Where’s The Dam Trail Run Half Marathon

Sunday Torture Workout – 13.1 miles.  I stupidly thought that I may PR at this race.  ZOOMG, I was totally wrong.  Let’s try I am going to be so hot and affected by the humidity that I won’t even finish within 10 minutes of my previous half marathon time.  And I am just putting this out there from the get go: We never even got to see the damn dam during this race.  Poor choice in race names people.

This totally bummed me out.  But the good news first.  Andrea from Running 4 Mama’s Comeback ran her first half marathon today and finished in 2:17.  Seriously, she is a rockstar.  A beautiful, running maniac of a rockstar. So amazingly proud of her.

We ran along along a path in a local metropark called the towpath. It is about 6′ wide and covered in gravel and small stones. The saving grace of this run is that the towpath is shaded by a multitude of trees.  If there were no trees I would have died and shriveled up like a worm.  This was an out and back course so I was lucky enough to get to see the runners who were SUPER fast (everyone) pass me.

The HUGE drawback to this race was that there was only 1 water stop. Since it was an out and back we passed it twice. Not. Enough. Water. It was in the low 80’s with 90+ humidity this morning making water a precious commodity.  I tried to trade a packet of GU Jet Blackberry for a bottle of water from a hobo on the side of the trail but he wasn’t having it.  Turns out he likes the GU Tri Berry flavor.

The course was one loooooooooong straight and level path.  No twists.  No turns.  Just this:
 And more of this:

Oh, I almost forgot to show you this:

So, the trail looks the same along the entire 6+ miles during the out and back.  To say that this was a mentally exhausting race was an understatement.  From about mile 6 after the people who were running in front of me passed me after the turn around I saw no one.  Not a single half marathon runner.  I had 6+ miles alone.  Just me and my inappropriate thoughts about panda bears, chocolate/vanilla swirl pudding cups and Matt Damon.  No one passed me.  I passed no one.  I had no idea if there were people still in the parking lot at the race end even.

This is what happens when Amanda gets bored on a half marathon trail run…

Why are their only 2 water stops in 13.1 miles?

Is anyone still racing but me? And what is my hand doing here?  Is that how my forehead is going to wrinkle when I get older?

If someone goes past on a golf cart I am catching a ride with them.  This blows.

So I did run this stupid 13.1 miles in 2:58.  This was 13 minutes SLOWER than my first and only other half marathon.
Not every race can be a PR and after I realized that I would finish much much much much slower than I have in training and in my other race I started to get down.  Even Greta gave up on me before the race began.  I made sure she was charged and ready to keep my pace for me.  But she had other plans.  She would NOT connect to the Garmin satellite to save my life.  So I ran the entire race not knowing my time, my pace or whether someone was going to jump out of the bushes and try and sell me knock off Coach purses.  It was rough.

Being a slower runner isn’t very fun at times.
The back of the pack never gets the medal, the cheering crowds welcoming them to the finish line, the first choice of race snacks…
Slow runners are still runners.  We train just as much as those fast runners.  We stretch, we sprint (slowly), we struggle to get our mileage in during a busy work week.

The thing to remember is that we run.  Running isn’t about speed outside of The Olympics if you ask me.  Okay and high school/college track and cross country.  But no one who wins a local half marathon is usually destined for stardom.
Getting off of the couch and out of the house is the very first step runners take.  This step is often the absolute hardest for many to take.  Which, is why I am proud that I show up.

I train.
I run.
I hydrate.
I do my best.

I may be last (or in today’s situation the 3rd to last finisher) but at least I am trying.  Having had 4 knee operations, asthma and having the biggest ass bruise I have ever seen I am happy that I got out of bed today let alone slowly ran 13.1 miles in the obscene heat.
So when I was beating myself up after my running photo shoot I remembered that 1 year ago I couldn’t run.  I still hated running and thought it was something I would never be able to do or ever want to do.

After 252.49 miles year to date my mileage is only a drop in the bucket for most runners but to me it is 252.49 more miles than I have ever ran in a year.  Or 2 years.  Hell, even when I played soccer in high school I doubt that I ever ran near that much.
I did, however, have a stellar GU/water schedule that I have mastered.  I never once felt tired or dizzy or hungry.  I am the master of my GU schedule (insert evil laugh here)!!

I am SO proud of myself.  Even after a bad race.

ESPECIALLY after a bad race.

Tell me about your bad races, what went wrong?

 

Comments

  1. You are right, you don’t have to be fast to be considered a runner! Kudos to you for getting out there and finishing a tough race! And I agree, two water stops is NOT acceptable, especially in that heat!

    As for Greta, one thing I recommend to all Forerunner owners: the easiest way to sync it up is to turn it on as you drive to where you’re going to be running, and set it on the dashboard. It will actually find itself in only a minute or two this way. The slowest way to get it to sync up is to try it with it on your wrist! Oh and if you start the timer before it’s located the satellites, it’ll almost never sync up. Just find the satellites before the race, it doesn’t use much battery when it’s not recording data.

    • 1. Thank you for calling her Greta. For some reason that made me giggle. Who knew naming my Garmin would be so much fun.
      2. THANK YOU for the Greta tip. I have never had this issue before so I’ll try this next time!
      3. I cannot believe that I was considering NOT taking my fuel belt for water. I would have been in trouble if I left it in the car.

  2. Congrats woman! You are still a super star in my book!

  3. You are so right abt everything in this post. Even though you called it a “bad” race, you still rocked it. I would have died of boredom on that course and I agree on the water situation. Id say with the heat, lack of water, a crappy course, and a nasty bruise, you did awesome! All my bad races usually include major tummy issues. Ugh.

  4. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me- you are wonderful!! You are right, you train your frickin’ butt off just like the rest of us. We all got passed, except for a few crazy fast runners that were already on their way back when I was a mile 5!!! You know, I didn’t see anyone either for the longest time. I let my wonderful brother run ahead for the last 3 miles. Oh and really that pic you have of me…. total nursing boobs- and are they ever hanging out! Whew!!

  5. Beautiful run!!! I would go nutso on an out and back, they make me grumpy. 2 water stops wtf?!?!? You know what, you were an inspiration for so many people yesterday, and you continue to inspire me every day!! 😀 way to go!!!

    • This was my first out and back and it made me angry. I hated it. Especially since it was one long straight shot of a course. Funny thing is that YOU are one of the runners that inspires me! And the 2 water stops made me even more angry. Not a good race yesterday.

  6. Congrats for getting out there, getting your run on, and doing the best you can possibly do! You were definitely dealing with a ton of variables out of your control: water, mentally draining course, heat. You kicked some major butt anyway!!

    And here’s how I try to look at bad races: First, we all have them. Fast, slow, Boston marathoners, runners just learning to toe a start line. The thing is to look back and see what you learned about yourself (as a runner and otherwise) during that race. I truly believe every run, every race teaches us something. (Maybe it’s that hobos don’t like Gu Blackberry, ha!) And it seems you’ve already figured out what that something is from this race: that you are a runner, you are strong, and you can finish, no matter what!

    • Thanks Megan!
      Every race and every run does teach us something about ourselves. Like it took me a few long runs to perfect my gel consumption so I didn’t get dizzy.
      And WTF is with the hobos being so choosy?

  7. You are a superstar! Anyone who can complete a half marathon is. And you did it! With a giant ass bruise, and 90% humidity and only 2 water stops. Seriously, what the heck, who organized that race and decided that they were only going to have 2 water stops in the middle of the summer? Sheesh. I give you mad props for doing it. No way I could do a half marathon in the summer heat. You should be proud! And heck, your worst time beats my good time anyday!! Congrats! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Kerry!! It was a hard race…and a SMALL one that is probably why it was poorly planned. But it was planned by my running club (who does a butt load of races) and a local running store. They usually do a great job. Not this time.

      Slow Runner’s UNITE!

  8. Great post!! I’ve been running rough lately thanks to this oppressive heat and your post is really a boost to my confidence. Who cares if I’m slow???

  9. Where was this race at?

    I had no idea there were other halfs in Toledo outside of the Glass City one.

    2 Water Stops = AWFUL

  10. Congratulations on finishing! I just read something over the weekend that talks about how much time you need to add to your pace based on heat and humidity. For longer runs when it’s really hot and humid, you’re supposed to add a good minute per mile to your pace, so really, you were right on track 🙂

    And ONE water stop? What’s up with that? That’s not nearly enough.

    The Pig was my worst race, all thanks to the humidity. I’m lucky I made it through without puking.

  11. I saw you today over on SUAR and had to come check out your blog. I loved this post. I feel the same way. I am a new and *very* slow runner. But I get out there every time. I train hard and I do my best. This post was a great reminder that just getting off the couch and out there is an accomplishment I should be proud of. Thanks!!

    • Hey Julie!
      Slow runners are the new fast. At least that’s what I am trying to tell everyone.
      We, slow runners, all train and have the same issues as those elite runners. We need our day in the sun as well!

      Welcome and I thank you for visiting!

  12. Found you from SUAR’s post today.
    I’m a slow runner and ran my first half marathon this weekend. It was HOT, I didn’t hydrate enough and was very disappointed to find at the end of the race, there was NO water left at the finish line, the sign ups for free massages were all taken, and things seemed to be winding down. But I’m still darn proud of my first half marathon. A slow 2:57:07, but I did it! 🙂

    • Hello Karen! I love your blog title, PERFECT!
      I am shocked that there was no water left, that is poor planning…much like the half marathon I ran this past weekend. It was my second.
      There was only the 1 water stop that we hit twice, the humidity and temperature here (NW Ohio) are epic right now so that was not enough.
      Congrats on your first half and your sub 3H time! Be proud that you are slowly running, I am!

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