Well, I ran my 10th half marathon last Saturday. It was by far the hardest and longest half I have ever done!
I went to the race expo on Thursday to get my race packet. I had been to this expo back in 2010 when I was supposed to run the race as my first half marathon but due to a knee injury I decided not to run. So I wanted to re-create my 2010 photo!
I was a little more gung-ho back in 2010 LOL. I should back up and say that I came down with a head cold on Tuesday before the race. It started as a sore throat and achiness and then turned into a cough and chest congestion. So by the time race day arrived, I was already pretty tired.
At the expo, I got my shirt (and was able to exchange sizes, yay!) and looked around a bit. I wasn’t in the mood for a crowd.
Race weekend ended up being the hottest weather Nashville has had so far this year. They moved the race start up half hour from 7:15am to 6:45am but I’m not sure that helped much. At 6am it was already 74 degrees and 81% humidity. I was sweating before the race even began.
As I walked to the race start line, the crowd was insane and it was so muggy that I was already thinking to myself, “why do I do this?” I am not a morning person, nor do I like crowds so this was not my ideal scenario. But that’s just how it is!
I knew this race wasn’t going to be a PR so I was really just trying to finish and enjoy it as much as possible. I started out feeling a little dizzy and my legs felt heavy so I took my first gel at mile 2 (for the electrolytes more than anything). I definitely should’ve added some more electrolytes and hydration into the plan leading up to the race. I drank so much along the course but I still could not get hydrated and I knew my electrolytes were off. I got a side cramp around mile 8 that would NOT QUIT. And by mile 10 I had to walk most of the last 3 miles. When I tried to run even for a short time, it felt like a knife in my side.
Here’s me trying to look strong at the finish but completely miserable!
By the time I finished the race, the weather app said it was 84 degrees and 65% humidity but by then the sun was out and it felt HOT! I was glad to have finished, but I was not in the socializing mood so I powered through the finisher’s zone (stopped for some chocolate milk, of course!) and didn’t take any pictures.
It took me 45 minutes just to get out of the parking lot at Nissan Stadium due to the insane amount of people that had run or spectated the race. I was not happy about that.
Overall, between my head cold, the heat and humidity, it was not my best half marathon. I think it would be a much more enjoyable race experience without those factors and I would not be opposed to doing it again. Of course the weather dropped back to a wonderful 70 degrees about two days after the race. Go figure!
I got a cool medal (it lights up!) and that’s what’s important, right?
What was the hardest/longest race you’ve ever done? Was it the distance or some other extenuating factors such as heat/illness?