Monday, August 22, 2016

AFC Half Marathon

I first ran the AFC half marathon in San Diego right after college. I ran a 1:53. Since I've stopped racing triathlon and started focusing more on running I was excited to see what I could do at this race many years later. My Dad holds this race course family PR of 1:27 so naturally, the #1 goal was to take that down, which I was confident would happen. I also got old and became a "masters" runner this year so I was excited to try to rank among those other fast women.

Training has been going well. I've been consistent. I've been nailing my intervals week after week. And this was one of the first chances to see where my fitness is heading into my fall marathon. The course is hard, but I like hard courses.

From the gun everything felt way harder than it should. I reminded myself it might take a bit longer to feel good since I've been training a lot. This is normal for me. The downhill felt hard. This isn't normal. Around mile 5 a guy caught up to me and we ran side by side for a bit. The effort felt hard, but I held on. After a bit I figured perhaps I should check my watch to make sure I wasn't going to implode my race. It felt like we might be running 6s. I looked down and we were running 7:15s. That was my first indicator something was definitely not working. I ate a gel with caffeine. And I got slower. Within another mile I couldn't hold 8s. Now I really knew something was wrong, but I had no idea what. Frustrating!

Eric was on course on a bike and around my 8 I started walking and told him I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to the finish, I felt awful.

Action shot - of me walking.
I know races are hard. I was prepared for my legs to hurt and the effort to feel barely sustainable. I was not prepared to want to lay down on the sidewalk and nap mid-race.

I like this photo - I had wanted to cry right before this was taken. A cop on course asked me if I was ok and I told her I'd be fine. And then she said "Well you better start running then before I have to give you a ticket for going too slow!" It made me laugh. And run again.

Photo: K.C. Alfred San Diego Union Tribune

My friend Payton caught me around mile 11 and it was nice to have company and try to help her get her PR. I'm sure she also got me to the finish line way faster than if I had kept walking.

About an hour post race I had the chills and a fever and spent the rest of the day in bed. Turns out you can actually get the flu on race morning but not realize you are getting sick until the race finishes. I was happier once I realized I was sick because it solved my problem of trying to figure out why my race was a complete disaster.

For now it's time to rest up and kill whatever bug is invading my body, then back to training. I'm planning on racing some of the San Diego dirt dog cross country races before my marathon October 16.