This past weekend my friends and I traveled to Charleston, SC, for the Charleston Half Marathon…a 36 hour adventure for half marathon number 14. I was undertrained and spent most of the past week sick. Luckily I felt a little better before we left so I rallied and off we went.
The drive was fun aside from the rain and stupid left lane drivers. ☹️ Dawn and Rainey are great travel buddies and we made it to the expo in time to meet up with the rest of the RVA crew.
Saturday morning was COLD. Cold and WINDY! We waited in the hotel lobby until the last possible minute before heading out to the start line. I’m not going to lie…we got about 10 steps outside of the hotel and I wanted to turn around and go back. I do not handle the cold well.
Realizing that I wasn’t in the best shape for this race I started out at what I thought was a reasonable pace for me. I didn’t want to go out too fast. The first two miles were a bit tedious as always but as I approached mile three I realized that my breathing wasn’t easy and I couldn’t seem to settle in. By mile 5 I was struggling a bit and took a short walk break to fuel and catch my breath. The rest of the race would be a push just to finish.
There was a stretch around miles 7-9 that was brutal. I was having to walk more at that point and the headwind was so strong at times that I felt like I was suffocating. I was cold and wanted to be anywhere but in the middle of that race. The dark thoughts were consuming…”would it be so bad to quit?”…”who could I catch a ride with to the finish line?”…”why do I do this?” I started having flashbacks to the Philly Love Run from last year. That race was by far the most miserable I have ever been running because of the cold and wind and I felt like I was right back there. The only thing I could do was push forward.
Somewhere around mile 11-12 the lead marathon runner came by. This has happened to me before and can be somewhat defeating. You are struggling at the end of your race and someone who has run twice as far as you in the same time comes flying by seemingly effortlessly. For some strange reason seeing that actually propelled me forward. I somehow was able to move myself with more ease than any of the past 6 miles. I crossed the finish line…FINALLY!
There weren’t many pictures during this race. I was cold and tired. I did manage to snap one around mile three. So pretty…
I knew going in that I was underprepared and that this race wouldn’t be my best. I don’t think I was prepared for how bad I would feel. I think once you’ve run a good amount of these races, you sometimes lose sight of how tough they can be and just how much preparation goes into training. Winter training is rough. I admit I thought…it’s just a half- you can do it. While that is true and I did finish I took away two good lessons from this:
1. I really don’t like racing in the cold and I really need to start wearing more layers when I do.
2. I need to train more in the winter. Period.
Here’s to medal Monday and Half Marathon number 14. It was brutal but it’s done. I had a blast with my friends…and who doesn’t love a little sparkle on their bling?…