a race in two parts. or, the race in which the last 10% completely ruined the first 90% which is statistically unreasonable. or, why did I sign up for a half-marathon before completing this distance first?? at the end of the race, I was done with racing, and severely regretting the two I have on tap (Alexandria Half 5/29, Marine Corps Marathon 10/30). but I am getting ahead of myself.
the start was really cold. I am a big wuss about the cold. and the early. the Handyman is too -- he was wearing 4 pairs of pants :) and napped on the metro on the way there. I decided to keep my running jacket on and hand it off to him at some point along the course (good decision!). I had been planning to run with my mp3 player but the instructions seemed pretty strict about not bringing them, so I didn't...and was super pissed to see that nearly everyone in my corral had headphones on. grr!!! either enforce the rules or don't make the rule!
those first 5 miles were pretty great. I played the "follow that butt" game (plenty of butts to choose from! lots of people going at an excellent pace for me, just over 10m/m), watched my footing, breathed easy. was through the 5k in 32min, felt a little slow but hey we have a ways to go. I hit mile 5 at 52-ish min, and had as my dream goal to finish the 10 miles in 100 min, so told myself I needed to push it...and I hit mile 6 at 60:00. awesome. I planned to "drop the hammer" once I started the Hains Point loop.
I hate Hains Point. I do, I really do. I didn't like running it for the Jingle 10k, I didn't like cheering at it for MCM, and I really, really hated it this morning. I was super confused for most of it, and just could not remember whether or not we'd gotten to the turnaround point. for all 3 miles. not good.
at some point my right heel started hurting. this is a totally new pain to me, and I have no idea why it happened -- probably my gait was off, maybe because of some bursts of speed I put on to push through people-gaps? I think it started up quite a bit before Hains Point, but it got to be a serious problem in there, and I started limping. I tried to play follow-that-butt, play music in my head, tell myself I had less than a 5k to go, walked through 2 of the water stops, etc., and that all worked to some extent. but by the time I hit mile 9, I was near tears.
if anyone saw me past mile 9, it was not pretty. grimacing & cussing. and I felt really bad about it, I wanted to respond to the cheering, to push up that last hill, to kick it up to a sprint once I saw that finish line (why is it around a corner?? that's just mean!) and finish strong, but my heel just wouldn't let me. it said, "we have two speeds: this one, and stop. GTFO." the Handyman saw me finish and said I looked like I wasn't having much fun. I collapsed into his arms just past the finish line photographers (I think all of the photographers on the course missed me, which I hate because I do love an action shot, but I was always in the middle of the road and saw them too late to dodge to the side & get a pic snapped. I did manage to smile for finish-line posed photo, maybe it will come out ok but I will always see the tears in my eyes I think), and I wept, and told him I didn't want to walk anymore.
I'm actually still weepy. my heels hurts and I can't put weight on it. my left knee hurts too, so I've been scooting around our house on my butt. yeah.
so...I'm glad I ran it, I'm glad I tried this distance, the volunteers were super awesome especially out on Hains Point!, but I wouldn't do this race again. at this particular moment, I don't want to do any races ever again, but that will probably fade. I will admit to not being trained for this race distance, and that needs to not ever happen again (train right or take a DNS). oh and to add insult to injury, I stupidly went and looked up the "unofficial" results to see that gosh am I slow (bottom 30% overall). I did pass 708 people in the second half though (and got passed back by 393, which I would bet happened almost entirely in mile 9). bah, why do I even bother.
excuse me while I go mope. and ice my heel. *sigh*