What can I say about the Dover Run for Home Half Marathon yesterday? It was a sufferfest. Definitely the most difficult half I've run in a long time due largely to unexpectedly high temperatures. The race start is at 1PM - a late start, which was not an issue when I ran it back in 2010 at a 1:45. This year it was 80 degrees at the start and 82 when we finished. I knew I was in trouble after I was sweating from my 9:00 paced warm up mile.
Although I feel that I did everything right to prepare for this race it just didn't matter. There was too much working against me. Aside from the weather conditions, I had pinned a Powerbar gel onto my shorts. I discovered at mile 2 that the gel had leaked all over my shorts, tank and iPod! I stopped to try to wipe off my hands as they were caked in gel but I had no way to really clean myself up until mile 3's water station. At mile 3 I stopped and threw water down my shirt/shorts, on my hands and moved along. At that point I was doing okay, averaging around 7:30 per mile despite the setbacks.
At mile 5 I felt overheated and whooped. I stopped for a drink and stood for a minute or two debating whether I should just quit the race and wait for my husband to finish. I even threw out my bib. I figured I had no shot at winning and would just do the race as a training run for the Cleveland Half Marathon coming up next month. So that is what I did. The back half of the race is also hilly. There are a few big ones in there for extra fun in the heat. Needless to say I stopped and walked some on some of the hills and water stops as many people were doing. There were never any gels being handed out on the course and the gatorade was watered down so I had no fuel to really help me either.
I wasn't even going to run through the finish since it wouldn't be timed but after working that hard just to finish yesterday I decided I earned my medal with my crappy time of just over 1:58. Or at least I felt it was crappy for me. I wanted to run 1:38. 20 minutes off was a fail for me. My husband was standing there waiting for me. He also did not do as well as he hoped as he was shooting for a 1:30 and did 1:41 - still a good time considering the heat.
I just looked up the results and although I am not listed my time would make me 6th in the 30-34 age group and 16th overall of 200 women. At least that makes me feel a little better today. But yesterday was rough. I felt like a failure and I cried. I called my coach and explained what happened. I went home and cried and ran another few miles fast just to make myself feel better (or to punish myself). And that was it. The end of a very difficult race. That one's in the books and at the end of the day at least I finished. I would have been much more disappointed in myself for quitting. I also feel I learned a few things yesterday about running and myself.
I would like to thank my Rev3 team members for your encouragement and support as well as my other friends and especially my husband who did his best to cheer me up yesterday!