*…aka River City Half Marathon Report.

It is now 8pm PST, and I am finally, finally feeling back in this world.  Today was my very first half Marathon.  In Sacramento.  In a place that we had run before…Discovery Park.  We had our 10K back in  October…so it was with trepidation as we were looking over Hwy 99 AGAIN…and realizing…Hey, are we doing THAT trail again?

Jami was at my door at 5:20…Kim’s husband had driven to Fleet Feet to get our bibs, but there was really no need…not a big race.  We picked up Kim, and got on the road.  I fell asleep around Galt, and woke up on 99, when we should have been on I5.  Jami sped around the turns like a madwoman, and we finally made it to the Finish at Discovery park, where a big school bus would take us 13.1 miles away to the middle of the trail.

3 Bathroom stops later, and I realized that no, “nothing” would be moving today.  No big crowds, which was nice, but with that comes no clocks, and no mile markers as I was soon to figure out.  I read Glenn’s advice (THANK YOU!!!) on race strategy, and it was helpful.  He was in my brain for the whole time.  As was the mean girl, who also lived in my head from mile 7-11.  (More on that later)

Mile 1-2.  I really tried to go slowly.  I ran a 10:35 or so, but wasn’t sure due to no markers.  I practiced holding back.  My calves were trying to talk to me, but I ignored them…

Mile 3-6.  Plink, plink, plink.  I was passing women my age one by one…I was trying to not go all out, because the advice was pace pace pace so you are not miserable the second half.  (I was anyway).  I didn’t stop at the first aid station, but decided to stop at every one afterward.  It was in the mid 70s-low 80s that first hour.  I was confident, and happy.

Mile 7.  The calves were quiet, but suddenly my right baby toe was screaming.  It hurt.  I tried to alter my stride, to no avail.  Mile 7-10 were characterized by long sunny runs.  You would turn on the trail only to be met by another long hot run.  Someone was smoking on the side.  I do remember that.  I had taken some HEED at mile 6, and I started to upchuck a little.  What’s that advice about not trying anything new?

It was at this point that I had a very bad, negative, ugly voice in my head.  I’m serious when I say I’m not schizophrenic.  However, I battled her for 4 miles.  She was yammering on and on about how ridiculous it was for me to even try to run…who did I think I was…you’re too heavy, too old…she went on to rake me over the coals…you have no career, what a loser, etc.  On and off we battled, and I do have to say I won.  I finally said outloud, “SHUT UP AND RUN”.  She convinced me at one point to stop blogging, tweeting, etc., that I had nothing to offer, etc.   This was the crux of my run.

Mile 11-12-13 were all the same.  At 2 hours, I simply stopped and walked for a few minutes, and it felt wonderful.  It was 85 or hotter, and I knew the last three would be brutal.  Every runner I initially plinked off, now plinked off me.  A few bikers shouted, “You’re almost there!”, at mile 11.  My number one pet peeve…You’re almost there does not mean 2 more miles.  Ever.

Mile 13 I finally saw Kim and Jami on the course waving frantically.  I got up to them, and Kim yelled, “This is it.  Last corner!!!”  I had tears in my eyes, and wanted to bawl.  I did not think I could take one.more.step.  I turned and saw people, flags, cones.  And finally, peace.

We got on the lawn, and I said that was it.  I was done.  Never again, and who wants my Nike Women’s Marathon spot?  We got ice and laid the bag across my toes.  For several minutes my feet were in real pain.  I swore then and there that this 50 year old would NOT be running again.  Ever.  And, I meant it.  It was ugly.  It’s only now, after 2 hours in the spa and a big helping of Taco Bell, that I am finally feeling back in this world.

If I ever run again, ever, I will hire a coach/therapist for my head.  Seriously, I battled today.  My time is not terrible, considering my first half was better, but every step at the end was a struggle.  I am disappointed, but I learned a huge lesson.  I will have to slay this demon and b***h-slap her down to be able to run again.  Seriously.

Date: 4/19/2009 8:30 AM
Type: Race
Course: River City Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 miles
Duration: 2:42:00
Pace: 12:22 / mile
Shoe: Mizuno Alchemy
Weight: same
Misc: Quality: 6/10, Effort: 4/10
Weather: 83° F, Sunny
Event URL: www.rivercitymarathon.com/parkwaymap3.pdf
Notes: Heat!
Statistics: Calories: 1823
VO2 Max: 25.3

(PS!  Great news:  Jami was first in 40-44 division with 1:50, and Kim got 2:15~~ We had so much fun together~~)

26 thoughts on “I May Have Given Up Running Today*

  1. I’m glad you finished! Asbad as it was, this was a huge step in your running life! I know what you’re feeling – I had the same after my 5:44 San Diego Marathon (that’s right – almost 6 hours on my feet) last spring. And believe me, 85 isn’t prime running weather either! Whew!

    Take some time off and gather your wits. Then when you’re ready to train again, run further. Not faster. Just further. I’m at 35 mpw and feel that I’ll get close to 2:05 or so in a couple weeks at my HM.

  2. Yay Ms V! I truly believe that Taco Bell does indeed heal all wounds. So proud of you for battling it out with the negative nelly in your head and coming out on top. Just remember, if running were easy, everyone would do it. You are strong, my friend.

    Take care and congrats again!

  3. Congrats on running your first half marathon, especially in such brutal conditions. I hope you “b***h-slap that demon” quickly and get on the roads again. Once again, super job!

  4. Way to go Linda…. Now get that silly idea about quitting out of your head and gear up for the marathon! My first long run was San Diego last year and in two weeks I’m planning to finish my forth in Providence… May not be the fastest old guy out there I will go the distance….

  5. Linda, you are waaaayyyyy too hard on yourself. I had that woman in my head in my one and only 10K! And you know that I’ve been running longer than you and I don’t think I’ll ever attempt a half.

    You go girl. You’re strong and confident and you ROCK!


  6. Great job on the race! I can’t believe the heat you had to run in! It must have been brutal! Congrats!

  7. Woohoo! It is such an accomplishment to go through all that training and actually get it done. Treat yourself kindly this week and come the weekend strap on the Muzuno’s and give that overpass hell!!

  8. Linda, Way to go Girlfriend!! Be kind to yourself, and realize what an accomplishment it is.
    You won’t see me doing any marathons, I’m amazed at what you’ve done. bravo!!!!

  9. Congratulations on finishing your first Half! Try not to be so hard on yourself! You did GREAT! And more importantly, you DID it, period! You have much to be proud of, Mean-Girl be dammed!

  10. you did great….stop being so tough on yourself. just take what you learned from this race to make the next one better. they (who they are I do not know) that running a race is much like child birth…at the time you swear you will never do it again, a couple of months later you forget the pain and remember all the good things…and then you have another race.

  11. Great job. The head voices are the toughest competition. And you beat them. Suffering is temporary. You’ll be back out there. Congrats on your finish.

  12. Um hello, you shut her up and finished!!! THAT is the hard part of running, is shutting up your mind when you want to quit so bad and you did it! YOU RAN A HALF MARATHON!!!! and in the freaking HEAT! OMG it was so hot, nothing screws with me more than that heat.

    CONGRATSSSSS you did amazing! you will run again I know it… 🙂 for now enjoy your finish line victory and then get those running shoes back on your feet!

  13. oh I am so sorry you had such a tough race, that damn bitch in your head..I think she visited me the other day too.. I didn’t know when I beat her up she’d come visit you!

    rest, heal…more beating you’ll be back at it

  14. WAY TO GO! I loved reading you race report, specially since I ran yesterday too in the warm Sacramento morning air. KEEP ON RUNNING!

  15. Congrats! Many thanks for all your kind words about me on Frayed Laces Blog. It’s a piece of cake to be supportive of that wonderful lady.

  16. Awesome job!! That is a great race report and I hear you on hiring a mental coach or something like that, the mentality behind a half marathon is so great sometimes you need to train the brain to focus on something other than the pain, i cant believe FULL marathoners can run that far and not go psycho!

  17. When I was reading your blog I must have missed the part about the B—- being only in your head. I was so mad & stunned at how mean someone was treating you. I couldn’t believe someone was actually saying those things to you! Finally I re-read it and realized it you treating yourself like that. I can completely understand now! Funny how we can have that negative talk to ourselves; things we would never say to a friend or even a stranger. You are so inspiring. You finished a 1/2 marathon, and that is such a huge accomplishment which you can carry with you for life! Way to go!

  18. I left this on the wrong post…here it is again.

    Sorry it was so late getting to your race report. I know that voice, that voice is in every long distance runner. That voice is always in each of us, and that voice is not limited to running.

    Right now it may seem like a small victory, but the fact that you didn’t give into the voice, that you kept working and kept going even when you had every excuse to give up…that is the biggest victory any runner can ever have (better than a pr, better than an ag award, butter than gold).

    Be proud of yourself!

  19. Don’t forget that pain is only for a short time – the feeling that you finished a half marathon stays forever. Be proud of yourself and remeber that next time only can get better 🙂

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