Alternate Title: Grandma's Still Hates Me
Alternate Title #2: The Time You Spend in the Porta Potties Still Counts
After getting to bed at 8:30 Friday night, I woke up to my 2:30 a.m. alarm feeling pretty well-rested. I had packed everything Friday night, so all I had to do was get dressed and get myself out the door. I was at my friend Cheryl's by 3:30 and we were off. Once we got to Duluth, we had no problem finding parking, finding the bathroom, and finding the lines for the buses to the start. I felt really good and even had some moments of wishing I was running the full instead of the half.
Sidenote: I decided to go with Outfit #2, the bright pink Addidas tennis skirt and white Nike tank. This was an excellent, trampy choice. But definitely not as trampy as the girl who was wearing a short gray cotton skirt (like the one's you get a Victoria's Secret) that said "Daddy's Girl" across the ass and a matching gray cotton teensy tiny bra. With tramp stamp on full display. This? Was not an attractive look, especially when drenched with sweat. Unless of course this girl reads my blog, in which case, I think your outfit was really cute.
So where were we? Oh yes, the race. We started off and I felt strong and had no problem locking into my 9:00/mile pace. It was warm, but not unreasonable. There were tons of people, but I didn't feel like the dodging was taking too much out of me. At about mile 2, my stomach started complaining. I was able to maintain my pace, but by mile 4 I had to stop at the porta potties RIGHT NOW. With waiting in line and, um, going, my break was just under 4 minutes. But I felt much better and got right back into my groove. I kept telling myself that I would have no problem making up those few minutes.
At mile 6, I took my first Gu. Almost immediately, my stomach started making itself known again. I kept telling myself to just ignore it and keeping running. This became impossible by mile 8, when again I had to stop at the porta potties. This time, my break was nearly 8 minutes. And I felt worse after than I did before. I struggled to get back on pace. By this time, it was also starting to get much warmer, which didn't help.
During mile 9, my stomach started to feel a little better. I had one more Gu with me that I had been planning on taking at mile 10. I spent much of mile 9 debating whether I should take that Gu. I felt like I needed it, but did not want to make any more porta potty stops. Finally, I decided to just take it. With a total of 12 minutes so far in the porta potty, I knew that my time was shot. After the Gu, I was able to finish the race without any further toilet breaks. My last three miles were all under 9:00 miles. Because I was now running in a slower pack, it felt like I would just get into a groove and then hit a wall of people. The dodging took a lot out of me and felt much worse than it did at the start of the race.
About half a mile from the finish, I ran around a corner and had some girls yell, "Cute skirt." Then I heard some people yelling, "Go Heather!" I looked and had no clue who they were. So maybe they were cheering for another Heather. Whatever. I waved and smiled. I'll take what I can get.
I turned the final corner and felt a mini-rush from all the people cheering on both sides of the road. But mostly I felt disappointment because I was so far from my goal. I crossed the line in 2:14:48. Not a personal worst, but close. Fourteen minutes and forty-nine seconds worse than my goal. The part of me that knows I am capable of a sub-2:00 half was very disappointed. But for the most part, I have come to accept that I did the best I could given the crappy (literally) circumstances. And now I've got to work my ass off to get that sub-2:00 in Mora in August.
The best part of the race? Coming home to find Sophie down for a nap. I had time to shower and lay down and take a half hour nap myself!