Monday, October 3, 2011

Mo' Cowbell Half Marathon

So I ran my first half-marathon yesterday.

Here I am pre-race ringing my cowbell. I was pretty excited!

Mile 1: Big smile on my face, but man, some of those racers are just plain rude. Cutting off us slower people, nearly tripping me, pushing me. So I figure I need to pick up my pace a bit. Already saw 1 girl walking, glad that wasn't me.

Mile 2: Oh, this is a breeze. I was feeling good, nice downtown St. Charles scenery.

Mile 3: Out running in the middle of nowhere.

Mile 4: Shit gets bad here. I swear I thought I was a lot farther in the race, like maybe 6 miles or so. I wasn't checking my time at all, as I didn't want that to scare me so early on in the race. I did see Josh around mile 4, so that put another smile on my face.


Mile 5: Still out in the middle of nowhere. Knowing we are going through New Town at some point, I just kept waiting and waiting for that little village to appear. ...did pass this one pumpkin and mum farm that looked all country and cute. Told myself I should go there at some point.

Mile 6: Officially in New Town. The bridges had some horrible drainage grates, I didn't want to run on them because I feared tripping. Finally a water station...drank some water while walking. (I skipped the 1 mile water break). I was carrying my own water, but was salvaging that, lol.

Mile 7: Wow, New Town is a lot bigger than I thought. I did enjoy the architecture and all the people on their front porches.

Mile 8: Dammit, still running in New Town?! How big is this place?? Also, lots of people in vehicles pissed that the roads are cut off. At some points, I was getting cut off by cars or running along side moving cars. I felt strange.

Mile 9: Thinking to myself...oh Josh, where are you? I wish I could just hop in the car and we can go home RIGHT NOW. Pardon the french, but I kept saying to myself...Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, why am I doing this? Fuck, fuck, fuck. I really started to feel the pain.

Mile 10: Oh joy... a huge freaking hill. I can see people at the top walking, this isn't good. The name of the road is Little Hills Expressway. Little my ass.

Mile 11: Ahhh, downhill. I can do this. But then I see the 11 mile marker and it says: Humpty Dumpty also hit a wall. Grrr, thanks for the encouragement guys. Near the end of mile 11, there was this very painful steep downhill part. It killed my knees.

Mile 12: I got the real encouragement I needed - - knowing that the race was almost over and lots of people yelling at us, saying we can do this, not much more big hills or steep downhills.

Finish: Approaching the end of the race, I took off my headphones so I could hear the crowd. Nice that they announced the names while crossing the finish line. The guy did a pretty good job pronouncing my last name, but still messed it up slightly. I tried to keep a smile on my face, but I was in so much pain. I've never felt pain like that before. I crossed the finish line with a man whose bib number was #1234.



My thoughts on the Mo' Cowbell:
I thought the scenery, although pretty, was just very boring. I'm used to running on city streets or through the woods where the sight distance is minimal. Here, you could see miles in front of you. Also, there was hardly any shade!! Although the temperature was cool, the sun beating down on you is just exhausting. Running with all those people made me feel intimidated. I had to keep reminding myself that this was my first 1/2, I had no idea what to expect, keep it slow... don't let those other runners see how tired I am.

When I crossed the finish line, I was in so much pain. My knees were sore, my hips felt all out of whack, my head hurt, but on the plus side my lungs felt pretty great. I sat down and just wanted to cry. Not because I accomplished something grand, but because I was so mad at myself for running such a shitty race. I chugged some water, then grabbed a beer. I had a sip but it tasted horrible so I gave it to Josh. I was ready for home, I didn't care about the music or the awards ceremony.

In the car, I started to get really nauseous. I have no idea what I did wrong, but about 3 miles from home I started to puke. Luckily, I was able to grab a plastic bag so I didn't spew all over the car, lol. But I did get some on my iPhone and it died. Ahhhh, I swear, I do not deserve iPhones. I've already killed 4 of them. I have no idea why I puked. I don't know if I didn't hydrate correctly, drank too much during the race, drank too much after the race, did that sip of beer just not settle right? Was it the nerves?

Anyways, I hate running. I'm running the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 in TWENTY days. I'm afraid I'm going to put myself through another day of hell. Is it worth it? Kinda, I want to prove to myself I'm better than my Mo' Cowbell experience.

Official Time: 2:25:24
Official Pace: 11:06

See that at mile 6? That's called hitting the wall.

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