Long version ...
I had a rough night before the race. My alarm was set for , and I didn't get to bed till after 11, then didn't sleep well at all. I'm guessing I ended up getting about three hours' sleep, though I hope it was a bit more than that. I ended up getting up for good around . I ate some oatmeal and got ready while Jesse went to pick up his brother and another friend of ours. Once the guys got back, we headed up to the race.
I met up with a friend from a running forum in the start corral. We chatted for awhile, and then we were off! The start was really well organized. Of the four really large (20,000+) races I've run, this was easily the best organized. No congestion, no weaving.
The first several miles were great. The weather was beautiful (though I wouldn't have complained about some clouds! lol), and it was really a lovely course. We were right on pace, aside from one hilly mile.
Somewhere around the 6th mile, though, I started having a hard time. During the 7th mile, I told my friend I was putting my iPod on (the "rock 'n' roll" on the course left a lot to be desired), and I quickly lost sight of her and worked on trying to pull myself together. It ended up proving futile, and most of the rest of the race was a struggle for me.
I ended up finishing in . That's an 11-minute improvement over my last half (which was a year and a half ago, and which I ran about 6 months after I started running), but about 8 minutes slower than I'd hoped/expected/trained for.
By the time I crossed the finish line, I wasn't in great shape. I was lightheaded, nauseous, and having a hard time walking a straight line. Three different people--two volunteers, and one who was just another runner--asked me if I was ok as I made my way through the area after the finish, and I told them yes, but mostly because I just wanted to get to Jesse, and I was afraid if I said no I'd end up in an aid tent with an IV in my arm.
I was definitely disappointed by my time. The numbers just don't add up--my times from recent, shorter races, the paces I was keeping on my training runs, and the pace I ultimately ran on Saturday--they just don't make sense. Everything went so smoothly during training, I felt like I did everything "right," and I was really confident going into the race. I don't know how much was physical, and how much was mental, but something didn't go as expected.
Looking back, it seems pretty clear that I was dehydrated, but I'm still a bit confused about why. I drank a ton of water the day before the race, and I had water at almost every water stop along the way. The only thing I can think is that maybe I became dehydrated while we were traveling in the days before the race, so the water I drank the day before the race was just getting me caught up from that. Other than that, I'm really not sure what the problem was.
OK, enough pity party ... there were lots of bright sides!
It was a lot of fun to be running in