Sunday, September 19, 2010

PR for my Half Marathon = happy me :-)

To start, I decided to not fast for Yom Kippur (aka the day before my race). Driving up Friday to Philly, I inhaled a 32 oz bottle of water and was still parched. That made me think that if I go the whole day before without food and drink, I would not make it to the finish line. Not going to get into the religious debate about it, but that was my decision and that's that.

I made sure to eat a lot of yummy carbs yesterday, including a delicious rice bowl with Chinese broccoli and grilled pork tenderloin. I'm just drooling thinking about it. Made a pasta dinner and got in bed about 10:30 pm. Woke up around 6 am to get myself prepped. My stomach was all a mess and I worried that I might have to run to the porta-potties during the run, but I got lucky that it calmed down.

I met some other runners from Drexel and we all headed to the race. We checked in our bags, hit up the bathrooms, and got ready to race. Finally the race started! I think my issue to begin with was I was not really sure what I wanted to run the race in. I knew I wanted to run it faster than 9 minute miles, but that was about it.

The first few miles were weird because 1) having forgotten my banana at home, I was starting to get a side stitch, and 2) my Garmin wasn't picking up the satellites right in Center City so I couldn't exactly figure out my pace. I also felt like everyone around me was flying by, which was a bit frustrating. My Garmin was saying I ran more than I had, which was annoying, but it actually broke up the race because I had when my Gamin would say I ran a mile, then the actual mile about .3 miles later.

I found myself running around 8:30 min/miles and I was feeling like I was pushing it, but it was sustainable. I just kept making sure I was hitting 8:30 min/miles, even with the water breaks. The course was really really flat, so it was easy to keep an even pace. At this point, I knew that unless some freak thing happened, I'd PR the race, which was so exciting.

Around the 10 mile mark, I was starting to feel the Shot Blocks in at the bottom of my stomach and it felt so so awful. I felt so nauseous, but knew that slowing down was not an option. I just pushed harder and harder to the finish, which made my stomach hate me even more. Right before the 13 mile mark, surrounded by spectators, I started to gag and was very very close to throwing up. I was able to not toss my cookies in front of thousands of people, but it surely was a close call.

As I sprinted to the finish, I felt so awful and sick to my stomach, but I knew the race was almost done and I'd PR by almost 2 minutes! I'm exhausted, but I am definitely on the road to breaking 4 hours at the Marine Corps Marathon in just 6 short weeks. Ah!

Final Results (official)

1:52:09 (8:33 min/mile pace)

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