Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Oshkosh Half Marathon Recap

I did it.   I completed my first half marathon.   It wasn't as emotional as I had imagined it to be.   I was glad to do it and I'm happy to have finished it but for some reason it took a couple of days for it to all sink in and to really feel what it's like to complete a half marathon.   Here is how it went:

The two days before I ate carbs and drank a ton of water.   I actually was up 4 lbs the morning of the half marathon.   I think I did something right though because I never felt exhausted during the the race.   I knew the weight was basically water weight and it didn't alarm me in the least bit.    Sure enough, 2 days later I am down 3 of those 4 pounds.  

On Friday I made one last stop at my chiropractors office to get a final adjustment, electro stimulation to my leg and another Kinesio tape job to my leg.  I left feeling good and ready to do this.   On Sunday I woke up bright and early at 5am.   I wanted to shower before the race just so I could feel refreshed and ready.  I also drank a cup of coffee and enjoyed the silence in the house since my mother in law had taken my girls over night and Mike had already left for work.   

I drove there and blasted my music the entire way.   I kept thinking how this is the day.   This is the day I've been training for and working so hard for.   I said a little prayer hoping my IT band would cooperate and to get me through this day.   Then...I got there and realized I didn't eat breakfast.   How do you forget that?  By chance I had bought a couple peanut butter cookies the day before and there was ONE left in my van.   I ate it and then realized I forgot gloves.   I searched my van and found two of the girls gloves...mismatching of course.   I wore them anyway.   It was pretty cool out before the start and I knew I would want them for the first couple of miles.  

One of the great things about this race is the blogger turn out.   I was able to meet a handful of girls that I had never met before that also write blogs I've been stalking for months.  

Jennifer, Kim, Rachel, Jess, Lish, Michelle, Me

I really am not that tall. 

I look even taller here.   WTF. 

So after all the pictures we went and got ready to run.   We were only standing there for a few minutes before we were off!   The race started on time and as soon as I was running, I never felt cold.   It was perfect weather.  

It always takes me a few miles before I am in my groove.   At about the 1 mile mark I already had people asking me about the tape on my leg.   Some also suffered from IT band issues and some were just interested.   I also had people talking about my compression socks.   It's interesting what you hear people talking about.   I didn't end up using music until about mile 11 so I had plenty of time to listen.  

The miles were moving along nicely and the weather was great.   At about the 3 mile mark my hands were warm so I took the gloves off.   For some reason I felt horrible throwing my kids gloves on the ground so I carried them for a while before shoving them into my bra.   It will be interesting to see if my that shows on my race pictures.  I slowed at the 5 mile mark to eat my apple sauce and then I was right back at it.   At 8 miles I slowed again to have my last apple sauce.   I normally would have waited until the 10 mile mark but since I forgot to really eat breakfast I was worried I would burn out before that.   I also had my handheld so I was able to skip the water stations.   I took my first Gatorade around the 7 mile mark just to get some electrolytes in me.   It was the only water station I had to use.    With that being said, there were tons of water stations.   It was really nice.   Each had Gatorade and water options.   They also had 2 fruit stations that had sliced fruit and Starburts.   I couldn't help but grab a couple Starburts when I ran by the first one.  They were hard to chew though with it being cold out and I know a photographer caught me chewing away at one.    Oops.  

One of the things that bothered me was at mile 8.   There was a water station and I didn't need water or Gatorade.   The two girls running together in front of me both slowed to grab some.   The water was on one side of the path and the Gatorade was on the other side.  One girl went right and one girl went left.   When the girl on the left realized it was Gatorade she was grabbing, she threw it on the ground.   It splashed back at me and that was fine but at this point they were slowing down so I went to pass them.   They were each on one side of the trail so I went between the two of them.   I didn't touch either one of them but then one said "Wow...just pass right between us then..."   The other responded with "Yeah really."   I just looked back at them and shot them a look.   Just crazy.  

Moving along nicely at that point but then it hit.  IT HIT.   My IT band started to ache.   I just kept going.   It kept hurting more and more.   It got so bad that the left side of my whole lower body was numb with pain.    At this point though, I was going to make my A goal and I didn't want to come this far to miss out because of it.    Eventually I had to walk.   I wanted to see if that would help.   It did for a moment.   It still hurt but the pain wasn't so bad that I couldn't keep going.   I would run again and try my hardest to just run through it.   I feel like I did a really good job of running through the pain.   Every once and while I would take a tiny break to walk and that gave me just enough relief to do it all over again.   The last stretch is a long one.   You can see the bridge you cross right before finishing a long way before you actually get to it.   I sort of liked it because you knew it was coming.   You could actually see yourself getting closer to the finish.    To district myself from the pain, I put my music on and jammed out up until the finish. 

It was nice to see Rachel, Lish, Kim and Michelle there to cheer me on right to the finish.   Thanks ladies!  

Once I was done and I stopped running my IT band hurt terribly.   I hobbled back to my van and called my mom to let her know I had finished.   I had finished and it wasn't that bad!   If my IT band hadn't hit me around mile 8 I know my time would have been even better.   I felt good.  I felt strong the entire time.   Even when I was walking I kept thinking how I didn't want to walk.   My legs weren't tired.   My brain wasn't tired.   I wanted to push harder but the pain was so bad.  

Official Time:  2:11:28 

Here are my splits from my Garmin.   You can see when the IT band hit me and that makes me a bit upset.  

I also forgot to turn my Garmin off right away when I finished but it did also read longer than 13.1

Now that it is done, I know for sure I will do another half.   I am also contemplating the big 26.2.   I need to get my IT band straightened out though before I sign up for another. 


  1. yayyyy!!! CONGRATS! you did fantastic...and even with the IT you fought through and stayed consistent! a great time friend! so excited for you!

  2. you ARE that tall! But I am really short, so sorry about that! :)

    You did awesome Sarah. So, so awesome for your first half. I'm so glad we got to meet finally. I hope the IT band is feeling ok today. Rest up, you deserve it!

  3. WOW!!!!!!!!! so cool....sorry I missed this. I was thinking about you but I forgot to come over and read the recap of your first half! I am so dang proud of you - seriously, you rocked it :) and YAY for meeting bloggers. I want to "tri" and get to each other one day......but it would have to be a race weekend plus a day (so we could also party!!!! and recover) lol

  4. Congratulations Sarah on completing your first half! That's a really great time IT band issues or not. I agree with Rachel-you really must be that tall! Your legs look a mile long in all the pictures which is always a good thing!

  5. Congrats Sarah! A first half is huge and you rocked despite the ornery IT! I had IT issues right after my first marathon. A firm foam roller, adductor/abductor exercises, and a Cho-Pat worked wonders. Hope this helps!

  6. Seriously, you look so tall in those group pictures! Great job - even with IT pain near the end you were awesome!!!

  7. Great job pushing through it and finishing strong! Glad we finally got to meet and we will have to meet up for some more runs.

  8. Sorry to hear your IT band acted up but great race anyway! Congrats on the first half. You are addicted now, right? :)

  9. I love those pics, Congratulations for a great job well done. Looking forward always for more updates, thanks for sharing too. That was an exciting race, an informative post.

  10. Great job! And I'm not "that" tall either. :o)

  11. You are so cute! I remember seeing you on the course. I was admiring how tall and pink and skinny you were. :) Great race photos. Congrats on your first half. I really enjoyed your recap. I'm sorry I missed the blogger meet-up, I would have loved to see everyone.

  12. Congratulations on completing your first half! I am running my first half next weekend so I was quite interested in reading your race report. Sorry to hear that your IT band made an appearance but atta girl for pushing through it! You're a rock star! I have issues with my IT band also. I've never tried that KTape, but I do use an IT band wrap and that helps a ton. I find that if it starts to bother me I just have to tighten up the wrap and it goes away.

  13. Yay!! Congrats Sarah, you did so well!!!! I was so excited when I saw you coming in the finishing chute - you killed it.

    I also ran with gloves in my bra the whole time and I'm pretty sure it looked like I had four boobs. Awesome.

  14. GREAT JOB SARAH!! sorry to hear about your IT but you still killed it!!