I actually have a couple of minutes to sit and reflect on the Austin half. I took some very pretty pictures with my iPhone, but Runkeeper crashed and took all of my data with it, so I lost those pictures.
I have not been able to run very much in the past three months, because of the excruciating hip pain I felt in November and again in January. I’ve been keeping somewhat fit with hooping and dance class, but not fit enough to avoid gaining four pounds. However, I went into yesterday’s half with the hope that I at least had enough fitness to finish! I worried that my hip would act up or that I would have trouble with my lungs because I just got over a bad cold. The night before, I was very careful and ate dinner at Chipotle, since I knew that was safe running food for me. I went to bed early, but was awoken by driving bass from outside the hotel window. That went on from 11pm to 2am. I gave up on sleep and chatted with my husband on Skype. I finally got back to sleep around 2:30.
Up at 5am to bundle up in my warm running tights, a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt, and two jackets. I went to get my coffee and wandered toward the start area. It didn’t take me long to realize I was overdressed. Back to the room to change to my running skirt and Air Force t-shirt. Back to the start line, where I got a text from my husband and sent him a picture of me.
I started behind the 5 hour folks. If I had trained, my hopes were to start closer to the 4 hour folks, but I knew there was no chance of that now. Start was as expected… took 17 minutes to cross the start line. I took the first five minutes slow to warm up, then settled in to an 11:15 pace. That pace felt really good, except my stomach started acting up within the first mile. Porta-potty lines were VERY long (there were only about four or five porta potties every two miles or so.) I spent a total of about 15 minutes in two lines, but finally got my gastro issues sorted and was able to run. I walked the hills (see above re: detrained) which I would have run if I had not been detrained (the hills in my subdivision put Austin to shame.)
There were some very interesting runners in my area of the run. Two women were ruck-sacking it in their Army boots. One woman was wearing full firefighting gear and a tank. An engaged couple ran together in sashes, the woman in a veil and white tutu.
It was a nice run. Green Bay is still my favorite, but I would come back and do this one again. I particularly liked the “water monsters” at the aid stations– I carry my own bottle when I run, so it was nice to be able to refill it and waste one (or five) fewer paper cups. I hope to see more races adopt that. Aid stations are still awesome, and if I ever try to run less than 2 or less than 4 for a marathon, I will probably not carry a bottle, but it’s nice to have the more sustainable options for those of us who can lose a minute or two.
Lessons learned: you can never predict which part of your body will fail on the run. I guess that’s part of the fun of it! It was also nice to know I could finish a half on last year’s training. Not as fast as I would have liked, but I finished.
I don’t have another run lined up. I need to take the time to work on my base. You could say 2012 will be my base year (I’m also doing foundational work for my dancing and hooping.) I really need to work on losing that 20-30 pounds and balancing my muscles in the lower body. I’m also working on flexibility in my lower body (more for dancing and hooping, but that can’t hurt my running!) I’m going to try to do the local running club’s monthly run (choices of a mile, 5K, and 10K.) I might take on the local half in October, but more as a long run than as a race.
I know I need to figure out how to lose this weight. I don’t mind the slow and steady loss, but I’m very aware that my potential for speed is declining now (I’m 40.) I think that one key will be eating more regularly. I still have all those challenges with food (including the worry that in addition to wheat, I can’t eat oats.) It’s too much work to think about, so I don’t. But I know that if I ate three to six small meals a day, I would probably see results. (Also, a recent blood test showed low blood sugar, so my doctor advises eating three meals a day.) I’ve already failed at that today. It’s 11am and I’m still working on a medium soy latte. But I am going to lunch with Candi in an hour (after she walks her five miles.) I really don’t know how to get myself on track with the food thing. I know that would be the best thing for me, though.
Oh, my race times:
Actual non-porta-potty time: 2:47-ish
I’ll upload my Garmin map when I get my new cradle (managed to lose my old one.)