Sunday, March 25, 2012

Look At That Honey MaMa-She Don't Give A Sh!t

How do you know you are running your first  half marathon that is super hilly and you did not fuel correctly?  Could it be that you are delirious and in your mind you call yourself Honey MaMa and are laughing out loud because this is your internal conversation:

"Look at that Honey Mama-she's crazy-she don't give a sh!t-She just attacks those hills-disgusting-oh look-there she is running in slow-motion"

Clearly that is not how the story goes, but that played over and over and over in my head as I ran up yet another hill making the count at least 172-and there are still plenty left to go.

Just in case you don't know what I am talking about and you want to know what the fuss is all about- Here You Go

So here we are in a step-back week in training.  After last weeks 18mi run the reward for getting ready for a 20mi run next weekend is a 14mi run.  I had not yet run and "official" Half Marathon and I thought it might be an important step in the training process.  Not all, but most take the logical progression of 5k-10k-something bigger-Half Marathon-Full Marathon.  I being the genius (or should I say Crazy F@#K) I am decided to toss conventional wisdom aside and sign up for the Full Monty right off the bat.  This was basically the last weekend I had to fit in a Half and I am glad that I did.  I learned many things along the way...some I knew but down played and other things were a complete surprise.  Like for example:  I feel the most powerful and strong when I am running and I look down and see my shadow in front of me.  I can see my ponytail swinging from side to side and for some reason it feels like my feet barely touch the ground.  Now if only I could pocket that sunshine for every run right?!

Let's start with some positives as there are many.  I also like to think of myself as a positive person.  I don't prefer to dwell on the bad but today I did have a few low moments that put a bit of a cloud over my day.  Positive first though.

  • Today I ran my first Half Marathon in just a touch over 2:01.  Not bad at all for a first time attempt.  As this was my first-it was an instant PR, which I forgot about until just now!  Double yay!!
  • I have not yet had my "Runiversary" I have been back at running for well under a year and when I first laced back up I could not even run a full mile in under 10:30min.  Now I run 13 straight for 9:11mm average.
  • I don't hurt.  This amazes me the most.  Nothing is tight, nothing is knotted, nothing is fatigued.  I truly feel the same as I did the other day after 4mi.  This may be a different story tomorrow, but for now let's go with it.
  • I got to put the 13.1 magnet on the back of my car.  Even though I had run 13mi before, I still would not concede that I was a Half Marathoner.
  • I was able to run the race I should have run.  Even though in a few lines I am going to tell you how disappointed I was today, the reality of it is I ran the race the way I should have to keep me in the perfect condition for the real deal in less than a month.

So now let's talk about my disappointment.  First I want to say that as I crossed the finish line I was elated.  I finished strong and healthy-goal accomplished!  My negativity did not start until I walked into the door at home.  It was like a scene straight out of Lord Of The Flies.  My son was literally bouncing off things still in his PJ's, screaming like a wild banshee.  My daughter was not screaming (which almost scared me more) but she was walking around with no pants on.  This I came to find out was because she had just gone potty.  And last but not least my husband was on the couch wrapped in a blanket and looked pretty much like the living dead.  Now before you get all worried that some crazy illness is going around our house-you will be happy to know that No he was not sick that Yes he was just hungover.

A few things here-I am not bashing my husband, so please don't do so either.  He is a great guy who works his tail off for us and honestly puts my running needs in front of his need for a release without batting an eye.  He very seldom goes out for beers with his buddies and if/when he does, he is very responsible about it.  Except every once in awhile.  Now I would like to blame Mr. W as it seems to be a recurring theme. The last time the Hubs felt this way it was also after a night with Mr. W.  I think I see a pattern here.

If you are familiar with my husband-you are already laughing at the fact that he was in the condition he was and he had to take care of our two wild toddlers.  If you have not had the great fun of meeting my husband's hangover-let's just say he puts up a good fight with the Exorcist and in fact I would say beats Reagan hands down in the spewing department.  Quite frankly I have never met anyone who gets hangovers as bad as my dear husband.  Not only is there a lot of vomit involved, but it lasts pretty much all day rendering him completely useless.  This by the way was the first time he has had to care for the kids in this shape-I don't think I have to add, I am pretty sure this will be the last!

So back to me. I walk into this mad house and instantly the wind goes out of my sails.  Instead of basking in my glory and rehashing every mile to the hubs-I in fact get the honor of getting the house back to order.  He has fed them, but certainly hasn't taken them out for their walk yet so that is first on the list.  So super quick shower-no time for ice- throw on some comfies and get the kids in the car.  Food??  Refuel?? No time (ugh)  Although I did get some more water to drink which I really needed.  Load them up and start to drive.  It also happened to be nap time and there was no way I was going to get them both to sleep-oh God how I WISH I could have napped-so a long drive into the mountains it was.  They both calmed down and fell asleep and that is when I started going over the race in my head and started thinking of all the things I could have should have done.

Let's take a look at the splits and go over it shall we:

Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Pace
Best Pace

As you can plainly see I fell apart going into mile 8-half way.  You automatically think Oh you went out too fast.  Maybe, but honestly it didn't feel like it.  It felt very comfortable.  Plus I really focussed on not going out out guns blazing.  I held back from the bob and weave and found a comfortable outside line.  I actually was pacing behind another female runner and we were really in a groove.  My breathing was even-even up the hill climbs.
I could tell pretty quickly that I was not fueled properly.  In fact I would say that I felt dehydrated within the first mile!  Not a good way to start a 13mi run.  I also ended up needing a lot more Gu than I would have ever guessed.  Thank goodness I brought along my running belt stocked with Gu and one 10oz. bottle of Nuun.  There is NO WAY I would have finished running if I did not have those things along.  I usually shoot for Gu about every 4mi or so.  Today I needed on at mile 3, 6, 8, and 11.5.  Mile 8 was tough, not only did I take a Gu, I also felt something in my shin.  Being the nervous Nelly I am about injuries I pulled it over and stretched and mentally decided to slow down.  This is where I am pissed at myself.  If i wouldn't have mental broke down right there, I could have finished in under 2hrs.  And don't doubt-it was a mental give-up.  I can wrap it up in any pretty box I want, but the reality of it is I know I still had enough in me that I could have given just that little bit more to have a sub 2hr finish.

Oh well.  I know now how important fueling my body the day before is.  This has bee a repeating theme during this entire training-must eat better-must get more food-Now I know the reality is I need to stop talking about it and just make sure that I do it or I will bonk out there for real during my full.  I don't know how much Gu you can take before you totally loose it, but I am pretty sure that every 2-3mi for 26mi would not be a good idea!

On another happy note-as I was walking away from the finish line, the kids teacher from toddler group happened to be there and she spotted me.  My frazzled brain took a minute, but I was so happy to see a familiar face.  She gave me a hug and I started sobbing (yes I was sobbing as I finished too) just for a minute but I was so thankful to see a face that was happy for me.  I ran today alone as I have many times before, but having the family at the 12 k's of Christmas made me realize I kind of like having a support crew with me.  Logistically this race was a nightmare so I had no expectations of the family coming.

Well that seem like that's it.  Maybe I am just tired because there sure seems like more.  OH!  That Stupid iPod!!!!  I have vowed before I was not going to run with it-but then it was so awesome for my 18mi run, I thought I was back on the saddle with it.  NOPE!!  I was so irritated with my playlist I wanted to rip the thing off my body and send it over the cliff into the water!  My jury is still out as to wether or not I bring it for the full.  I think I would do better without it, but I get scared that I will get to a mentally tough spot and would find some comfort in my tunes.  AGH  I don't know :P
Self portrait pre-race with my BAMR shirt

My new magnet-looks more like I need a car wash!  You may not be able to see it, but the sticker  in the window is "my sport is your sports punishment"  I have always loved that quote and I got the sticker for free at the expo for being the 100th credit card customer!  See Already a winner!!


  1. You did great today Sarah! Let me know if you plan to do your 20 on Sat or Sun.

  2. I can't breath. I was laughing so hard at the first part of your post. And then I watched the video..... You go, HoneyMama. :)

    Remember the VERY first time you ran 13.1 miles? I don't have your Garmin file for it, but I'm pretty sure it took you a lot longer... and on nearly flat ground.

    I am so proud of you for finishing your first half-marathon race. :) It's a damn good time, and knowing what you know now, it only means you'll do better next time.