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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lacamas Lake Half Marathon Race Report

It is with pure exhaustion that I announce I have now completed five half marathons this year. I promise to find positive things to write for this report. Pictures will be split between this post and Biker Boy's guest post!

Saturday morning I slept in (I crashed a reunion 3 hours away the night before, so I didn't get to Portland until 1am!) and then Biker Boy and I drove up to Washington to packet pick up. All went smooth, no hassle, nice shirt. I love adidas sponsored races - getting your race shirt with those three stripes on it just makes me smile! Old Spaghetti Factory was in on it all, too! We walked across the parking lot with bibs in hand and were able to sit in a special runner/carbo fest section. GREAT prices and delicious food. For $4.00 each we had spaghetti, then half off of cheesy garlic bread (I am drooling just thinking about it!), 50 cents for a loaf of bread (I love bread!) and then $2.00 pints. BB got a pint, which allowed him to keep the glass. Pretty cool! We gorged on food and still had enough left overs to have it as our dinner later that night!

Sunday morning came and the weather looked gorgeous! No clouds, no rain, no chilly temperatures. For most people this is good. For ME on race day ... I get concerned. It was a short drive to the race and we found it with no troubles. As soon as the car was parked we were out and rushing to the potty before the lines started. I forced Biker Boy to get pre-race photos, then we went to officially linger at the start area. I found Maryalicia right off the bat. Naturally we had to get pre-race photos and do the usually runner talk. She is fast! Seriously, fast! She flew by me with her jogger stroller during the Skirt Chaser last year ... .and then I nearly puked on her at the finish. So those stories you hear about me and finish lines? Yeah, she was the first to experience it!
Maryalicia and I - pre-race

With little fanfare, the half marathon started. Biker Boy was starting with me so that I could help him NOT take off too fast like we all tend to do in our first races. This of course had me running faster than I should, but it was downhill so I just went with it. I had heard about the final mile and figured I'd enjoy speed while I could. After 1.5 miles I watched Biker Boy run off into the distance. I was feeling good until the shade stopped. I realize now I was having a reaction to my Meniere's meds that say to stay out of the sun. Hills. Sun. These things don't get along with me. I started running the sunny patches to get to the shade where I would walk. At mile 4 I stopped for a vacation. Used the potty, had some Clif gel, drank some water. When I started up again the Walker division was already catching up and passing me. Happily I didn't care! Heading up a hill I realized that I have no goal for this race. I am struggling with the heat and my skin feels like it is burning off. I felt no guilt with walking. I knew that going easier here might allow me to do better in the next race.
I loved this tree .... and the shade it provided.

Eventually I got to the out and back stretch. I saw Maryalicia again who cheered me on, which gave me a boost! Then I pulled out my phone and got the camera ready. Sure enough there was BB running and looking really strong! Since my friends were kicking ass, I stopped to lean against a shady tree, because that's what I do, duh. And then I hit that hill half way through. "Friends" I made earlier in the race were cheering me on as we crossed paths, and that helped me scale that particular mountain. At the top of the hill I stopped. Took off my hat. Grabbed water and dumped it all over myself. I knew I had to do something if I was going to get through this without passing out. Running down the hill was nice. I noticed, however, that everyone around me had green bibs on --- I was totally with the walkers now. Oh well, no worries.

I was happy to get to the trail around mile 8. It was lovely. This was my favorite part. It smelled like nature. A deer crossed the path in front of me. I ran along a golf course. I ran along a lake. I danced. I sang. I couldn't see anyone in front of me or behind me. I realized that the "back of the pack" is a lot more fun for me than being in the middle! I took lots of photos, made a bouquet, splashed in the lake, talked to a dog, laid on a bench. It was great! Sure I could have cut out at least 5 minutes here, but the shade was so good, I didn't care.

I decorated my water bottle

Lacamas Lake

I can't pass a good bench!

Then the shade and trail ended. And I sunk to the lowest level of hell. Other women going my pace talked with me, assuring me that we were close and I could do it. I've never socialized so much with strangers during a race, so that is definitely a plus for this one -- except then our talking was all commiserating with each others misery. At the base of THE hill there was a sprinkler. I stopped and stayed under it for a while. It felt so good. And then I began scaling Mount Everest. Pretty sure there were casualties on the way to the summit. Pretty sure there were bad words. Pretty sure I walked backwards for part of it because that was easier than going up the 'normal' way. Pretty sure not one person in my area ran any stretch of it. It was horrible.

Can you even see it? Look at that speckle by my fingertips.
What made it worse is that I saw the finishers "medal" on people while I was scaling that monstrosity. At this point I was pissed off. I never saw Mount Hood. Only 3 miles of this race were "pretty" to me. I was getting up a freaking skyscraper and being rewarded with what looked like a pressed penny on a string. It just didn't live up to the hype on the race website, in my opinion. At the top I could see the finish line. I couldn't even run all the way there. The heat zapped me. I dumped more water on my head, which sent sweat into my eyes and I ran the track blind ... with the kids races heading toward me. Crossed the finish line in 3:01:34 and didn't throw up!

Hello, Med Tent

I talked with the ladies manning the fruit table - RunningSkirts and SkirtSports - you can thank me later for all the sales you're bound to have after I hyped you up all day. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sit up-right. I couldn't stand up straight. I couldn't see straight. I could hardly talk at times. I did, however, spend a long time sitting in the med tent.  You know I feel horrible if I actually try a new food out of desperation. Yep, I nibbled on an orange for the first time in my life. Things were being packed up and eventually I was able to get up to walk back to the car. I spent the rest of the day feeling really sick. Ugh.

But I did it. I won't do this one again. I am taking a break from running for a few days. I am not going to race at all in August. I need to recover and rest and prepare for the next race that will be a-freaking-mazing!!


  1. yikes! at least you:
    1) got some great photos out of it
    2) made a pretty water bottle bouqet
    3) finished!
    4) Looked super cute during it all- love the outfit

  2. oh wow, what a dinky little medal. bummer!

  3. What a ridiculous medal... oh my!
    That daisy you picked was really pretty though.

  4. Oh wow...oh dear...

    That medal is smaller than last year's, I can't believe it! How could a medal be smaller than the tiny 2010 medal?

    I think August is the perfect month to take off from racing. I will be joining you after SF!

    I'm so proud of you for finishing. That hill at mile 12 is not for the weak!

  5. That hill at mile 12 sucked!!! Spoiler Alert - that was the only place in the entire 1/2 that I walked.

  6. I absolutely adore your outfit! And I love that you took so many great pictures. Sounds like it was a tough day, but I think you approached it with a great attitude, so much better than I tend to do. And boo with that teeny tiny medal. (But better than not gettting one at all?)

    Next one is Disney and that will R.O.C.K.

  7. First off - super suite outfit!! Mile 8 sounds like heaven, way to enjoy it. Congrats on #5!

  8. You did it, and that's the important part.

  9. Wow. That medal is riDICulous.

    I really, really love your shirt.

    And, really, THIRTY EIGHT DAYS.

  10. Great job on finishing! I hope you are feeling better now and you're right, that medal does look pretty lame. Sad day :(

  11. Rhonda. Can I tell you something? I thought your race was great!! I had to laugh in the best way possible that you 'splashed in the lake' and 'laid on a bench'...I love it. You made the best of it and FINISHED. You could have just called someone to pick you up. Sorry you had such a bad experience but so glad you are ok! Congrats on another finish!

  12. Bummer that this was a sucky race! I think it's wise for you to take some time off and regroup. You will come back better than ever!

  13. You looked super cute!! I love your hat. But that medal is ridiculous. I am so impressed with you finishing. Oh, and the water bottle bouquet? Rocks!

  14. You finished which is the most important part. I do have to say that bouquet is very pretty, it adds a little something special to the handheld.

    Love the hat, by the way.

  15. Boo for a crappy race, but you didn't puke, and your time in the shade seemed nice. And you looked cute. All positives. Look at the bright side, the next one can only be better!


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