Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BLRW Mobile Half Marathon Race Recap

Normally when I finish a big race I'm left with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.  As I approach the finish line I begin to tear up a bit and when I finally have that medal placed around my neck I feel unstoppable.  Sadly, I didn't feel any of that at The Biggest Loser Half Marathon in Mobile, AL this past weekend.

Sunday morning I went through my normal pre-race routine and headed out to the race along with my aunt and a fellow running buddy Heather from my running team, The Midwest Vikings. As we lined up to start the race I took a glance around and realized that this was probably the smallest race I've run in.  Overall there were only about 400 participants in the half marathon event.  This was when I realized just how much the size of a race can change your perspective.  I didn't have that excitement building like usual, it didn't even seem like the race was a big deal.  I guess you could say that running in Chicago has made me a bit spoiled.

My first 3 miles were strong, I was holding onto a good pace and feeling great.  Around mile 4 our course met with the 5k pack and I got to see my aunt for a minute before the trails split again.  This was when I started feeling an annoying twinge on my pinky toe.  By the time the race was over virtually my entire pinky toe had become one massive blister.  (it still hurts by the way) I sucked it up and tried to make the best of the race anyway.

My aunt and I after the race
Post Race obligatory selfie
A few more miles and my body just gave up on me.  Each time I took a break to walk or adjust my toes to feel less pain it became even harder to get started again.  Now, in other half marathons I've run this is where I would run past a large group of cheering volunteers that would give me the little boost I need to keep on pushing.  Sadly, there were no cheerleaders along the entire stretch of 13.1 miles.  I kept hoping that maybe something would help give me the nudge I needed to kick in the after burners but I just kept chugging along, dragging as I went.

Fresh skrimps from the bay and my aunt's homemade hooch

Needless to say it was an ugly race for me.  I definitely didn't bring my A game and the atmosphere did nothing to give me any kind of assistance.  As I reached the final stretch all I wanted to do was end the misery.  I took a deep breath and pounded the pavement until I finally crossed the finish line.  All I felt was relief.  This was truly a humbling experience for me.  I had been living in this dream land where races all felt great, filled with sunshine and butterflies.  This was Mobile's inaugural Biggest Loser Half Marathon so perhaps as the event grows the excitement will grow as well, but I can't see myself ever doing this race again.  In fact, I might not take on another small race for quite some time.

On the plus side, here are a few of the highlights:
-smaller race means higher ranking, I was #18 in my age group!
-Mobile is beautiful, scenic and rich in history
-spending time with family I don't see that often
-a pretty sweet glittery medal and fancy tech shirt
-LOTS of GU (they basically poured a whole box of it into Heather's bag which she generously shared with me after the race)
-delicious fresh seafood from the bay

1 comment:

  1. I remember the first race where I felt defeated rather than elated after... It is very humbling and unfortunately for me, it was the start of downward spiral for me and running. Luckily, that went away eventually and hopefully that won't happen to you. Finishing a Half is still an incredible feat even if it wasn't your best performance!