Last weekend was the Disney Marathon Weekend. This Disney extravaganza has grown into a series of events and my daughter earlier in the year said she wanted to run the half as her first half marathon. Her previous longest race was 4 miles but she is a runner. I was going to run it too so I signed us both up at that time.
Her training plan was to start adding weekly long runs in early November with her longest run scheduled for 11 miles a couple of weeks before the half. She did all the training per the plan and was ready. In contrast, I did minimal training except for getting fat. I can't really run well so I walked a bit. My longest "walk" prior to race day was 7 miles. Getting the flu a few weeks before made me regress even more. I was just starting in mixing in a little jogging to my walks but I realized, at best, I was undertrained. I didn't really understand how undertrained I actually was but that epiphany was coming.
I wrote previously that my goal was to not get picked up by the SAG bus. My plan was to move up in the corral to gain some slack from the sweep. My goal was to move my daughter up too so she could run with people at her pace. Her goal was 2 hours and to not have to walk at all.
We were originally in corral H. They moved her up to corral A (with the fast folks) and me to corral E based on previous race results. I thought that fair. The expo was interesting where we listened to Bart Yasso give a talk and checked out the expo. The main buzz had to do with the heat wave being experienced in central Florida. The high temperature the day before the race was in the mid 80s - not great for running.
The clock was set for 2:45AM on race day and we were out of the house by 3:30 per plan. My goal was to go back to sleep in the car but my daughter was bouncing around already. We headed over to the staging area and they let us head towards the start at 4:30. After the long walk to the corrals, I walked her to near her corral, wished her luck, then started the long trek to corral E. When I got to D, the bouncer said this entrance was for D and above. I hopped in and blended with the "real" runners.
After the anthem and the starts for the other corrals, it was our turn to run and off we went. I started jogging planning on a jog 2/walk 3 mix to start. I thought I was golden It was, as expected, very crowded with 25k runners or so. There were time where the road narrowed and people stopped running. All was good until about the 2 mile mark when I started feeling a slight tinge in my upper right hamstring. To save myself I decided to walk it in. Walking was fine, running wasn't. I somehow convinced myself that goal#1 was to not be picked up, goal#2 was to get a medal, and goal#3 was to make the official 3:30 cutoff.
About 10 miles in I realized that as long as I kept doing what I was doing, it looked like I would meet goal#1and#2 but not #3. It would be close but then I started feeling a blister start. I also noticed that my hands were swelling and starting to hurt. I was near the end so it wouldn't be that bad so I kept going. At this time everyone around me was walking. There were no runners at all.
I saw my daughter at the 12 mile mark. She had her medal, space blanket, and was very happy. She walked in with me and told me about her race. She said she was doing great but had to really go to the bathroom at mile 8. There was a line for the porta potties so that delayed her. She said when her Garmin said 13.1 miles she was under 2 hours but at the end Garmin said 13.28 miles in 2:01:11. She was happy but was talking about being more aware of the tangents and bathroom next time. She said that there was a big difference between 11 miles and 13.1. She said at the beginning it was so fun she was thinking about the full next year. At the end, though, the half was enough for her.
I didn't get picked up. I got my medal. I didn't make the 3:30 cutoff. There were still thousands of runners behind me. My blister wasn't that bad but my hands were hurting from the swelling so I went to the medical tent and iced them down. This was a mystery to me but with the heat and lack of training, odd things should have been expected. The medical folks seemed to feel that this wasn't a big deal.
After about an hour, my hands were back to normal. I've proven that I'm stupid enough to get this stuff done by virtue of my inability to admit defeat. No need to prove that again. I wasn't in that bad shape but realized that there is some advantages to actually training. That has to be the plan going forward.
StA up next.