Monday, August 27, 2012

mini memoir of an unlucky racer...

 If you don't enjoy race recaps, you'll want to skip this post. =)
Well, first of all, I don't consider myself to be superstitious.  I say that, but when I saw the number thirteen on the list by my name, I was surprised they included it.  You know...normally high rises don't have that floor listed on the elevator buttons because guests balk at staying on that floor...even though the 14th button takes guests to the 13th floor anyway. =)  I'm someone that says "good luck" and then I want to take it back because I believe there is more to it than lucky or unlucky.  I think I've said enough about that.  On to the memoir I'm sure you are anticipating.
 I signed up for this half when the Muncie half got shortened.  It was an all women's event which is much more laid back and cooperative.  Both good things as I didn't continue my training rigorously at all between the two events.

Showing off that number 13-"good morning!" Alarm went off at 5a
 just in case you want to see the only other picture I got...

First off the swim (1.2 miles)  I had to clear my goggles of water twice which I don't normally have issues with during a race because I tighten them down more than normal for events.  Then my timing chip velcro started to come loose and drag in the water for some reason.  I had to stop and try to fix it under water three times.  Annoying.  Finished in 50 minutes which is a good time for me.  =)  

Next up the bike (56 miles)  I jumped onto the bike with vigor and followed the spray painted markers on roads I'd never seen before.  They had run out of half distance maps that morning...so I just watched for the flags and went where people pointed.  There was only two other bikers around and I started to get down about being way behind.  I biked behind a pacer truck for 15 miles and was happy it was breaking the wind for me.  Then someone passes me and the truck paced for her.  I ate one Bonk Braker bar and slurped down lots of fluids along the first 30 mile loop and thought that was enough.  Wrong.  I looked up the calories burned when I got home and the bike leg alone evaporated over 2,000.  The swim stole 600.  The bar I ate only had 225 calories in it.  I was out of food and there were only fluids at the aid stations for this race.  I dropped my salt tabs trying to open them so one bottle of HEED was my only electrolyte replacement until the run.  A fast biker passed me with a nifty alien shaped helmet that helps air flow.  I assumed she had lapped me.  Right after that, I came to a split and yelled at the director that I had gone thirty, now what.  He pointed straight ahead, the fast legit looking biker that had just passed me turned right.  I didn't question I had another loop straight ahead if she was going that way to the finish.  Wrong.  I biked a whole mile to the park entrance and knew it was wrong since that was the finish.  I had to get off my bike and ask another director what to do. AKA, waste of time. Biked a mile back up a hill to the route split and saw a bunch of bikers making the turn I had missed.  Bikers doing the same race I was.  I wanted to cry.  I hadn't been miles behind...I had actually, for the first time in my life, been a little bit ahead of the main pack.  I wish I could have kicked it into high gear and regained some ground...but I was sad and out of food.  Not a good combination for me. Averaged 17miles/hour on hilly course  (I hate hills as I don't train on them).  (The volunteer (who thought I was doing the olympic distance race) that pointed me the wrong way and the race director apologized for the mix up later, I don't want to sound like I'm snobby like I don't appreciate all the effort that went into making the event happen.  It was a well organized event.)

The run (13 miles)  The wrong turn on the bike got me emotionally raw but the run killed my race.  I had one thing to be careful of.  I had bruised a bone in the font of my right foot from beach running with my mom because I didn't wear shoes.  It felt fine, but I was monitoring it.  Not even a mile in, I looked left as a car passed really close to the shoulder where I was running.  Pain shot up my right leg and through my foot.  I looked down in time to see a a good sized green walnut roll off the road from under my shoe.  SERIOUSLY.  How did I not see a walnut.  They're huge-should have seen the thing a mile off.  I favored my left foot for a few miles...then my left foot started to complain at the uneven gate.  The pain wasn't bad, just warning...like, be careful or you'll be sorry.  I got to an aid station with food and realized how hungry I was.  I was like "I'll have one of those, and one of those and that...and I'll take a bunch of grapes with me for the road thanks."  I crammed all of this into my stomach at once knowing it was not advisable while running, but I didn't care at that point, I had waited hours too long to be rational.  I did care several miles later when my stomach locked down and cramped.  I walked for a little while thinking it would digest and I could run again.  It didn't-my stomach wasn't sure what I wanted anymore.  The pain only stopped when I started running again-I think the food just sat there undigested after that.  Then the forecasted heat kicked in reaching something over 90 degrees.  Water water water.  Feet still didn't feel great so I slowed way down- I set my mind to just finish before the cut off time and not kill myself or sustain an injury.  Other racers around me were alternating between walking and running too, so my pacers weren't motivating me forward passed my limits at all.  I kept an eye on my watch and walked if I needed to and then ran again.  I even took little breaks to chat with the volunteers at aide stations since I wasn't in speedy race mode anymore.  I did finish the race with a healthy buffer before the cut off time.  I won't be bragging about my race times though that's for sure.  You are not allowed to look them up-seriously (not serious seriously...I'll be embarrassed seriously). =)

          

12 comments:

Heather Hoerr said...

I"m just impressed that you trained for the race and completed it! good job :)

J Gutwein said...

Great job An.. Luke remembered you were competing this weekend and asked me about it.. You are a big deal hehe.. ;)!

L, Ann and boys said...

actually, that is a big deal. =) Tell him thanks for thinking of me. =)

Ashton said...

Sorry, Ann. That sounds frustrating after all the time spent training. But still cool that you did it.

L, Ann and boys said...

Some of the fastest racers were in their 40s...looks like I have time to figure out my nutrition and routes for next time. ;) Though next time will probably be an olympic not half...or at least a course with less hills. =)

AnRene`

emilykate said...

I echo the others...impressive that you trained and put the time and effort in! But maybe 13 is 'unlucky' after all...:)

Annette Bahler said...

I confess I must be your mom, I actually teared up when I read your mile out of the way and then realizing you were AHEAD not behind. hehe I need some dark chocolate and I will be fine. Great job on a great finish. And- one of my favorite memories was the beach run in the rain with you! love momsie

teresa said...

congrats for working thru the obstacles and finishing the race.

also love the comment from your mom. =)

J and A said...

Awww, An, so sorry to hear about this race. We all have bad ones.I once missed a turn out in the desert and ran 2mi more then I should have- sad thing is, others followed me :)

Still proud of you for finishing, that's whats important. And just think, if you do it again next year, you will be better prepared and have a great PR!

L, Ann and boys said...

Amber-
It's true, if I ever do another, it will have to be better which is really nice. ;)

L, Ann and boys said...

Amber-
It's true, if I ever do another, it will have to be better which is really nice. ;)

Marcy said...

A half iron-man?! I am so impressed with your strength! Congratulations on a great job amongst all the obstacles!! What a feat to have your name under :)