Sunday, June 10, 2012

Race Recap: Wounded Warriors Half Marathon

Today was my first half marathon since 5/19/12. I had gone on a self-imposed total rest for 2 weeks after running 12 or 13 halves in a 9-10 week time frame (sorry, I've lost count and don't feel like figuring it out again). I did do 2 pseudo trail runs that turned into more hiking than anything since I totally suck at trails and the altitude killed me! I did get in a 5K run yesterday just to try out my new Mizuno's but that was it as far as running. I did however, get 2 Aqua Zumba classes in though. Anyway, I left home at around 8am yesterday for the 8 hour drive to Flower Mound, TX where my cousin lives and where I would be staying for the next couple of days. All in all the drive went pretty smoothly although I ended up taking a 5 Hour Energy Shot that only seemed to last 3 hours or so. Since I was driving across the Texas panhandle and would be going through Wichita Falls, I decided to stop for a late lunch at Napoli' usual carb loading restaurant when I'm in/going through Wichita Falls. After a lunch serving of spaghetti with meat sauce and two garlic rolls I made a couple of quick stops at Academy Sports & Outdoors to see if they had any cooling bandanas and at PetSmart for some no bark items for our male Chihuahua. I was back on the road in less than an hour after all three of the above stops.

The remaining 2½ hour drive was pretty uneventful until I hit Ft. Worth and the Speedway. Apparently there was some kind of race going on because there was constant traffic turning into the parking area which only made traffic worse that was already slowed due to construction. I arrived at my cousin's house at about 5:30pm. We hung out and caught up for a bit then went out for a carb loading dinner at Bari's Pasta & Pizza. As soon as we got back to the house it was pretty much time to go to bed since it was around 9:30 and we'd be having to get up early for the race on Saturday.

Race Day - 6/10/12
I was up at 3am to get ready for the race. Showered, taped up and had my typical breakfast of whole wheat Bagel Thin, peanut butter, banana, orange juice and some G2. I saved a second banana for just before the race. My "pipes" were pretty well cleaned out by the time we headed for the race at about 5:30am. My cousin was prepped to run her very first 10K and I was pretty much over my jitters about not having trained and felt that I was ready for the half.

Today's camo themed outfit.

I was supposed to meet some/another Half Fanatic for pictures at the mustang statue at Williams Square but I didn't see her. I did however meet another Half Fanatic (T.O. #305) before the race and took a picture with him afterwards. We hung out and people watched, made our last minute visit to the port-a-pot lines and eventually lined up for the start. After the gun went off (which I didn't hear) the half marathoners made the slow progression towards the starting line and eventually got started running just after crossing the timing mat. We started off on the street before making our way to a paved trail in a park. Everyone was basically in one big pack until we hit mile 2 when things started to spread out again. It was at this same time I started seeing the speedsters from the 10K come flying through and against us. With the addition of the 10K crowd things were a little crowded until the 10K turn around point when the half marathoners started spreading out. The course followed the trail that apparently followed a river (I was many "River Viewing" signs) and I was feeling fairly good through mile 6 or 7. I was doing okay with a 5 minute: 1 minute run/walk interval after having done the first 3 miles at a 3:1 interval. The temperature by then was in the high 70s and humidity probably in the low 80%. By mile 3 I had already started pouring water all over myself in an effort to keep cool. They had also set up a few misters, that actually were more like light showers since there wasn't enough pressure, that I took full advantage of. At mile 8 I could feel myself starting to tire but I managed to keep going at a 3:1 interval again. I probably should have had some of my Honey Stinger Chews, but it was just so warm that I thought I would tolerate them very well, so I just kept sipping on my G2 and water.

Fellow HF, T.O. #305.

My cousin, Ausa, her husband Larry and their girls.

My usual issues with mile 9 cropped up again...slowed way down, did more walking than running. The remaining miles were done pretty much "freestyle" just running when I felt I could and walking when I felt the need. I don't know why that last 5K or so is always such a challenge. I just can't seem to push myself to get to that finish line faster. Anyway, up we went over the largest "hill" which really wasn't much of a challenge. I was less than a mile from the finish. As I kept plodding along and checking my MotoACTV to see exactly how much distance was left I started to feel the twang of a cramp coming on in my left calf. I shook the initial  feeling off and continued on but at less than 1/10th of a mile, fairly close to the finish another wave hit that was a little harder to stave off. I did manage to get across the finish line without having a full blow cramp, but my calf was spasming slightly as I walked around. I'm not sure why I had the cramping issue...whether it was related to lack of training or electrolyte loss so I'm confused. I had used 2 Endruolyte capsules prior to the race and had taken 1 for each hour that I had been running. By doing that and topping off with G2 in between, I should have had the electrolyte situation well in control even though I was sweating heavily. Oh well. Maybe I should've worn the compression socks after all...

Still in the first mile.
Most of the course was on trail like this.

You've gotta love athletic supporters! LOL! ;)

Thank goodness...the finish line! :)

Once across the finish line I quickly downed two of the sports drinks they offered...I think it was Powerade Zero, but I'm not sure. In the search for food, I could't find a single banana so I got in line for pancakes and oranges. I also managed to get stretched out by the chiropractic team that was providing free massages. My cousin finished her 10K in 1:19, which is not bad at all for her first effort and she didn't train much either. I finished the half in 2:51, pretty much in my usual timeframe.

My cousin with her first piece of bling ever!


New bling!

We headed back to the house and have been chilling for the rest of the day. I ended up taking a nap and we had BBQ for dinner. Just waiting for the other cousin to show up with her family and then bedtime after the visit. I'm hoping to get back on the road by 6:30am before it gets too hot.

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