Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guest Post: My Sister's RnR San Diego Half Marathon Race Report

As you may remember, 2 weeks ago, I ran the San Diego Half Marathon with my little sister, Christine.  She raised $3500+ for Leukemia / Lymphoma with Team in Training. This was her first long distance race and was more than a little bit nervous before and even during the race.

I wanted to give her a chance to speak to her thoughts on the race in her own words - and hopefully give a little bit of a window into her first race experience (since I didn't provide a race report for my first race).  Enjoy!

The week or so before the half, I was extremely nervous about the San Diego Half Marathon and just wanted to get it over with. More than anything I just wanted to accomplish a few things:
  • Manage my chronic scapula/upper back pain
  • Don't cry
  • Come close to my goal time of 2:30
  • Pretend to be a morning person (3:45 wake up call! what?? In the AM??)
  • FINISH and not annoy my brother by how slow I am

Pretty simple right? Wrong! I think I only accomplished 2 of the 5 - I'm not a math major but I'm going to assume that's not a good percentage.

Before the Race / The Expo:
When I arrived in San Diego, I just felt really uneasy about the whole situation. Adam kept asking me if I was ready or excited and in my usual answer I said "Sure, I guess?" To be honest I had no idea if I was ready! How do you know if you're ready?  Do you have a stellar long run? Do the running fairies grant you super powers? A large part of me just didn't want to mess up, at what I'm not really sure, but I bet it has something to do with the fact I don't like working out in large crowds.

The expo was so much fun, my other large expo - RnR Denver, was so much smaller and didn't have half the fun stuff that San Diego did. Free stuff to the max; I'm a fan!! Ha. Because I was part of TNT I had my official looking purple shirt on at the expo and people just keep yelling 'GO TEAM" which was cool but made me a bit weirded out. One guy was like 100 feet away, yelling at me (sensory overload a bit). I never imagined so many people to be part of TNT/supporting LLS it was a very humbling experience to be surrounded by so many "good doers".

Race day:
TNT makes you get up so early, team picture at 3:45 AM then at the start line by 4:10 AM. Not really sure I needed the 3 hour warm up time but hey it got me there and let my stress melt away. At that point you can't feel your toes, you're standing next to a generator for heat, you're putting on 100 spf sunscreen in the dark, praying to have an IBS moment before the race instead of during or after, wishing you could have eggs on toast rather than a dry bagel with Cytomax (sick- furry teeth for 13.1 miles just what I wanted!).

Holy crap there were so many people there - at the expo, in the corrals, on the streets cheering, zooming past me, and at the finish line. People everywhere. I knew there would be a lot of people but I wasn't expecting that. It was a bit overwhelming!

Miles 0-4: At the start of the race, I kind of noticed I run similar to how I drive-semi aggressively! Because of all the people, I just wanted to get my own little space on the pavement without having to weave in and out of people.

Mile 4-10: This highway portion of the race killed me, with the downhill slant followed by a 2 mile incline. My IT band and hip flexors are naturally tight and that combination of things did not help the situation. Miles 6-10 I definitely wanted to quit, stick a fork in me I was done! My pain was out of control, taking deep breaths only helped radiate it and I was mentally struggling. I also think I waited way to long to have my gel pouch and felt so tired and sluggish; I'm not a huge fan of those things/eating while running so I always prolong the process.

Miles 10-13.1: I just wanted to finish and found my 2nd wind to keep going. I definitely couldn't have done it without my big brother; when I wanted to quit he put things into perspective and kept me motivated. I kept reminding myself I was doing this to remember and honor our grandma. I never set out with the mindset of "I'm going to be a runner"; it simply was to impact the lives of others in a way my grandma impacted mine.

Finished! At the end of the race, I was so happy to be done! I felt like death!! I knew I had fun, I loved the fact that my big brother and I could share this experience/memory, I finished close to my goal ~ yet at that moment I didn't have anything to say (which is unusual for me, I'm like a chatty Cathy doll!) I was also disappointed that I couldn't manage my pain and allowed it to ruin several miles during the race for both Adam and I.

After The Race:
All in all, I had a great time, proud I finished close to my goal, and thankful my big brother was with me every step of the way. Will I do another half? Probably not, I don't like to say never, but I don't think my body was really made for half marathons. Maybe if I get more insight into my pain and how to control it better, I'd say "yes of course, I'm hooked" but for now I'm just the boring sister who finally enjoys to run.


Tricia said...

Congrats. Runners may not want to admit it, but the first time (half,full marathon) pretty much sucks for most people. You FINISHED, you raised money for an amazing cause, and you got to spend time with your brother who is pretty darn cool himself, sounds like a win in my book. :)

Andrew Opala said...

awesome post ... next time to work in more poo humor and something about bodily fluids and transmission of disease.

Also, a picture of David Hasselhoff or Richard Simmons, or even a 80s hair or clothing, increase comments.

Great that you raised so much to fight cancer!

Still Running said...

Nice job on the fund-raising -- I'd rather run uphill for 13 miles than do that. And I hates hills. Good for you too for sticking out through more pain than the average gal.

Kate said...

Congratulations on your fundraising success and on completing your (first) half. I ran my first marathon (only one so far) with my brother, and it made a HUGE difference in the experience. Pretty cool that you and Adam had that time together.

danny said...

Not bad for a 'good doer' or even a 'do-gooder'. :)

Oh, and I'm with Still Running: soliciting money for charity definitely takes back seat to running a half marathon up hill the whole way. Congrats on both accomplishments!

Alma said...

So great you got to be a part of your sister's first half.

I have a Seattle RNR Q for you...

I had decided to not carry my own water because I can't carry enough for the whole race anyway and b/c it's nice to not have to carry that extra weight. At first look, there seemed to be water stations every 1-2 miles. After closer inspection, there are about 3 places on the course, 2 of those after mile 14, where you have to go 3 miles without water.

Is this how it was when you ran it? I'm wondering if their map is off? I'm now rethinking my strategy and may carry water just for use during those dry spots. Normally, I would think 3miles would be an ok spreads but just nervous in case I find I NEED it.

Any thoughts / recommendations about to carry/not carry?

SlimKatie @ Runs for Cookies said...

A huge CONGRATS, Christine! Raising that amount of money is amazing in and of itself; and then to run your first half-marathon? You should be VERY proud!

Lisa said...

Great post! Christine, whether you run another half or not, you did this one and have so much to be proud about! I have also suffered from scapula pain (just my right should though) and know how debilitating it can be at times. I'm sorry to hear that it was trouble for you in the race. You did a great thing, helping so many people by raising money for TNT. congrats on a great accomplishment!

Her Name Is Rio said...

Congratulations, Christine! When I finished my first half, I said "never again!" I ran my first marathon later that year. So never say never. You made quite an accomplishment and I bet your friends and family are pretty proud of you!

Jen said...

Congrats Christine on your amazing accomplishment!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congrats to Christine!
Good job being a big bro!

Marathon 10k said...

Congratulation girl!

When doing fund raising I'm always glad to finished what I've started. I know someone more deserving gets benefit out of the raise.

adventure racing said...

Congratulation! I see that you have enjoyed your day. By the way I do like your outfit especially when your name on it.