Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Superhero Half Marathon Recap

Sunday I ran the Superhero Half in Morristown NJ for the third time. I was keeping an eye on the weather all week and was glad to see that the call for rain changed, but not at all thrilled to see the 81' it changed to. I had originally planned to wear red leggings but changed it to red calf sleeves at the last minute.

I got almost all the way to the race before I hit traffic, but I only sat for about 10 minutes, and still had about 30 minutes until the race started. I searched for my friends and the portapotties at the same time. I found them simultaneously. Just as I was getting on line for the bathroom, I saw my friends. We posed for a quick photo and then I got back on the very long line for the very small amount of potties.

The race was beginning just as I was stepping out of the potty. Yikes. Luckily, they were a little behind, and it was chip timed anyway, so I rushed over it the start and tried to squeeze in among my fellow slow runners. The race was running differently this year, however, and was running towards the middle of the park instead of away from it. They were headed right towards us, and it was hard to.get through the sides at first. I managed to squeeze in and get started. 
The first 5 miles were mostly out in the open, with very little shade, and it got hot very fast. I stopped at every water stop, and sometimes I doubled up. The 5 mile mark brought us back into the park where the relay was swapping out. I'm not gonna lie. I totally considered cutting my losses and hitting the road. It was unbelievably hot, I wasn't going to hit my first goal, and was beginning to doubt that I would make my second one either. I was in a bad place. The  crowds were cheering and calling us by name, and I decided to chuck all my goals and just run.

At mile 5.5, someone had left out shorty water bottles. At mile 6, someone finished theirs and threw it deep into someone else's yard. Ugh.
I can't  believe I got this far without mentioning the hills. They started and never stopped. They were everywhere. 

I really need to hill train.
Between the hills and the heat I was wiped out. I wanted to walk, but I also wanted to be done. I was miserable. We finally entered the park, which was shady, and that was a little better. It was also flatter. We got to run through there a couple miles before going back out into the world. And the hills.

See how red my face is? Not a good sign! After some time out in the sun, we entered the park for the final miles. Everyone was miserable. I was starting to weave. At mile 12 there was the final water stop. After checking for dirt, I doubled up and moved on.
yup. You read that right. I was checking for dirt. You might be wondering why. After all, the volunteers wore gloves, and were pouring from gallon water bottles. At the three previous stops, however, there was dirt in my cup. At one of them, I noticed 2 people cleaning up the discarded cups. One was taking the crushed ones, and one was taking the whole ones. And reusing them. 
Unfortunately, dehydrated runners can't afford to be choosy. 
Just after that last water stop, a motorcycle cop riding by stopped me and asked me if I needed more water. He reallllly wanted me to take more water. I couldn't understand why. I just had water. I was fine. He drove by me twice more on that last mile. 
When my watch signaled mile 13 I almost cried. There were still some spectators and they were cheering me by name. It was nice. I crossed the finish in 3.01 missing my second goal by one minute and not caring at all. I just wanted water and a bagel. An EMT was at the finish asking each finisher how they were feeling. I told him I felt like crap but it wasn't anything he could fix, which satisfied him enough to let me by.
The water they provided was in small Dixie cups. Really? It's over 80 out here people. I took 2.
 The bagels were gone. 
I got a power bar that was melted and gross.
I went back to the start to check on my friends. I passed them at mile 2 and never saw them again.
 I did run into a friend who was pacing the 3 hour runners and she said that one friend left at mile 5 with an injury, and the other finished way ahead of me. I later found out that my 2nd friend was just behind me and made a wrong turn somewhere and ran an extra mile. Ugh.

I walked slowly back to the car, drank some leftover iced tea from the drive in, and chilled until i was sure that I was ok to drive. I stopped halfway home for Starbucks and got some iced tea and grapes for the ride home. I wasn't even remotely hungry, but I figured grapes were mostly water anyway right?

I don't know what it is about this race. It definitely caters to the faster runners, and I have never been happy after I finish. But I always go back. Mayne it's the costumes?

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