It could have been a number of things...
1. I just got back from a 10 day vacation in Scotland and Ireland exactly a week prior.
2. I have been trying to shed the vacation weight that I gained, so all last week, I ate very STRICT and very light.
3. In addition to the beer and shortbread weight from vacation, I'm holding onto a couple of extra pounds from winter/tax season.
4. The vegetarian choices for dinner the night before that was so graciously put together and offered for free.. were pretty slim, forcing me to buy a bag of chex mix at 10pm on Friday night to get in some calories and carbs before the race.
5. The weather was overcast, but humid.
6. My hamstrings were killing me Friday and Saturday after getting back into my Ashtanga Yoga Practice on Thursday night after a 10 day vacation.
But ultimately, the only reason that Saturday sucked ass, is because I'm an idiot.
But, allow me to back up...
So, everything about this race was awesome. Carolyn is one of my favorite friends and running partners, so the 4 hour drive on Friday flew by as we chatted. Everything went off without a hitch. We got checked into the hotel, picked up our packets at the expo, did some shopping in downtown Indy, had a quick, late lunch, and even had time to attempt a half hour nap, before it was time to head out for dinner.
Without going too much into it, Carolyn has been running the Indy Mini Marathon for years as apart of a team, and she invited me to run with the team this year. Which basically meant... meeting cool, wayyy smart people, getting a free tech tee as our team shirt and free food and booze. I mean... who could say no?
So we met up with the team for dinner and it was lovely. Everyone was extremely nice to me, even though I was a complete outsider and obvious freeloader.
When we got back to the hotel after dinner, we stopped in the hotel gift shop and picked up some snacks. We were still hungry from dinner. We finally got tucked into bed around 11, I'd guess and had our alarms set for 5:45.
I slept really well and woke up excited and ready to go!
Admittedly, I was a little nervous about this race. I'm not the biggest fan of running in groups. You see... people annoy me. The heavy breathers, the loud gossipers, the first time excited newbies, people running 4+ wide, etc. It's just not my favorite and this race is billed as the biggest half marathon in the country. Yes, the BIGGEST half marathon. (I know, I didn't believe it either). 35,000 people. Running for 13.1 miles. Not my ideal.
We got into our corral (wayyyy back in L). And I was pleasantly surprised that there was actually quite a bit of room. One of the things that they got right at this race, was the number of corrals to runners. We were nice and spread out. The corrals went all the way to Z!!!
That was the good news... the bad news is that I was totally comfortable temperature-wise at the start. Like... not cold at all. Ugh. Hellloooo summer racing!
The race started and as usual in the first few miles.. I felt okay... not great, but okay. And with every mile that clicked by I said to myself... oh, I'll feel better by the next mile.
Except... I never did. In fact, I started feeling worse after every mile. It's hard to explain, it wasn't specifically my legs, it wasn't specifically my head... it was just a shitty, shitty run. Which is a shame, because the race was awesome!!! There were plenty of fluid stops (which I used every single one!), we got to run on the Indy 500 track, and it was super flat and generally a good weather day for a May race. It was a bit warm for my tastes, but mostly overcast and it did start sprinkling rain by the end of the race.
Carolyn was feeling awesome and it was very obvious that I was holding her back... I finally convinced her to go on without me at mile 10. I just knew I couldn't push anything at the end.
The last mile sucked. I kept telling myself to run faster to get it over with... except I couldn't. It was a strange feeling for me in a half marathon.
By the time I finished and got my medal and tried to make my way into the park where the after race was, I was so nauseous and the huge group of people trying to get into the park was making me sicker. It was like all the people were making me feel seasick.
Finally, I got to the meet up place where our team was, and Carolyn was standing there looking like she'd just ran 2 or 3 miles or something. She did great! She felt great and she ran great and I felt like such a freaking loser that I held her back and couldn't finish the race with her. I was proud and happy for her though.
After standing around for a little while, it started raining harder and we headed out. And just when I thought that running a shitty race for 2:13 was bad... I realized the rough day wasn't over quite yet. In fact, I felt worse AFTER the race, than I felt during the race. Every step made me feel like I was going to throw up. I felt so awful. We had to walk back very slowly, including a pit stop along the way.
It was terrible, I haven't felt that awful in a long time... dizzy, cold, nauseous... nothing helped. I squatted down in the shower several times thinking that I was going to hurl. This feeling lasted for about 90 minutes after the race. Finally, I ate some popcorn and started to feel a little better and by the time we got to our team lunch.. I was feeling mostly like myself.
It was a horrible, shitty, terrible race and after-race for me. Easily the worst I've ever felt in a half marathon and possibly in any race (and after any race).
But, despite that... it was really fun and I recommend the race to everyone! They do a great job with it! And it was great to see my running partner do so well, even though we hadn't really trained much for it. And the best thing that came from the race is the fact that I am SO ready to train now. I mean... I don't give a shit about my time.. 2:13? Fine. What bothers me is that I had such an awful race. That I was so poorly prepared and under trained (the excuses that I'm sticking with). And I NEVER want to feel that way again. Not for 13 miles, not for 3 miles and certainly not for 26.2 miles.
So, the silver lining is that I think this is finally the motivation I need to get my ass in gear! And I'm honestly excited about that...
I'll post the pictures once I see some.. for now.. here's a pic of the long sleeve tech tee that we got: