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The Heart and Sole Half Marathon Race Report

The Heart and Sole Half Marathon Race Report
The Heart and Sole Half Marathon Race Report

Runners are a very determined group of people.  Sometimes to a fault.  When we have a race in our mind it is hard to deviate from the plan.  I knew before my race that I wasn’t feeling good but I wasn’t about to miss the only half marathon on my schedule all fall.  I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me but I was hoping I had enough to cross that finish line.

The week before my half was pretty low key.  I knew my body was fighting off a cold.  I figured the lower mileage from a mini taper would give my body some needed rest and I would be fine.  Friday afternoon after we picked up the kids from school we left for Jonesboro which is just about an hour and a half from my house.  I picked up my packet and we headed to dinner.  At dinner I commented to John a few times that my ears were were ringing.  By the time we got to the hotel I knew I needed some Tylenol or something for the major headache I was having.  I didn’t pack any medicine so he went to the store to get some.  I was getting more dizzy and congested but I couldn’t tell if it was me or the kids jumping from bed to bed driving me crazy laughing and playing.

I went to bed as soon as John got back but did not sleep well.  I wasn’t sure if I should even run.  I knew I had put in the training and should be able to run a good half but I just wasn’t feeling confident in myself since I wasn’t feeling healthy.

Ultimately, I knew I would be mad at myself if I didn’t even try.  We had brought the whole family and stayed at a hotel so I could run this race so I forced myself to get ready.  The hotel was just a half mile from the starting line so I jogged over by myself and let John and the kids sleep in.  Temps were in the mid 60’s and it was 90% humidity which is a bit warmer than I would have liked.  After a short warm-up I was already very sweaty.  Then I had an embarrassing port-a-potty experience.  For some reason I didn’t lock the door all the way (never done that before) so while I’m sitting there some runner lady opens the door and quickly shuts it apologizing.  Wouldn’t have been a big deal but every line is facing the port-a-potties so I who knows how many people saw me for those few seconds.  But I was so out of it I really didn’t even care!  I just needed to get this race over with so I could lay down. Not exactly the best pre- race attitude. 

My ultimate half marathon plan was to break 1:25.  I needed to pace at 6:27 or better to get this time.  I knew that this would be difficult considering how I was feeling combined with the warmer weather and a hilly course.  Last year there were several elite women at this race.  For whatever reason they weren’t there this year which meant I would have a pretty good shot at some prize money if I could hold it together for 13.1 miles.  I just needed a little less than an hour and a half of running hard.  Could my body give me that?  I had prayed during most of my warm-up that God would take care of me and help me get through it.  So many times during training I know I rely way too much on myself and I should know better.  Saturday morning I knew if I relied on myself I would fail.  I needed help.

The Race:

Mile 1- 6:27.  Right on my goal pace.  It felt controlled and easy enough but I wasn’t sure if it would still feel that way several miles later.  I just couldn’t think about that.  One mile at a time.

Mile 2- 6:28.  I passed one guy at the beginning of this mile and settled into 4th place overall- there were three guys spread out ahead of me.

Mile 3- 6:35.  A little off pace but I knew this would be a tough mile with an 80 foot elevation gain and only 27 foot loss.

Mile 4- 6:34.  A runner came up to pass me at the end of this mile.  “Good job girl!” he said and I hoped he would be the only person to pass me the rest of the race.  I wasn’t slowing down, he was just picking his pace.  I decided to follow him a while if I could.  At this point I was feeling much more in rhythm. 

Mile 5- 6:26.  Had two shot bloks and some water.

Mile 6- 6:31. Still trying to follow that guy in front of me who was gaining more of a lead.

Mile 7- 6:24.  Drank a quick sip of gatorade.

Mile 8- 6:35. Another steep incline at the end of this mile.  I knew I’d see John and the kids at the top of the hill so I just had to push through and power up as I ran.  I envisioned I was just running one of my hill repeats.

Mile 9- 6:38.  Hardest mile mentally and physically for me.  There is a long gradual climb in this mile but I knew I would soon be rewarded with two flat easy miles.  John and the kids were at the beginning of this mile and it was so good to see them.

Mile 10- 6:31. Once my watched beeped 10 I just had to talk myself through running a 5K.  I ate my last shot blok and had a sip of water.  This was it.  I had to stay focused and I could rest soon!

Mile 11- 6:32. Saw John and the kids one more time.

Mile 12- 6:31.  Last mile with any big incline.

Mile 13- 6:24.  I knew running a 1:24:xx was not going to happen but a 1:25:xx could if I booked it in!

Mile 13.22- 1:15 (538 avg.)  I saw the clock and knew I had to kick to get it in sub 1:26. Barely made it!

Official Finish Time: 1:25:57/ 1st female/ 5th Overall

Official Avg. 6:34 (Garmin Avg. 6:30.)

Kirwa and Tanui placed 1st and 2nd overall.  We are all HU cross country almuni.

After the race I ran about a mile cool-down with two runners runners I know from Batesville.  I had planned on running more but my body was completely exhausted.  We went back to the hotel because there was an hour and a half before the awards and brunch.  I showered and changed and then started to feel faint.  I started breaking into a cold sweat all over and knew I had to lay down and eat something asap.  Once I ate I started to feel a little better hut my throat was not good at all.  It just got worse as the day went on.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling much worse so I went to the local urgent care clinic.  Sure enough I tested positive for strep throat.  So obviously no running right now.  Taking it easy just resting and letting the antibiotics do their thing

Overall, I feel good about how it went under the circumstances.  I know I have a sub 1:25 in me, maybe even a sub 1:24 but I did the absolute best I could on Saturday.  I probably shouldn’t have even run so I can’t complain about not meeting my A goal.   I will meet my A goal when the time is right and hopefully I will be feeling fresh and sharp that day- ready to run!

26 Comments

    1. It was great to meet you too! I actually had strep about 2 weeks ago and debated on whether I should run the race or not. I was a little slower than normal but was thankful I got to run. Hope you feel better soon!

  1. WOW. You are one tough mama, Tia. Seriously so impressed for you even getting out of bed to race, let alone rocking out a sub-1:26 half marathon! You continue to inspire me each and every run/race you do! Hope you feel better QUICK!

  2. I feel bad for you and hope you’re better soon, but I have to laugh at you. Under 1:26 and first place with strep? You’re not even human! And yes, stubborn! Great race.

  3. How in the world did you run so well with strep throat?! I am in awe! Your splits are so strong… way to go, Tia! And it must be a confidence booster to know you’d run even better with a cooler day and no strep! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Laura! Yes, in a weird twisted way I guess it was a confidence booster. Surely with good course, weather and in good health it would go better. Definitely shooting for my A goal next time!

  4. Far out, that is incredible!! Firstly I don’t know how you run that fast and secondly, I don’t know how you did it being so sick!! Well done, and I hope you get better soon.:)

  5. I think that is just amazing. A PR and 1st women on a tough course with strep throat. What you can do healthy is kind of scary! I hope you are feeling much better!!!

  6. Thanks Kortni, My body definitely hit its limit and I have been paying for it this week! Lots of resting and no running was the number one priority. Hoping to get back to business soon. I’m not complaining about sleeping in though. That has been pretty sweet! lol!

  7. I love your determination! I probably would have done the same thing….well,not run that fast, but run when sick even when I probably shouldn’t. Good job on your race though. Even if you didn’t run your A time you are still an inspiration to so many of us!!

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