Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Nasty 'Nati

Well, another half marathon and i didn't die.  I am also still slow though, and slightly concerned that i will never ever qualify for the Boston marathon until i am 80.  If thats the way it is, SO BE IT!

Matt, my former roommate Jessica, and myself drove down to Cincy after work.  It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive, so already, that is lame.  I was super concerned about what to eat, because i get really nervous before a race, and have a sensitive stomach to begin with.  We ended up stopping at Wendys, and i had a delicious baked potato and a side salad.

Matt was running the 5k, and decided to carbo-load with a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, soda, and later a mcflurry.  He is very serious about fuel.

We went to sleep around 12:30, and woke up at 5:30, so i could have my coffee and screw around for a little bit.  I become hysterical when i am running late, so i like to make sure i have plenty of time.  We left for the race, which was about a 20 minute drive, but we ended up getting lost in downtown Cincinnati.  (Navigation is one of my weak points.  that and running.  and saying no to candy)  We started to see other runners after driving in circles, and eventually just parked.  By this time we had about 10 minutes until the race started, and i entered hysteria mode.  (why can't i just start a race without chaos???)  We made it with a few minutes to spare, but as i was entering the corral, i realized we had SWITCHED NUMBERS!  i was wearing Matt's 5k bib!!  It was also 35 degrees, so we struggled to unhook the safety pins.  We ended up ripping the bibs off, and it was a nightmare.  By the time we got straightened out, i had 60 seconds to mentally prepare myself, and realize that i had to pee. awesome.  At least it made me forget how freaking cold it was.  The race started and the sun came up and slowly warmed things a tiny bit.  The only thing i remembered about the first 5 miles is that we passes a cupcake shop. 
I saw matt at mile 6 because he had just finished his 5k, and that was a nice surprise.  Then the course switches to a road along the river for an out and back for the remaining 7 miles.  The only problem was that a huge fog cloud had rolled in!  you could only see 10 feet in front of you!  I tried to take a picture, but it didn't turn out, so just imaging a white square.

Oh shit, fog!

It was really confusing, and i kind of lost sense of where i was.  I also felt really lonely because i could only see people close to me.  There weren't many spectators, but i had a few people yell to me that they loved my outfit, and that made it all worth while.  I put my head phones in at mile 8, but was starting to lose my energy at that point.  I was tired and cold, and over the whole running thing.  I took a gel (jet blackberry, the only one that doesn't make me want to puke)  but it didn't seem to help too much.  My last two miles were slow, and i started to have a lot of trouble breathing.  Damn you ohio river valley!!  The last mile emerged from the fog onto a beautiful river walk.  It was still only 39 degrees, and i couldn't feel my legs.  I actually thought i had peed myself at one point, but it turns out it was just thigh-frostbite turning into thigh chafing.  The last half a mile was so hard and painful.  I saw Matt and just gave one final push.  I finished in 2:02:15, which was 12 minutes better than the last race, but 2 minutes slower than what i wanted to run.  I was really sad until they offered me free unlimited beer as a condolence prize.
Not dying is always a win!
All in all, it was a really nice race.  Only a few water stations, but it was so cold that i didn't even stop at the last one.  The after party was really nice, and they even gave out candy!

Matt ended up winning first for his age group!!  also, there were three people in his age group.  I need to run races like that!

In summary, the Cincinnati half marathon was a really fun race!  Just make sure you know where you are going in the morning, and be ready to want to hang out a while after.  I hope to run it again next year!!

Another race medal for cluckie!
I have some more to discuss on Cincinnati in general, like ice cream, and my views on 5-way chili, but i will have to do it in the morning.  It's late and i have to pack for a conference, and i am pee-my-pants scared from the zombie movie i just watched.

And did i mention my legs hurt?  they do.

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