Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Jamestown Half Marathon Recap

The Good

The race was in Rhode Island, which meant I was able to drive down the night before and stay with my dad and stepmom who I haven't seen in a while.  Friday afternoon I packed my bags and headed down to RI.  I stopped and picked up my number before going to my dad's house.  They cooked a delicious dinner of gluten free spaghetti and meatballs.

When I don't know what to wear,
I bring almost my entire wardrobe.

missed it 
The start time.  The race started, or was supposed to start at 6:30am.  The temperature at that time was around 70 degrees or a little under.  With the heat we've been having in NH, this sounded like a welcomed change.

The location.  The race was on an island off of Newport.  It started and finished with views of the water and one of the many bridges in RI.  

taken from the window of the bus
Thanks, dad, wasn't quite ready.
Not sure what my hand is doing.
crappy picture,
but this is where we lined up for the start

The first 6 miles.  I felt good for about the first 6 miles.  I was running between an 8 and 8:15 pace, which I was happy with.  I was even complimented by a man for how good my form was and that I "made it look effortless."  I didn't quite feel that way, but it's the first time anyone has commented on the way that I run.  Thanks, dude!

The Bad

Poor organization.  Parking was not allowed on the island where the race was, so we had to park in a large parking lot just over the bridge and were shuttled over to the start of the race.  Thank God I picked up my number the night before, because when we arrived just before 6am, there was a line of at least 100 people waiting to get theirs.  There was also a very large line for the porta potties.  Over 1500 runners = more porta potties...always more porta potties.    
Late start.  The last shuttle was supposed to leave at 6:15, and the race was supposed to start at 6:30.  Well, at 6:15 there was still a very large number of people waiting in line for their numbers.  When I arrived at the start before 6:30, there was an announcement that we needed to wait for a few more busses and the race would start about 10-15 minutes late.  A half hour later, the gun went off right around 7:00.  

Water please?! When I crossed the finish line of the race, dying of thirst, I expected there to be a nice person standing there with a water bottle for me to take.  Yeah, no, not exactly.  Instead I had to continue to walk through the sea of people searching for some water to drink.  Finally, maybe 50 yards passed the finish line I found some on the side of the road under a tent.  Later while waiting in line for the busses to go back to the parking lot, I hear 2 girls behind me commenting on their same annoying search for a bottle of water.  

The Ugly

The humidity.  I hate to keep talking about this, but it's something that really affects me, and has all my life.  I sweat a lot on a cool, dry day...never mind a hot and humid day.  Even though the temperature throughout the race remained in the low 70's, the humidity was between 90-95%.  I felt the effects of this pretty quickly.  I usually don't need to stop at many water stops, if any, during a half marathon.  I stopped at almost every one during this race.

The awkward smirk is because I saw my dad and stepmom.
In my head I was thinking when the hell is this going to end?! 

The hills.  For some reason when I looked at the elevation chart, I didn't think it would be to bad.  I was wrong.  Very, very wrong.  I mean, it looks hilly, but it only goes up about 100ft I thought no big deal.  It was a big deal.  Those hills were not a good time.  That one big lump around mile 6 is what did me in.  Then, from about mile 9.5-11.5 I repeated the words "are you f'ing kidding me" in my head many times.  It sucked.  I was not prepared for a course that hilly.  

I left this race feeling pretty defeated.  My time was over 12 min slower than my last half marathon.  I walked.  I wanted to scream.  It was not ideal.  But after having a couple of days to digest what happened, I am once again determined and ready to do better at the next one.  There are many what's ifs about this race that I'll never know the answer to.  So, maybe that means it's not worth getting upset over.  

If nothing else, I have another half marathon to add to the list.  I'm happy I did the race, and that should be what matters.  This race definitely was not about the time, it was about the experience, and what I can learn from it.  

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