Saturday I ran the She Runs Half Marathon trail race at Lake Hodges. I got up at 5:00 am and made myself a smoothie of 2 dates, a banana, water , chia seeds and ice. It is pretty basic and less than what I usually put in a smoothie but I wanted mostly carbs and something easily digested. I drank it up, half awake at 5 and then went back to bed for an hour. At 6:30 I got up, took a quick shower (why, when I am going to run, take a shower?, but I think it helps me sweat less therefore chafe less. No hair wash just the body), got on my best (i.e. least likely to chafe) running clothes and did the most important thing to do before a race. Can you guess? Well, there is no nice way to say it but emptying the bowels is paramount to a good race. It is really uncomfortable to have to go the bathroom half way through the race. So that is why I eat at 5am for a 8am race. I also drink a lot of fluids the day before and some at 5 am but then stop after that until during the race.
I arrived at 7:20 for the 8:00 am start. I used the porta potty again (twice actually) and then registered. I got a cute shirt though it is a bit small for me. It is always so hard to figure out what size to request. Sometimes small is perfect and medium is too big and sometimes small is too small and medium would be better. Ugghh. It's cute too but we'll see if it will work for runs. Maybe short ones. I also got a cute water bottle and a pink wrist band that says "proud to run like a girl" which I like and wore all day for a couple days after the race. Anyway, I put my new stuff and my jacket in the car and lined up at the starting gate. It was a small race, only 133 people finished. That was fun to be in such a small race after the last which was at Disneyland and had thousands. I ran with my pediatrician friend Alisa almost the entire race. She left me behind at mile 12 to finish strong. The race was all on dirt and had lots of rocks and tree roots to watch out for. I almost fell on my face twice. Overall, though, my body felt good. There was a big hill mile 10 to 11 and I ran up it without stopping which was a goal of mine. Alisa stopped for a short part of the hill and this is probably wise because walking is as close to as fast as running like I did but for me it is psychological. However she quickly caught up and probably had a little more energy to finish by walking a small portion of the hill. Or maybe she is just in a little better shape. She has run many more races than I have and been at this for longer. She even ran a full marathon. My goal, my elusive, crazy, insane goal. Back to Lake Hodges. I felt really good until the last mile. This was the case with my other runs too. That last mile is hard. I was feeling slightly nauseated and the fact that the sun was much stronger now didn't help. But I kept going, not stopping and crossed the finish line to the cheers of Alisa, Kelly and Aiden. She finished about 1 minute ahead. My final time was 2 hours and 24 minutes. #70 of 133. This is about the same time as my first marathon in March of 2012. But this one was on dirt which makes a huge difference. So, I am feeling pretty good about Carlsbad in January. I think I may be improving somewhat and might be able to pull off a personal record there. We'll see.
My only concern though is a new physical issue. I think I may have pulled my groin muscles somehow. Both sides hurt but the left worse. It was happening before the race but is worse now. Every once in a while I have sharp intense pain in the muscles/ligaments along my inguinal region. And last night it was throbbing when I was trying to sleep so I had to take Motrin. It isn't constant but it is super severe when it hits. It only last a few seconds or so but it hurts so much. And it worries me. This is a new one and I haven't read much about it in my running magazines so I am not sure what to do. I will have to research it and maybe speak with my doctor if it continues. I don't want it to hamper my future races.
Lastly, 13.1 miles was HARD. I really can't imagine doing 26.2. At 13 I was ready to collapse. And I even felt a little like throwing up. It passed quickly and I felt fine and actually recovered pretty quickly. But how am I going to ever do 26.2? Really not sure.