Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon

For me personally, it was not great. Somewhere between Thursday when I posted and Saturday morning (race day), I completely lost all motivation for this race. I just was not mentally prepared and that really messed this race up for me. Like always, I got all of my stuff together the night before. The only thing I didn't check was that my ipod was charged (big mistake!). The kiddos had spring break this week, so I've been a little off schedule with training and we had the long weekend out of town. Not to mention, I had been at the doctor twice with the littlest one who ended up with an ear and sinus infection. I had a little of a pesky cough earlier in the week that had become pretty regular by Friday. So I was not feeling 100% to begin with, making this race hard to get into mentally.

Saturday morning I went next door to meet my neighbors who were running also. We got to the race site at about 6:30 am (race time was 8:00), since we were so early, we just hung out in the car for a bit because it was 37 degrees outside. This was the smallest half marathon I've done with only 774 finishers. We got out of the car and headed to the start (after a stop at the porta potties). No fireworks at this start- just a countdown and we were off.

The course was a straight out and back. And I mean straight- when I plugged in my watch to download my times, the gps of the course is a straight line. It was a nice area to be in- I'd never visited the dismal swamp area before (and with a name like that, I don't know why?!). I was coughing a lot on the way down in the morning and my throat was starting to hurt. But I got started and went to turn on my ipod- nothing. Absolutely nothing. Never again will I think that I've got enough charge on it to not charge it before a race. I tried to be positive. I've never run a race without music- maybe it would be okay. The first couple miles were ok- I wasn't too bored, got to chat with a few people along the way. Then between coughing and one of my knees starting to hurt I began to set aside any ideas I had for this race (I was thinking I'd have a new PR after this one- after all, I've improved with every race). I decided to walk until I felt better and then try running again.

I settled into a good walking pace and was able to actually look around and enjoy the scenery around me. I saw so many butterflies- that was really neat. I passed a porta potty with a "no dumping" sign beside it (I took a picture, but the camera messed up on my phone and it was lost). Someone had a sense of humor when placing that porta potty. It was a nice day to be out for a run or walk, which made this no music 13.1 miles a little easier to stomach. I ended up mostly walking this one, but still finished at 3:29:47. Not great, but I didn't quit (something I considered more than once). Evidently I only set PRs at the ocean or at Disney :)

I started week 4 of JMBR. It is the final week of phase 1, workouts 3 and 4 again. I did workout 3 yesterday and it was rough, but I'm very glad I worked through it. I will start running again on Wednesday. I did not run as much between the shamrock half marathon and the dismal swamp and I really do want to set a new PR at the diva in May, meaning I have a little over 4 weeks to get more training in. So I am going back to running first thing in the morning and then doing JMBR in the evening.

Weigh in was Friday, and I was down 1.4 pounds. Not bad considering our weekend out of town. I am really looking forward to my weigh in and measurement on Friday since that will be the end of JMBR phase 1.


  1. Congrats for not giving up!! That would be my worst nightmare, though - not having music!!

  2. Congratulations on the finish.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. It happens to all of us and you've taken on a very ambitious race schedule. Some races are just easier/better than others.

    Set this experience aside - remember that you finished it under tough circumstances and don't let it get to you mentally.

    I'm really proud of you for finishing and keeping a good attitude about the experience.

    Great job on the weight loss too!