Sunday, October 23, 2011

That sucked, but I survived

I had a free entry so I did the Morgan Hill Half Marathon today. Unfortunately, most of the course is on roads that are banked. So I was constantly running with one side of my body lower than the other. This really aggravated everything that is wrong with my calf and by mile four I was really feeling it.

The really bad part came when I was trying to go down this big hill. I made a point to run up it because I could and I knew down would be hard. But down on a banked course is beyond hard. It was hell. If an official had come by in a car and asked me if I was okay, I would have said "no" and let him or her SAG me to the finish.

I must have looked pretty bad because a ton of racers asked me if I was okay including the 3:00 pacer.
Yes, even she caught up to me. I told them I wasn't okay, but I would be once the course flattened back out. I pretty much just limped down the hill... I was so slow that people I had passed at mile 1 caught up with me. Walkers caught up with me.

I figured my race was toast and it was just about getting back to the finish without too much damage.

However, the road flattened out near the bottom of the hill and was relatively flat (a few banked shoulders but not as extreme as up in the hills) all the way to the finish. There was one more uphill part but no downhill so I just ran as fast as I could... which was actually pretty fast. I caught up to and passed all the people who had passed me on the downhill including the walkers, the 3:00 pacer and the guy who was limping at mile 1. (I have no idea how he made it through given he was in a lot more pain than me from the beginning.) 

I was doing so well once I wasn't running on a slope that I thought maybe I could catch the 2:45 pacer -- who had passed me at the halfway mark. But I couldn't quite catch up.

I did come across a women who had the following on the back of her shirt: "If you can read this, I'm  not last." To which I said (to myself): It's on, lady, it's so on. I made it my mission to pass her and I was finally able to do it with about half a mile to go.

I finished in 2:48:16 and came in 22 out of 43 finishers in my age group! I am somewhat mystified by that result. But I'll take it.

The best part is that I am in no more pain now than I was after the Rock 'n Roll Half. I think I'll even be able to run again on Tuesday.

Oh and the medal we got is gorgeous. It almost makes up for the horrible slanted course. But not really.

Results:
Age Group: 22/43 - 51%
Female: 390/565 - 68%
Overall 872/1105 - 79%
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