Monday, October 7, 2013

Sioux Falls Half Marathon - September 2013 1:47:54

This was supposed to be the big day. My first marathon. A painful hip situation, doctor visit, and a few weeks later, this was my 4th HALF marathon of 2013. I was able to switch my registration a week out, but kept it under wraps. I had been running, most of it pain free, but after I’d already publicly admitted my marathon defeat on Facebook, I decided to only celebrate once this one was done. 

This was my second year running the half marathon in Sioux Falls. I LOVE the town, the course, the mall :) Last year a group of gals from the YMCA headed up together, this year we had almost the same group, which makes it even more fun! 

The weekend ended up a little hectic. My mom and I headed up on Saturday morning for a day of shopping, packet pick-up, and carb loading. Around 12:30 pm we received a call that my grandpa was being taken via ambulance to the hospital. Three hours away… My mom had to leave, and I 911ed my boyfriend to drive up to Sioux Falls to stay with me and help get me to and from the race in the morning since I would have no vehicle. This was the hardest time, I had no idea what to do. Stay and race, or go with my mom. At the time things sounded very critical. Ultimately he was stabilized and ok. I got to talk to him Saturday night and he sounded great. That moment finally secured relief in my mind that I did make the right decision to stay, and despite all of the crap leading up to this race, I was meant to run this half. 

Packet pick up was easy and quick. I stayed at the Sheraton which was connected to the convention center where the expo was held. This was their first year having an actual expo, as opposed to prior years getting your packet at Scheels. The expo was pretty small, but I see it growing if they continue it. I had a bit of an emotional eating night, once Ben arrived we got supper at a sports bar. To add some extra carbs and sugar, we got Blizzards on the way back to the motel. 

The race started at 7:30 and it was already hot and humid. The race starts at Howard Wood Field, which was just behind the parking lot of the Sheraton. I met my good friend Heidi in the lobby, and we walked over to the track. There were more runners than last year, making the track start seem even more congested. I made it out of the first mile in 8:29 despite the congestion. 

Heidi and I before the race!! So happy to have her there!

I apparently lost my memory within a year and forgot how hilly the beginning of the course was. Throw in some humidity, and I was dripping within two miles. This was my first race ever running without my handheld shot bottle. I made sure to drink water at every aid station due to the heat. This slowed me down I think, as most stations I had to make a complete stop. I can’t drink and run to save my life! I wasn’t planning to take my Gu until 7.5 miles in. I was needing it by mile 7, and stopped at that aid station to drink water with it. 

The course was gorgeous as always and there were a lot of fun people and signs along the way. I was really hoping to PR this race, so I was pretty disappointed initially with my 1:47:54 finish. Looking back, I am actually really happy with this finish. It could have been a PW (personal worst) considering how little I’d been able to run in the weeks leading up. My hip could have acted up, but it didn’t. 

The heat was a HUGE factor. The humidity was brutal. A lot of things could have made this race a lot worse. I was grateful for a finish.

My hip let me know it was still there and not happy as soon as I finished. I found Ben and took my stick out of my packet bag and plopped down on the sidewalk to massage and stretch. Heidi finished her race, and we made our way to the food tent! We met up with the rest of the Y girls and ate some delicious food. They had an awesome selection. After refueling, we headed back to the motel to shower and head home. It was an extremely emotional weekend, but now I wouldn’t change it! 

Heidi, Roxi, and I post race