However you get across that finish line, 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles.
On Saturday, I finished the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon. It was my first race in Savannah, but I hope it isn't my last.
The very first thing I want to say about this race is...my performance had nothing to do with the course, or location, and everything to do with me. Now, that being said...I fall short of calling it a disaster.
My first half, in April, I trained for nearly 6 mths for, and came across the finish line, hurting, at 3:33. I had trained with intervals, but the day of the race, I threw all that out the window and pushed to see how far I would run without stopping. I got to 11.5 miles and when I stopped to walk, I had to force myself to start again. After that race, I said the lesson I learned was to run the race the same as I trained and not try anything new.
This race...well, I let a lot of drama and straight up bullshit distract me from doing what I needed to do to get ready. my "training" consisted of running a bunch of 5 and 10ks from July until a couple weeks before this race. I knew it was going to be tough and just decided to do what I could do and not try to break any records. I was gonna start off taking walk breaks early, instead of waiting until I was past the point of needing it.
First 3 miles...fantastic. I was making good time, and even made myself slow down a bit. I told myself if I averaged a 15min mile, I was good and could still shave time off my previous half. Each miles got a little slower, but I was also walking, so I was ok with it. I maintained this pace though the 10K mark. At that point, I decided to give myself an extra long walk break and ended up walking to mile 7. I met up with my husband who was waiting for me along the course,. He asked how I was doing and I told him my knees were starting to hurt, so I was walking a little. He walked with me for just a bit, then said he'd meet me at the finish line and we went our separate ways.
About 7.5 miles, I started to run some more. My right knees started hurting more, so I had to walk more than I ran.
By mile 8, I wasn't running much at all.
At 9.5 miles, I knew I was in trouble. I started to doubt that I would make it to the end. By this point, walking hurt, and I couldn't run at all. I started texting my Sole Sister, telling her I was hitting a wall.
Her: No Wall. There is no wall.
Walk a bit
Me: I have been walking.
Her: You're over halfway done. Suck it up. Cry and ice later. You can do it
Me:If one more person asks if I'm doing ok, I'm gonna cry.
Her: So cry. It's almost over
Me: 10 mother fucking miles
Her: 5k left. Easy Peasy
Her: It's been 30 mins. Where are you at now?
Me: 11.5 I can't run, Can barely walk. I don't know if I'll make it
Her: You can make it. Walk slow
(30 mins later)
Her: Where now
Her: Cake. You got it.
FINISH! FINISH! FINISH!
And I did finish. I'm not sure how I was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, but I was determined to finish.
I could see the finish line ahead of me, and I mustered what I could to run across it. I looked back at the live web cast of me (and everyone else) crossing the finish, and what I was doing really could not have been described as a run, lol.
As I cross the finish, and ice cold bottle of water was handed to me, and as I made my way through the crowd, I was rubbing the bottle on my knee. A woman from the med crew came up and asked if I was ok. I told her i was fine (because that's how stubborn I am), that I just needed to ice my knee. That's when she pulled me over to the med tent and sat me down and put ice on my knees. I never would have stopped on my own.
I sent my husband a text letting him know where I was. He said he'd go get the car and for me to stay put. Since we were parked a mile from the finish line, I happily sat there and waited.
It took 30 mins for him to walk to the car, and get back to a spot right outside the finish. With the ice still on my knees, I made my way to the car and we headed back to the hotel. At this point, my skin was numb from the ice, but I think that's what saved me.
We stopped for food on the way back and I sat on the bed with the ice still in place while I ate, then I went and soaked in a sports mix of Epsom salts and other stuff. I was so tired, I started nodding off in the tub and decided it was time to get out. Took 4 Aleve, rolled out my muscles with the foam roller and took a nap.
I'm not gonna say I wasn't sore later, but I could get up and walk without too much trouble. I prepared for recovery better than I did the race.
My official time was 4:11. Miserable, but at least I finished.
Now I know that I have to stop letting people and things that don't matter interfere with my running. The BS from the last 6mths or so was ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as me letting someone else tell me my running wasn't as important as what SHE wanted from me. I will NEVER make that mistake again. This is what Savannah taught me. This race was not my best, but that just means I have no where to go but up.