Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hippie Chick, the 20 Mile Half Marathon...YIKES!

Tonya and I, running buddies!
Women, all shapes and sizes, all ages, Mother's Day weekend....I LOVE Hippie Chick!  You can walk or run, do a quarter marathon or a half marathon.  It's inspiring.
I ran Hippie Chick in 2010 and then again last weekend.  It has grown from about 600 women to nearly 2000 women in the last two years.  Amazing!
Me, Raelee (daughter) and my Mom Donita
Saturday morning my alarm woke me up at 4:30am.  I dragged myself out of bed at the early time because today was going to be fun, it's Hippie Chick day!  My Mom Donita and 16 year old daughter Raelee also got up at this time.  Raelee was running her first half today and my Mom was walking the half.  We got ready, then left to meet up with Tonya's family and Teresa (Tonya's Mom) to car pool to Hillsboro Stadium.  5:40am and we were off.  I had ate my "long run oatmeal" at 5:00am.  This worried me a bit, but there wasn't much time to think about it.  Normally I eat one hour before I run...the start was 8:00am (3 hours later).  I did have some bars with me I planned on snacking around 7am.  As we drove (the back roads) into Hillsboro we realize that we are somewhat lost and time was ticking away.  I was stressed out in the back seat and I had to use the bathroom!  There was NO way I was eating a bar right now.  Tonya's husband (in the other car) got out his navigator (GPS) and saved the morning.  We got to the start with 20 minutes to spare.  This was just enough time to use the lovely port-a-potties and get a few "before" photos.
Raele, Me, Mom, Teresa, and Tonya


At the start of the race!
We quickly got our gear on and headed to the balloon arch start right outside the stadium.  We stood for about ten minutes in line with hundreds of other women.  I tried to look around at all of them.  I just loved that we were all out here doing something healthy together on Mother's Day weekend.  It was already warm out and it was only 8:00am.  I knew there were several other ladies running today that I know, but couldn't find any in the crowd besides the ones I rode with. I was hungry but excited to start.

 The gun went off, Tonya Raelee and I all started together.  Mom and Teresa were behind us somewhere walking.  I was feeling good but a little worried about how warm it was.  At the Luna mile there were cheerleaders, a band and some port-a-potties.  Luna had a table with snacks and water but we were only one mile in...I didn't want to stop for anything yet.  Raelee had to stop for something for a second so Tonya and I ran ahead.  Raelee seemed to be fine and I was hoping she would just catch back up with us.

Mile four finally came and this is where I remember it starting to get hard.  I think this is when the heat set in. We were also in farm country.  The last month I have had great problems breathing on my runs due to allergy season (not fun).  It was a beautiful course but full of pollen.  I put my ear bud in and tried to get in my run zone.  Tonya and I ran together in silence.  Usually we talk, and talk a lot. Mile four I didn't want to talk to anyone.  At mile six Tonya told me our pace (I forgot my Garmin).  "9:03" she say's.  This should of been very good news to me, since my "goal" today was a 9:09 pace, but for some reason it sent me into a panic.  It was very odd.  Tonya could see it in me and asked if I was okay.  I told her, "yes I'm okay, we our above pace, I'm fine."  She new better, but really what could she do for me?   LOL we still had to keep going.  I should of been fine, but I was scared.  Not even half way, I'm burning up and I can't breath...how am I going to last?

I told Tonya around this time I may need her to go ahead.  I started to slip back and give myself a break, hoping to catch back up in a few miles.  Well, it only got warmer and warmer.  My body seemed to be really upset at me and was not preforming like it I wanted it too!  My stomach had hurt the whole race and was not getting any better.  Not sure why, maybe because I hadn't eaten in four hours, stress?  Who knows!

I am currently training for Newport Marathon in June 2012.  Training this year has been incredibly awesome. My runs have gone better then they ever have,  no injuries or terrible running walls.  Bad runs, yes...but nothing like the last two Marathons.  I really thought this half marathon (13.1 miles) was going to be an easy PR (personal record) for me since Marathon training was going well.  The problem is, Newport is only three weeks away so I am in some heavy mileage.  With heavy mileage the body gets tired, and you never now when that's going to hit.  Also, today (Hippie Chick day) I am scheduled for a 23 mile run.  This means after the half, I have to go back out on the course for another 10 miles....oh joy!

Marlee at the finish!
In racing, or even running in general, they say that it's about 30% physical and 70% mental.  I have found this to be true.  I believe that is why so many don't even make it out the front door.

 I found myself mentally loosing it out in the middle of a half marathon and I knew exactly what was happening to me and it made me upset.  I kept going.  I finally got close to the turn-a-round so I started watching for people I knew for something to do.  I saw my friend Valerie go by.  She didn't see me but I was excited to see someone familiar!  I soon saw Tonya and then Raelee.  I was so happy to see Raelee and know she was still going strong.  After this I really started loosing it.

My friend from Sutherlin came up behind me, Marlee?  Yes, it was Marlee.  By this time I was really upset. This was Marlee's very first half marathon and I could see she was in her moment and doing well.  I was not in my moment and told her how terrible this was and how terrible I felt and boo hoo for me!  Thankfully my boo hooing didn't get her down and she kept going and finished very strong.  Proud of you Marlee!

At mile ten I did something I have NEVER done before while in a race.  I text Jerry!  My message read, "I can't do this, please come run with me"  I had told him not to do this because it is a women's race and I didn't want women yelling, "Man on the course!"  Well, I needed him!  He texted me right back and told me he was coming.

I must of looked rather bad at this point, someone asked if I was okay?  I just said "yes, I'm looking for my daughter...then started crying.  I'm telling you, I was a MESS!  It wasn't my proudest moment.  I was looking for Raelee, couldn't find her.  Was worried she was a mess just like me!  Finally about mile 11.5
 I see Jerry coming towards me.  I started crying almost hysterical.  I really felt bad for him.  He said, "Julie...you need to calm down."   I was just so happy he came to me out in this massive group of women.  I was now okay for the moment, I ask him to go find Raelee and make sure she was okay.  I was worried about dehydration. At first he was like, are you sure your okay?  I told him to go and off he went to find Raelee.  I ran on to finish this stupid thing I had started.

Finishers necklace
Soon I came to the Luna mile and refilled with water and knew I was close to being done with the half.  Usually no matter how hard a race is, I can enjoy the last moments of the race.  I will look up at all the people and listen for my name.  I LOVE this moment but today, I put my head down and just tried to finish. I was able to pass two ladies.  I did hear my step-dad Alan yell my name, but that's it!  I just wanted to be done with it.  As I crossed the finish line I was handed my finishers necklace.  I took some water and began looking for Tonya.  The first person I saw was Valerie.  I went to her and asked about her goal.  She did what she came to do (great job Val), I then started crying like a baby.  It was so hard, I felt terrible and I still had to run ten more miles for Newport!  I then saw Tonya but walked over by myself for a minute.  I needed to compose myself.  Tonya gave me a pep talk and we went back out to find Raelee.  It was fun running the last little bit with Raelee as she finished.  She had a very good first marathon.

Since we had ten more training miles to go, we went out again to find our Mom's.  Ladies kept saying, "your going the wrong way."  At first we would say, "we are training for a marathon so we have to go more miles."  Ladies didn't really seemed to like or get that, so we started saying, "we are looking for our Mom's"  All the ladies LOVED this answer.  It was funny!  We meet our Mom's, gave them some encouragement and kept going.  We finally came to a guy on a bike behind the walkers.  We knew this was the end.  We were soooo tired and nauseated by this time we turned around and just did seven.

Our 23 miles training run, ended at 20, but somehow we were both ok with that for today.  Normally that wouldn't be okay with either one of us. I felt so sick by this time, 3 more mile felt like it would of killed me off.
Valerie and Angela

Cindy and Jo
We returned to the stadium to find our wonderful families.  We both really wanted our free Jamba Juices but they had already cleared out of there.  Rylan (my 8 year old) really wanted pancakes.  Because I ran, I got free pancakes so I went and got a plate full.  I tired to eat, but felt sick.  Rylan sure enjoyed them.



Now, I could be very upset that my half didn't go "as planned" but I'm ok.  I realize that I am in "marathon" training and so my body isn't going to perform at a half marathon pace on a hot, allergy season day.  Also, I just had a bad run and it happens to everyone.  I was with my family and friends and as hard and terrible as it was, somehow it was fun.  I never once thought about quitting.  I didn't overdo it so I wasn't sore and miserable the next day.  
Angela and her Mom Cindy
It's all good and I can now look forward to Newport whatever Newport brings.  Last year it was 80-85 degrees.  I know running in the heat is hard and slows me down, but I also know I can do it.  I would like it to be in the 40's for Newport, but one can only hope...and pray!

"... run with patience
the race that is
set before us ..."
Heb. 12:1-3

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize...

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

New International Version (NIV)

2 comments:

  1. You came away with that with a postive attitude!! I never knew running could be so emotional. I'm proud of you and hope Newport is a nice run for you. Keep on running Julie! Your stories are inspiring.

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  2. Whew! You have me all choked up! I'm so proud of you, no matter what! I'm completely inspired! Thank you!

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