|A "sweaty mess"|
Running became harder as the temps increased but I was still OK. My mind adjusted and came to the realization that there was a need to slow down. Not what I wanted but I had to be smart about this. One of my big fears is passing out and floundering around on the side of a road. Very embarrassing if it would ever happen. OK...so I accepted the fact that my pace would be safer near 10:00/mile. I'm finishing the first loop and I can live with that pace.
As I crossed the line at the end of the first loop I passed Linda Bradley who was taking pictures. She was giving the obligatory encouraging statements....."you're doing good"...."you look OK"....etc. The crowd, which is most dense at this point, was doing the same. Then my body decided to speak up. I suddenly felt like the dinner lobster about to take the dive into the pot of boiling water! Then my intestines said "find a port-o-potty". Ugh. Luckily there was a port-o-potty up ahead. Took care of nature's calling and continued on.
I had officially become a "sweaty mess". But my inside voice started to be positive...."only 5 miles to go"...."more than half way"....."all flat roads". So I plugged along and tried to maintain a decent pace. Then on Terry Plain Road at around mile 9 I saw the first victim, a 50ish year old guy writhing around after the aid station. He was being attended to by the crowd while rolling and moaning. A little farther down the road there was another. It was apparent the heat was getting to people. I pushed on. At mile 11 I saw a boy go down in the distance. Maybe 12 years old and unresponsive. When I ran past a policemen leaned over him to place an ear to his chest. Obviously to hear a heartbeat. That was scary and unnerving. I've seen plenty of runners go down but a young boy being checked for a heartbeat really bothered me. I wasn't thinking about pace or heat or drinking water. It took a while but finally got my head back into the race. Now we could hear multiple ambulance sirens on the streets. Beginning the last mile I was feeling good it was coming to an end. Very disappointed with my performance. I crossed the finish in 2:12 which is one of my worst half marathons and 18 minutes slower than my finish last year. At the finish many runners were dropping. Paramedics, police, and race organizers had to catch people to prevent them from hitting the pavement. Chaos was in full swing. It suddenly hit me that my 2:12 probably was a great time considering the conditions. I was not in bad shape and felt OK. Lee Bradley had finished just ahead of me which is actually strange because he should of finished way ahead of me. In the end I did OK. Training paid off and probably prevented me from slamming the pavement in the extreme heat.
So I chalk that one up as a good race and a good lesson to learn. Train hard, plan well, and drink plenty of fluids. And most significant.....don't sweat pace....just run smart.
|Two "Sweaty Messes"- Lee and I at the finish.|