In the beginning and most of this past week I was a bit over-dosed on confidence for this race. I had a few really awesome workouts leading up to Kiawah Half. Come Thursday I had my first bump in the road. During my 8 miles easy, my hamstring was acting very weird tight and achy. Truly out of nowhere after the run, I stretched and it seemed fine and it had good range of motion. It just so happen to have an appt for a massage on Thursday afternoon. I had Katie check it out and sure enough the hamstring was jacked up. Katie tried to get it release without working to hard because of the race. She was sure it had released. Phewy... I left her office not thinking another about it until I work up in the AM. OMG! That hamstring was so sore getting out of bed. I ran an 3 miles shakeout run with it and it was very concerning. Tried to shake off the feeling of dread and get on with packing for the trip.
Car packed, kids loaded and we off for the 3 1/2 hour drive Charleston. I am still a bit anxious but really trying to not focus on the hamstring. I sit on ice bags on & off during the drive. The first snaf on the trip started right as we are only about 17 miles out of Charleston. INCIDENT ALERT is blinking on the signs. Well than it states it only 2 miles ahead so we patiently wait in traffic for about 45 minutes to go these 2 miles meanwhile the need to pee had reached peak urgency. After we finally get going, I tell Nick we must stop to use the bathroom or his lovely car is going not smell so lovely :-) He reluctantly gets off at the next stop. Oh, just our luck and bus is disabled on the overpass and smack we are stuck again. It was so ridiculously that we had to laugh. Our trip to Charleston end up taking over 5 hours, we were frazzled & starving by the time we got to our hotel. No restaurants in the immediate area but a McDonalds. We get that for the kids and I am sure there is something I can get at the hotel as it is a full-service Marriott. No luck - not one pasta dish on the meal. I settled for grilled chicken and mashed potatoes. Not really sure if this enough but have a hot chocolate to ensure I am getting enough calories.
Anyway between kids bickering and be generally overly excited to be in a hotel, they had me at my wits end by 9PM. I had hoped to have them sleeping by 8 but it was still 10PM before I rolled away from Joey's sleeping body in our bed. I still had to get things ready for the AM and stretch. Just too tired and weary to even think of the race in the AM.
Woke up and was having to really force myself to get going, first thing that checked was my hamstring. It felt way better but the real test was going to be the warm-up, I tried to think positive thoughts but the vision of my hobbling back from mile 2-3 keep pooping in my head. We got to Kiawah and waited at least 30 minutes to get into the lot where they were shuttling runners onto the inside. Long lines made it so that I didn't get to the start till about 7:30. I had 30 minutes to get bib, bathroom, gear check and warm-up. That was the smooth part actually I was at the start at 7:56AM. Perfect, hamstring was a bit iffy and I figured I know in a few miles what the day held.
First few miles went well, I didn't feel amazing but my hamstring was not hurting so all looked good in my eyes. I settled in and ran comfortably...started smiling a bit and relaxing. Took a gel at mile 7 and in a mile I started to feel that familiar tummy cramping pain. No..not again!!!
I started to fade a bit in mile 10 and tried to rally but that damn negative talk was in full affect. I started thinking why me and this damn tummy, this sucks and this talk that was not helping me and was distracting from getting on pace. I was just hanging on at this point and not trying to overcome this tummy pain.
In retrospect, I think I lost focus of my goals somewhere between Friday AM and mile 7 so when the tummy issues started I was just not mentally with it and ready to do combat and overcome this battle within. Ah...
So with the urging of Jeff, Melody and Steph, I savor my small victory and take a few lessons learned to Houston with me.
One thing is I finished strong enough to pass all these man in this picture :-)