April 23, 2017
On race day it was a very cold morning, but it wasn’t raining! I was going to be doing my ninth half-marathon!
We huddled around trying not to freeze until race time, then got on our way. The race does a wave start, meaning that you cue up according to your anticipated finish time, and they start groups in waves, every couple of minutes, in order to keep the course from getting overrun with too many people.
About mile 5 (I think it was mile 5), the course starts to do this big, rolling hill thing along the water, starting with a giant downhill stretch that you know you are going to have to come back up… Yeah… But I was still moving along at a pretty good clip and feeling pretty good; I reached the turn-around point still feeling pretty good about my progress.
It was that giant hill on the way back that was the problem… Mile 8… My energy was really flagging and I was starting to feel really crummy again, dizzy and hurting. By the time I got to the top of the hill I was really lightheaded and queasy, and was seriously considering throwing in the towel. The problem was that I was in the middle of nowhere, with no water station and no one around. Who would I even quit to?
So I slowed down a lot and just kept walking, trying not to let the lightheadedness get the better of me, thinking as soon as I got to a water station I would quit. I was so exhausted! Slowing down helped though, and by the time I got to the next water station, I was feeling a bit better. So I decided to keep going…
Pretty soon, it was all downhill from there, because the last couple miles of the course is downhill or relatively flat. I can’t say I was fast, but I was a little faster than mile 8 and 9! My head cleared some, and a good bit of the nausea went away. The last mile was pretty brutal though, because it was right on the water and there was a cold wind blowing sideways! UGH!