Hitting the Wall


That’s how yesterday’s Old Port Half Marathon felt.  One huge wall. 

The race started off fine–I went out a little too quickly, and since there weren’t any corals, I think I lined up too close to the front.  Watching people take off in front of me made me go faster than I wanted to.  But my foot felt fine, and the temps were still cool enough, and I kept going.  

The course took us through Portland’s Eastern Promenade, onto a bit of 295, into Falmouth (at least I think it’s Falmouth) through some neighborhoods and then into the Maine Audobon preserve where we looped back out to the main road and headed back towards Portland.  We hit the Back Cove around mile 6.5/7.  The Back Cove is HUGE, and honestly, it was a bit depressing to see how large the circumference is. 

And then I hit it–the wall.  By this time the temps had picked up (and there wasn’t much shade on the course), and my right hip and hamstring started giving me trouble.  I started walking through the water stations.  And the pain increased, and I started walking more.  And more.  And more.  

Around mile 10-11, the walking was more painful than the running, so I slowed to an incredibly lame jog and kept going.  There was no way I had driven all the way to Portland Maine to not finish this race.  Mile 11 was the only uphill, and I told myself that I could walk the hill, but then I had to run the last mile into the finish.

And i did.  At a snail’s pace. Amazingly, I finished at 2:20:07 (although my app indicated 2:16:07), which is a PB for me (not hard to set a PB after only 2 races, though).  

This was not as satisfying as I had hoped.  But it felt good to finish.  And the Shipyard beer at the end was delicious.  Better yet, there was a tent with free chiropractic support after the race, and I lined up for some stretching/manipulating.  That helped a lot, and the doctor did say that my pelvis was all out of whack.  So today I had my first chiropractic adjustment, and already I feel so much better.  

I’ve only been running regularly for about a year, and the racing thing for 7 months, so each time out is a learning experience.  The take-aways for this one?

1. Head in the game, run my own race (maybe I need blinders so I don’t get distressed when i see so many people pass me)

2. more core strength. While the Mister is diligent about stretching and core exercises, I’ve been more about running (I love the adreneline rush) and I’ve ignored the basics.  Today i created a simple 15 minute core strength workout and I’m determined to stick with this 3x week.  

3. be serious about the long runs. Since I was coming off my heel injury, I was concerned about not re-injuring my foot.  So while I did my long runs, they weren’t as long as they needed to be. All parts of training (speedwork, easy runs, long runs) are important for success (which for me means to finish strong). 

I’ve got another half coming up next month–right now I’m on the fence.  It could be a chance to redeem myself (in my head).  Right now I’m going to take a few days off, and then I’ll see where I stand…

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