been training for this, not only getting in longer runs, but faster runs. I had worked my way up to 5.5 miles on my morning runs and trying to keep my pace below (or at least around) a 7 min mile.
This race also starts with a pretty decent downhill run. It drops about 200 feet in the first 2.5 miles. That is how I got my PR last time.
On race morning, I woke up at 5:30am and got ready for the race. I let my family sleep in. I also got myself to re-nourish myself after the race. The Dashing Son had a soccer game at 10am, two hours after the start of my race. And by chance, the field was 13 miles from the finish line by car. I was hoping to break the marathon world record, in a duathlon sense.
I had to force down my breakfast of peanut butter and honey. I had this issue at my marathon. I usually don’t eat much before my runs, if anything, so I didn’t think anything about it. I had some tea, some water, and I made my usual ZipFizz drink (it’s a low calorie energy drink). Everything was going okay, but I had some regurgitation issue. I got it to stay down and got in the car.
The drive to the start took me about 15 minutes, and I parked close to the finish so I could drive off as soon as I was done. I got my shoes on and other stuff ready in the car, but when I got out of the car, I didn’t feel so good. I walked over the finish line port-a-potties, but didn’t quite make it. I ended up throwing up in a storm drain. Twice.
I went over to the port-a-potties again, and on the way, I threw up in my mouth. Not fun. I made it to the potties, and got rid of it. I felt quite a bit better. I was hoping it was just nerves, though I wasn’t really nervous.
The finish line was two miles from the start line, the short way. Obviously, it was 13.1 miles the long way. I did an easy two mile run to warm up.
At the start line, I hit the port-a-potties again, but not to throw up. I found that a wobbly port-a-potty is quite scary.
I ran into a few friends at the start line as well. I was also feeling much better. I decided to go for another PR. At the start line, I lined up in the fast group, and took off like a bullet. During the downhill run, I did quite well. I even managed a sub-6:30 mile during my second mile. By mile 2.5, I was at the bottom of the hills, down by the lake. I decided to keep pushing for the first 5k, and managed a 21 minute 5k.
That was a bad idea.
Luckily, the first aid station was right at the 5k. So, I took a walk break. Last year, I ran until mile 7.5, not this year. I kept a decent pace for a few more miles, but I was losing ground quickly. I was taking more and more walk breaks, and the hills were killing me. I passed through the half-way mark, grabbed some water, and then nearly threw up again. The toughest part is at mile 7.5 when we had to climb from the river’s edge up to the bridge over the river. A fairly hearty climb. I walked it. At the top, this volunteer pretty told me to get the buck moving (she didn’t say buck), she grabbed my hand and started dragging me down the hill. I needed that. I ran down that hill, and around mile 8.5, I saw a good friend, and demanded a hug. I needed that.
You know who you are, thanks.
I hit the 10.1 mile mark at 1:21. I did the first 3.1 miles in 21 minutes, the next 7 miles in an hour. That should tell you how much I had slowed down.
The last 3.1 miles were even worse. I felt like crap, my legs were hurting, and there were more hills. Some were down, but it sure felt like a lot more were uphill. I did the last 3.1 miles in about 27 minutes. I managed to push the last 0.1 miles. I actually managed my second fasted half marathon this year. But it really hurt.
I got my medal, my water, some food, and went straight to my car.
I left my Garmin on as I drove. I made it the 13 miles to the soccer field in about 22 minutes. A full marathon in about 2:10. Not bad.
I ate some grapes and had some chocolate milk. And it seemed like everything was going okay. The Dashing Son lost his soccer game, but he had fun and played well. We went home, and I took an ice bath. We went to lunch, and on the way there, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to eat anything. My stomach was not doing well.
Now, as I write this, 12 hours after the start of the race, I haven’t eaten anything since those grapes. My stomach is still off, and my throat hurts. I am hoping that my stomach gets better by tomorrow. But I am going to try to get some toast in my system in a few minutes. Of course, I just heard the Dashing Son hacking in the bathroom. He is going to be sick tomorrow. Hopefully, this is a 24 hour thing.
The race was put on just as good as it was last year. The Gatorade was a bit strong, and the Johnny Cash tribute bands were pretty cool. Like last year, they played Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag” to start the race instead of the Star Spangled Banner. I still think they should do both. The national anthem is important. Overall, it was a good race, and I am hoping that next year, I won’t be sick.