Sunday was the Germantown Half Marathon & Mayor's Cup 5K. If you runner and live in Memphis you probably already knew this because a) traffic was backed up in that area and b) someone you knew was running in it. The Germantown Half is like Elvis or Justin Timberlake. In Memphis, you either know (knew) Elvis or Timberlake or know someone who does. So you either run in the Germantown Half or know someone who did.
I am not very good at writing race reports. Heck I have raced 3 or 4 races since my last race report in October and I never wrote about them. I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon in December and I didn't write about it. I am trying to be a better blogger. Also I read other bloggers and their race reports and it makes want to go run and run in those races.
I ate dinner at Rafferty's the night before. I had cheese fries and chicken pasta alfredo. I also may have had two 34 oz green beers. I have never been a night before strategy kind of guy. I had picked up my packed and bib the day before. I set out all my gear with my race bib pinned to my shirt and headed to bed. I set three alarms on my phone. Race started at 7a.m. and I was meeting my mother in law at 6:45a.m. Her house is near the start line and she was running the 5K.
I overslept. My alarms went off and I hit snooze. When I finally did wake up, I was confused why I was getting up so early. After I remembered I got a move on. Thank goodness, I laid out everything the night before. I got dressed. I ate my bagel, drank my Gatorade Prime, and headed out the door. I always eat a plain thin bagel and drink a Gatorade Prime before my races. It has not steered me wrong before. I usually drink a lot of water because I am big boy and I sweat a lot. I didn't take any water with me because I was late and didn't want to have to peer. I got to my mother in law's a couple of minutes late and we walked to the start. This provided a great warm up for my legs because it was about 5 minutes of walking.
I met up with a coworker, Richard, that signed up for the race with me. Actually, I paid for his entry because I lost a bet. He beat me in a 10K race back in November. Richard and I had agreed to run the race together at a 12 to 13 minute pace per mile. I had the Garmin so I would make sure we don't go out too fast and bonk towards the end. I do that in most of my races and wanted to be smart about it.
I have learned my lesson from other races and I start somewhere in the middle. That puts me behind the faster people and ahead of the walkers. I did have to weave around some walkers but all in all, I started out where I wanted and at an easy pace. The only thing I didn't do was turn off the auto lap on Garmin and hit the lap at actually mile makers so some of my data was a little off.
Having previously run part of the course the weekend before, I knew this was a large uphill. I also probably ran it a little harder than I wanted to. Also I blame Richard because he wanted to go faster and I kept pulling him back. Just kidding, I was leading and I wanted to go faster. Mile 2 was where the first water break was. I had brought my Nathan handheld filled with water and Nuun. I passed by the water station. I should have drank that on the first two miles and refilled at the water station. I had Nuun tablets in my belt. I also had Gu gel but the plan wasn't to take until mile 3 or 4.
The hill really took out of me. I also walked through Mile 2 water stations because I was waiting on some one. I won't name names cough Richard cough. I was keeping a good pace and enjoying the race. I meant to turn off my Nike Plus audio feedback that tells me my avg pace and how long I have been running. Every time I hear that info, I get in my head and start thinking about it. Am I going to fast? Am I going to slow?
I was feeling really good except one little thing. I had to pee. I had passed the port o potties at Mile 2 because of the line. Normally I would pull off the course and go but the race runs through the more prominent parts of town and I am pretty sure they don't want my big butt peeing in their perfectly manicured lawns. I knew there was a bathroom coming up soon so I pushed a little harder to get there.
I think everyone had the same idea as I did. They all passed mile 2 bathrooms and could not hold any longer so they stopped at mile 4 bathroom. I waited to use the bathroom a full 4 minutes. If I had not had to really go I would not have stopped. I am not sure how to overcome this. I tried to not drink too much before the race but that came back to haunt me and once I drank through my handheld water bottle, I had to go.
Mile 6 - Mile 8
I was making up for the long bathroom break and pushed it. We were averaging 11 minute mile and feeling great. Neither one of us were complaining and we were having fun. The race course is sort of an out and back. So on these miles, you see the people ahead of you on the other side of the street. We saw a couple of co-workers, James from Daily Training being one of them. As we did the turn around there was a group of people, handing out ice cold Miller Lite. I love race spectators.
This was the mile I was dreading. This is the mile I bonked on last time. I had to tell Richard a couple of time to slow down. I had two goals for this race a) not to walk any of it and b) to PR. I could tell Richard was slightly annoyed because he was feeling great and wanted to go ahead. Also I had to pee so bad again.
We are about to enter the Too Much Info part of my report. Feel free to skip ahead if you don't want to hear about my pee. As I approached the water station and saw there was no line for bathroom, I almost cried. I went in and started peeing and it hurt. It felt like I was pushing solid mass out. I looked down and saw that it was burnt orange. I knew this was bad news and that I was dehydrated. I then proceeded to panic and get in my head. I drank a couple cups of water and refilled my bottle. I dropped a Nuun tablet. I still not sure what I could have done differently. Besides drink a lot before the race and make sure I emptied my bladder before we took off, I really don't know what happened. I started running but felt horrible. My stomach was doing flips and in knots. I could tell I was holding Richard back but he stayed with me.
I vomited. I threw up foam. Not water, not Gu, but foam. Richard was torn. He wanted to keep running because he felt great but he had committed to run with me. I told him to go on and I started walking. I finished off my water bottle and walked. I talked to a couple people as they walked with me. I walked from Mile 11 to Mile 12. I was so disappointed in myself because I had set a goal to run the whole thing and I failed.
I started running again but very slowly. I stopped at a water station and drank again. I then started running. I knew I didn't have much more left to go and I knew that I didn't have much more in my tank.
Seriously who designed this course. Not only is the last mile uphill but the finish line is at the top of a very steep hill. I kept running and was so glad to hear my name as I crossed the finish line. I looked around for water and it was at the top of another hill. I might have cussed out loud. I made it to the water table and gulped it down. I never tasted water so good and cold. I ate half a banana. I then promptly went to a bathroom and vomited foam and cold water. I drank some more water slowly.
I talked to a few people I saw on the course along the way and some people I knew. Richard finished a whole 7 minutes ahead of me. He hasn't ran a half in 5 years and he did awesome. I had accidentally stopped my Garmin at Mile 10 during the bathroom break so I was unsure of my time. Richard and his wife were kind enough to drive me back to my mother in laws house so I didn't have to walk back.
OFFICIAL TIME: 2:50:03
I made my second goal and beat my previous half time by almost 5 minutes. My splits are below. Overall I am very pleased with the race. I need to figure out how to not become dehydrated and not have to pee so much.
Thanks for reading. How do you hydrate before and during a race? Do you have to pee a lot and how do you balance that? How was your last race?
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