To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Monday, April 11, 2011

Inaugural Corvallis Half Marathon

*Warning: This post will get graphic near the end.

I'm not even going to sugar coat it ... this wasn't pretty. I enjoyed it, but it was an epic battle with a dramatic finish that I wish was caught on film.

3:30am: Time to wake up. Biker Boy had an early flight to Mexico and I had to get him to the airport. :( I hate airport good byes. Rarely is there a time when I'm not crying. I'm such a girl.

6:15am: Arrived at the race sight in Corvallis. Potties are out ... still on the back of the delivery truck. I was there before any volunteers or race people, thus resulting in me driving across town to WinCo (since they are open 24 hours) so I could use their potty. Then back to the football field to try to nap in the car.

7:30am: Packet pick-up had been open for 30 minutes, so I moved my car to the closest spot to the after party and then got my packet. Nice and smooth, but a rude awakening to the cold, windy weather. I started getting worried. Back to my car to just listen to music (90's on 9!), eat my banana and try to finish a bagel. I managed to eat half of it - which seems to be the norm. 

It came in a tote! 
9:10am: My hair was braided, arm sleeves on, bib on my shirt, Garmin on my wrist, iPod in my pocket, sunglasses on my face (mostly because of the wind and not wanting dry eyes), I walked up to the start area. It was pretty crowded finally, and the OSU pep band was playing music to keep us all entertained. The line for the potties was crazy, but it moved fast. The wind kept coming through, so I was glad I decided to run with gloves on. I can't believe I had to wear gloves in mid-April! 

9:30am: The president of OSU spoke and I got ready to get my Nike+ going. And then I flipped out. I had NO music on my iPod. I made a special play list and everything and synced it up. But somehow it was all gone. Not one single song. I always run with music, except for the Princess Half. So now I had to come to terms with 13.1 miles alone. No friends. No music. The gun went off and they played the Chariots of Fire song. I did get a little overwhelmed, in a good way, about this task I was about to take on. My first half all alone in one of my favorite places. I was really excited! Have you ever heard the Chariots of Fire song - while watching cows prance around together? No? Well now I have. I couldn't help but laugh!

The race: Oregon State University was Oregon Agriculture College back in 1890 - so we have a lot of agriculture things there still .... including the cow pastures. Nothing like starting off a race with that smell! I felt good at the start. I was keeping pace with people and not letting myself start out too fast. Around the 1 mile mark I noticed a guy looking at me. I made eye contact and he said, "Nice! You're so color-coordinated!" I told him that I figure if I might not be the best runner I should at least look cute. He liked my answer! I was doing really well and enjoying the scenery (we hit campus, pastures, a bike path through a huge natural park area and residential neighborhoods And a covered bridge!) until about mile 4. I'm noticing now that mile 4 is not a good one for me. This is when the Meniere's Disease keeps causing me problems. Just like at the Shamrock 15K, the dizziness kicked in. This time it was really making me nauseated. So much so that at times I could barely run a tenth of a mile without having to stop and walk or run to the bushes. The other runners were great. I had people force me to take some GU chomps - which I had to spit out soon when I could feel that not agreeing with me, and others just checking on my well being. To wrap up my epic battle with myself, I had to walk a lot. I've never walked this much in a race or training. I just physically could not run - and not because of my legs, but because of my ears/dizziness/nausea. I was pretty frustrated and fighting back tears for a while. I came to terms with what was going on and decided to not cry and just do my best for that day. The second half I felt stronger and was trying to make up for lost time. I was even told that I was looking really strong around 10.3. Whether or not that was just to boost my confidence or not, I don't care. It was nice to hear.

The finish: I had been playing cat and mouse with a few runners for the last half of the race. I wasn't competing with anyone. This was just my battle with my Garmin to beat my Princess Half finish time ... and with every step it was getting harder and harder to do. I was confident about the PR when I started, and by the end I wasn't so sure. There was a girl that was walking/running like I was. Looking back now I wonder was she just trying to keep getting in front of me? I thought she earned crossing the finish line first. For me I was having a bad day and I wasn't running anywhere near my potential. We entered Reser Stadium and I was all smiles. I was so excited to be finishing this race all on my own. I hit the field and was staring at the 50 yard line. Then it happened. The girl looked back at me and sped up to make a bigger gap. Oh no no no. I practice a finishing kick with every single run. I had no intention of passing her until she pulled that move. I said loudly, "NO!" and took off. She tried, but I won! I won by :01 seconds! And as soon as I cleared the finish line and was walking toward the girls removing our tags it happened. **Warning!!** I turned around, grabbed for the garbage can and begin to puke my guts out. I couldn't stop. It just kept coming. For at least 9 miles I wanted to do it, and finally it was all coming out. It was awesome!

The volunteers were fabulous. At every water stop they would talk to me as I paused to drink. They always made me smile and I really appreciated it. While throwing up the volunteer near me came and rubbed my back and filled in the role of mother since my mom couldn't be there. That was what I really needed. I was so thankful for her, but I was so out of it I am sure I couldn't express my gratitude enough. She even gave me a tissue. Aww. The course was really nice, too. A little bit of everything. The after party had fresh baked bread, bagels, fruit, tomato soup, free magazines, cereal, massages....etc. I grabbed food and then changed.

It is possible I decided to just lay down on the 10 yard line!
I had a date! I freshened up and walked up to the baseball stadium for a date with my grandpa and my uncle! The Beavers swept the Sun Devils this weekend, and I got to be part of it. It was a fun time!

OH - how did I do? In the end I got a new PR with 2:43 minutes. Not the time I hoped for, but considering I walked a lot of it, I think it was pretty good. I plan to set a new PR in Eugene in less than 3 weeks!

OOh - and I was complimented all day on my outfit! One volunteer even deemed me to be the best dressed runner. YES!


  1. this should definitely earn you a pukie award on big daddy diesel's blog! way to chick that chick!!!

  2. Not every race is pretty :) Congrats on getting it done and on the new PR! (a PR is still a PR even if you had a crappy race!)

  3. Puke at the finish? The mark of a champion!!
    Way to push through and not give up...and look cute while doing it. :)

  4. Way to go - be proud that you accomplished the PR under the circumstances you ran. Imagine what you'll be able to do at your next race when you feel great and have music! I give you props for running without music...I don't know I could do that.

  5. I love your description of the start. That's perfect for OSU.....

    Oh boy, I am sorry about the attack. That's just got to be frustrating.
    But I am so proud of your kick-butt finish! Way to be! And stylin' too.

    I don't know why it surprises me when kind people are there to help when you are puking your guts out, but I am GLAD that lady was there for you,
    Looking forward to your Eugene RR!

  6. Congrats on the PR!

    I think I'd melt if my iPod didn't have any music. L forgot her iPod for the National half, but i have NEVER run without mine.

    Boo on the vomiting, although I bet you felt better.

    You are gonna rock Eugene!

  7. yay for the finish!!!

    bummer about everything else =( seriously i dont know how you ran without music. i might just die.

  8. Where is a picture of your outfit? I want to see!

    Why does "Getting your Green Card" web site keep popping up whenever I am reading your blog? Are you sending me a sign?

    Sorry about the iPod and your Mile 4 curse, and that puking.... but way to go rocking it out at the very end. :)

    I love braiding my hair when I run, especially races. I was mad at myself on Sunday beacuse I forgot to pack another elastic band for my braid. :(

    So happy that you have someone taking care of you at the end. Makes it all slightly better, right?

    You will do great at Eugene.
    By the way, what's about Mile 4 during races that causes Meniere's Disease to strike? Gotto figure it out. :)

  9. I have no full body picture since I ran alone ... but I made sure to be in perfect view for the two official photographers on the course. If they didn't get me, I'm going to pout. I even tried to not look like a buffoon when I passed them!

    I don't know what it is about mile 4. I wonder if it is 40 minutes of moving around that 'causes the excess water in my ears to slosh and make me dizzy? And then the dizziness makes me want to puke? I'm not sure. And my doctor said to NOT take my meds on race day since they make me have to pee every 30 minutes.

    I have to figure it out in less than 3 weeks! I am determined to have a great race in Eugene!

    I've heard that people get pop-ups on my blog. I don't know why! I don't get any. Maybe it IS a sign. ;)

  10. Sorry about the puking but man I MISS CORVALLIS!!! Go Beavs is right:) I could see myself running through the covered bridge & smelling those dang cows. And hey, all this mention about your outfit & you didn't even put a picture up...

    Good job!

  11. Congrats on running a PR race, even though you felt like crap. I think you've had enough crappy races, so Eugene will be awesome. :)

  12. I can't believe you can run when your Meniere's hits. For me, it's hard to even stand. I'm VERY proud of you!! Maybe you should try the meds on race day....a quick pee every 30 minutes might be faster than having to walk so much. Of course, not if the potty lines are long. Loved your race recap, girl!

  13. You PR'd, you didn't stop, and you saved the puking for the end... where it belongs! ;-) Love ya... now come race in Texas and I'll even brush through your hair while you're hanging over thinking of puke!

  14. I know you were hoping for a bigger PR but you still rocked this race! Congrats on pushing through even though it was rough. You are amazing and so inspiring! Keep on running RR! :)

  15. You honestly astound ad motivate me with your determination and high spirits! It's so nice to see someone keep a great attitude during such a tough situation, I don't know if I could have done it. You totally kicked that race's bum! For reals! And I'm sure they are only going to get better from here on out. Awesome Amazing Fantastic Wonderful job!!

  16. You pushed through, you PR'd... SO BAD ASS!!! You are going to rock it out in Eugene. You are a superstar!

  17. It may not have been everything you hoped it would be, but it's clear that you made this race your bitch. You rocked it so hard you had to puke afterward. You earned the FACE off that medal.

  18. You look great for someone who just puked her guts out!!!! Congrats!!! On the race. Not the puking, haha!

  19. What intervals are you fueling at? I break a half into four mile intervals and do fuel that way (Gu usually). And are you just doing water? You might need to supplement with electrolytes; if you don't like Gatorade type stuff, there are these great capsules you can take. You may be over- or under-hydrating and that is contributing to the dizziness. It sounds suspicious that it keeps cropping up at about the same distance.

  20. I couldn't fuel on this run, Cilley. I tried at mile 4ish, but at that point I couldn't keep things down. And a couple gave me some GU chomps and I had to spit that out because I was about to throw up again. I just couldn't keep anything in. It was 9+ miles of just wanting to throw up. I wish I could have done it early on and then maybe I'd have been set.

    My new plan is to take the meds BEFORE my long run this week and see how it goes.

    My doctor is concerned that the meds were dehydrating me too much - so maybe that was part of it? Who knows?!?

  21. Oh wow - what a race! You kept going and rocked the finish!! And you PR'd! Sorry it wasn't your best race, but way to finish strong!

  22. Eugene will be the best yet. 3 is the charm.

  23. Haha, you had your own personal bunny! Sorry about the after race stuff, but I will bet you a million bucks Eugene will be AWESOME!

  24. You are like a superhero!

    Running with dizziness and nausea and I gotta admit - the puking is the cheery on the top!!!

    So happy for you RR!

  25. Great PR race. It's tough trying to keep your composure when things are not going as planned.

    I have thrown up at the finish line once. I am quit sure it won't be my last. There have been numerous close calls.


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