Monday, May 2, 2011

Race Report: OC Half Marathon

Half Marathon #2: DONE!
I ran my first one  3 months ago.

First I want to thank all of you who left me good luck comments here and on twitter and to those who send me messages yesterday to ask about my race!

Race was yesterday in beautiful Newport Beach.
We headed there Saturday afternoon to go to the Expo.  That was at the OC Fair.  It was the easiest packet pick up! No lines. Lots of people to help the runners. 
I got my shirt, I love it (short sleeves tech) and goodie bag (lots of bar samples)
This is the shirt:

After that we went to drive the course.  Beautiful course.  I have been to Newport before but not to this part of town.  I took some pictures while we were driving so this is what I saw during the race:

Ferrari: lots of them!

While on the course I saw that it was not all flat, the second part had some hills and one part  was on a trail so I did not get to see it.
We went to the hotel and I realized that it would not be possible for me to just walk to the Fair to take the shuttle at 4:45 am.   Not safe enough so I bought a ticket to take the hotel shuttle at 4:45 am.  Went to dinner and bed early.  Did not sleep good, kind of hard with the kids in the room.   Will hit me a dozen times and he even fell off the bed at 2 am!

Got up at 3:45 ready and had breakfast in the bathroom (a first for me).  On the way to the start I saw the traffic jam on the freeway and was so happy we decided to spend the night in Newport!  Got to the starting line at 5 am, start was at 6 am.  It was super organized, lots of porta potty, A dozen of UPS trucks were lined up to take bags people wanted to leave behind, trucks were marked with bib numbers and they had extra bags, great service!  I was anxious to get going.  I was in the 3rd wave so we did not start until 6:25 am.   I thought it would be cool in the morning, but no, it was warm, sun was up for the start. 
First 6 miles were fantastic.  I felt pretty good.  The course was fast and the view was beautiful.  I was going faster then I should have.  I knew it but I also knew some hills were coming and that I would slow down so I just kept going.  They had lots of water stations with a lot of volunteers to hand water and Gatorade.   I had my belt so I pass the first few, they were crowded and I did not need to stop at that point. 

At mile 6 I decided to take my first sip of  EFS liquid shot and it did not go down well. NOT GOOD.   I just could not swallow it, I thought I was going to throw up if I took more.  I got worried and I knew I would get in trouble without any fuel.   Good thing I had taken 3 salt tablets before the start and I had 4 more in my belt.  I took 2 more then and started drinking more water.  It was getting hotter and the strong winds joined the party without an invite, so rude. 

Second half was difficult.  Weather was worst and more hills.  Bill was supposed to be around mile 8.  Mile 8 was actually on the trail and spectators could not be on that part of the course.  That was a hard section.  Nasty winds, narrow hilly path.  A lot of people stopped running and walked and it was impossible to pass anyone there.  I got frustrated because I knew if I walk there I will loose my pace.  And I did.   I saw the parking where Bill said he would parked and did not see our car.  That was a low point for me mentally.  I was looking forward to seeing my family and to get rid of my belt that was hurting me (got a nice bruise on my hip) and I wanted to grab extra water that Bill was supposed to bring for me. 
Mile 9: there they were!!!!!

Can you tell I was HAPPY to see them??!
Gave my belt to Bill and took bottle of water, kissed the boys and kept going.

I was getting tired. It was hard to face those crazy winds.  My pace had slowed down.   My legs felt heavy and I started cramping.  I took Gatorade even though I am not supposed to drink that but I had no choice I could not swallow my liquid shot, not even small sips.  I started to calculate what could be my finish time if the split for this next mile is this or that and that was driving me insane!  I did not hit the wall like last time but it was close.  Last time I actually stopped moving, not  yesterday.   At mile 11 one last hill...we could see it from far.  They had a water station right before it.  I decided to grab 2 cups and I ran until I reached the hill and then I walked to drink.   From there until the end it was run/very short walk.  I tried to pick up the pace and I thought I was then I would look at my Garmin and see that I wasn't.  Finally I entered the Fair grounds.  I knew the end was near.  I so wanted to sprintMy legs had other plansThey won that argument.  I finished running but no sprint.
Bill and the boys were there but I could not see them.  They had a really bad spot so no good pictures of the finish.  Just that one:

And this one after I got my pretty medal:

I look like I was feeling: like CRAP. Guy with sunglasses on the right: Medic.
And so once again this happened:

A trip to the medic tent.
Before the medic got me I got really close to passing out.  Took more Gatorade.  I was cramping really bad, legs and stomach also.
I did not want to get Bill worried so I drank 6-8 glasses of water and Gatorade, stood up for the medic and left.  I found Bill and the boys.

Medal is nice

Volunteers were giving runners bags with banana, water, granola bar, again really organized.
So this was a great race. I loved it.  I will do it again.  It was hard because of the crazy winds and it was hot.   The fuel problems...I got to work on this again. 
I did get a PR. 7 minutes off my first half.  2:35.  I am happy with that, for nowI know I can do better.  I am still slow but I am 7 minutes less slow then before!  I ran a better race and it was faster then my first half.  I went to look at official results and their time was different then what I had on my watch by more then 1 minute (my watch: better time).  I thought of course theirs is the correct one.  But today I got email that time posted needed to be revised.  
I was in a lot of pain with severe stomach cramps for several hours following the race.  Took 6 hours before I could eat something.  I was laying on the floor with my dog thinking "Am I crazy? Why do I do this to myself?"  But it passed.  I am not crazy.  Today stomach is OK my legs are not happy but they will get over it.  I did not run today but tomorrow will attempt a 2-3 miles on the treadmill.

Next race: JUNE 5th 10k in my hometown Quebec city.
Thank you for reading and for your support!!!

This race was also the last part of my COOL KIDS VIRTUAL MARATHON.

Thank you Neil for hosting this!!!!




XLMIC said...

Your legs are looking so awesomely strong in those pictures, Caroline... very nice muscle definition. I'll bet the fueling issues contribute to their decision to cramp and not sprint. You will get those issues worked out, I have confidence in that :)

I have eaten in the bathroom more times than I care to remember! lol

Great race recap! Yay for a new PR :)

giraffy said...

Great recap, congrats on a big PR!

Amanda@runninghood said...

7 minutes! wooo wee...awesome job! Something to be proud of for sure! Congrats! I know what you mean about it being hard to sleep with the kids in the room. :)

Chris K said...

Congrats on the PR. Any PR race is a good race.

Too bad about the fuel situation. Not sure what's up with that. I got no advice too. Imagine that.

I want to run in Quebec City. I'm jealous.

Barefoot Neil Z said...

No one said it was going to be easy. I guess. But does it have to be this hard? I dunno.

Learn what you need to learn and move on. The fuel may have been just the day, try it agian on the next long run and see what happens. If it still sucks, change it up!

Take care!

Christine said...

7 minutes PR in only 3 months is HUGE!!!! You look so good on the pictures, I would have never thought you felt that bad. During your long training runs you didn't have those problems, maybe it's not the nutrition more the anxiety of racing!? You will get used to it, the more races you do! :)

Christine said...

Oh forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are awesome :)

Laura said...

You aren't are awesome! Congrats/Felicitations!

Anne said...

Congrats on your PR Caroline! You did great! :)

Jenn said...

7 minutes in wind and heat!!!! That is definitely something to celebrate! Congrats. Loved the race report. Sorry the fueling was a bit of a struggle but you pulled through!! YAY!

Carrie said...

Congratulations on your PR!! Glad you are recovering well!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the huge PR

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Way to go! I knew you could get that PR. The heat and wind were horrible--sorry you had to deal with that, and hills too? Wow.

That shirt and medal are neat. Thanks for posting those pics. I didn't run on Monday either, but am going to go out for an easy 3 today too. Good choice.

Emz said...

You. Did. So. Awesome.
Love the mile 9 photo. Nothing better than seeing family.

June race at home. So perfect.


Darlene said...

7 minutes!!!!!!!! That is super esp in the heat & winds!! I think you did great! It looked like a beauiful course, too.

Kovas said...

Great looking shirt, great result, but bummer about the struggles.

Michelle said...

Sorry to hear about your issues during the race, but congrats on shaving 7 minutes of your PR!

Zaneta said...

sorry to hear about the fueling problems... but i think you did GREAT!!! :) Love your pics!! you look great in all of them! :D

Jenn @ A Runner's Road said...

A PR race is a fantastic race!!! Great job. You must be excited to go back and run in your hometown!

Julie said...

Congrats on a great PR!!!!! Bummer about the tummy problems but hope you can get it figured out!

Kate said...

Awesome job! Congratulations on the new PR! Heat and wind are killers. I guess I should be grateful that we had cold and wind. That's at least better for running. Way to push yourself. I'm not good about getting to my edge like that. After my first half, I spent the rest of the day sick. Ugh.

You look fantastic, though. So toned! Keep up the good work. Your training is strong and consistent, and you're going to keep peeling off those minutes. Love your new shirt and medal, too.

Tricia said...


Colleen said...

HUGE PR! Congrats!

And that shirt is really nice... I wish that I ran races with cool shirts. Maybe that needs to be a prerequisite for my next race!

RockStarTri said...

Seven minutes is a huge improvement. Congrats and well done!

Pam said...

Congrats, on the new PR!!! That's a great improvement! That's a huge bummer about your fuel though. You were so excited when you found something you thought would work! I'm sorry it turned out otherwise.

Nelly said...

Congrats on the PR! I like the shirt and the medal too, reminds me of the show The OC, haha

I'm not sure what to suggest as to why you felt so terrible at the finish line and as to why you couldn't take any fuel during the run. Generally they suggest that you only take a salt tablet every 30-45 minutes, so maybe your body was too oversatured with salt? I think I took too much salt during my marathon, and my body was in rough shape at the end. It might have led me to be dehydrated because I was taking in too much salt. Salt tablets only provide some salt/electrolyte replacement, not any nourishment.

It seemed like you were better able to take fuel during training runs, not sure why your body didn't cooperate during this run. I'm guessing that's why you felt so horrible at the finish line, but maybe your doctor could evaluate you to see why you might have had problems during the race? Good luck with this, I'm still trying to figure out what the best plan is too, fueling correctly during races is tough.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Sorry I didn't get to wish you good luck this weekend - we didn't have a computer in our travels ... looks like you didn't need it. GREAT JOB ON YOUR PR!!! But more than that, even though you were hurting, all of your pics look awesome, like you were enjoying it (except for the medical tent) So glad you're okay! Great job!

Darcy said...

Congrats on the new PR!!! Hate that you are still struggling with fuel issues but know you will find the right one for you. Pics are great!

Michael said...

Congrats on the PR!! I know it was hard fought! Sorry your family wasn't there at mile 8, but how exciting to then see them at mile 9!! Glad you were able to push through and finish the race - with PR to boot! Great job!

RoseRunner said...

Ah, I had a good feeling about you, knew you would come away with a solid time! 7 minute PR is NOTHING to be humble about, thats huge!!

And now, with what you've learned from this experience, you will be even better prepared to smash another PR for your next race!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Congrats on getting rid of those 7 minutes! Great race recap makes me excited for my next half marathon and it isn't until July!

Way to go!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Way to hit that PR!

And as many race reports as I've read where someone is supposed to be stationed at a corner to drop off or pick something up from a runner, they are NEVER where they are supposed to be. I am keeping that in the back of my head for future races!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats on s great race and phenomenal PR!!! That must have been miserable not to be able to drink. Isn't it funny how happy we are to see friends/family along the course?

Anonymous said...

That's HUGE! Great run!!