Womans Half Marathon Recap

I can’t believe it’s Friday already – woooohoooo!! Tomorrow I’m running a Christmas 10k where I’ll be rocking a slightly tacky festive Christmas outfit.  I was sick earlier this week but I feel 100% better and ready to tackle this weekend.  Y’all know that we only have 11 days until Christmas, right?  I hate to admit this, but I haven’t really started shopping… whoops.  I think I do my best under pressure.

This past Sunday I ran my final 1/2 marathon of 2012; the Womans Half Marathon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which I ran in memory of my Aunt Kathy.  Even with feeling horrible during the race, this was one of my favorite 1/2’s to date!

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Those little white lines on the sign are actually the runners’ names.

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Let me start from the beginning.  Saturday, my friend Lorena and I drove to Baton Rouge, LA, which is typically a 2 1/2 hour drive.  We hit some major road work and then I missed a couple exits once in Baton Rogue, so almost 4 hours later  hours later we finally made it to the expo right before it closed.  We picked up our bibs and freebies – this race had a ton – and then went in search of food.

Swaaaag! Awesome shirt, super cute gym bag, pink headband and FREE race pictures!

Swaaaag! Awesome shirt, super cute gym bag, pink headband and FREE race pictures!

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We ended up at a local place called Sammy’s Grill which looked super cute.  I ordered an avocado BLT on wheat and a side of onion rings completely oblivious to the fact that hose darn onion rings would come back to haunt me.  Unfortunately what I ordered wasn’t really good but it got the job done.

A few hours later I started not feeling great and vowed to the onion ring God that I would never eat another one if I just felt better.  Apparently I’m masochistic; I know my body can’t handle food like that any more.  I laid out my stuff for the next morning and just kind of vegged out for the rest of the night.

Bright and early the next morning my alarm went off.  I love race mornings, there’s just something magical about them; I feed off of the excitement and anticipation.  I was not, however, in love with this race morning.  I woke up feeling even worse than I did the night before.  I tried to eat my usual pre-race Kashi cereal but only got 1/2 way through the bowl before I couldn’t eat anymore.  Strike one.

My RBFs (running best friends) and I hopped in the car to drive to the start and luckily Lorena had some Pepto Bismal tablets; I took two.  They didn’t kick in immediately so by the time we got to the race, I had to make a mad dash to the portopotties.  Bleh.  Fortunately, the Pepto kicked in before we had to start running.

Yikes!

Yikes!

Love you Aunt Kathy!

Love you Aunt Kathy!

The starting area was downtown Baton Rouge and had some really awesome sights.  I snapped some pictures but the pictures from the race photographers are so much better so I’m sharing those instead.109141-245-002f109141-245-003f109141-245-001f

A few minutes after 7am we crossed the starting line and embarked on the 13.1 mile journey ahead of us.  To add to the fun, it was 96% humidity and almost 70*s at the start.

Can you spot me? Hint - bottom, left.

Can you spot me? Hint – bottom, left.

I planned to give this race my best but wasn’t really looking for a PR since I hadn’t trained for it at all.  Prior to the race, 10 miles was the furthest distance I’d run since the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  The first few miles snaked through downtown Baton Rogue; this portion of the race was just ok.  We were treated to some lovely (please note the sarcasm) odors along the route.  Hey, it was downtown, what do you expect….  I looked down at my Garmin and noticed my pace was right around 9:15 which made me happy because it felt effortless.

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Taken in the first mile.

Somewhere around mile 3 I noticed some stiffness in my knee and foot.  Strike 2….I decided my body hated me.  I panicked a bit thinking that I was going to be in some horrible pain by the end of the race, but fortunately that didn’t happen.

After another few miles the course took us out of downtown Baton Rouge and looped us around the LSU campus.  Seriously, this was the most beautiful, scenic race course I’ve ever run.  It was gorgeous! We ran by huge, historic houses that lined a lake where countless large white birds,  geese maybe??, were enjoying a leisurely float.  That scenery lasted for several lovely miles.  I noticed around mile 7ish that my blood sugar was getting low so at I decided to risk my stomach issues and take the Honey Stingers gel.  It went down without a problem – whew.

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Strike 3 came after mile 9.  At this point in the race I felt like crud again, the Pepto had worn off but I still had 4 miles to go.  I walked through a water stop, grabbed some water and started running again.  A few short strides later I ended up doing something I’ve never done during a race…..I threw up. UGH!  Luckily I didn’t really have anything in my body other than water and Honey Stingers gel so it wasn’t a huge, ‘look at her, she’s throwing up’ type deal.  I don’t think anyone except the two girls in the closest proximity to me even realized what happened.  (Sorry ladies…) It was still embarrassing nonetheless.  And the worst part was that I had already passed the water station so I had to wait until the next one to get the taste out of my mouth.  (Sorry, TMI, I know…)

After that bit, all I wanted to do was finish.  I didn’t have enough energy to pick up the pace so I did my best to just maintain.  I remember coming into the finisher’s chute and the announcer saying something about “smile, don’t look so serious” over the loudspeaker and all I could think to myself was, “lady, I’m going to puke all over you if you don’t shut it”.  I got my medal & finisher’s picture, grabbed a bottle of water & 1/2 a bagel and promptly found a patch of grass to die on.

Bleh.  Please take this picture fast so I can die.

Bleh. Please take this picture fast so I can die.

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Bllllllliiiiiing

Yep, that's me being a bit dramatic. To justify it, I did get the chills really bad after I finished.  I blame the fever.

Yep, that’s me being a bit dramatic. To justify it, I did get the chills really bad after I finished.  I blame my actions on the fever.

My final chip time was 2:04:29; almost a 3 minute PR.  All things considered, not too shabby.  Stacey and Lorena both  got stellar PRs of their own!!

Ok, I know I did a great job of making this race sound miserable but the actual event itself was phenomenal.  It was so much fun running an almost all woman’s race (there were handful of men) and you can tell that this event was put together with lots of thought and care for the runners.  However, all the great swag, the awesome course,  and shiny new bling can’t compare to the feeling that I got from running in memory of my aunt Kathy.  It makes my heart happy knowing that at least a small portion of the race proceeds go to help cancer patients and survivors. I think this would have made Kathy incredibly proud and I can’t wait to run it again next year! (Sans flu symptoms.)

Question:  Have you ever run a race sick? Or gotten sick on the race course?

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37 thoughts on “Womans Half Marathon Recap

  1. Your skirt is so cute, actually the whole outfit. Sorry you were sick, but congrats on the PR….just think how fast you would have been if you had avoided the onion rings!

  2. Awesome PR!! I occasionally have to warn the guy ripping off my bib tag at local races that I really should keep moving or I will get sick. The queen mother of all of my finish line moment was finishing my marathon. Let me just say, “sorry Cub Scouts.” You can read about the moment: http://wp.me/p2P1Nh-1N

    • Thanks, love! I certainly didn’t feel cute that day at all. I’m not sure how I got decent pictures. I was actually joking with my hubby the other day that I should be sick at all my races because the races I feel great at always capture the ‘I look like I’m dying’ pictures.

  3. Wow you look so smooth throughout the race. Good heavens and your race outfit is absolutely killer! Can I seriously be you when I grow up. HA. Great job for Pring while you are sick and this just fuels the fire for an even faster PR. 🙂

    • Thanks, Carrie! It wasn’t a big PR, less than 3 minutes but I’ll take it. I was surprised about the decent race pictures, too. Normally I look like I’m dying in race pictures. I think it was because I could actually spot the photographers in this race so I was able to get ‘prepared’. And you’re right, I won’t forget this one any time soon.

  4. You did awesome even with the barfage!! Way to go! I know aunt kathy is so proud!! My lil baby v is sick throwing up today so we are all about the pediasure this morning!! Have a great day, beautiful!!

  5. Never puked yet! You poor thing! That day was a tough one for me…humidity sucks my lungs dry! You rocked that race though and so proud of you! If we ever run together we should purposefully eat crap and puke at each mile marker….just an idea, think about it for a bit before responding ;-p

  6. Way to go on the PR! I too once ran a race sick, I had a double ear infection and a 101 fever. People thought I was crazy and I thought that they were the crazy one’s for discouraging me from racing! Great job on finishing!!

  7. Congrats on your PR! That’s awesome! You look really happy in all your pics!
    I ran the Womens Half in Nashville, and it was awesome. Something I’ll definitely be doing every year! Sorry you got sick. I know your Aunt Kathy would definitely be proud!

    • Thanks, love!! I think I got the ‘oh there’s a photographer so smile’ down. The Women’s Half in Nashville sounds great and I’m so glad you had a blast! I’m itching to do a race in TN.

  8. Never been sick for a race, must have been NO FUN! I got sick on an airplane for the first time in my life a year ago (I’ve flown numerous times) and like you, nobody really noticed except for my brother who was sitting next to me. And it wasn’t a whole lot either (TMI). Def NO FUN!!!

    But all that aside, congrats on the PR!!! and so great you ran for your aunt 🙂 Great cause!!!

    • I’ve learned that in the blog world, there’s rarely TMI… (Maybe that’s not a good thing??) Sorry about you getting sick on an airplane. It’s funny how we can do things tons of times and then just all the sudden our body goes into revolt. Thanks for the congrats and I’m glad that I was able to run it for Kathy. ❤

  9. Congrats on a PR, especially considering everything you were running against. I’ve hold colds when I’ve gone on runs, but not actually being really sick. Running 13 miles like that sounds like than fun!

  10. I am so sorry you got sick. How miserable. Just think though if you ran that fast when sick… you’ll be amazing healthy.
    And your running skirt is too cute. Mindy ran in one too for this same race. I am so jealous of you all. My legs would rub together and start a chub run fire. I ran a 10K once and chub rubbed so bad it started bleeding. No more shorts of skirts for thunder thighs.

    • You crack me up with your thunder thigh comments. Funny, yet incredibly self-depricating… And I’m glad you got your race attire figured out, I would hate for you to spontaneously combust. j/k!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  11. Pingback: Running don'ts. Actually...just don't run. | Run with Kate

  12. First, CONGRATS on your PR!!! Sorry I’m late to comment on this post 🙂
    Second, I’m completely jealous that you have great race pics! Sick and all you look great! I have only have had to make a pitstop once during a half marathon around mile 11. Fastest.#2.Ever! (TMI LOL)
    Cute skirt too.

    • I’ve learned that in the blogging / running world, there’s no such thing as TMI! I seriously don’t know how I managed to get somewhat decent pictures. Normally I look like I’m dying or have been hit in the face with a shovel.

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