This past Saturday was the half that I had been “training” for since January. In case you missed it, I put training in quotes because while I did sign up for a training program with a group, I also spent about a month with a chest cold and then suffered from an extreme lack of motivation.
But…I had signed up for it and since my sister was coming up to run it, I was going to suffer through it.
She came up on Friday and after a ton of back and forth we took her to our favorite noodle place, Mecha. We all ate way too much and went to bed stuffed.
The half started at 8 but we needed to pick up our bibs between 6:30-7:30. My sis had wanted to have time to run a couple miles beforehand, so we planned to get there at 7. Silly me hadn’t mapped out the distance before hand and while I thought it would take 30 minutes, the GPS was saying 45, so we were late to start. Then when we got there we sat in race traffic trying to get to the parking lot. Eventually we gave up and just parked on a side street.
It was chilly. I think the actual temp was around 30 or 32. I hemmed and hawed on what to wear and even brought alternates with me to the race. That turned out to be a good thing because about 15 minutes before the start I decided to change my top.
It’s a small race (maybe 500-600 people) so there were no corrals or anything formal. We headed out to the start. My sister to the front and me to the back.
I knew it was a hilly course, but since I like hills I wasn’t too worried. I also had heard that the hills were in the middle, which sounded OK to me. Off we went!
I felt OK, although I did periodically wonder how I was going to finish and I set mini-goals for myself. Like run 6 without walking, or run 4 and then walk for a minute. They kept changing so I didn’t really stick to any of them.
Miles 1-3 were flat and easy, along the shore. Then we took a right turn right into a hill. I powered through the hill and into a water stop. At that water stop I made the decision that i’d take water at every stop and walk it. At my last half I didn’t have enough water so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen this time.
After that first hill was a nice downhill and then the real hills came. I want to say there were probably 5 or 6 of them and they were insane. As I came to the hills I had to ask myself if I should run them. I knew I could run them but I also knew that I was way under-trained and successfully running a hill would probably mean I’d pay the price later in the race. So I made the big decision to walk the big hills. That’s a decision I wouldn’t normally make, but I went with it, since the goal here was to finish and not be too miserable.
Around mile 6 my stomach started gurgling and I actually had to take advantage of the porta-potty at the 6.5 water stop. Unfortunately there was a cop ahead of me, so I had to wait for him too. I felt better after that and felt somewhat OK till about mile 10.5 when everything started to hurt. At that point I alternated between running and walking. I met up with my sister somewhere around 11 or 11.5 and she ran/walked with me for a bit. It was really hard last 2 miles, but I pushed through it and did manage to finish.
I ended up finishing about 10-15 minutes slower than my last half, which was OK considering I was fully prepared for that one and not at all for this one.
Yes, I would have loved to somehow magically sail in and run an awesome race, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The goal of this race was literally to finish in one piece. Not at all glamorous, but still a goal. It was a learning experience. 🙂
Now my sister on the other hand, she is AMAZING and ended up finishing as the 4th woman and the 1st in her age group. Her time was something like 1:29:29. So impressive! She blows me away with her running skill.
After the race we headed out for pizza and cocktails and then I took my sister to the train station and she headed home. The rest of my day was slow moving and a little lazy and I needed to pack.
Because right now i’m in China! (I didn’t take many pictures to begin with but any of them are on my personal phone, which is off while i’m here.)
From the time I left my parent’s house for the airport to when I arrived at my hotel in Shanghai took about 26 hours. Ugh! I flew to Hong Kong (15 hours) and then had a 2+ hour layover before my flight to Shanghai. That flight ended up being delayed and then it took over an hour to get through customs. Ugh!
Thankfully I scheduled today as a flex-day, meaning there wasn’t anything I HAD to do. Jet lag hit me pretty hard and I haven’t even left the hotel room all day. Fresh start tomorrow is what I’m hoping for.
And by the way, you can’t use Google, gmail, facebook, or instagram in China. So odd. I’m completely lost without Google Maps, especially in a new city. Thankfully my work phone is an iphone so there are no issues there.
I’m off to order room service for dinner and then call it a night in hopes of feeling better tomorrow.
Have a great week! Will try to post some photos when I can.