Saturday I had my dreaded 20k. I say dreaded because it was a relatively small race that didn't have any port-a-potties along the route. I am a runner who finds comfort knowing there are bathrooms along the way just in case. During 2 of my 3 half marathons I have stopped twice, so a 12.4 miles with no options was a bit scary. Add to that the weather/time considerations and I was a basket case. The race was at 11 am, which is 3-4 hours later than I typically do my long runs and with our unseasonably warm weather I had no clue what to expect.
I woke up Saturday morning with a massive headache. Luckily, a dose of tylenol did a good job keeping it under wraps when I was running. The weather, while warm, wasn't too unbearable and the rain held off so I was pretty excited about that. I don't have a mile by mile breakdown of this race as I just wasn't into it mentally. I tried to just enjoy the run the best that I could, but it was just not my day. I know I ran pretty strong the first 3-4 miles, probably TOO strong. Then I started having some real pain in my foot. I took a few walk breaks and it sort of screwed up my rhythm.
I chose not to take any sort of fuel because I was worried about my stomach causing me problems. I also severely limited my Gatorade and even water intake. For the whole race I think I took in about 4 oz of Gatorade and 8 oz of water. Somewhere towards the middle of the race I started to have cramping in my stomach so I would run until I couldn't anymore and then walk. Unfortunately walking actually hurt my foot worse, so I spent the last 5-6 miles of the race deciding whether to run dealing with stomach cramps or walking with pain so intense it brought tears to my eyes. I tried my best to stay positive but it was REALLY hard.
That being said, I wasn't terribly disappointed in my time. It wasn't quite what I was hoping for, I had told my hubby I wanted to finish in 1:55 and I ended up finishing in 1:56 and some change. So, VERY close, especially given the conditions I was dealing with.
I am actually quite embarrassed by how inconsistent these splits are. I really need to work on pacing myself better. I think I would have settled in to about a 8:50 mile if it hadn't been for the foot and stomach issue. Ah well, there's always next time. **note: I forgot to stop my watch, the last split time should be about 90 seconds less.
Overall, it was a fun race experience. The first 300 finishers got a loaf of Panera bread and a commemorative glass that we could fill with smoothies inside. The age group winners were awarded pineapples, too bad I wasn't even close this race! My one disappointment was that it felt like the majority of the runners were FAST. Typically I finish about middle of the road at worst, and at this race I was near the bottom. It doesn't really matter, I am only competing against myself. BUT, at the same time it felt weird.
My official time was 1:56:11.2 and overall I came in 6th of 7 in my age group and I think 114 of 139 overall. Not overly impressive, but I will take it. I am proud that I didn't give up even when I thought I couldn't move another inch. And, it was great to see my running buddies!
Last but not least, a few pictures! :)