I am not going to hold anyone in suspense. I did not qualify to NYC. I did have a good time, a good day, did my best, but it was just not good enough for NYC. I have no regrets. I may have gone out a tad fast, but I don't think that made the overall difference, since I was only a matter of seconds off my plan in the beginning, nothing major. I tried to run it like I ran the derby, but I just ran out of steam.
I ended up leaving on Friday afternoon, just me. We went back and forth debating on if we should all go or not, and when I told Ryan when I needed to leave on Friday, that was the deciding factor, it would be too tight to make it to the expo. If I couldn't make it to the expo, there was no point in going down the night before if I was going to still have to track down my bib. I did learn that there was race day pick up available if you asked, but I like to have my stuff in advance. Also, I learned that the exit I planned to use for the race would be closed, due to the race, and was able to get somewhat better directions.
After leaving the expo, I went to Noodles and Co where I got my favorite meal. Pasta Fresca on whole grain linguine. Yum. There were a lot of restaurants in this area, and I saw a LaBamba! This is not a good pre-race meal at all. More of an end of the night kind of meal when you are already going to be sick anyway, if you know what I mean. They had one of these at OSU.
There was also a 5 Guys (which happened to be where Ryan took the kids back in KY while I was gone), and a City BBQ. It was a nice area, and my hotel was just a couple minutes away. I had a little bit of trouble finding the hotel because Google directions were very different from the directions on my confirmation letter, and it was really difficult to see the hotel from the road (although I am guessing you could see it better from the highway, but since I went out to eat first, I came in another way). It was a really good hotel for the money. I picked the cheapest place, and to be honest, was a bit worried about it. I had planned to switch my reservation if the kids did come along, so that it would be easier to watch them without a car while I raced. This would not have been a problem. They had a decent breakfast (which I skipped in favor of a Marathon Protein bar), indoor pool, and wi-fi. Ryan and the kids would have been fine, because my room had a huge king bed, plus pull out sofa (with a half wall separating them), a microwave, and fridge, all for $53 (before tax). I am not sure if this was an upgraded room or not, just because it was not very busy. I think I only saw a few cars in the lot, and it was very quiet. It was not new, but that wasn't a big deal because it was clean. It was a Quality Inn at Southport. When we come back to Indy to just check it out, I think this might be where we will stay, because it was only about 10 minutes from downtown. I went to bed fairly early, and woke up at night once, due to coughing. I wished I had brought the humidifier, because the air was dry. I put a wet washcloth on the heater, drank a bottle of water, and then slept until 5:27, and I wanted to get up at 5:30, so I felt alright when I woke.
I got ready to go and headed downtown. I had one issue getting there, because the way the lady told me at the expo to work around the road closures had me going the wrong way on a one way street. I wonder how many other people she told to do this! I tried taking the next street to circle the block, but that wasn't a square street, and it curved around. I took one more turn, and was ready to turn around completely when I encounted Washington Street, which was the street where the race started, so I took that and got into the parking garage I wanted very easily. It wasn't very full. I am wondering if they estimated incorrectly about the number of people they were expecting. It did not seem nearly as crowded at Detroit or even Derby, but it was supposed to be the same size as Derby. They didn't have the start line set up when I got there, which was strange to me. See, no timing mats yet!
I met up with Jen, from Team Aquaphhor, between the start and finish areas, and she thought she was initially in the wrong spot! She had friends with a tent in front of the statehouse, and we hung out there to keep warm before the race. It was cold, 35 degrees when I got there. We met up with Mike, also from the team, and took a few pictures.
We hit the port o potties one time, and there was no line, however, when we opted to go again, it was a mess. They had them too close to the street, along the street, so there was no place to form good lines. It was a mess, and I feared people were just cutting in front because it seemed like it never moved, but we did hear a bunch of people yell at a guy who did just try to jump in one, and so I guess it wasn't happening, but just really slow. As a result, I bailed on the port o potty, and was just going to deal with it. I ran into Jen and her friends again, and we opted to use some bushes in front of the statehouse! They weren't super tall, but tall enough that people could just see the tops of our heads. It got the job done. They didn't have corrals, but three small sections at the front, elite, seeded 2, and seeded 3. I was in seeded 3, and lined up with the 3:10 and 3:15 pacers. I wanted to stay in between them, but they we were only with the marathoners until mile 7, so I knew I would have to rely on myself. I didn't have the same problem with my Garmin in Detroit, with the buildings interfering, but I did remember to take off the autopause. I went out bit quick to get free, but I crossed the mile 1 marker at 7:15 (although my Garmin said I hit mile 1 at 6:53, and I was pretty close to the start line, so I don't think it took me 25 seconds to cross the start. Something was up with the mile markers. I was right with the 3:10 group, though, so I felt OK. I got a little ahead of them because I kept checking my Garmin and it had me going slower, but never too far ahead. They had a clock at mile 2, and I was OK according to the clock, but a little ahead according to my Garmin. It was as if each mile seemed to be a bit longer than the next, because my miles on the Garmin were not lining up, and each one got more and more off. I did OK until about mile 7, staying on track, only having used up a little of my "extra time". I did get passed by the 3:15 group, but then they peeled off, and I knew I wouldn't get passed by the 3:20 since they went the other way. By mile 8, I had used up all of my extra time (a 7:20 pace left me with about 55 seconds to spare), if I could just speed up to 7:20 again. I kept trying. the whole rest of the race I would run at 7:20 and even got sub 7 for a little bit, but I couldn't keep it up. I was doing crazy math, like, if I can hold onto a 7 flat pace, I can do it for 4 more miles, right? Wrong. Each mile got progressivly slower, with my slowest being an 8:02, and I also was more and more concerned because each mile marker seemed further and further away from what I had on my Garmin. My finish time was 1:41:33, for what my Garmin had listed as 13.32 miles. What a bust! I barely improved over Detroit! What the heck? I got my finishers medal, blanket, and hat. I filled the hat with portable food (skipping the bowls of soup), had my picture taken, and then left, feeling dejected and stupid for coming out here. It sucks when your best is just not good enough!
I was afraid to call Ryan. I wasn’t sure if he would be angry we had spent the money to come out here or relieved that we didn’t need to spend more money on a trip to NYC. I tried so hard! It wasn’t good enough. Even when I did hit 13.1 on my Garmin, I was still over 1:39. I asked a couple people what their Garmins said, and they were all a bit long. Jen wasn’t at the tent, so I just headed out. I got on the road, had a good cry, and then called Valerie. She helped me put it into perspective that I didn’t train specifically for this race, and that I had been sick, which caused me to recover more slowly from Detroit and miss some valuable training time. Also, when I ran super fast in the spring, I had just come off a full marathon training plan, and was doing so much more mileage. Perhaps that is what I need to be able to run a really fast half. I am happy that I tried, though, because now I know. I don’t have any “what ifs?” Ryan was not upset, at least I don't think he was. He was glad I held up my end of the bargin and was already on the freeway when I called him, and got home in time to take the kids to their birthday party. Jen called while I was at the party, and she said that everyone said that the course was long. The full was OK, but the half was long. Mike had it at 13.4! I did go back and calculate what my finish time would have been had it been 13.1 based on my Garmin pace, and I would have had a 1:39:47or so. I feel like I am able to compare this time to my Detroit time more accurately, and better represent the improvement I made. That time is almost 3 minutes better, instead of just 1. Still not a PR or NYC qualifier, but it is not meant to be. I was 15th in my age group (a drop of a few places from Detroit, surprisingly).
Up next is the Louisville Sports Commission Half on Saturday. I do know that I am going to start a lot slower. This course is very hilly, and I don't want to walk up any hills! I know these hills, and they blow. Why did I sign for this again? To be social with a bunch of people who aren't running anymore? Right. Thankfully, Rhonda and several of the other ladies from the Monday Night ride that I used to do will be running it. That really cheered me up. One of my neighbors is injured, and signed up but can't run (she had her dog stop right in front of her while running, tripped, and messed up her back and hips), and has a bib to give away. I was hoping my other neighbor would take it, but she turned it down.
Does anyone have any tips for me for this week? I think I am going to go for a swim shortly, once this is done, and then maybe run 3 tomorrow, and 2 on Wed? Or maybe just nothing. I don't know. The dry air and temperature changes have been doing a number on my throat and sinuses. I broke down and took Sudaphed today, which is banned by USAT during racing, because it has performance enhancing properties. I am fine to take it during the week, and avoided last week in favor of homeopoathic remedies such as Zicam and Emergen C, and felt decent, but I am out of those and they are rather pricey. Since I don't care so much about this race, I am more interested in being comfortable NOW, and if I have to switch to something less effective come race day, whatever. I just don't want to get injured. Maybe I will have a shockingly great day on Saturday. Who knows. Maybe I will do OK awards wise since it is a smaller race. I hope I don't get lost like poor Anita. She didn't make it either, but that was because she got lost on her course! I also didn't get to see Shelby. She had a plush hotel near the start and didn't need to hang out in a cold tent. Her race report is here.
I need to start training for Boston seriously in a few weeks. I am now looking for a spring half that is about 3-4 weeks out from Boston to see if I can't get that 1:37 I am so wanting, but it won't get me to NYC anymore. I think there is one in Dayton that might be OK. I did enter a drawing for a guaranteed entry to NYC, and should find out on Wed about that. Wish me luck! Maybe I will win the grand prize and get the trip covered too! If you want to enter that drawing, check out my f/b page for the link. I can't get the form to reopen since I already filled it out.