Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nutrabolt Half Marathon...er, 5K Recap!

I ran a half marathon on Sunday.  No, wait...I started to run a half marathon on Sunday, but I called it at the three mile mark due to massive anxiety.  It's baaack, that lovely race anxiety that I thought was a thing of the past.  Nope.  It was there, big time.  And what's worse is that looking back, I can see that the signs were there, but I didn't make the connection soon enough.

Leading up to the race, I was feeling a bit nervous about the weather - massive rain and flooding had been predicted from about Thursday on.  So I did what any normal person would do - I went shopping.  Bought myself a pity bribe hat to wear.  I was excited to wear the hat and mostly focused on that instead of the crazy weather that we'd be running in.  I was a little perplexed as to what to wear, beyond bathing in 2Toms Sports Shield, that is...everything chafes in a rain run.  The start time temperature was predicted to be 61 degrees, which, according to the Runner's World What to Wear site, says a short-sleeved shirt.  But then my brain started wondering - will 61 degrees in soaking rain feel cold?  Do I need a long-sleeved shirt?  Ack!  Race nerves are one thing, but weather-related race nerves are a whole different story.  Turns out that not only was it pouring rain, but a north wind blew in, with gusts up to 25 mph.  I went with a short-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a disposable rain poncho, and at the last minute Jeff made me put on a neck buff, which was a good idea.

But getting back to the anxiety...I was really nervous the night before, and there was a good chance the race might end up being cancelled.  It had been pouring rain for two days, about 10 inches, roads were flooding, and half marathons in Dallas (north of us) and Houston (south of us) were cancelled.  Late on Saturday evening, the race directors announced it was still on.  OK then.  The next morning, Jeff changed his mind about four times before deciding on what to wear - I've never seen him do this, but the weather was really throwing us.  We drove to the starting area and parked, staying in our car because outside looked like this:
Yeahhhh...pretty wet.

Again, had I been more in tune with myself, I might have realized that while texts were flying fast and furious between my friends and myself, I was barely responding.  Mostly I just sat there with my head down, trying to get it together.  I wish I would have noticed this, I really do, because I wouldn't have even tried to run the race at this point.  But, clueless Joe over here was on autopilot; we'd come to run a race and we were going to run a race.  Jeff was going to run with me, and had promised to follow my lead with the intervals (sometimes I run through a walk interval if I'm feeling good).

A few minutes before the 7:00 am start time, we got out of the car and went to the start line.  There were a few hundred people doing the half - this was a point-to-point race, and there was also a 10K, but they started at a different location.  The rain pelted us and the wind cut through me - my teeth were chattering!  We started running and no joke, at the half mile mark, we were far behind everyone.  By the one mile mark, there was no one ahead of us that we could see, and no one behind us.  We were running an unfamiliar route, and since we had no runners to follow, every time we came to an intersection or a T in the road, we had to ask the volunteers which direction to turn.  This wasn't a good feeling, and didn't help me get my breathing under control - I was still trying to make a go of it, but I could tell it was bothering Jeff not to see anyone around us, either.  He was not-so-subtly trying to get me to run faster by staying several steps ahead of me, and also asking if I could run through some of my walk intervals.  Well, that was a big no - not with how much I was struggling to breathe.  When we hit the mile 3 mark, Jeff asked me if I wanted to stop and I said yes.  So we walked back to our car, drove home and changed into dry clothes, and then drove to the finish line to watch our friends come in.

It wasn't the distance that made me anxious - I know I can run 13 miles.  It was the race, plain and simple.  It didn't help that I broke my cardinal rule and signed up for the longest distance of a race series; I thought I'd learned my lesson when I ran a 10K in Maui that was part of a 5K/10K race, and 95% of the runners did the 5K and I was all alone out there for the 10K.  But at least it was in Maui!  Still, I hate being so far behind everyone else, I hate standing out for coming in last, and hate feeling like I'm making everyone wait for me to finish.  Combine all of that on top of the pre-race anxiety, and it was a bad situation.  Even just writing about all of this is making my heart pound.

If you've been lucky enough to never experience this kind of anxiety, then I know it must sound silly - I mean, it's just a stupid race, get over it.  But that's easier said than done.  I know it frustrates Jeff and my friends when this happens, and believe me, it's no picnic to be living through it.  I wish I could just relax and let it go.  Or maybe take a shot of whiskey or a Xanax before a race - but I don't drink and I don't take that kind of medication.  So it's all on me...and I'm not always the greatest at handling it, obviously.

Enough of that.  Here's a collage of our running peeps who did finish the race:
Cristy, Cary, Brian, Julia and Diane all did the half (with Diane besting her last half marathon by something like an hour!), while CC and Loretta did the 10K (Loretta's first official 10K as a race - she did great!).  It was still raining when I took this picture.

38 comments:

  1. Kudos for you and Jeff for
    getting out there and trying. Jeff is a good guy for being willing
    to run the race with you at your pace. Honestly the whole weather
    thing sounds frightening. I commend you for being willing to try.
    Put it behind you and move on!

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    1. Working on putting it behind me, for sure.

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  2. Sorry you had such a tough race. I just started doing 5ks and last weekend, my daughter and I were running one and about 1/2 way thru I told her to go ahead (she's very fast, I'm not). It was weird being by myself on some of the course, so I can understand your anxiety about that, especially since the weather was so awful.

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    1. It's a weird feeling to be all by yourself in a race! Good job finishing your 5K. :)

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  3. Oh I can totally understand the anxiety! That picture you posted of the rain was enough to make me think twice about running it..lol

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    1. The rain was a big part of it, but mostly I think it was being left so far behind everyone else that put the proverbial nail in the coffin for this race...

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  4. I'm sorry this happened. I think people only get frustrated by your anxiety because they don't understand it. Good for you for knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em. And BRAVO to you and Jeff for going back to see your friends as I know it would have been so easy to just stay home.

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    1. There was no question of us going to the finish line...we wanted to be there for our friends. :)

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  5. Oh so sorry this happened. The conditions & HILLS were horrible. I'm really surprised the race was held. I was so glad to be done that I grabbed my shirt & mug and was gone. Don't beat yourself up about it....I think you are fantastic & I know a lot of other people think so too!

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    1. Thanks, Karen - sorry we missed you at the finish but I don't blame you for wanting to get the heck out of there and into some warm, dry clothes!

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  6. Hugs to you Shelley, I am so sorry. Anxiety sucks plain and simple and you can never predict when it will come on. I wouldn't want to be out in that weather, either.

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  7. Oh Shelley, so sorry it happened again. I do understand it, I have it a little, it's one of the reasons I don't do races anymore (not the main reason but it did help with the decision).

    You tried and that's what matters and hopefully next race will be better.

    Proud of you!

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    1. ...and now you know the rest of the story from when we were messaging that morning - we were actually driving back to the finish line then.

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    2. Now I get it and understand you wouldn't go in details at that moment!

      Hugs!

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  8. I have DNF'd several races - including my very first marathon - because of race nerves and anxiety! I feel your pain. And your heart palpitations. I, too, always look back and think, "Why didn't I recognize this for what it was??" But, there you have it. I think it means we are optimists - always hoping for the best even when our bodies are trying to hand us nonsense. :)

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    1. This is good to hear from you, as I see you've done MANY races. But yeah - I think the optimist inside is what keeps us (sometimes foolishly) going.

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  9. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that--way to recognize it early in the race and do what was best for you! I'm also proud of you for going back and cheering for your friends :)

    My first 5K is coming up this weekend, but it's supposed to be raining and my husband probably won't be able to run it with me like we'd planned... so I'm pretty nervous. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet; probably will see how I feel about it Friday night and decide then. Anxiety is no joke!

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    1. Go with your gut on your 5K - but I know you'll do great. My first 5K was in bitterly cold, windy conditions, at night. It was crazy and memorable, that's for sure!

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  10. Boo....that happens. You may have missed the early warning signs, but you listened when it came down to the wire. That's what matters!!!!

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    1. Now if I can just get myself in tune to listen before the wire, LOL!

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  11. I see another in your future - a sunny one!

    I have run miserable rainy halfs but there have been a lot of people in the race so I didn't feel alone.

    You are lucky that your hubby runs with you.

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    1. It may not have been as bad had there been a lot more runners participating, but who knows? The anxiety was there even before we got out of the car, so I think I was just doomed.

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  12. It's not silly at all! Anxiety is something that you sometimes have no control over. You just have to noticed the signs, like you said. I hope you get an opportunity for a half with good weather that is either a standalone half or part of a half/full combo :) I would have been nervous, being the last one on the course, and the weather alone was nutso!!!!

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    1. Thanks - this out of control thing with anxiety really does stink!

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  13. Hi, just found your blog. I totally understand this. When I was younger I used to run races and did really well at them, but I finally found that the pressure to run a good time and maybe win created so much anxiety that running was starting to be not fun. So now I just run for myself and don't run races anymore. The weather there sounded miserable!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn - glad you commented, as of course I had to go check out your blog...wow, what an interesting life you have! :)

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  14. Oh Shelley. Big hug! So sorry you went through that!!!!

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  15. I don't think I've ever had anxiety, but I know it's something that is hard to control - it's okay to walk away from a race you weren't feeling, and the weather didn't help a bit. Sending hugs!

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  16. Sorry Shelley! Anxiety is all to real! Hugs my friend!

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  17. Awww Shelley, I'm so sorry that happened. It's especially frustrating when we think we've conquered something and it comes back to bite us again. I could make a weight loss analogy, but we all already know it. :) Big hug.

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  18. Gah, reading this gave me visions of that freezing cold Dallas race I so fiercely hated. Of course that was more funk, burnout, anger & downright discomfort than anxiety, but it certainly READ the same! :( Thankfully you'll have some opportunities for a do-over in the coming weeks! Anxiety sucks!!

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    1. I saw Shorie comment that she opted out Sunday morning - her words "I don't do rain runs ever since White Rock" - yeah, that one was much worse than this race, but still, it was not a good experience.

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    2. That's insane. Blah!! Hopefully B/CS & Houston will be a blast!

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