Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sixth Half-Marathon, Check!

Hey everybody! I know I may have freaked some of my friends out with my Facebook status after the race, but I really felt it was a notch in my belt to finally run myself to the point where the medical tent was necessary!

My experience in my sixth half-marathon, and the second time doing the Virginia Beach Half-Marathon was far from ordinary. Upon waking up early last Saturday for our drive to Virginia Beach, I noticed the extreme cold that had come upon me. Despite a good 11 hours of sleep the night before I was feeling pretty awful. I did everything to shake it - cold medicine, Wellness Pills, Zicam, EmergenC, and at least 200 ounces of fluids throughout the day. I drank so much in an attempt to drink away the cold and hydrate for the next day. I had a steady mix of vitamin C drinks, different forms of electrolytes and lots of water. I try not to drink too much water the day before a race, as well as the morning of. After hydrating with so many electrolytes for race prep, you don't want to wash the electrolytes out of your system.

Shelby, Mary and I had an awesome drive out to Virginia Beach despite my sickness. We were on a mission to find a Qdoba for a pre-race lunch and eventually ended up at a real mall with an H+M, Forever 21 and California Pizza Kitchen. It was heavennn and much better than shopping in Charlottesville!

Upon arriving we headed to the convention center for the Health and Fitness Expo. This was Mary's first race outside of the Charlottesville Half Marathon and it was Shelby's first half-marathon, so it was pretty cool for them to see so many vendors and sponsors out there.

After picking up our packets we headed straight to the Larabar booth for free samples galore!

Then we went searching for running accessories!

Later on that night we checked into our hotel room in hopes of getting to sleep by about 8:30. It was only a dream though, as I somehow managed to lock the keys in the car. The AAA man came eventually but my stretching routine and pre-race shower were postponed until he arrived. I didn't get a very good night of sleep, mainly due to all the sniffling and coughing. This was probably the first sign that I should not have done the race the next day, but I was not going to let a stupid cold get in a way of the race.

The next morning we made our way from Norfolk to Virginia Beach, getting pumped as ever for 13.1.

When we got near the start, we encountered some more car drama - in the form of parking this time. Long story short, I founded myself sprinting about 8 blocks to a 7-11 for some cash and on the way back I started to feel very feverish and tired. This was sign number 2 that I should not have done the race.

Yes, I know I'm stubborn.

The race started off well. I started off in Coral 7 with an anticipated finish time of 1:55. My PR (personal record) is 1:57 at the Charlottesville Half. That race is incredibly hilly, so compared to the flatness of Virginia Beach I figured such a PR would be pretty easy to accomplish.

I was well on my way in the first couple of miles, hitting 9 minute splits with very little effort. And then once the first incline came about my cold really started to hit me. My sinuses were hating me, and it became a lot harder to breathe. Every time I tried to speed up, I began to feel very nauseated. The first 6 miles went pretty well, and if I could have kept up that pace I would have a good chance of finishing sub-2 hours. But my body was not ready for that, as I eventually need to take a couple of breaks. I'm estimating I stopped for at least 10 minutes. Mile 8 and 9 were by far the worst, and it was around then that I noticed a pain in my left ankle. This has happened a lot to me in the past with long distances so I didn't worry too much about it. The last three miles are usually the easiest for me - when my adrenaline kicks in and all I care about is crossing that finish line. Not this race. My body was completely exhausted and it really started to affect me. I remember feeling pretty delirious. At this point, adrenaline was not enough to get me sprinting across the finish. I kept at about a 10 minute mile pace for the last 2 miles.

I reached the finish at 2:19, a time I am not proud of. Accounting for the 10 minutes of rest, I was able to run the 13.1 in 2:09 technically. Even so, I'm proud of myself for finishing. It feels like a very different type of accomplishment, and made me feel really confident about my fitness being able to go to that distance while feeling that sick.

After the race, I meandered around for about 20 minutes looking for Mary and Shelby. I eventually decided to sit down for a second and give my legs a rest, hoping they would find me. And then I collapsed. About 25 minutes later I woke up, with a person sitting next to me telling me I should head over to the medical tent. I disagreed and found myself myself attempting to walk over to look for Mary and Shelby at the car. 30 seconds I was back down on the ground. I got the strength to get back and went over to the medical tent.

I recall slurring my words and not making much sense of the situation, so excuse me if this sounds a bit hazy. I told a volunteer there that I was not feeling well and felt very faint.

His response: "We can't help you."

"Are you serious? I don't know what to do."

"There is no doctor here that can help you."

"Is this not the freaking medical tent? Isn't this your job?"

Eventually a woman came to "help" me. Without really listening to my symptoms or even asking about a medical history, she just gave me a salt packet and told me to leave.

I'm extremely disappointed and this experience really makes me question whether or not I should continue doing races on a bigger scale with soooo many participants. Running such long distances puts a lot of stress on your body that can cause just about anything to happen. The volunteers at the medical tent at this Rock n' Roll race were so unhelpful, and quite rude. I totally understand how stressful caring for tons of runners with various injuries and ice requests. But this was different. I'm quite apprehensive about running in Rock n' Roll races in the future because of this, so hopefully I'll eventually be convinced otherwise!

Soon after, Mary and Shelby found me crying to my momma by the car... and were quick to cheer me up. We headed back to the hotel for showers and made our way back to Charlottesville in time to get some time in at the library. Post race meals were Mo's and Rise Pizza (gluten-free for me!).

I've been still fighting this cold the past few days.. my body was totally out of whack on Monday. Luckily I haven't been too sore since the race, so I think that shows that my body is in good fitness and ready for that distance. I did a nice long strength workout tonight, and was able to increase my weight on the squats- good sign my legs are recovering well!

I'm going to be taking a vitamin C drink supplement several times a day in order to ramp up my immune system so I'll be able to tackle school and upcoming races with ease. We're two weeks away from the Pepsi 10K here in Charlottesville and then it's time to PR at RICHMOND!!!

Sorry for the long time in between posts everyone. I'm really trying to make blogging a part of my routine so please keep following and giving us feedback. We love it!

And one last thing: CONGRATULATIONS SHELBY! One half-marathon down, lots more to go!


1 comment:

  1. i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.