Monday, August 25, 2014

Race Report: GoFar Woman Half Marathon

I woke up Saturday morning after tossing and turning a good chunk of the night, and my stomach was super upset. So it must be race morning! Yay! Luckily my all day pounding sinus headache was gone, finally! I was worried.
Please note the color in tank pre-race. 

The race packet said to be at the arena an hour before your race, but we chose to delay our arrival a bit (=stomach issues). Uh.. heed this advice if given. We were in a long line of standstill traffic trying to get in to park. We ended up parking at a lot up the way and walking. I got in a warm up jog in which the heavy fog was messing majorly with my garmin, unless I really WAS running easy peasy 5:16 pace. I did some form drills and my glute drills and it was almost time to start.

They were cranking Katy Perry music and I was pumped and ready to go! 

The air was THICK and heavy, as you can see in the pictures, but the temp was only 65, so I thought I could still gut out a great time!

I slid into 9:20 pace pretty comfortably from the get go, but could already tell by mile two that the pace wasn't feeling as "easy" as it should be. At mile 2.5 I already was searching for my iPod earbuds to throw in, which I usually don't use until it's "go" time or I really need to just zone out. Of course when I got them situated and hit play I heard the annoying "your battery is dead" tone and knew I was on my own. I NEED MY KATY PERRY JAMZ!!!

1.  9:24
2.  9:20
3.  9:18

I took my first GU at 2.5ish thinking it would give me an extra boost. I normally only take two GUs for a half, but carried three JUST in case. With my stomach issues before the race, I didn't know how much fuel I actually had left in me before the race started. I'm glad I did. I also took a salt pill at mile 3.

I ran up on a Sioux Falls runner during the next stretch and we chatted a bit with each other. I plan to facebook stalk her so we can be running buddies as she mentioned we'd ran together either at the Sioux Falls Half previous or a Runners Block run. Clearly we're destined to be running buddies! I was half gasping for air while talking to her because I was already struggling to breathe, so when she passed me at a water station, I let her go.

4.  9:20
5.  9:21
6.  9:29

My race plan was to speed up every 3 miles but I knew during mile three that wasn't going to happen. New plan! Hold on to 9:20s until ten and then put down the hammer the last 5k and *maybe* eek out a time faster than the 2:02 I ran in Brookings! New goal! New Focus!

I started to get really hot during mile six, so I was super thankful when they were handing out water bottles at the relay exchange shortly after. Except that it's hard for me to drink out of one of those! I walked a smidge to chug the water down, GU up, and take another salt pill.

There was another water stop at 6.88 and I took a drink of a glass, thinking "oh good, they're going to be every mile now!" which is what they teach you as foreshadowing in high school English class. By mile 8 I desperately needed more water. By mile 8.75 I was asking every volunteer where the next water station was, and somewhere in that stretch I felt like I was dying of thirst.

FINALLY at about 9.5, almost three miles later, there was another water stop. So I stopped, and drank. And drank. And drank. Like four full cups worth of water. I even turned around and went back for another on the off chance there wasn't more water stations. [insert angry red faced emoji here plz]

Luckily I got to see my mom somewhere in the 7-8 mile stretch. We had tried to strategize her spectating but with neither of us knowing the city very well, and the race crossing almost every major street (or so it seemed) it was really difficult to figure out. She talked with a local runner before the race and she pretty much nixed the race spots my mom and I had come up with. I had assumed she was just going to wait back at the start for me to finish, but YAY there she was! Now if only she had an ice cold glass of water, right?? :)

7.  9:59
8.  9:57
9.  9:57
10.  10:21

I had really hoped to kick it in the final 5k but I was just spent. I took another GU and salt pill around mile 9.5. I chatted with another girl during this stretch that was struggling as well and we kept each other going until the next water stop, thank goodness.

I ended up taking a few walk breaks in the final 5k because I felt so dizzy and my heart was doing the weird palpitation thing. Grr. Here's me kicking myself for not bringing a handheld water bottle. There ended up being another water station around mile 11, so two total the final 6.5 miles on a 97% humidity day with a dew point of 67. No I'm not angry, why do you ask??

When we were coming in for the final 1.5 miles, you could see the arena off in the distance, and then they sent us in the opposite direction for a short loop. So mean. I was just ready to be done. I thought I could kick it in with .5 to go, but I honestly didn't know if I would pass out from the effort.

11.  10:43
12.  10:47
13.  10:29

.1 :33 (7:30 pace, so ok I guess I had a tiny kick for a very minimal part of the race, ha)

I ran fairly hard the final .2 miles and called it a day.

I ran 2:09:05 for my 23rd half marathon.


As I said on instagram, not my best, and not my worst, but certainly the most humid! Gotta set a PR in something I guess.

Please scroll back up to the pre-race photo to check out the tank saturation. Also this tank is adorbs, but when wet it stretches and is significantly longer than my mac rogas. It might not make it as my marathon tank. Wah!

Thankfully my mom was there to spend race eve and race day with me, to help cheer me on, and most importantly, to get post-race Mexican with. Thanks madre!

Takeaways from the race: 
  • Always check the race route aid stations and be prepared to carry water if you're the sweatiest runner on the planet. Their bad for not having enough water stations, my bad for not knowing it and being prepared.
  • Adjust your goals based on weather if necessary. On one hand, I honestly thought the heat and humidity acclimation runs I had done this summer have made me a stronger heat/humidity runner, but clearly not to the capacity that I was hoping. Maybe I could've started at a 10-9:45 pace and ended up with less of a death march, I'm not sure. But I do know when your heart rate is crazy high at mile 2 of a 13.1 mile race, you're in trouble.
  • When I feel like I'm dyyyyying at mile 18/22/23/etc of Bemidji I will think back on this race and think to myself, "Hey at least you have water! Get moving!" :)


Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Eating Mexican food is a great way to celebrate after a race. Congrats on finishing your 23rd half marathon!

Ashley Ahner said...

Running this same race next week - gotta check North Dakota off the list somehow but a bit terrified reading all of the reviews so far! At least I know what to expect! - Thanks Girl!