Monday, April 29, 2013

the most interesting the world (my 2013 Scotia Bank Montreal Half Marathon)

Maybe that title is misleading. The course isn't actually all that interesting, but this is probably the most eventful race I've ever had. If things are going to go wonky, they may as well go completely wonky right?

So I ran a half marathon yesterday. I ran the same one last year and had a great race - it was cool out, I was running with Suz, and I ended up with an unexpected PR. Much as I did last year, I signed up for this race as a bit of a carrot to help me keep running through the winter. I love running, but when it is cold, snowy, and icy, sometimes I need a little extra kick to get out the door and having a race to prepare for really helps. This year didn't go as well as last year. Instead of a regular race report, I'll just recount the calamity of errors that was this race.

Thing 1: 
My garmin broke somewhere between my house and the race. It was fine when I left the house, but by the time I went to put it on, it wouldn't change from the "what time is it" screen, was stuck at 8:52 am (which it wasn't), and was pretty much useless. I asked my friends if anyone had a spare digital watch, but since no one did (and why would they?) I accepted that I'd be running "blind." (and I knew that unless they'd changed something, the only course clock would be at the 10 km mark)

As I'm writing this, it's still stuck on the same screen at the same time. I tried plugging it in to see if it helped and nothing happened. I guess I'll let it run out of battery and hope it will somehow work after that.

Thing 2: 
My main concern about running blind was that I'd start out too fast. I'm a terrible pacer and have a tendency to start too fast even when I'm trying to pay attention to my pace. So I knew there was  a significant possibility that I'd start too fast. What I didn't think would happen was that I'd start ridiculously fast. For the first 5 km, I was in front of the 1:50 pacer - which put me more than 20 seconds per mile faster than what I figured I would do. Oops. (and yes, I paid for it later)

Thing 3:
I had to pee for the first 5 km of the race. I really should have taken another trip to the port-o-potty and I'm not sure why I didn't. Maybe I was thrown off by the Garmin business? So, I rectified my very poor first 5 km pacing by taking a break in the port-o-potty to pee. Definitely the first time that's happened. And it was a ridiculous mistake to make. ALWAYS pee one more time.

Thing 4:
Even though the first half of the race didn't go how I thought I would, I was feeling pretty good at 10 km, and though I went through a slight "what am I doing, why am I here" feeling between 10 and 12, by 12 km I had snapped out of it and felt ok again. Then, when going through a water station, I had my first-ever on-course collision. I don't know what happened or how it happened, but all of a sudden, as I reached for a cup, someone behind me stepped on the back of my leg (not even my leg). I managed to stay upright, but the guy who ran into me did not. I felt bad about that, but he got up fairly quickly so I kept going when I heard him say he was ok. I saw him later and he was scraped up but still seemed ok.

It definitely jarred me, hurt a bit, and threw me, but I think the adrenaline kicked in a bit and that helped. It is definitely sore now, as is my knee, and I'm wondering if I'll have a foot-shaped bruise on the back of my leg.
pardon the weird look on my face
Thing 5:
As if 4 things weren't enough, with about 20-25 minutes to go, I started to feel really sick. I'm not good with any sort of heat (running in arm-warmer temperature is my ideal) and it has ben fairly cool up until this weekend, so I think the "heat" was starting to get to me and I'm fairly sure I was paying for my quick start. Whatever it was, my stomach was not happy at all. I'd run, feel like barfing, take a few steps of a walk break to let things settle, and then start running again and the cycle would start again. It wasn't too fun. But I really didn't want to just walk it in. I just told myself that I had to keep moving, not matter how slowly I felt I was running.

At the 20 km mark, I really didn't want to take any walk breaks because it was so close to the end. So I decided to keep running no matter how terrible I felt because there wasn't that far to go...which I thought would work. But then with 500 meters to go, I realized that I had to either stop so that I could puke on the grass or keep running and puke on myself. I chose the grass. Special thanks to the many people who yelled "don't stop now, you're almost there" as they ran by... (my friend Liz did run by and tell me I could do it...that was actually appreciated) When the puking was over, I jogged it in. I managed not to puke again at the finish line and also managed to finish in 1:59 (with a pretty huge positive split), which I'll take considering the calamity of errors. I guess that ends my 7 year no puking streak.
Not only did this sign of Suz's get the most laughs, it was very fitting...
TL;DR - My garmin broke, I started too fast, had to pee, had a guy step on my leg, and barfed. Should have waited in line at the bathroom with Liz and run with her as she had a great 10 min PR! Yay Liz.

Jordan finished in 1:21. He's good at running.


janelle said...

You're one tough cookie! YOu still finished, in good time, despite what what thrown at you! Way to be awesome!

Hope your leg feels better sooner than later!

Rebecca said...

What a race?!?!

Hopefully your Garmin figures itself out!

Jill said...

Wow. You pretty much described the nightmares I've been having leading up to my first half (on Sunday). Congrats on the PR though - that is HUGE!

And I'm totally using that sign on LOVE IT!

kristen said...

Good luck with your race Jill! I just had the bad luck for you - you'll do great!

No PR this time. Maybe next time! I imagine I'll run this course again...

Leigh said...

Boo to the puking. I've been there though and it's not pleasant. Boo to the Garmin not working. But woo hoo for a half marathon finish!

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

Well you will definitely remember this race!

Love that sign- so fitting.

Can you do a hard reset on your watch? I have a love/hate relationship with that Garmin. So many people have complained about issues with it, including me. If yours is anything like mine, it won't take long for the battery to die.

Yah Jordan is a bit fast.

Caroline said...

Well I am a little behind the reading ..
Good job on finish this one
You can be "puking queen" with me!