Yesterday morning, I woke up after a long day of walking and about 5 hours of sleep, and decided to go on a little run by the water.
Saturday, we were out in San Francisco all day, and I managed not to walk too too much. Then we decided we wanted to go home from Fisherman’s Wharf, which is at the far north side of the city. We made a wrong turn walking to the trolley station, and ended walking for WAY too long. My feet actually started to hurt. I knew I was screwed, so I decided to call it “tapering cross-training” to make myself feel better
Back to the morning of the race. I arrived around at the race about an hour early, because I wanted to make sure I got there with no problems. Thank God I did, because this was a women’s event with over 5600 women-all of which had to pee before the race-including myself!
Yup, that’s the line for the porta potties. It took about 25 minutes to get through the line. I still got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare.
Here was part of the pancake flat course:
I found my corral, which was based on average pace, and we were off within about 8 minutes of the scheduled start time.
You’ve gotta love a sea of pink!
So we were off! The first 4 to 5 miles were good. I kept my pace at or around 10 minutes. As I approached the end of mile 5, the girl who ended up winning passed all of us going the other direction. She was amazing!! I think she finished in about 1:28! Right after that, I had to take a potty and a stretch break. I was starting to feel the tiredness in my legs.
After the break, through the turnaround and into mile 6, I started to feel a hot spot around my big toe. Just after mile 6, I took my first and only gel, a Strawberry Banana Gu. Of course, I picked the no caffeine one by accident when I needed caffeine the most!!
I kept going through mile 6 into 7, and I felt something “release” and burn a little bit under my big toe. The blister split open. OMG. I got so scared that I was done for! Blisters can be show stoppers if you still have a lot of distance left to go. For me, I was only a little bit over halfway. As I continued, the pain of the blister didn’t get any worse. Thank God!
I think it was during mile 7 that I stopped to re-tie my shoes and stretch a little bit. Mile 8 was hard, because I had to go to the bathroom again, and my legs were starting to feel like lead. I told myself I wouldn’t stop until the next porta pottie. That was around mile 9. I stopped to use the restroom, and sat down. There are toilet seat covers in these things in SF! I did not want to get back up. My legs were fatigued. After spending way too much time (probably 3-4 minutes!) sitting and stretching, I got back on track and continued running.
It was at about this point where I really started to struggle. My legs were like lead, and both feet started to feel tingly like they were on fire. They weren’t tingling because my legs were numb, like a nerve tingle. My feet were bothering me just from running so far in my shoes! It was horrible! The ends of my toes were even hurting. For the last 5K, I decided “screw my time, I cannot run the rest of this. F*$& putting so much pressure on myself, because in this condition, I’ll be lucky if I finish. I cannot believe I signed up for a half, I’ll NEVER be able to do a full!! Not if I have all of these issues!!” I ran and walked the next 2 or so miles, until I got to about mile 12. The crowd started to thicken up, people had signs and were cheering, and I knew I was getting close to the end! I kept looking for the tiara and boa station, because I knew it was right at the finish. When I saw it, I got SO excited! I had managed to keep running the last mile and not stop! I grabbed my tiara and slung the boa around my neck, and took off! Then, right before the finish line, I saw Cameron with the camera and got all geeked out and waved and smiled!! Then I really gave it all I had for the last stretch, and crossed the finish line at 2:28:29!! I grabbed two waters, and a banana and took down almost a whole bottle! Here are my splits:
Even though I had an “F this $#!T moment” during the last part of the race, I am still SO happy that I did it! Here I am post race decked out in my Diva gear and my amazing medal!!
This was a completely awesome event! The Divas Half Marathon series is well organized, energetic, and a lot of fun! The only complaint I have is that the “coat check” which is the gear check they had took forever to get us our bags after the race. The line was longer than the bathroom lines at the beginning, and it took Cameron and I 45 minutes to get my bag. If I hadn’t checked my brand new $50 VS Pink hoodie, we would’ve said forget it and just left it. Other than that, I highly recommend this event to anyone that likes girly fun stuff (and loves to run!)
There are, as I mentioned in an earlier post, events in other fun places; including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Maybe we can plan our first Hawaiian vacation around a future Divas Half Marathon!
There is a really great picture of Cameron and I and “Rockman” the DJ from the race that I wanted to include. I can’t post it right now, though, because my phone is having issues with its internet connection hotel room. I will save it for the next post.
Thanks again to everyone that followed me on my journey through my first half marathon! It means SO much to me to have such support!! It made it that much more fun to have all of you cheering me on! It really helped with motivation during the hard times, as well.
What is the worst race experience you have ever had?
What on earth am I doing wrong to cause my feet to epically fail in every way possible during long runs/races???? (This problem MUST be fixed for me to continue training at high mileage.)
Tell me about your first half marathon? How was it? Did you have a F&”#! this $#!% moment at any point during the race?? Did it take you some time to finally realize you want to do it again?