2014 Capital City River Run Recap [part 1]

On September 21, 2014 Mr. Shoe and I ran the Capital City River Run half marathon in Lansing, Michigan. This was my fourth half marathon and Mr. Shoe’s first half.

We headed to Lansing on Saturday for packet pickup. I requested a women’s small shirt, but ended up exchanging it for a men’s small. The women’s “long sleeve” shirt had sleeves that ended a few inches above my wrists, so awkward. We also grabbed some free Gatorade Energy Chews.

Spoiler Alert: We both received finisher medals!

We spent Saturday night at Mr. Shoe’s parents’ house since they live closer to Lansing than we do. My in laws really took care of us this weekend by driving us to the starting line and volunteering to take lots of pictures of us. I still got up two hours before the start of the race so I could eat breakfast and have time to fully wake up before the race. I am not a morning person at all, so I really need this time. My go-to pre-race breakfast is a Clif bar. I also snacked on some caffeinated jelly beans before the start.

Mr. Shoe is not feeling the early morning.

I did some dynamic stretching to warm up and lined up with the 8:00 minute pacers. Assuming I ran with the pacers the entire time, I would end up finishing in 1:44:52. I have three running related goals this year: sub 1:45 half, run 1,000 miles, and run a marathon. I didn’t try for the sub 1:45 in April because I knew my training had not been optimal. This race would be my last shot at this goal. My first goal was to run with the pacers for at least 10 miles, then pick it up for the last few miles. My fall back goal was to just run with the pacers the entire time.

When the race started I was still fumbling with cheap $8 watch that I use to time my runs. I did not get it started on time and decided to just trust the pacers for the first mile. When we got to the first mile marker I was able to start the timer. I told myself I would just have to remember that my watch was 8 minutes behind. I spent most of the second mile worrying that I was running too fast and wouldn’t be able to hold this pace for all 13 miles.

Somehow I was able to settle into the pace and the next few miles went by easily. I grabbed water at about 3.5 and at 5.75 miles. Seeing my in laws out on the course cheering for us at mile 7 was a nice boost. I was feeling great at the point. The pace felt so easy! I had a Honey Stinger gel and some more water at mile 7.5. Before I knew it we were at mile 9 and then mile 10. So easy! I even chatted with the pacers a bit.

Running away because I am too fast for pictures!

The last aid station I was planning to stop at was at mile 10.5. I fell a touch behind the pacers at this point because I actually stopped to drink the water. When I started running again I felt a bit of a side stitch forming. I tried to focus on breathing and relaxing, but the stitch just kept getting worse and worse. I was almost to the pacers when the pain went from normal side stitch to someone is stabbing me pain.

The next mile was an awful mix of running until the pain was so bad that I couldn’t continue and standing hunched over clutching my side in absolute agony. It killed me to watch the pacers get further and further away before disappearing around a corner. I am so grateful for the kindness of the runners who passed me and tried to encourage me to keep running. Finally I was able to start running and keep running. I held my pace back for a few minutes, running with the awesome lady who had told me that I would make it.

When it was clear that the stitch was really gone I picked the pace up and started looking for my pace group. I tried to figure out how much time I had lost, but because I started my watch at mile one, I just could not figure out the math. I caught a few glimpses of the pacers in the distance, but I never caught back up with them. I crossed the line in 1:46:11. It is still a PR and I know I should be happy, but honestly, I am really disappointed.

And suddenly a race broke out for 183rd place (I won!).

I hobbled my way over to my father in law. My left IT band got really tight as soon as I stopped running. After that, all that was left to do was wait for Mr. Shoe and hope he was having a better race that I had. Recap of Mr. Shoe’s first race coming up in Part 2!


9 thoughts on “2014 Capital City River Run Recap [part 1]

  1. Heather, I'm so sorry the side stitch threw a wrench in your plans! I can totally understand why you would feel disappointed by not making your goal, but seriously, you still overcame a huge obstacle to get a PR! That's awesome!


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