Disclaimer: I received an entry into Livermore Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
All right, if you’ve been reading me whine for the past week you know I went into this race sick. I was questioning my sanity for running it and my ability to finish it. As was my mother. 😛
Race morning dawned after a less then stellar night of sleep but isn’t that to be expected before races? The forecast had changed to just overcast and low 40’s and while I was thankful for the lack of rain I knew that was going to feel cold to me. So I layered up. Seriously. Capri’s over compression socks, a tank with a long sleeve shirt over it, then my rain jacket. A Buff around my neck and another Buff around my head to cover my ears with my hat over that. My mom drove me to the start and dropped me off.
I made my way to the start line and suddenly panicked. I forgot my bib! Somehow I had forgotten to pin my bib on. It was still in the car. Thankfully my mother had decided that parking was a nightmare (we were in a dirt lot without specific spots which was very tricky in the dark) so she was just going to nap while I ran. I hauled butt back to the car to get my bib. Once that crisis was averted I headed back to the start line where I ended up meeting up with Laura from running4thereason.com, another Bibrave Pro. We chatted while waiting for the race to start. 10 minutes after 7 and we were off!
My plan was to run until I got tired, walk, then repeat until the finish line. I figured I would walk every hill and just do whatever my lungs wanted to do and just go from there.
Miles 1-3 10:24, 10:40, 10:22
The first 3 miles were through city streets and I was moving a hell of a lot faster than I thought I would be. Hmmm. I like low key city streets so I was enjoying the vibe and just letting my feet do what they wanted. I skipped the first aid station at mile 2 because it was just too crowded. The 5K was also running along side us for a bit so that was interesting. A couple other runners and I were cracking jokes that we were going to “get lost” and turn around with the 5K’ers. 😛 A little before mile 3 I came up behind the 2:30 pacers… um, what? I knew I was moving way faster then that so I couldn’t figure out how they had gotten that far ahead of me. Then I turned my headphones on and told myself to get over it.
Miles 4-6 11:11, 11:29, 11:41
I loved these miles and hated them at the same time. Just past mile 4 we went from running the streets into a paved path in a park. Heaven. I want this path in my town now. Paved blacktop with nature on both sides, a little stream running thanks to all the rain? It was awesome. A downside was that the path narrowed so it was easy to get roadblocked so there was lots of bobbing and weaving going on in these miles. I ran in the dirt along the path a lot. But again, that’s one of my favorite things so this should have been my favorite part. What made it so rough was that just past mile 4 my stomach cramped, bad. Like, I need a bathroom now, bad. And of course, the next bathroom wasn’t until the aid station at mile 6ish. 😂😂 So instead of walking because I was tired, I walked when I cramped and ran when it eased, and repeat. That kind of messed with my head. Note to self- never eat Five Guys before a race ever again.
Just past mile 6 and we were out of the park and back on the street. The bathroom line was like 20+ people long and the cramping had eased so I figured as long as I went slow I would probably be ok. My lungs were starting to protest and I was super congested. I admit I did something I have never done in view of others before- I spit. I did it more than once this race. I felt so bad but I had to! I also ripped off a few choice words when a police car leading a trail of cars on the other side of the road let off a single screeching chirp. I about jumped out of my skin. 2 people next to me also had some colorful words to share. Mile 9 saw the only 2 real hills of the race. I walked them. At the top of the first was a water station that also had a paramedic and a fire truck- it was a small hill! I got jammed up the water station. I went to throw my water cup in the trash and a woman put herself in front of me to eat her Gu and a woman came up right behind me to drink water. It was like a hug with random strangers and I couldn’t move. Let me out! It took me another 30’ish seconds to get myself out of the stranger sandwich and on my way. Grrr. We were leaving the road and entering another park with a paved path. Seriously, I wanted this one in my town too. My lungs were protesting as we hit the second hill, they were so not happy.
We were still in the park so I was running in the dirt every chance I got. I love dirt. Plus my legs appreciated the change in terrain. They were actually feeling pretty good considering how little elevation this course had. The 2:30 pacers had caught up to me and passed me, left me in the dust really. I started to feel discouraged but told myself to get over it, I was already doing better than I thought I would, there was no sense making myself sicker just to meet some arbitrary “sick” finish time. I just told myself to enjoy the scenery and try to calm my lungs down. Mile 11 brought us back into town through a smaller park before we were back on city streets for the last mile.
Mile 13 12:16
Holy asthma city. My lungs were done. Between my cold and my asthma, I was fighting an asthma attack. I walked so much of the last mile. I was wheezing and coughing and gasping and probably looked like a hot mess. Crowd support really picked up for the last mile and so many people were cheering. I heard “come on girl in orange run! You’re so close!” Don’t you see I’m trying!?!?!?! I rounded a corner and there it was- the finish line!
I crossed the line and was handed my medal. I saw my mom fairly quickly outside the fence and went to say hi. She took one look at my face and said “you chose to do this”. Haha, thanks mom.😛 I then wandered down the finishers chute and collected my wine glass, chocolate milk and banana. I was also able to refill my water bottle. Once I stopped moving and was able to chill for a moment, my lungs calmed down a bit.
All in all this a great course. I liked all the scenery and the varied paths. I wish it had a few more hills. I think another hill or 2 may have helped me a bit, this course was fairly flat. So if flat is your jam, you could totally set a PR on this course. And hey I ended up hitting my arbitrary sick time anyways- who knew?!
Half marathon #23 in the books. 🙂