Monday, October 14, 2013

Tyler Rose Half Marathon (pacing job) 40 days til Tulsa

     Last week was supposed to be one of my strongest weeks of training.  On the schedule was strength training on Tuesday, a tempo run Wednesday, a simulation run of the first 7 marathon miles on Thursday then 18 miler for Saturday and pace a half marathon on Sunday and a total of about 48 miles.  My last Sunday was already a little wheels off. Usually I run trails but since we had rain... AGAIN,  the trails were closed. It’s been almost a month since I’ve been on the trails due to weather. But I still managed to get in a nice 10 mile fun run through downtown and uptown with an abbreviated version of the TREX group. Earlier in the week my cousin from Kansas City popped in for a surprise visit whom I have not seen since I was 17. I had lunch with her Tuesday and funny enough found out she had done some running in the past also and was interested in getting into maybe a half marathon. That day, I had some business to take care of at work so I couldn’t make the group strength training, so I ran on my own. The night before I knew something was wrong, I started getting a sore throat. While me and my cousin were having lunch I could feel myself getting sicker but I thought it may have just been allergies.

Me and cuzzin Niki from K.C.
I ended up running latter that evening and put in 8 miles but I could tell that my respiration wasn’t right. The next morning I woke up and was sneezing all day at work. Ok, something is going on. My runner buds Michelle and Rebecca had a Wednesday run on the schedule and I had planned on running with them but at the last minute Michelle, who is a few months preggo texted us informing that she was having some dizziness, so she was out. Rebecca T. texted me afterward and I let her know I was good to go but I told her thought I was catching a cold. Rebecca’s marathon which was in Victoria, British Columbia Sunday quickly distanced from running with me as she did not want to catch whatever I had. I didn’t blame her. Come to find out the ragweed count was extremely high so I figured that was what was causing my problems, maybe not a cold. I left work and ran 4 miles without any problem. Then Thursday came around. I was miserable all day long. Coughing, chest congestion, but I powered my way through the day on DayQuil. Boy, you have a cold. These aren’t allergies. Trying to climb the stairs at work was a huge task. Whenever I get a cold it brings to me asthmatic-like symptoms if I try to do excercise. Friday I woke up felt much better and most all of the symptoms were gone by afternoon, just a little congested. So I felt I would be good to go Saturday morning. Only 18 miles right? Wrong. I got to the clubhouse was all ready to go. Got my 4:10 group behind me and only made it about 30 seconds into the run and felt like I had just run 4x100m sprints. Immediately stopped, told the group to keep going then called my coach who was up ahead with another group to drop back and lead my group. I probably could have made it maybe a few miles but it would have killed me just to do that. I could tell I had only about 70% of my lung capacity and that just won’t cut it for running. Throughout Saturday, I felt better by the hour and even got in a practice run that afternoon to make sure I was good to go for the Sunday run which was the Tyler Rose half marathon and I was assigned to pace the 2:10 half marathon group.  I actually knew I needed one more day to get well but sometimes I can be a little hardheaded.  Funny though, with these consecutive days of rest/easy runs I do strongly believe my hip flexor problem is history. Ironically the same thing happened to me a couple of years ago when I had a hip flexor issue that wouldn’t go away, I caught the flu and was out of running commission for a whole week. It healed up and I came back stronger than ever and completed my first ever half marathon a couple weeks later. I’m going to take a guess that this will make me even stronger.

     So bring on the Tyler Rose half marathon.  All I had been told is that it was hilly.  Every time that race is brought up, hilly is the first adjective you will always hear.  I figured it couldn't be any worse than what we get in training every week running around the neighborhoods of White Rock Lake and Lake Highlands.  The day before I made sure I was extra extra hydrated, due to just coming off of a cold I figured I probably lost more fluids than normal.

DRC Pace Crew
  I woke up at 3am and drove to the DRC clubhouse where I met up with runner bud Bri and hitched a ride to Tyler, Texas.  We were both sleepyheads but had some great conversation there and back and learned a lot about each other.  I kinda like these road marathon trips.  So we lined up at the start line as usual, the full marathoners left 30 minutes before the halfers.  I paced with fellow DRCer Sean, who is just as tall as I am short.  Sean played the whole pacing job perfectly. I had to slow him up a couple times, but he seemed to know just about how much longer the course would be so we had to pace a little bit faster than the calcluated 9:55 min mile to hit 2:10 chip time right at 13.1.  Still with a wee bit of uncertainty if I was well enough to run, I gutted it up and told myself I would give it all I had.  About a mile into the run I figured I was okay as I didn't fall over an die.  We were immediately on an upgrade on that first mile.  There was absolutely nothing flat about that whole course.  It was either up or down.   And that wasn't the worst of it. If the hills didn't get you, the humidity did.  How humid was it?  It was so humid you would have to take a shower to dry off. Haha.  So I knew that meant I had the great potential to cramp up because it never fails.  I was good until about mile 12 mile waterstop.  Felt the pulling coming in my calf, gave Sean the pace stick and told him I would stretch then catch up with him.  I took in some  extra hydration, stretched then sprinted off.  Got to the last stretch and I could see Sean not too far away, and knew I could catch him before I got to the finish line.  Got to the last turn about 100 feet before the finish line and both calves completely seized up.  Damn.  So I had to physically stop, stretch and pull out the knots because my cramps probably aren't like your cramps.  I get muscle spasms and you ain't goin nowhere when you get those.  Lasted all of about 2 minutes then I hobbled the rest of the way. 
Sean and I and probably a 1 foot difference
Asked Sean how we did, 2:09:59.  Bam.  Can't get much better than that.  This was the hardest course that I have ever run.  I would even say harder than the Cowtown Marathon which I can describe as "wavy".  The best way to describe the hills in Tyler, Texas is "arrogant". 

     Overall I had a good time and if asked to pace this one again, I would.  Not sure about the full marathon, but yeah I can handle the half.  Just need to build up these calves a little more and try not to get sick the week before.


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