Sunday, May 3, 2015

Race Report: Lincoln Half Marathon - you win some, you walk some...

After a half-way decent performance last week at Omaha Duathlon, I was feeling good about Lincoln Half.  I wasn't super well-trained for it, but my running base was solid and relatively consistent since January.  I had a good 15K race a few weeks ago and Lincoln is WAY flatter than San my expectations were measured, but positive....

Pre-race day:
Ben and I traveled down to Lincoln yesterday afternoon.  It was a busy day for me and we got a late start.  Checked in at packet-pick up and it was 85 degrees in Lincoln.  Not a good sign the day before a long distance race.  We went to Lazlo's and it took forever to get seated.  I was supposed to see a high school musical that night but it took so long to that I ended up skipping the show.  On the bright side, I was able to get to bed early.

Race day:
Up at 5:45a, half a bagel with peanut butter and a small coffee for breakfast.  We left the hotel at 6:15a and I felt ok.  I had a little water to drink and I started to think around 6:30a that maybe I should have drank a little more water.  Not a good sign.  Said good-byes/good-lucks to Ben and lined up between the 2:15:00 and 2:20:00 pacers.  I ran about a 2:18:00 in 2013 for this race and I felt like I would end up somewhere around there this time.  Maybe a 2:23 or 2:25 worst case. 

Race started at 7a, but it was around 7:35a before I went through the start.  I typically have an empty bladder at race start but I had the urge so ran over the porta potties with plenty of time to start.  Ok.  I'm good.  I proceed through the start and feel good.  Running a 10:15 pace or so and feeling fine through mile 5.  I get this crazy awful cramp in my left foot which is highly unusual for me.  Had to stop for a minute to just stretch my plantar and arch of my foot.  The cramp subsided and I was good to go. Ran through the 10K mark in around 1:06:00 so I was doing OK.  Felt fine. Around mile 8, I had to pee.  What?  This NEVER happens.  Stopped at a porta potty, in and out quick but my pace slowed to a 10:45.  I'm sweating like a hog at this point.  Not good. 

Back at it and cramping starts again.  I start walking around the 15K mark and my stomach is churning.  REALLY not good.  Get to the water stop, pick up Gatorade, water and down one of my energy gels.  Immediately after, I run to the porta-potty.  Let's just say, I'm in there for about 10-15 minutes.  Massive GI distress.  I leave the porta potty and I have the chills (and sweating) and feeling a little dizzy.  I try to run, I walk, I try to run, I walk.  Basically at this point, I knew I was done.  I only kept going because it was only 3 miles away and I figured I could walk that.

I finished in 2:46:23 - my worst half marathon time ever.

 - I was SUPER dehydrated.  I could tell even at the beginning of the race.  When I thought back on it after the race, I realized I hadn't really taken in any water of note for the last 2 days.  I also had a few drinks on Saturday and Friday.  I have never experience such bad dehydration at a race and it was a valuable lesson as I prepare for the Ironman 70.3.  As Ben said, I need to respect the distance and make sure that I hydrate regularly throughout the day and week.  It needs to be as much a part of my plan as training and nutrition.
 - Heat - It was very warm to run that distance.  The sun was direct with no clouds.  I need to figure out a way to deal with this because it will only get worse in the summer and my 70.3 is in August.

Check out the article about the race and "runners going down:"  Tabut, Herrick win Lincoln Marathon crowns; many runners 'down'

In other news...
I swam a 550 yard time trial yesterday with my swim guru, Jim.  I dropped my time to 10:25!  A 46 second improvement from 2 months ago.  This is huge.  I'm feeling so good in the water and I'm curious to see how this pays off at the Legend Olympic next month in Kansas.  Stay tuned...