Sunday, March 27, 2011


I've been sitting here staring at a new blog post window trying to figure out what to say (and in fact how I feel) about today's race. I think the post title sums it up. It's an expression I got from The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. In it he spends some time in the least "happy" country in the world, Moldova, where he rents a room from an old woman.  "Feevty-feevty" (50/50, complete with a level hand shaken back and forth) and "no" are the only English she knows. When asked if she's happy or not, her response is "feevty-feevty." If you asked me how I did today at the Boulder Spring Half Marathon, my best answer is feevty-feevty, but not much more than that.

Ah, how little we knew how this is going to play out.
Mr. Bump and I got up around 5:45 and made it to Boulder Reservoir around 7:15. Parked, hit the port-o-potties, wandered around and eventually lined up at the start.  The race was supposed to start at 8:00 am, but for whatever reason (Mr. Bump says it was something about the timer), we didn't end up going until 8:15. The temperature was about 32, but you could tell that the sky was pretty clear so it would probably warm up.  I had a ear band on, but I shucked that and my gloves and handed that off to Mr. Bump when we were lining up. Then we waited for another 15 minutes and my fingers and toes really started to get frozen.

I should have kept on my gloves of flame--
Perhaps they would have helped.

I had my music player all ready to go, but since we stood around for so long it powered itself off.  After the gun (yep, they used a real gun), I was trying to get it to turn on and forgot to turn my watch on until well after I crossed the start line. So my official time will remain a mystery until they post the results. After I got my music going, and my watch on, I was feeling really pumped.  Mr. Bump took an embarrassing video of the start line that demonstrates just how pumped I was, but I veto showing it to you.

There are a couple of hills in the first two miles, and I managed them pretty well.  I started out with about 10:40s, which didn't feel too fast, so I didn't think I was pushing too hard.  I fell in step with a guy who had a steady 10:40 to 11:00 minute pace, and while I fell behind a couple of times, I'd catch him back up again after a walk break.  We chatted a little bit.  Somewhere after mile 4 I seemed to catch a second wind. By the halfway point, I was feeling pretty good. I was pushing hard for me, and I was feeling it in my glutes and calves, but I was doing ok.

There is a teeny pink dot in the middle that is me, a loser alone on the road.
Miles 6-9 were hard, and I had to take some breaks, but they weren't too bad.  The last few miles, though. I just ran out of gas. I knew I only had a 5K to go, but I just kept having to stop. I stopped through water stations. I stopped on hills (I ran all the downhills).

That hot pink blob in the middle of the picture is me. Walking.

Me running toward the finish line. Feebly.

Oh my god why am I not finished yet?!?

This is what pathetic looks like.
Even in the last third of a mile, once we got off the road and were on the chute up to the finish line (all up hill), I had to stop and walk. It was so demoralizing. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, but I couldn't go any faster.

Where the hell is the finish line? And why is it still so far away?
F-ing finally. I can go die now.
 I am still so tired.  I was so spent after my finish that I chucked my medal at Mr. Bump, grabbed a couple of cups of water and a protein drink and staggered to the car. I  couldn't be bothered with waiting in line trying to eat anything. Mr. Bump had to put a hand on my back  because he was afraid I was going to lose my balance.

I feel like I need to defend myself, somehow. The official time isn't up yet, but I think I finished in the 2:33 range.  This is about six minutes faster than my previous time on the course.  But about 13 minutes slower than I did on my last half marathon. This is definitely a tougher course.  The end is just brutal with the hills. And my time was pretty much all over the place.

I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong, without wanting to admit that I did something wrong. Did I not fuel soon enough, or often enough?  Did I start out too fast? Should I have walked some hills that I ran?  Or did I do the best I could, and it just wasn't my day? I felt so strong, so ready. I can't figure out what happened.

The good:

I PR'd for the course.
I left everything out there. I had nothing left in the tank at the end.
I wasn't passed by a 70 year old speed walker.
I ran most of the first half, even the hills.
I didn't get sick.

The bad:

I didn't PR.
I didn't maintain my pace.
I was passed by a whole lot of other people.
I walked more of the second half than the first.
I thought I was going to get sick afterward the race, from too much liquids.

The ugly:
I have a nice blister on my right second-in-command toe.
I need to foam roll out my IT bands, but I'm scared it's going to hurt.
I am going to sleep well, unless the pain awakens me.
I'm going to do this again in three weeks, on an even tougher course.  Hold me.

Well, that's all I can possibly say about that. Feevty-feevty it was.

And to leave you on a upbeat note, Mr. Bump took a picture of a dog, who runs like I wish I did.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Hey there, I just found your blog =)

I ran the boulder half today too, I am happy it didn't snow on us. Great job today!