Sunday, January 16, 2011

What a day

I actually can't think of a way to write this blog entry without being
a) cheesy
b) nerdy
c) stupid

So, you'll have to roll with me here and hang in there. Yes, today was the half-marathon, and no, it wasn't ideal. There you go, I just gave away the end result there in the first paragraph!

The forecast called for 100% chance of rain, and low 50s. I decided to wear my shorts, just in case you cared. I wore too many layered shirts on top, but kept them on the whole race.

When we showed up to the race, at 7:45, it was raining hard, and we had begun to talk about how dreadful the weather was. (Stephanie and I had planned to go shopping after the race, and her best line was "Well, we might as well run 13 miles, the outlet stores aren't open yet.") Once we arrived, though,  I stepped out of the car and realized how windy it was. Just perfect. But, of course, you have to run the race anyway, so we got our bibs, hung out in the car for a while, and then huddled with all the other runners inside the school until the last possible minute before the 9:00am start.

The story is basically this: It was really bad weather, and I didn't run like I wanted to. I don't know if it was nerves, or if I was upset about the weather, or if it was indeed the weather that made it so bad. The rain was on and off (mostly on), with bad wind that made the rain hit the side of my face. That's no fun. The shorts got soaked and stuck to my legs. I had side stitches the majority of the time (and I never get side stitches). My shoes and socks were soaked by mile 2. About halfway through I knew that my goal time was completely shot. At mile 8 I started counting down how much time I had left.  I had remembered that a running friend told me to really push hard and go for it after the halfway point, but already by then I was so tired. In fact, I kept saying to myself "I'm never doing this again", in between trying to repeat "I love running, I love running, I love running".

The best thing happened at mile 12. I thought I heard someone yell "Meghan!" but I, of course, assumed it was for someone else, and perhaps I misheard because I had my headphones in. Although some people had talked about coming to see us, nobody had confirmed any plans to do so (which was absolutely fine by both Stephanie and me). But next thing I knew, I looked over and my friend Erin was running down the road after me. I hit her in the arm because she surprised me so much. She said hi, that she and her husband, Marcus, were back in the car and had taken pictures, exclaimed about the horrible weather, and told me I was doing great. I don't think I could thank them enough for driving down to see us and for doing that. It was a wonderful surprise and we got to have lunch with them after the race.

I finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes, a full 10 minutes slower than I had been aiming and training for. What a disappointment. I feel fortunate enough that I never walked, I didn't get hurt, I achieved a goal, yadda yadda yadda. But I can't help but feel really disappointed.

After Stephanie and I both finished we got to take showers in the locker room (which was a really nice feature for the race to have), and we headed off to do what best girl friends do best: have lunch and go shopping. We were both very tired and sore, but walking around the outlet mall was actually good for our legs.

Marcus and Erin have both run marathons and I explained to them my confusion over having such a horrible time. I've heard over and over that at races your adrenaline can kick in and you can be pleasantly surprised at how fast and well you run. I don't know what planet those people are from, but that certainly didn't happen to me. I was frustrated because I have run both 11 and 13 mile long runs at a pace merely 15 seconds slower than what I ran today and felt absolutely fine, but at the end of the race today, running a relatively slow pace, I wanted to curl up and die. What gives? I won't analyze it all here on the blog, as it will bore you all to tears.

Information about the race:
~We ran the Cascade Half Marathon, in Turner, Oregon (just south of Salem).
~The start and finish is at Cascade Jr. and Sr. High School.
~They have three distances: Half Marathon, 10k, and 2 mile.
~All three races combined are held to 1,000 runner limit.
~It was a cheap race, $45 for the half marathon.
~We got a technical tee that is a bright neon green that I will never wear. Not any goodies.
~The medal is nice and in the shape of the state of Oregon - I can definitely deal with that :)

Good things:
*A small race means it's not crazy packed with people, and seems a little friendlier
*Having it held at the school was fun, with lots of parking and a lot of space inside to hang out before and after the race
*Flat Course
*Lots of water and Gatorade stations and they had plenty of both
*Fairly scenic
*Use of locker rooms to store items (with your own lock) and/or take showers. Considering the weather and how soaked all of my clothes were, this was really convenient.

Bad things:
`When we crossed the finish line, there was no water, no Gatorade, nothing to eat, etc. There was soup, bread, cookies, water, and coffee in another building and you had to follow the signs. I actually think it is a little ridiculous that they couldn't at least hand out a bottle of water at the end, or even have one more water/Gatorade station at the finish.

My legs hurt. Stephanie and I are going to do some classic mall walking tomorrow. I, myself, can't stand the idea of going for a walk in the rain. But for now, I need to go to bed. Stat.


  1. The weather was nasty to run a good race today. I understand the disappointment, but please give yourself a break. Anything can happen on race day! Today was one of those days. Pat yourself on the back that you did complete a half marathon in less than perfect circumstances. My guess is that a good night's sleep will probably give you some perspective on the race.

  2. Thank you - you're right - I'm still a little frustrated and I'll get over it soon.

  3. You got HORRIBLE weather today! Take it as a finish and be PROUD.

    I am glad you weren't hypothermic. If I knew it was going to storm like that I don't know what I'd do.

    I am SO proud of you for doing it!!!!
    Next half will definitely be a HUGE PR race.

    Enjoy the mall walking and tax-free shopping =D

  4. Meghan, I finished 45 minutes slower than I wanted to at mine... sure I'm injured and had to walk 6 miles, but I was still hoping for better too.

    I understand.

    But nonetheless, use it all as a learning experience. I can't wait get healthy and try again in May here in Pasadena. I hope you feel motivated for the next one soon. :)

  5. I still think you rock! You probably were carrying 5 pounds of water in your clothes/shoes too.

    How much do I have to pay you to put my new blog in your blog roll? :)

    When will you come back through eugene/roseburg? Will you let me know if I can meet you and your parents?

  6. Sorry to hear that you had such a miserable race! I'm a little shocked that no one handed out anything for the competitors at the end of the race! That's almost a little dangerous! I hope you don't give up on half's - they can be fun! I can't wait to train for one after this baby is born!
    I'd followed you back from a comment you'd left on my blog and had to see how you were :o) Take care!