Sunday, April 19, 2015

Keeping It Real (Biggest Loser)

Half Marathon #36

What a whirlwind of a weekend!  My sister visited from Oklahoma.  We had a non-stop weekend capped off by the Biggest Loser race in Mobile.  Before I get into my race recap, let me say that I am so proud of her.  She has suffered through 3 knee surgeries and is now running again.  She was 3 minutes faster than her last 5k and placed 4th in her age group.  Absolutely Amazing!  We had lots of time to chat about running on our road trip and she said something I want to always remember:  "I'd rather run 5 slow years than 1 fast one."  Amen.

Valerie, My Sister, and Me (BEFORE)

We arrived about 35 minutes prior to race time.  Packet pickup was easy.  Into the porta-potty line we go, where things started to go downhill.  That took 30 minutes.  While in line, I pinned on my bib, tied my shoes, stretched, did everything to get ready...or so I thought.  With just a minute to spare I scooted into the start crowd and made my way toward the front.  Go!

I wasn't even a half mile in when I realized I had put nothing, absolutely nothing, in my pocket.  No GU, no Salt Stick Caps.  At that point, I wasn't too worried about the GU...surely they will have that on course.  But I was extremely worried about not having salt in this humidity.

An unflattering, keeping it real photo

You see, all this past week has been a tropical weather disaster in the deep south and I knew it would be much worse on the coast.  It was around 75 degrees with 100% humidity and no breeze.  I did my best not to think about that and have fun.  I started out staying just behind the 9:00 pace group and stayed there maybe 3 or 4 miles.  By this point, I felt like I weighed 500 pounds.  Hello humidity.  Admittedly, I'm jealous of people who don't seem affected by it.  I'm simply in awe!

My fellow half fanatic and running buddy Valerie was there.  We were running together at about mile 5 when we realized a lady in front of us was running backwards!  Odd...we thought maybe she was stretching her knees or something.  But as we passed, we realized her eyes were rolling back in her head and she was making a weird breathing noise.  About that time, she went down and the runners right behind caught her, thank goodness.  It's at that point Valerie said "OK, this is now a training run."  Agreed!  Pushing in the heat and humidity would not be worth it.

Me and My Sister (AFTER)

Around mile 6 I realized my right foot was blistering on the ball.  I stopped a couple of times to rearrange my sock, but it didn't help.  I now have a half dollar sized blister after wearing my best pair of socks. This has happened to me 3 times and each time it was extremely humid.  My feet (and my entire body) were as wet as if it had been pouring rain. 

Next the cramps came, first in the feet and then in the calves.  I have no salt!  Also, there was no Gatorade from mile 6 to mile 12, only water.  I thought this was incredibly stupid race direction.  In this humidity?  You've got to be kidding.  We were given one GU only at mile 5. 




I tell you all of this not for sympathy and I'm not making excuses.  My first inclination was not to post at all.  But, I want to keep it real.  Some races are just tougher than others.  Much, much tougher.  I walked every time my calves cramped.  And yes, that was a lot.  For this I can only blame myself for forgetting my essentials.   

I posted my third worst half marathon time.
Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.
Just keeping it real...


Please visit Tara the gracious host of the Weekend Update as well as all participating bloggers.




40 comments:

  1. Sorry about all the cramping. I have not experienced that in a race yet although I experienced awful IT band and knee pain. I like your sister's saying!

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    1. I get IT band problems occasionally so I feel your pain - literally. My friend Valerie suffered with IT during this race.

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  2. Oh my goodness! Humidity is the absolute WORST. I have been there and I know that feeling of being like you have to take a bite out of the air and chew it before you can inhale. Great job also on pushing through the lack of salt/GU, the blisters, and the lack of Gatorade on the course (which is ridiculous - what race does that!?!?!?) Thank goodness there was someone there to catch that woman who passed out. Sometimes there are races that are just not set up for success, but you handled the conditions and all the challenges like a CHAMP.

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    1. I always try to just ignore the humidity, but I can't. It slaps me across the face. I've seen my share of people pass out at races, but she was the scariest one. The ambulance and firetruck came immediately.

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  3. I am a Florida runner so I know all about the humidity. I am glad you posted! It can't all be rainbows and butterflies that is how us beginners pick up tips! Sounds like you finished in style and that is amazing right there! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I run quite a bit in the panhandle too. It can be so humid there, even in winter. I'm not sure I would ever get used to it.

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  4. Wow! I'm in awe that you still were able to run the race in that much humidity without your fuel! I think I would have taking a DNF at mile .5, ha ha. I ran for the first time when it was hot this weekend and already decided that if it's hot/humid on race day, I'm just running mine for fun. It's just not worth it to make yourself sick/miserable or truly ill over. But the most important thing--your running dress is so cute!!!

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    1. I like the dress, but it is not what you should wear when you sweat off 10 pounds! It was weighted down and stuck to my legs. I'll definitely wear again on shorter and cooler runs. The lady that passed out was the scariest one I've seen so far. It's not worth that.

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  5. So sorry about the cramping, I haven't had that happen before, but I can imagine it would be one of the least fun things to have happen in a race! I never would have thought about taking salt, but I guess it makes sense if that is what helps in humidity.
    Love your running dress, and sometimes these harder runs are what make us even stronger for the future, the important part is you finished and judging by the pictures with a smile on your face! Congrats!!!

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    1. You go with the hand your dealt, which was not very good. I could have prevented some of it, but I certainly can't control the weather. You just have to accept it and keep plugging along. It's makes a memory you don't forget!

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  6. Ugh!!!! I had something similar happen to me once, and since then I always set EVERYHING out the night before, packed and ready, even before a long run. I so so so proud of you for finishing strong! Way to not give up!!!! xo

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    1. I got so flustered by the long porta potty line that I just didn't take the items out of my bag and put them on me. Never again!

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  7. Blech. So sorry about the humidity. That kind of weather kills my races. Scary to see someone go down like that. You look so stylish and pretty in your running dress!

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    1. The dress is not made for that nasty excessive 10 pounds of sweat, unfortunately. It's very comfy but stuck to my legs. If it had been cooler or there had been any wind, it would have been fine.

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  8. Good job sticking it out. I really struggle in heat and humidity, too. And I feel you on the cramps. I got a foot cramp while cycling in my duathlon this weekend (what!?! never had that before) and it did subside but was incredibly uncomfortable for a while. I think we all need a "bad" race now and then so we can truly appreciate the good performances.

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    1. It definitely makes for an experience you don't forget. I think I'm done with halves until fall...maybe.

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  9. Glad your sister is doing so well after 3 knee surgeries. Congrats to you both on finishing in humid conditions!

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    1. Thanks! The docs told her she would never run again. Um, yeah.

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  10. Well we both didn't have our best races. I too got a big blister on the ball of my foot and it killed me the WHOLE race. That sucked. But I'm trying to forget about it...

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    1. What are the odds? Weird. It was not my day for sure! I hate that you suffered too. Here's to the next one!

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  11. Sorry to hear you didn't have the proper fuel throughout the race! Way to stick it out in the heat and humidity. I hear ya when you say some races are tougher than others. So true. Keep on running and kudos to your sister for coming back to running after 3 knee surgeries!

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    1. Isn't that amazing? They said she would never run again. She doesn't care about speed...just wants to be out there!

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  12. Ugh to the heat and humidity! but you did look really cute in that dress! :)

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    1. Apparently, the dress is not made for that much SWEAT. It is very comfy but I'll have to wear it at the beach or maybe in cooler, short races. It clung -- which added to my "ugh" level.

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  13. We don't have humidity like that where I live but I grew up in Maine where it can get bad in the summer. Thanks for posting, not all races go as we would like !

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    1. No humidity would be wonderful! Actually a lot of races don't go exactly as planned. What counts is how you handle it.

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  14. Sorry about the cramping and the humidity. Thanks for sharing and kudos for pushing through. Congrats to you and your sister.

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  15. The dress is adorable :) it'll be a fun summer dress if you didn't love running in it. It would have scared me to see someone dropping like that!
    That stinks you felt so bad, I hate those tough runs! I had the one last year in Danville, I was sick behind a bush, just miserable took me 2.5 hours, I was tempted at the end to not cross the line so my time wouldn't be forever there, but then I came to my senses, it's what happened, they can't ll be great ones. It's a very hard to take thing though....I feel your pain.
    Congrats to your sister! That is so awesome she is running again!
    I am always envious too of those who just fly in the humidity! Congrats on hanging in there and having a good attitude!

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    1. What made you sick? The heat? I love this course and wanted to post a good time. But, I can't control the weather and apparently my brain either...the salt caps were an epic fail. I got really worried and flustered about missing the start in the P/P line and simply forgot. They were in a bag that I was holding. Duh.

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  16. Eek sorry you had such a tough race! Running in the humidity is no joke and I'm glad that you finished safely. I always re-adjust my goals when the temperatures are unsafe! Love your cute little outfit though!

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    1. I actually saw two runners down in my little bubble of space. It makes you wonder what the total number was.

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  17. Ugh, this is always so scary to me and I'm the world's worst at trying to "push through" no matter what the conditions are during a training run or race. I'm so glad y'all were smart and didn't hurt yourselves; take care and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Great reminder to be kind to myself! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog!

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    1. As you know, it just takes all the energy right out of you! When the runner when down I just thought...it's not worth it. And then I ended up with cramps and blisters so I couldn't have done anything more. I always enjoy the Monday link.

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  18. I'm so sorry you had a tough race! I'm so glad to hear that you came through in the heat and humidity okay though. Hope your blister heals up quickly.

    And congratulations to your sister on her awesome race!!

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    1. Thank you. It was definitely a humbling experience. I need to always remember to respect that distance.

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  19. Aww, I love what your sister said about running slow vs fast! And I love that you have that mindset and are still grateful to be able to race even though it was a crap show! Cool medal... but are they not the best race organizers? I am surprised by the no Gatorade thing!

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    1. I've done their races before with no grievances. Had it been 40 degrees, I wouldn't have even noticed the lack of Gatorade.

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  20. Congrats on the run! In Jan 2015, you wrote that you had started using SaltStick Caps, but didn't know if they did anything, but you were too afraid not to use them. Looks like this event was an unexpected test! I'm guessing that SaltStick Caps will be in your gear bag in the future.....

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    1. Now, I know for sure. The trick is to take them out of my bag and put them in my pocket. Ha!

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