Did I win?

Sure did! Did I have the fastest time of all those running the Phedippidations World Wide Half? No, but I am still a winner. I got out there and did something most of my readers won’t do. Ok, maybe not most since many of my readers are fellow runners. But certainly something that the general population isn’t doing.

Last night I was up till about midnight getting the route planned out. With Google Earth it was much easier than the last time I ran this distance. The last time I had to ride around on my bicycle a little bit each day for a week trying new combinations of roads to get the 13.1 miles mapped while still keeping the turns to a minimum. If you have never run that far, 13 miles is a long way. When you have to make lots of turns, it is hard to remember where to go next. With Google Earth I just got it all laid out last night in about 20 minutes.

I also got my playlists for the mp3 player all set. I was really looking forward to the episode of Phedippidations where the listeners called in with words of encouragment. Steve was going to put it all together into a great show to hear on race day. I was really disappointed to see that the episode length was only 13 minutes! Was I supposed to play this thing 11 times to make it through the 2 hour 30 minute run? I checked the file because something seemed fishy about it. Come to find out, it did not completely download. So I redownloaded the file which ended up being over an hour. Glad I checked that. I would have been frustrated when the episode ended abruptly. Of course, I included a few other shows in my playlist scattered with several listenings of “Eye of the Tiger.”

I got up a bit after 6:00 to get started. There was not much coffee left from the day before. So I only had a 1/2 cup. Then I could not find my headphones. It took a bit longer than normal to get things together and ready to go. Normally I can be ready for a long run in about 30 minutes. Took closer to 45.

My wife snapped the picture on the left just before I got ready to head out the gate. Then I was off.

I missed hitting the split timer on my watch at mile 1, but at mile 2 I was running Before and After the PWWHM9:30 miles. Through mile 6 I was at a 10:30 pace. That would have been a great pace to have held through the whole run. But at mile 8 I knew I was not going to be able to maintain it. I was starting to really get winded and not be able to move as fast. I took a short walk break and that helped carry me back to the house for a bottle of Gatorade and to finish off 9 miles.

With 4 miles to go, I was feeling pretty good. But, I also knew that I was probably not going to finish strong. Physically I could still move fine, but my pace had slowed to a crawl. I started run/walking (10 min. run, 1 or 2 min. walk) for most of the rest of the run. I had just been trying to push too hard. I rarely am winded on a long run because my pace is so much slower, but I kept noticing that my breathing was tough. I ended up taking a 5 min. walk at about 12 miles.

I finished in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 24 seconds. That is 10 minutes 24 seconds slower than my run in May. The picture on the right is after the run.

I never did stop and get a Coke during the run. That was part of my original plan. During my long training runs I have been drinking a Coke in the middle of the run. This is a replacement for the gels and carb food/drink that long distance runners use. They just are not readily available here, so I resort to a 16 oz. Coke instead. I can’t help but think that missing that Coke had a bigger impact on me than I thought it would. I guess I will never know.

I felt pretty good afterwards. Not at all like in May. In May I was physically beat up. My feet hurt long before the run was over. I ended up losing toenails due to feet/sock/shoe issues. Today, my feet are tired and a bit sore, but not at all destroyed like they were before. My wife is not sure she believes me that I really ran it this time. I looked and felt much worse in May. Today she said I just look like I normally do after a Saturday long run. She thinks I spent the morning at the coffee shop and ran through a sprinkler before I got home. Well, I can assure you that even though I am not wiped out for days like before, I have the pain to prove to myself that I did the run today.

The last half marathon I did not want to even think about running for a long time ever again. But today I feel much better and probably won’t lose my running focus like I did after the last one.

Check out the race results to see how the other runners did as well.

4 thoughts on “Did I win?”

  1. You look pretty beat up on the after picture. But at least you ran the race, all I did was sit on the sidelines and watch.

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