Monday, May 20, 2013

Ogden Half Marathon report, aka "The Blair Witch Race"

I've had so many things going through my head since my last blog post - but after this past weekend and my complete meltdown nearing hypothermia and taking this extremely dramatic self video to send to all my friends who didn't make it for the race - I figured it was worth posting this first.

I've missed writing all of my thoughts down.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I've had a couple of races, started a new job, had the anniversary of my mom's passing, her birthday and shortly after mothers day.  It's been a lot.  My training definitely has been taking a back burner, just enough to get by - but  I feel like I've finally recovered: physically and mentally.  My head is back in the game, and my hunger is there.

So for now - let me leave you with a quick summary of my weekend in Utah.  We had a great weekend with our wonderful hosts the Nadalskis.  I finally got to meet their two lovely daughters.  It was entertaining to say the least.  I don't know that I have ever laughed so much watching the real life version of parenting two toddlers under the age of 4.  The patience that these two people have is more than I could ever imagine having!   I also got to catch up with some other friends I haven't seen in a few years and meet another newborn baby!  It was a quick weekend, and besides fearing I may never feel my body parts again after the race it was a great weekend as well.

I was in this race for pure fun.  I had not done much running since my marathon in March, but have enough base fitness to do a good run, just not my best.  I figured I could do a 1:40 with the fast course without digging too deep.  I stayed up chatting with my friend and drinking wine.  I took a couple of e21 and drank lots of water and headed to bed an hour or so after Shane.  He was focused.  This was HIS race.

I got super lucky and got a ride up to the start instead of taking the bus.  We were dropped off with about 40mins before the race, just enough time to use the bathrooms and head to the start.  It was about 45degrees and just a slight drizzle when we got out of the car, but not too bad at all.

Then suddenly, with about 20mins before the race start it started POURING.  I suddenly became freezing.  Teeth chattering and shaking.  I put on my throw away fleece sweatshirt over my tank & arm warmers then I added a plastic poncho on top of that.

Within seconds the race started and I started a nice easy pace.  I had a huge rock pop into my shoe and had to get it out, then I hit a puddle and somehow my sock slid down into my shoe.  So, two stops in the first mile and I was already frustrated.  I kept the poncho on for about 2 miles until I was just frustrated because I couldn't move well.  Then at the top of the only climb in the race around mile 2.5 I took off the fleece.  I wasn't running fast, but I wasn't comfortable and wanted it off.  This is where everything started to go bad.  As soon as we hit the big drop through the canyon the temps dropped and it was pouring.  I was soaked head to toe and just tried to avoid any big puddles.  The wind was whipping and making it worse.  My throw away gloves had these dumb mitten covers that got so wet and heavy I felt like I was holding weights.

I don't remember much of the race.  I was never working hard, but I was miserable.  My legs just wouldn't move.  I couldn't feel them.  I couldn't tell if my shorts were even on my body.  I was super thankful for my compression sleeves because I felt like they did give my lower legs some warmth.  I had to take the stupid gloves off which ended up being a huge mistake because my fingers started throbbing immediately.  My next idea was to take the arm warmers off and put them over my hands.  That's how I ran my last 3 miles.  I couldn't see my watch.  I didn't care.  All I could think about was being dry and warm.

When I finished the race I walked right through and headed to the drop bags.  I didn't even get a medal (didn't realize this until I saw others so I did go back and get it).  Unfortunately the drop bags were in a huge mound just straight off the bus.  I spent about 30mins standing there soaking wet and shaking uncontrollably waiting for my bag.  As soon as I got it I pulled out a garbage sack from inside and put it over me.  I didn't want to get my dry clothes soaked because they were all I had.  I started walking to where Shane & I had planned for him to park the car.  At one point some guy asked if I was ok, and how far away from my car was I?  I started crying.  I said, "I don't know!!!!!"

I finally got to the car and got in.  When I realized my valet key only opened the door, but wouldn't let me start it I started to cry again.  I took this awesome video of myself and sent it to my friends.

The rest of the next hour is kinda a blur.  I finally got my wet clothes off and sat in the mini shaking, naked and with no idea what to do with myself.  I had nothing to dry myself off with so I just sat there.
About an hour or so later I finally got my warm dry clothes on and was coming back to life.  I re-watched the video I sent of myself and couldn't stop laughing.  How on EARTH did I get so dramatic? I suppose the only saving grace to this is that I'm not afraid to make fun of myself and share this with you all!  And here it is:  The Blair Witch Marathon Video
Long story short the tracking for Shane started working and based on his 23mile split he was still on pace to BQ.  In my head during the whole race I was so worried about it.  Knowing how miserable I was and how shitty my body was reacting to it I just couldn't fathom what he was going through.  It all changed when I knew he was 3 miles out and going to make it!  I put my garbage back back over my body and headed to the finish.  About a quarter mile from the finish line I finally saw him.  I ran into the street and screamed, "YOU DID IT HONEY!!!"  His expression went from pure gutting it out to the most true expressive smile I've ever seen.  I started crying, again, and ran to meet him.  This is the true picture of giving it your all and nailing your goal.  It was AMAZING.

I think what happened this weekend tell you what a powerful thing your mindset is.  I wasn't in this race for anything special and somehow I had the worst experience ever.  The race didn't matter to me and I have to wonder if my body would have reacted to the cold and wet so negatively if it was important to me.  Would I of had the grit to get through it?  I guess I'll never know, and boy to I hope I never ever EVER have to race in those conditions AGAIN.  Otherwise, I might just end up at the bar instead.  Just not in Utah.  They won't serve you until 11:30 ;)