Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon 2:31:55

Well, that was humbling.

I knew this wasn't going to be my best race, but wow. I wasn't expecting it to be my *worst* race.

I will say that this race was very well organized and all of the volunteers were really friendly. It was almost the same course as Hills and Heels, along the Campion Trails in Las Colinas. There are a few shady parts of the trail, but for the most part it is full sun.

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Michael and our friend Elliot came out for support. Here is a good shot from around mile 3:
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As you can see, I was feeling pretty good but it went downhill (unfortunately, not literally) pretty quickly. I started taking walk breaks early and by mile 6 was feeling really overheated. I drank something at every water station (I alternated between water and Powerade) and the volunteers were also handing out paper towels dipped in cold water. Mile 7 had a pretty evil hill that made me hate life.

By the time I hit mile 10 I really just wanted to finish, I didn't even care about my time. It felt like I was walking more than I was running.

Coming in to the finish line:
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The first words I said to Michael when I crossed the finish line were, "I need to sit down" followed by, "I've never been so hot in my life." I grabbed a (cold!) water bottle and my finisher's medal, then sat down and stretched.

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We hung around to get some free food from My Fit Foods (although hot migas were not exactly appetizing) and Muscle Milk. The race benefitted the Wounded Warrior Project so the military brought guns and even a tank for people to take pictures with. Even though I was exhausted and hot, we had a great time hanging out afterwards.

I would definitely participate in another Wounded Warrior race, but not a half in the summer again! I'm not sure what I could have done differently to prepare, I tried to drink extra water in the week leading up to the race but I definitely got dehydrated. My stomach was upset for the rest of the day and into the next.

So I'd been having some knee problems leading up to the race. I iced my knee almost daily in the week leading up to the race and that morning I took ibuprofen and it felt good through the entire race! However, the pain has come back and feels worse than before. I went for a short run yesterday (my first since the race) and had to cut it short, the pain was not just in my knee but in my quads and I could feel myself limping. So I know I need to take some time off, but I don't want to lose my fitness level. So I am going to spend this week doing some low impact aerobic exercise and lots of yoga and will continue icing. Next weekend I will try running again!

Wish me luck!

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