1:51:20. One hour, fifty-one minutes and twenty seconds.
Not exactly the finish time I envisioned when I registered and not the finish time I thought about at the start of taper week but I guess I am lucky I was able to run at all after being sick.
Let’s talk about it, shall we?
It’s crazy to think what a big deal it is to have finished these 13.1 miles when hello, I run the distance like every seven days but my gosh, IT WAS BRUTAL.
The heat. The relentless sun. The endless lengths of road. The thirst. Oh the thirst.
It started out perfect. I felt great when I woke up, almost completely forgetting that I just had some sort of virus.
I ate oatmeal, drank my water and coffee. Like any other race morning.
I had my stuff all together, including my Lulu bag packed with essentials like my yurbuds, a banana and watermelon (on ice, for after the race when I get to the car) plus my sweatshirt (always freezing when finished) and the towel they gave out this year at the expo (along with a race shirt and socks!).
I got to the race with plenty of time to spare, used a bathroom or two and walked my way over to the start.
It was gorgeous out but I knew it would feel hot once we started running. I was ready for it though, or so I thought.
Do you see the Nassau Coliseum in the background? The first couple of miles run right around it.
So what happened you wonder?
Miles 1- 3 —> I felt great! I was going at what seemed to be a comfortable pace. I was holding it no issue, my legs felt rested and happy, I felt normal and myself, completely forgetting I had been sick.
I absolutely didn’t think I needed to stop at the mile 2 water station…
As soon as I hit mile 3, I was dying of thirst and there wasn’t water again until the 4 mile mark.
It was kind of weird actually because my muscles were ready and willing to run but the rest of me was…thirsty. And hot. Overheating.
Miles 4- 6 –> The jelly beans came out much sooner than planned. They usually come out at mile 6 but I had them out by mile 4, maybe even sooner.
I wanted to stop.
I kept going yet I knew that the only way to keep going was to slow down. I was honestly struggling big time to continue, more than any other race (I think).
I was just so hot.
I walked through every water station, sometimes stopping completely to drink. In my head it was a game of, “okay, just get to the next water station, you can make it to that and then see what’s up…”
With each water stop, I felt better…until the feeling of I am too hot and this is really challenging returned.
Miles 7- 10 –> I was dreading the Wantagh Parkway. I kept thinking to myself that maybe I needed to call it quits before the stretch of endless sunny highway but I didn’t stop.
I reminded myself to just run where I was comfortable, as if it were a routine long run.
Nothing was actually comfortable because of the sun. Of course it had to be the warmest day of the year to date.
I tried to get to the rest of my jelly beans but they slipped into the seam of the pants pocket!
Did I mention my songs were supposed to be on shuffle but weren’t shuffling?
Miles 10-13 –> I knew that the girls from my local Lululemon store were manning the water stop at mile 11 and I would love to say that they gave me some sort of boost but all they gave me was water. Like three cups of water. I was grabbing a good three at each water station.
I just couldn’t get enough water. I may have even had a Gatorade at some point.
Miles 11 through 13.1 were long. Endless.
I kept thinking I should speed up but I realized that I was giving all I had. I really was.
It was the absolute best that I could do and that really counts for something. I could not go faster.
When I crossed the finish line, I asked for two bottles of water and drank them without going up for air, except for when I swapped out one bottle for the other.
I couldn’t even call my dad (you know I always call him when I finish a race) until I got to water bottle number three.
The hardest part of the whole race, I mean besides the relentless heat and sun, was allowing myself to seriously slow down.
I was so ready to PR this race (until I got sick that is) but honestly, it was so extremely hot that who knows if I would have anyway.
Did I suffer through this race because I had been sick? Maybe. I may have felt better but my body probably didn’t forget the illness so quickly.
I did not even have an endorphin high. Nothing. I was beat and spent and not in that endorphin flowing tired yet glowing way although I felt better once I showered, ate and recovered a bit at home.
Since I always look on the bright side of things…
–>My yurbuds were awesome.
–>I think I would have dropped to the ground by mile 4 had it not been for the Lulu run visor.
–>I didn’t give up.
So here’s the thing — I am totally not competitive. Not with you, your friend or myself. I really would have had little issue dropping out of the race and calling it a day if I truly didn’t feel well. I dug deep during those dreadful miles to determine if I could last because if I couldn’t, I was done.
But I was okay enough to continue. All I needed to do was slow down. If you learn nothing more from me, I hope you learn that as a runner, you are totally in control. You may not run the race that you want, you may not cross the finish line at the time at which you desired but you are in complete control of regulating your pace to where you need to be should you not be able to keep up with your best.
Sometimes giving up is the answer (like if you don’t feel well! You stop!) But sometimes, the answer is finding your inner strength to keep going while giving up on your PR, regulating your pace to where you can continue and finishing as strong as possible.
…And most importantly, skipping that first aid station when part of you thinks it looks like a really good rest idea at mile 7 because if you stop there and then write about it in your recap, your mom will read it and ban you from running for life.
This was my third year running the Long Island Half Marathon:LI Half Marathon Recap #lihalf #running #halfmarathon #racerecap Click To Tweet
Do you handle warm weather races well or do you prefer the fall?
Do you stop to drink at the water stops or keep moving?
Best thing you ate all weekend?!