Location: Columbus, OH
Distance: 13.1 miles
Gimmick: “Celebrate you!” Basically, a giant party for runners because we are awesome.
The hardest thing about this race was that I didn’t really sleep the night before. I tried (I went to bed at 8), but sleep was elusive. When I don’t get enough sleep, I start making really bad decisions and I can’t keep my heart rate down. It was also quite a bit warmer and more humid than I was used to in my training runs. I know Kara said not to change ANYTHING, but the weather decided to mess with me.
I popped out of bed pretty fast when the alarm went off at 5 AM. I had laid out all of my stuff the night before, so I was ready to go pretty fast once I found some migraine medicine. We left the house around 6 AM to get to the VIP parking by 6:30. We ran in to a number of my running friends at the VIP lot and walked over to a nearby hotel where MIT had a room for us to get ready.
It was so nice to relax pre-race with my MIT friends. I think if I’d been waiting outside alone freaking out, things would have started off pretty badly, but I felt pretty good when we got to the start line. I also got to stretch my hip out (husband had taped it before we left), which was a good thing.
The start was packed. We had a little trouble figuring out the corrals, but we managed to get in place and then we waited. To give you an idea of how far back we were, we started about 12 minutes after the gun went off. It felt so surreal to finally hit the start line and I almost forgot to start my beloved Garmin.
The thing that made this race so cool was that it is on streets I drive across regularly. We ran down a main road that I used to take to get to work at the university. We passed the Target I regularly shop at and got water outside a Starbucks I used to stop at constantly. We ran past the famous football stadium up to the main street. We at one point ran on the road I take to get to the highway after work every day. I almost cried when I saw the topiary garden I posted about last week towards the end. The finish line was right past the hockey arena (and you all know how much I love hockey!). I got to tour my city on foot and I loved it! Columbus is a fantastic city and I’m really proud to live here.
As much as I loved the course, I started to struggle very early. My heart rate would not stay down and the electrolyte drink on the course tasted like someone peed in Tang (my only complaint). So guess what I did? Drank a ton of water at every stop because I was so incredibly thirsty. I’m sure you all can guess how this is going to end.
We ran in to my personal paparazzi at mile 7 (I think). It gave me a huge boost to see them, but my blasted heart rate was still way to high and my feet were throbbing. I guess I don’t run on streets as much as I think I do. I also have wicked blisters at the base of each big toe. My body did not like this race even though it really wasn’t that much further than I’ve gone before (12 felt fine a few weeks ago for the record). I knew I would get through it with the help of my buddies.
Guess who lost all her friends at mile 9.5? I’ve never done a run longer than 5 miles alone and that was only once. I wouldn’t normally have been that intimidated by 3.6 alone, but I didn’t bring my iPod (stupid) and I really didn’t feel ok. At mile 10 I thought about telling the cop I needed a medic. At mile 11 I thought about telling the medics I needed a medic. I decided to keep running because I would get there faster than walking. DNF was not an option and the idea of not finishing my race to get medical attention didn’t even really occur to me.
At mile 13, I saw the finish line. A very sweet woman tapped me on the back to tell me she knew Sara and her mom (I was wearing the memorial bib on my back) and I promptly burst in to tears. This woman assured me we were going to finish together, hauled my butt across that line and promptly took me to the medical tent. Dear anonymous runner, you are a beautiful human being and I hope you know how grateful I am.
Y’all, she even went and told Sara where I was so no one would have to worry about me. How awesome are runners?
So, I went to the medical tent where my favoritest hot doctor was in charge. I told them I drank too much water and felt faint (I’d been dizzy on and off since mile 3), so they had me lay down for 45 minutes while following my heart rate back under 100. They finally released me (I thought I’d been there for 15, so that tells you how well I was doing) and I went and found my husband. I was not drink any water for the rest of the day
My biggest disappointment about this race (besides my even slower than normal time) is that I got absolutely no post-race pictures. None with my medal, none with my friends, nothing. I’m gonna admit I’ve cried about that a lot the past few days (I can’t stop crying about everything! Hormones suck.) and I also sobbed all over Mandy‘s shoulder after the race (thanks, Mandy!). I also forgot to go to my post-race VIP lunch buffet.
Things got worse when I found out Lee Ann had slammed her leg right below the knee off of a concrete barrier. We had hottie doctor check it out and were sent straight to the ER where we sat for 6 hours. I don’t really feel comfortable talking about it here since it’s her leg, but it’s fine. Not moving around for 6 hours after a half is less fine, however, and I have DOMS from Hades.
So, overall, I would absolutely recomend this race. I think it’s a great race for beginners and it was a fun way to see the city. The only bad part was the weird beverage, but thanks to Kara I will have salt pills to bring with me next time. And you guys, as horribly disappointing as the day turned out, I friggin’ finished and I ran the whole thing!
And, my husband took a few minutes for a medal photo shoot this morning. Check out the sweet VIP Cap City half-zip.
So, I know you are all waiting with bated breath to hear what my plans are (did anyone at all make it this far down? Kudos if you are reading this). I admit at about mile 9 I said I’m never doing this again. Right now, the idea of running makes me a little sad, but I know in another few days I’m going to be aching for a run and not seeing my girls at MIT next Saturday makes my heart hurt a little. I am going to take a doctor prescribed two week break from running (my hip feels fine, but let’s not push our luck), but then…