Expectations for this race were not met. Nope. Not even close. Sub 1:45 continues to elude me.
Five minutes slower than I thought I would be running.
Three minutes slower than I would have been happy with.
One minute and forty one seconds slower than my PR.
As I’m sure you can guess, I am pretty disappointed with my time. I thought I was better prepared for this race. I honestly did not expect to be writing such a sad race report. Anyway, on to the race.
Shoe and I drove up to northern Michigan Friday night. My in laws have a cabin up there which gave us to a place to stay about 45 minutes away from Charlevoix. The race started at 7:00 am Saturday morning so I woke up at 4:30 to give myself plenty of time to get ready and eat breakfast (Clif bar) before the race.
|At the starting line. Fingers crossed for good luck!|
Packet pickup was available the morning of the race; it was quick and easy. Once I had my bib I took my time finishing my pre-race routine (sunscreen, inhaler, double checking shoelaces, bathroom, etc). About 10 minutes before the start I made my way over to the starting line and did a few dynamic stretches to warm up. I felt excited and confident.
Miles 1-3 (7:48, 7:48, 8:00)
I watched the 1:40 pace group pull further and further away from me, but I knew it was best not to try to stick with them. I focused on relaxing and making sure to keep my pace easy. My main goal was to keep each mile under 8:00.
Miles 4-7 (7:51, 7:57, 7:42, 8:00)
Right around mile 4 I started chatting with another a runner. We ran together with some occasional chit chat through mile 10. Even though we didn’t talk much it was so nice to have some company. We were also wearing the same shorts! The course doesn’t have a lot of crowd support and for awhile it felt like I was running all by myself. It is an out and back course so at 6.55 miles we turned around and were running into on coming traffic.
Miles 8-10 (8:06, 8:04, 7:55)
It was tough to maintain our pace through this section. This part of the course is a paved bike path wide enough for 3-4 runners. At this point in the race there were more runners approaching the half way point than there were on their way back to the start. This made passing people very difficult. I wasn’t too worried about a few seconds since most of my miles had been under 8:00). Mile 10 had a misting station set up and running through it was so refreshing!
Miles 11-13.17 (8:22, 9:16, 10:01, 1:14 (7:08 pace for 0.17 miles))
I knew after the 10 mile mark that I just had a 5k left. I also knew that I was starting to get pretty tired. I did some quick mental math and determined that as long as I kept the pace under 8:30, I could finish under 1:45. Not my top goal, but I would have been happy with that time. My plan was to slow down for two miles and pick it back up when there was just a mile left. Instead, at 11.6 miles (thanks, Garmin) I got a horrible stabbing pain in my side. I knew I was close to the finish, but this was the sort of pain that I could not run through. It was excruciating. I spent the next mile running when I could and being forced to walk every few minutes. I watched 1:45 slip out of reach and then watched a PR slip away too.
I’ve been dwelling on my disappointment pretty much since I crossed the finish line. I hate that this has now happened to me in two half marathons and I still don’t really know what is wrong with me or how to fix it (is it just a side stitch? Am I really such a newb runner that I get side stitches? OR is it something I am eating before/during the race? OR is it dehydration? OR am I starting too fast? OR ???).
I have about a million thoughts swirling around my head about what went wrong and why, but I think I am going to save that for another post. Prepare yourself for another few days of whining and complaining. But there were a few good things about this race. Mostly the shirt! I am so in love with this race shirt! It actually fits nicely and it isn’t plastered with sponsor information. The Michigan design with the runner cut out is fantastic. I would run this race again just for another awesome shirt!
I spent the afternoon relaxing on a boat so, in spite of having a bad race, I really shouldn’t complain too much. It was a beautiful day.
Any advice on abdominal pain while running? Also any thoughts on the fact that it still hurts the next day? Do you think I just started the race too fast and paid for it in the end? Really any advice is welcome! I know I am not an expert runner so I always appreciate feedback!