Welp, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here 😬 but I’ve wanted to write this recap because it was such a learning experience.
So a little background going into it… I officially graduated from NP school, started studying for boards, and was looking for potential jobs. Needless to say, the month of September was extremely stressful.
The weather has also been all over the place. Humid, hot, cool, crazy. Leading up to the race the weather looked hotter and hotter
As you guys probably know, I do not do well in hot/humid weather. I just cannot tolerate it whatsoever. Even when I’m not running, I’m a hot mess haha.
Anyway, I left Friday mid morning with my husband to head down to the beach. Luckily a friend of my family owns a house down there and we were able to use it for the weekend! My parents also decided to come that weekend. Anytime my parents decide to come to a race weekend, makes me the happiest person in the world 😂
Friday and Saturday were spent relaxing and having some fun with my parents and husband. The only time I really went to the beach was Friday afternoon. I actually didn’t stay too long because of the heat. We did enjoy some good sunsets, yummy green smoothies, and a round a mini golf.
I don’t usually go out to eat when I travel for races. I pack everything knowing what my body will tolerate and won’t upset my stomach. So all meals leading up to the Sunday race, were pre made. It can be difficult at times wanting to go out to eat with my parents, but I settle with staying at home eating what I brought.
The morning of the race I actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. Looking at the weather it was already in the 70’s and not a cloud in the sky. I kind of accepted the fact that this would most likely not be a PR race due to the heat. I would definitely try to, but if I felt the heat really getting to me, I would back off. Another thing about this race was a late start. It started at 8:30AM. I’m usually finishing up my long run by that time!
Me and my husband did a short bike ride to the boardwalk where the starting line was. It was the first time I ever did that! It was already hot and there was zero cloud cover or breeze. I started to feel a little nervous then, but I kept a positive attitude and was determined to have some fun.
I did a 5 min jog warm up and did some active stretching about 15 min prior to start time. I then took a Gu and headed over to the starting line. There were no corrals in this race so you had to kind of guesstimate where in line you should start haha. It didn’t really bother me because it was otherwise a super organized race.
I crossed the starting line a little after 8:00AM. I felt great and my legs felt ready. I was hitting all my paces in the beginning.
Mile 3-4 you go up and over a bridge twice. Whoever knows Ocean City NJ knows that this bridge is STEEP and long. I had to put a little more effort than I thought I would into it but I still felt great. After the 2nd bridge go ever, I started to feel the affects of the heat. By mile 5, I knew I couldn’t keep holding the pace I was holding or else I would hurt myself.
It was frustrating because I was fighting with myself debating whether I should slow down or not but every inch my body was telling me too. I knew if my body was telling me that early on to slow down, I had to listen.
Before I hit mile 6, I got to see my husband for the first time. He was wonderful, cheering me on. All I could get out was “It’s so F****ing hot!” Probably not the most appropriate thing to say during a race, but it was brutal!!
We got back on the boardwalk and I started pathetically crying at this point (oh, the drama haha). I just wanted this race to be my race and it wasn’t going to happen. I started hitting some dark, dark thoughts in my mind. Does that happen to anyone else? It gets to the point of actually putting myself down and saying not so nice things about myself. Crazy, right?
At mile 8 we started heading off the boardwalk into the back roads. I honestly did not know how I was going to run 5 more miles. 5 miles is nothing but at this race, 5 miles felt like forever away. Every single water station I was throwing cups of water on myself attempting to cool my body down along with drinking what I could. I was able to fuel with my last Gu and thankfully, my stomach was able to handle it.
At this point I knew I had to make a decision. Choose to be miserable or choose to have fun and celebrate all the good work outs I’ve put in. I chose the second option. I started interacting with the volunteers, saying thank you to the spectators, and literally praised the woman who was handing out ice cold towels. There is a special place in heaven for that woman haha 😂 The rest of the race, I had that towel around my neck and tucked it under my tank top so it would stay. LIFE SAVING.
After a turn around point and heading back to the boardwalk, there were only 2 more miles left. I picked up the pace, just wanting the race to be over.
I crossed the finish line at 1:59:56. Just made it under 2 hours, which completely surprised me. I thought I would be well over 2 hours in those conditions.
I honestly had no appetite to eat anything after that race. I soaked my neck and head with more ice towels and could only eat a soft pretzel. But this race had AMAZING post race food. They had bananas, donuts, pizza, bagels, granola bars, orange slices etc. It’s a shame I didn’t have more of an appetite.
I was disappointed, sad, and I actually apologized to my parents. I felt like I never can run to my potential when they make the attempt to come to one of my races. But as my mom always says, “there will always be more races!”
After thinking, showering, and cooling down, I was very proud of that race. Not all races are going to be sunshine and rainbows. I worked HARD to finish that race in the time that I did and if I could run a bad race at that time, what would the it be for a good race? Another comforting thing was hearing other runners say how their times were 15 min slower. It made me realize that 1:45 was possible in ideal conditions.
So another half marathon, still not in the 1:40’s and that’s OK!! I keep reminding myself that each race is so important in our journeys and sometimes lessons are needed before PR’s.
Now decisions will need to be made regarding my marathon in November. As most of you probably know, my right hip flexor/hip have been giving me issues. I am ok and I am resting for now. Updates will be given in a later blog or Instagram post once I have made some decisions.
THANK YOU ALL for your support through my journey and helping me move forward from this. It is SO appreciated. Thank you, thank you.
Until the next race,