ouch. this race took so much out of me. heat. and a nasty convection-oven-like wind. and RELETNLESS hills. the course was out-and-back. hill after hill after hill. and i started out WAY too fast..........
pre-race: arrived at 11 am for weigh-in and ice-down.everyone seemed much more geared up than me. sun-suits, crazy hats, ice bandanas, ice head bands, etc. where did they get all this stuff ? i had on my regular racing clothes and a water bottle. oh, and winter-white skin. yep, you could tell i was an out-of-towner and a newbie. the RD was so funny. she was dressed like the devil and was wearing bib #666.
noon: race starts. i take off way too fast. i blew the race right here. 6:52 for the first mile. HAHA. that was definitely my demise. at this point i was in third place; 1st female.
miles 2-5: i feel horrible already. i want to give out at mile 5. really i do.
mile 6: almost to the turn-around. there is an aid station so i stop. they refill my bottle with ice and i pour the whole thing over my head. then i drink some nasty HEED electrolyte drink. i eat some pretzels but then spit them out because i feel like i may puke. the saltiness was nice though. i leave with an iced towel over my head. this is when #2 girl (katie) catches up to me. she very much saved my life in this race.
miles 7-12: we hit the turn-around. i am running with katie. i find out she is from boulder city and she won the race last year. she is very nice and encouraging. just the fact that i have someone to talk to is wonderful. and its always better to feel crappy with someone else than to go at it alone. mile 9 -10 took forever. we stopped talking at this point. we were both running with our heads down just trying to survive. the aid station was at mile 10 and i have never wanted to stop so bad in my life. we drank some more HEED, dunked out clothes in the ice tanks, took some more ice towels, and got another bottle refill. this was the last aid to the end of the course, so i wanted to be sure i had enough water in me to make it to the end.
mile 12.5: i really feel like i am on the verge of collapsing. sounds pathetic, i know, but i was feeling really really really bad. my HR was through the roof, and i was running 8:45 miles. not a good sign. i also started to get the chills---also not a good sign in the heat. my hands were so shaky that i could no longer get water from my bottle into my mouth.
i was still running with kaite when we came upon this guy who had collapsed. medical help was there, but he was in bad shape. they had put an IV in his arm and it was all bloody. it was when i saw this that i kind of panicked. i came here to run a race and take a nice trip. not die. ok, maybe that is dramatic, but still, i was way spooked when i saw that guy. at this point i fell off pace and let katie go. it was no longer worth it to me. i am just glad i could run with her for the second half of the race. i am not sure i would have made it otherwise.
13 - 13.1: longest .1 miles in the history of the universe. i was completely delerious when i crossed the line. i started rambling something about being cold to the guy who was removing my chip. i assure you i was not cold.
post race: talked with katie for awhile. we were both in bad shape. her voice was all shaky and she seemed out of it. we poured ice water all over ourselves multiple times. i hate being wet, especially when it's with ice water! but this never felt so good to me.
so, a few lessons learned: the heat is REAL and it DOES affect race performance a TON. i started way too fast---no respect for the heat or the brutality of the course. but it came back to bite me.
we were required to have 20 oz. of water at all times. it drove me crazy to carry the bottle and it drove my stomach crazy that i kept drinking. if i am going to come to a race that has rules like this, i should probably train appropriately so that i am used to it.
overall, i am happy i did the race. it was fun in its own torturous kind of way and i met a lot of interesting and kind people. will i do it again? probably not. i don't know if i have the guts to put myself through that again. it was a different kind of fatigue and a different kind of pain than i have ever experienced before while racing. and it was very tough for me mentally. i had a harder time in this race than in most of the marathons i have run. the only exception is my extreme crash and burn at TOU 2007. otherwise, this race is at the top of the list, and it was only a half!