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Half Marathon Recap: The Good, The Bad, The Puke

Today I raced the Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon, and did everything in my power to come in under 2 hours. It wasn't my day, but I'm still happy with my final time (2:01:05) despite all the not-so-great aspects of the race. Because I can barely remember myself what happened, I won't bore you with mile by mile recounts. Here are the highs and lows that stand out to me after the fact:

Pre-race oblivion of what's to come!


The Good
-Let's start with the hubs, who was amazing today. Parking cars, driving me to the race, waiting around, taking photos--no medal at the end but he was working hard too!
-The course impressed me for such a small town race-especially since it was only in the second year. Lots of police along the course, not many supporters but the ones out there were GREAT!
-The weather: it was hotter than I planned, but still about 50 at the start and 65 at the finish. Can't complain!
-A few women were aiming for a sub-2 race, and I found them and latched on for the first 6 miles. Nice motivation and company.
-Fun, colorful medal. I love it!




The Bad
-A little unorganized at the start. There were makeshift corrals, but 5 minutes before the start they were torn down and everyone just started out wherever. Lots of weaving the first mile.
-I didn't make my sub-2 goal. Close, but no cigar.
-Lack of water stations. There were maybe 3 in the first mile-ish (overkill?!) and then really far apart after that. Some people were handing them out from their yards, but it would have been nice to have official aid stations more frequently.

The tape "corrals" you can see were torn down before the race start.


The Puke
-Well, this was the real problem. Stomach was unhappy from the start, but I made it to mile 6 before I veered off to someone's yard. Really, Dalton citizen, I'm sorry. I would have stopped it if I could. That mile was a good minute longer than every other mile-hence the 2:01 finish. I tried to make up the time but it just wasn't happening!

Just take the damn picture already.

At least I was still running, right?

Overall--I am pretty happy. Aside from that crazy puke minute, most of miles are around 9:09. A couple of sub-9's, a few up to 9:15, but I really did everything I could to stay on pace. Next time: less puke, and run faster.

Just run faster! Duh. It's so simple.

What do you do after a race? Stick around or head home?
In small races I tend to stick around JUST in case the age group is small and I can snag a prize, but today all I wanted to do was get home. I was in the car 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line!


How do you deal with disappointing races?
I was almost in tears after the race today. Partly because the time was so close to sub-2 and I missed it, but also I was genuinely exhausted. Now I can look back and I'm a little happier about everything, but it's still tough for me not to meet my goals.

Comments

  1. I had my own upsetting run today. I did my first 5k....I woke up at 6am, had toast and water and then my stomach started to hurt BAD. I had diarrhea at home...then continued to have it up until the race started. I went to the port-a-potties FIVE times in an hour. How embarrassing...since it was a small race and I know people could tell. My stomach was in knots the entire run and was terrified I'd shit myself. I didn't but I didn't do very well either. Bummer. We stuck around after the race since they do door prizes.

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  2. ooo You poor thing! You did amazing not feeling well. You are amazing! Great job Vanessa! I love that your hubs was so involved. They are pretty great :) I hope you are feeling better and have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. oh vanessa I am so so sorry :( its so frustrating when your stomach misbehaves because it's one thing you really can't control. i think that 2:01 with having to stop and get sick is an AMAZING accomplishment. I know you'll get that sub-2, i'm just sorry it wasn't today. Just know you are an awesome runner and that you still did great. so many people would have just given up when their stomach turned on them like that, but you didn't and you finished strong! I'm glad that hubs was so great to you today though, you definitely needed some extra love. Get some rest and feel better!

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  4. I've been waiting for your recap and was sending you good wishes this morning :) Girl - you rocked, GREAT job! And way to go with your splits considering there was the puke incident about half-way through…a lot of other people would have a tough time charging through that!

    As for me, in theory I like to stick around for the prizes to cheer for those who got them…but I don't always make it…to be honest, in large races, I normally don't! I did the VA Beach half one year and they do the prizes later that night before a concert on the beach and THAT WAS COOL.

    As for bad races - I have burst into tears after crossing the finish line and have sucked it up and looked at the bright side and moved on.

    Good for you, rest up!

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  5. Ugh... sorry you were SO close and didn't meet your goal, but you know that it's still awesome. I'm glad you are able to look back and still be happy about it, because you just ran a half marathon! : ) Glad you're feeling better.

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  6. You totally rallied after vomiting? I think that 2:01 is AMAZING! Race day is just one day, and you did awesome for the day you were handed!

    Just think, you'll be able to save a killer PR for your next half! :)

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  7. When the miss is THISCLOSE it's hard not to be ÜBER disappointed.. but girl, you have so much to be proud of -- sorry you weren't feeling good, but kudos to you for keepin' on.

    PS: Bellini's at my house ANYTIME:)

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  8. Aaaah, so close!! I totally know how you feel... I cried most of the way home after my half last weekend.

    Get some rest and feel better!

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  9. Another Hurl Gurl...welcome to the club! So close, but soundslike besides that one minute puke you did great! Congrats on your finish, don't let yourself get too caught up in the numbers!

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  10. Aaaah hun so sorry to hear you had a hard race, I have never run marathon distance before so all I know is that it is very hard and very far and you should be very proud of yourself. Lots of hugs xxxxx

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  11. Sorry you got sick! Don't feel bad about a disappointing race! I know you will achieve the time you want. I think the puking is definitely a valid excuse of not meeting the goal.

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  12. You PUKED half way through and still finished so close to goal? Damn girl!! Sub-2 is within reach next time for sure. CONGRATS!!

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  13. KEEP moving forward. Not everyone can do what you do. Way to go!

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  14. WOW congrats on only missing your 2:00 goal by A MINUTE despite the fact that you PUKED! You are hard core!

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  15. Well, I can't get sub 2 and I haven't puked. Maybe I need to try harder??? So WAY TO GO! That is awesome!

    Maybe the puke in the yard will act as a fertilizer for the lawn...see, there's always a silver lining.

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  16. ugh sorry you puked BUT you still did an awesome time especially for puking !!! i usually hang around if a small race to see if my friends won, bigger races i get out fast.

    deal with a bad race. i sulk, i need to figure out how to deal.

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  17. Ohh noooo... That sucks man. Of course, you still ran a great race - just wish your stomach would've behaved!

    Oh! I have that Camelback, and I love it- The water shoots out at like a million mph! :)

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  18. Aw man I'm sorry you had a rough race! You are still crazy fast in my book, but I understand the disappointment. Next time. :)

    Running hard always makes me emotional--I could cry during or after a hard run/race at the drop of a hat, I swear--happy tears, sad tears, doesn't matter!

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  19. Had a bad race today myself, third in a row! Can't seem to find the speed these days. I think I need to be better at having a plan, training, and not killing my legs the week prior. Congrats on your time, 2:01 is great!

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  20. Rat basket! We train and we prepare and the body says, "nah, i'd rather have a puke instead." I have yet to barf in a race and it amazes me that you people keep running. Incredible. I think I would have made a nice leaf bed on that person's lawn, far from my barf spot, and napped it off. Kudos for finishing and you were still FAST too!

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  21. welcome to the puke club! now that you've got that out of the way, your sub 2 will come in no time! Sorry for the conditions, but the great part about racing is there are always more to conquer.

    Generally I don't stick around, however today was the first time EVER (i had no where to be for HOURS) I left to get a free shower at ymca then came back to cheer on the marathoners--- so much respect. I stood by mile marker 26 and got emotional watching everyone's pained faces and injuries that they had acquired during their race. It was so motivating that I've finally come to terms with I will infact eventually run a marathon.

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  22. Awww so close! that sucks but you still did really great! It is hard when you come so close to a goal and don't quite get it, but just think if you hadn't stopped to puke that goal would have been in your hands!

    Hugs!

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  23. Way to pull through, girl. I am so proud of you!!!

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  24. I am so sorry about the puke! Seriously great job finishing after that! Great time, you were so close to a sub-2!

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  25. Sorry you didnt make your goal, but I think puke is a legit excuse lol! Way to tough it out! your sub 2 is money for your next one!

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  26. Aaagggh.
    So close.
    I can understand your frustration - but what a run.
    Well done.
    That sub 2 is yours - go get it.
    :-)

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  27. Aw-man, a puke?! That stinks... but your time was still stellar!! Depending on the race - sometimes I like to stick around, especially if I know other runners to hang with at the post-party. But if my parents and kids are with, it's usually time to go since they usually can't enter the post-party areas. I had a disappointing half this past August, but hey, we just gotta buck and move on, right?! I usually end up signing up for another one immediately.

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  28. Sorry that you missed your goal, but now you have something out there to improve on next time you race. It can be frustrating, but after a crappy race, I go back and hit my training even harder knowing that one day I'll reach my goal.

    You are a trooper to keep going after the puke, too!

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  29. there will be many more half's and you will rock them sub-2 and puke free.. no worries! :)

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  30. Not many people can pull off a boot and rally during a race. With that in mind, your time was excellent.

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  31. Congrats on the great time even if you missed it by 65 seconds. It's obvious that you have a sub 2 in your legs and the next race you will surely smash it. Great race lady!!!

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  32. Seriously?? take out the puke break and you come in under 2 - that totally counts! well done on such an amazing race time Vanessa

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  33. i'm sorry you didn't meet your goal, but just think, next time when you don't have to puke and rally you're gonna kill it!!

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  34. You are much braver than me! If I got sick and puked I would probably have thoughts of quitting! Your time was great and the fact that you finished with an upset stomach is pretty damn good!! Congratulations!

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  35. ummm still such a GREAT RACE!! You cannot be dissapointed in your effort. I completely understand how it feels to have a bad race and seriously belive that fighting through adversity (like puking) makes us so much stronger. Congratulations girl! you should seriously be so so proud.

    I hope you feel better!

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  36. well my dear this is an awesome race, even with the puke! i'm curious at your puking skills that you only added 1 minute onto your time?! that little lady is quite a skill. so if you were to add up your moving time here it would for sure have been under 2 hours, so i officially think that this counts and you ran sub 2. so congrats! hope the tummy is feeling back to normal.

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  37. Dude, major points to you for sticking with it post-puke... I've never puked during a run or race (knock on wood), but if/when I do, I'm not sure how I'll be able to make myself keep going. And even though you didn't quite make your goal, that is still a super awesome time! :D

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  38. You did amazing especially in light of your stomach troubles.

    Most of the time I don't stick around for the after race festivities.

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  39. Puking during a race and still finishing within a minute of your goal time? Rockstar.

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  40. Sounds like you would have killed your goal if not for the puking... and I completely agree with everyone who said you are a ROCKSTAR for even finishing after feeling so crummy! An inspiration to us all :-)

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  41. So sorry about the puke fest! Kind of puts a damper on things, no doubt. But be proud of yourself for gutting it out in those circumstances. You are one tough chica!

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  42. You puked and kept going, you're awesome! Way to stay strong. Plus, it looks like next time you can definitely get your goal!!

    I usually hang around for a little bit after races, to see some people finish and to see if there's anything fun going on. Then again, if it's super hot or super cold, I head home immediately.

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  43. That's a fantastic time, but ARGH I hate missing a goal by that stinking little!!! Dang puke stop! Congrats on a race well run though!

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  44. I'm so sorry you got sick but I'm so impressed that you kept going! That takes a strong person to do that. Congrats a great time! I know you're going to hit the sub-2 in your next half!

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  45. wow great job on finishing after PUKING! That is craziness, and some people would quit so good for you!

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  46. Sorry about the puke. That is no fun. I always am dealing with crazy body issues on long runs like that.

    I usually head right out after a race unless I am waiting for friends.....I like to shower right after!!!

    Sounds like you did well with the run. It is hard not to be disappointed sometimes if you are competitive and have goals....my goal is usually just to finish.....I SUCK!! Haha.

    xo
    Sarah
    Get Up & Go

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  47. Congrats on finishing a race! I've never done a marathon, but really admire you for pushing through. A hamstring injury has kept me off the road/trails for abcouple weeks now, so reading this recap has me so eager to get better!!

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  48. I think pushing through and finishing after puking is hard core. The mental toughness it takes to do that is amazing. You'll get your sub 2 soon!

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  49. I'm so sorry you missed it and were so close, but the fact that you puked and kept going and still had such a great time is incredible! You'll get it next time for sure. Congrats!

    I tend to hang around a little bit, especially if I'm with my husband or other friends, he usually finishes a bit after me. I like to see what swag I can get.

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  50. Ack! I am so sorry to hear that you had stomach trouble and didn't make your goal.

    But just remember - you did great AND there are plenty more half marathons around. You'll break 2 hours NEXT time! :-)

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  51. That sucks that you got sick...and that it made you miss your goal! Stupid puking! I love your new goal at the end -- less puke, run faster. That should be a new blog. Or a T-shirt.

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  52. 51 comments - wow - you'll never even notice my comment among all of the others. First, I'm sorry I didn't wish you luck for this race - pretty sure I completely missed the fact you were going to be doing a half - I suck, I'm sorry. I'll really try harder to pay closer attention. Second, GREAT job getting sooo close to your goal. 2:01:05 is probably more heartbreaking than a 2:10 (not exactly sure since I'll never see the light of day for a sub 2 half marathon, but I would think it would SUCK way more to almost get the goal than to totally miss it - but maybe I'm wrong). Third, I'm sorry you had to throw up. That's terrible. I'm not sure how you even go about recovering enough to return to running let alone consider trying to make up lost time due to the puke-fest. I hope you are feeling better.
    ((HUGS)) & High Fives!

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  53. Girl Congrats--I KNOW about puking but haven't done it during a race--for you to continue and still have a fantastic time shows a ton of grit! CONGRATS!! Are you feeling better?

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  54. Congratulations Vanessa on finishing your race! So sorry it was unorganized and about the puke factor but your time is awesome anyways!

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  55. CONGRATS on your half marathon! Girl, you are so freakin' strong and persistent, I can't believe you were able to run and keep on with such a great race even after getting sick! You are amaaazing!

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  56. oh vanessa, so so close! i'd be proud if i were. Stomach problems are no fun and I can't believe you still made that pace.
    hope its better now friend.

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  57. congrats friend! i know it is so tough to be soooo close to that goal but you pushed through a ton and still kept a great pace! after disappointing races I usually allow myself to be upset for a short period of time but then I try to figure out the learning experiences and how I can use those for next time. Sub 2 is soon for you friend. SO SOON!

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  58. you certainly gave it your all and that's all you can do. i know it's always tough to step away from a disappointing race, but the truth is that we ALL have them. sub 2 is in your future and u will do it!! there are always things that u can take away from bad races and i'll just share a few: 1) it motivates u to come back again 2) u proved how tough u are, and that random person who owns that lawn can vouch for that! so, don't let it deter u, instead use this as more motivation to keep plugging aways...u're awesome! :)

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  59. Sorry you missed your goal, but with the time you got, I know you have it in you! Good luck next race! Stomach problems are the worst!

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  60. Sorry to hear it was such a challenging day. But, congrats!!! You still completed a half marathon with a great time!

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  61. I can honestly say that I've never been disappointed with a race. Sometimes I don't hit my goals, or PR, or whatever, but for some reason I am always so excited to just be at a race. It helps that I usually have friends there to cheer on and support. I just try to have a blast no matter what the outcome. However, I don't race very often so there's a good chance that my turn for a crappy race is coming up :).

    I'm proud of you! So close to your goal in spite of puking. I can't even imagine because, in all honesty, if I puked I would totally quit. I'm glad the night turned out fun after all! (I read your other post as well...)

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  62. I think anyone who keeps going after puking is awesome! I think I would just call it quits and walk away. Sorry it wasn't the best day, but still, 2:01 is a great time regardless of if it was what you were wanting or not.

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  63. You are a total champ for finishing the race out aster you puked! Not only did you finish though, you did great! Beat my time this weekend and I didn't stop to puke lol!

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  64. Great race, well done! I like the medal too!

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  65. I was disappointed in a recent 5k, I haven't been running due to job change, injury etc..I have all the reasons, but my friend who ran with me said at least you ran, you were there, you participated, how many people didn't?

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  66. Congrats on your race and your Pukie

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  67. I don't think I could run (or do anything besides lie down in the fetal position) after puking. So kudos to you. That's some real guts you have (har har)

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  68. Oh sugar I'm sorry you got sick! (been there, yuck) But you still ran a great race. Let's call this you Puking PR because 2:01 including barfing is VERY impressive! Way to go!!!

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