Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1, 2015

Cowtown Half Marathon

This should have been my race. 

Two days before the big day DFW was slammed with a snow/ice storm bad enough that Cowtown decided to cancel the 5K/10K/Full Marathon/Ultra Marathon, but let the Half Marathon go on with a delayed start time. This is what the roads looked like about 12 hours before the race... ice, slush and awful. Amazingly, they pulled it off and cleared the course!

About 8:10 my corral started. Mile was was a little sketchy with icy patches and trying to get around other runners, so it was a bit slower than I wanted, but everything was working out ok and I hit my stride at mile 2. From them until mile 8.5 I was doing awesome. Even with the slow first mile, I was averaging 8:53 for those first 9 miles. I had run through the stockyards and saw Charlie and the boys cheering for me, which gave me a boost of energy and excitement for the second half of the race.

I knew that mile 9 was a huge hill. As I was running toward it, the girl next to me throws her hands in the air and yells "Are you kidding me? What are we supposed to do!?" and my first thought was "um, it's a hill... keep running!" ... THEN I SEE THE TRAIN. The train crossing arms are just coming down and there are train cars as far as the eye could see. There was nothing to do but stop and wait for it to pass. This was AWFUL for so many reasons. 1) It wrecks your time 2) It messes with your rhythm 3) It was freezing (literally) and within 30 seconds my muscles started to tighten 4) It basically turned into a second starting line for as crowded and antsy everyone was to begin again. I'm sure there are others, but that's enough for now : /

So it finally gets out of the way and the huge hill is straight ahead. It was pretty challenging to get back into a groove once my stride had been broken, and I was COLD. Charlie and the boys were at the top of the hill and waiting to cheer me on so they powered me through, but around mile 11 things started going wrong. 

I was too cold and started losing my ability to focus my eyes, work my fingers, move my mouth to chew my stingers and lick my lips. I walked for a little and almost fell backwards while trying to move forward. I don't know how, but I made it to the finish line. I remember seeing on my watch 2:00:14 (I paused for the train)... but I was significantly slower after starting back up and feeling the cold. Those last four miles were way slower than they would have been if I hadn't stopped moving. 

I basically fell into another runner and then a medic. He took me to the medic tent and they took my temperature - 96 degrees, hypothermic. They covered me in hot water bottles, gave me warm water to drink, took my soaked socks and shoes off, wrapped me in warming blankets and gave me Hot Hands to hold and it still took about 30 minutes to get my temp up to 98 degrees. It was insane.

All that to be said, I still PR'd for this race. 2:02:57 was my official chip time, but I'm exceptionally disappointed and pretty angry about the outcome. I was on pace for a sub 1:57 and that's about what I had expected based on my training. It stinks that the stupid train that was completely out of my control, mixed with the freezing temperatures and physical side effects of stopping for so long, wrecked my chances of making my goal. I'm trying to get over it, but I know that another half is in my future sooner than later. I need vindication!!