Monday, September 17, 2012

Number hungry: Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon Race Breakdown

[my report; NOT a review]
Quick & Dirty
  • just barely made it under my 'max' goal time
  • am getting hungrier for better numbers [but not more training of course :b]
  • underestimated the tremendous value of running a race with a friend
  • had forgotten what's it like to be 'thankful to finish', and I am.
  • as always, could use more training:
Here was my phat 5-week training plan from my previous post:

Philly Rock n Roll Half in 5 weeks
Week of Short Run Cross - Train Short Run Cross - Train  Long Run
Aug 12 [tri race this week] [tri race this week] 3 miles [tri race this week] 7 miles
Aug 19 3 - 4 miles swim 500m 5 miles spin class? 8 - 9
Aug 26 3 - 4 miles still deciding 4-5 miles short bike (8 miles) 10 miles
Sept 2 3 - 4 miles swim 500m 4-5 miles does shopping count?10 -12 miles
Sept 9 3 - 4 miles swim 500m 3 miles [not this week] RACE

Here's what I actually did:

Philly Rock n Roll Half in 5 weeks
Week of Short Run Cross - Train Short Run Cross - Train  Long Run
Aug 12 [tri race this week] [tri race this week] 3 miles [tri race this week] 7 miles
Aug 19 3 - 4 miles swim 500m 5 miles spin class? 8 - 9
Aug 26 3 - 4 miles still deciding
Swim 1000m
3.5 miles
short bike (8 miles)
walk with kids
10 miles
Sept 2 3 - 4 miles swim 500m 4-5
3.1 miles
does shopping count?
gardening [demo/weeding]
10 -12
7 miles
Sept 9 3 - 4 miles swim 500
1000 m
2 miles [not this week] RACE

[see what an unfocused slacker I am in even a 5 week schedule]

Slow & Painful Breakdown 
I usually can't sleep before a race, but of course this time my husband also wanted me to stay up a little later to help him with a work project. I'm singing the vocal track for the back of a little short video he's making. Apparently this couldn't wait. So it cost me a few snooze buttons in the morning but I actually still made it early to the race. [6:30 am for an 8 am start time, and technically my corral started around 8:30.] Of course I'm a bumbling, fumbling, emotional mess trying to get out of the door of the house. Looking for a big hug from the hubby, spilling both my hot coffee and iced coffee in the kitchen, on the way out the door, and each in the car. Yes, I need both. Forget keys. Back inside. Forget deoderant. Back inside and up the stairs because I can't find it in my gym bag by the door. Unload some stuff in the car leftover from the Moms' Sale yesterday, because apparently someone in Center City is going to steal a Disney Princess lamp... Finally getting on the road, alternating between singing loudly to some pumped up music and crying. Emotional mess. Feeling mad at myself for not being prepared time wise, parking wise, and fitness wise.  Find free parking and all is good with the world.

Except for that phantom knee pain.

And the phantom blisters.

And the fact that I weighed myself in the morning and I weigh more. than. I. EVER. have. outside of pregnancy.

Most ever. If this is muscle that I have put on through training, I should have gone into shot put in my teens. Seriously.

Found twin mommy friend, she chats me up and soothes a lot of pre-race jitters. But not all.
We discuss her shoes for a few hours, and then the race starts.

Was suffering through mile 1 and 2 as usual. I thought I was supposed to help fellow twin mommy pick up her pace, and now the opposite is true. So I start telling her to pull away when she needs to.

Told myself to get thru the city to mile 5 and then I could take a walk break. My partner had a great strategy of quick walks at water/ Gatorade stations to which I had no problem agreeing. Even though I wanted more walking bits I knew I was running slow so I had no position to argue.

Mile 7 I started cursing my prep, started to cramp, and was trying to make it to Gu station that I knew was coming up around mile 9. I was also cursing my GPS app; it probably steered me wrong in my training. I'm going over training routes in my mind and if I hadn't driven them out or Google mapped them to confirm distances:  Doubt. Also cursing the lady-voice announcing miles on my GPS app because it got thrown off from the very beginning of the race amongst the city buildings and was announcing the wrong mileage in 1-mile intervals. I tried to put my phone on vibrate but the app overrides that. My potty mouth came out in general. For some reason in the middle of most of my long runs and workouts, I have taken to calling myself dirty, dirty names. Don't ask me why.

I took my own second Gu early and swear I could feel it working before Mile 9.

We kept talking about the fact that after mile 10, which was the longest I had previously run, was a 5k to the end. This was exciting to me. I could not wait for mile 10. But I hyped it up too much. This is where I started to fall apart. I kept dropping back and finally just started walking, so I lost my partner. I walked about a quarter mile somewhere after the mile 10 marker.

It occurred to me as I passed one of the last bands before the finish that I did not get inspired by any of the music at the "Rock n Roll" Marathon. Maybe two bands had a good groove going. But I guess I'm not your average listener. So I broke out the headphones, turned on the music and started texting! WTF. I know. But I am used to messing with my GPS app during runs, so it really wasn't hard and I needed a little extra encouragement. There was a fabulous option to have friends/family members notified via text of your progress throughout the race, so I knew they were anxiously awaiting my updates and had their phones pressed to their hearts in anticipation [this seemed a valid thought in my sweat-soaked brain]. So I texted my brother and hubby to get some extra oomph. That, combined with Justin Bieber, helped me finish. I really like that new As long as you lah-lah-lah-love me song.

I started to get emotional again. This is when my crazy cheerleader comes out. She is like, a hormonal teenage cheerleader who is drunk and on crack at the same time. Growly "owwws!' come out of my mouth mixed with breathy song lyrics and collective "we can do this!" yells, expecting my fellow racers to join in. No one does. I act like that person that was just yelling was not me. Live my own internal pop concert/football game. I often become this cheerleader in the run portion of my tri's, and for some reason, a lot of people join in. I think being in front of each other in bathing/tri suits takes away a lot of the self conciousness right off the bat.

As soon as I pass mile 12 I know I'm going to make it and I just want to get under 2:20. Trying to pick up my knees but as is often the case for me approaching the finish line, I just can't. Just maintain pace and make it in 2:18:24. I'll take it!

And my twin mommy friend PR'd! So I don't think I slowed her down too much.
Nothing like chafed arms to remind you that you are a fattie Athena! I don't know whether to blame it on my big arms or the fact that I relied on my arms more than usual [typically I'm giving them a break after swimming & biking], or the fact that I couldn't find my preferred deodorant before the race and the one I used is particularly alcohol-y.

Same emotional mess in car on way home- mix of singing loudly with the windows open and half crying.

I have to say I prefer tri's. Something about the change of gear - literally and mentally - really suits me. [Duh. I have A.D.D.] You people and your silly one discipline races. I really felt it was harder on the body.

Speaking of...that secret I told you, that I weighed more this morning than I ever have, outside of pregnancy... It's very frustrating and I know if I'm going to do longer races I need to slim up. It's just that, when I do focus on losing weight, it requires all my focus and I can barely muster up the energy for 2 workouts/week. And the kids and my stomach get "Coffee Mama", and she is not always predictably lovely.

Sexy cold bath with ice cubes [reccomended by my twin mommy coach], makes me realize part of the reason I love Steelman so much...they have an ice cold shower tent set up... that thing is better than sex.

Can't really nap the rest of the day. Like 30 minutes. Too antsy and restless. I'm always like this. Too wired up. This is one of the reasons I envision longer races for myself. I don't stop, even when my body wants to. [oops]

Oh, and for the record, that's five races in the last four years (since we've had kids) after which Daddy has taken a nap, and not Mommy. Even when he doesn't spectate! I'm glad he's keeping up his record. 
Congrats! You read this whole post! Phew. That was almost as long as the race.


  1. Don't be so hard on yourself. You did a great job, especially for such a short training table!

  2. Congrats on your run! Glad to hear I am not the only one talking (mentally) myself through races. :)


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