It's over! Thank goodness.
And, realistically and responsibly speaking, it will probably be my last until I at least have my toe fixed. My feet just aren't cut out of for that kind of distance, structurally, considering their sad issues (they're flat, I have an extra bone in my right ankle, and a slightly deformed toe on my left foot). The toe was really the issue yesterday, since it started swelling and hence caused blisters on itself and the toe next to it (this was never an issue in the past; I didn't start having trouble with it until last summer where one day I was out walking and felt like I was being stung my bees on my toe). Anyway, my sad, but long, recap:
The night before I met one of my best friends for dinner at The Great Maple in Fashion Island and it was nice to catch up over good food. I returned to my hotel room, where I had a king-sized bed to myself and was able to get nearly eight straight hours of sleep, which was maybe the second or third time since Sawyer was born. The next morning I didn't have to wake up until 5:45, since the race didn't start until 7:45, which is a really late start compared to other halves. The hotel shuttle took us down, meaning I didn't have to deal with parking, which was a godsend. I met up with my cousin and her family and visited for awhile before we lined up in our corrals. Like always, Surf City is impeccably organized and at least appears to run incredibly smoothly (I've now run it three times and volunteered once).
The first five miles were decent, for me. I was coming in 15-30 seconds faster each mile than I had planned, but was feeling really good. I had two slight negative splits, but was pretty consistent in my pacing.
Oh, and my playlist was awesome. Between what I had, some suggestions from a student, and scouring the internet, I at last came out with some good music.
Miles five to nine were on PCH (the highway that runs along the beach) and things started to heat up- it was only in the sixties, but when you're running on asphalt without cloud cover, humidity, or a breeze, it gets hot fast. There are also a lot of slight but slow inclines on this stretch. My feet were starting to get sore, but it wan't anything I couldn't work through. I slowed down some and took a few walking breaks, but all in all I was maintaining my goal pace (which was a realistic time based on my severe lack of training).
Somewhere around mile nine or ten I fell apart. Well, my feet did. After seeing my toe situation afterwards this was obviously where my toe blisters started to get bad and my ankle swolen. I was also really hot, which isn't something I tolerate well. I walked a lot during this section and was in a lot of pain. A lot of people in general, were walking, though, which I attribute to the heat. My time nosedived.
The worst moment, which seems silly now, was when I saw a mile marker in the distance and assumed in my delirium it was for mile thirteen, which would mean once I reached it I would only have 0.1 miles left. Doable. I had forgotten the marathoners had reentered our route and it was actually their 26 mile marker, meaning I actually had 0.2 miles left, which seemed like eternity. I almost cried, but then I focused all my energy on thinking mean things about pedestrians running on the course, race photographers, and women who wear tutus to run (sorry, but no).
My time was about eight minutes slower than what I had wanted, but still fast enough to make the shuttle time back to the hotel that I was aiming for, at least. I am prone to feeling faint, so once I stopped running that of course kicked in. I had to walk to the shuttle stop and called my mom to distract me, but she just wanted to talk about how miserable I was feeling so I yelled at her, I think. But come on, mom. I had to take several breaks to sit down on the way to the bus, but once I got there I was fine. Nothing an apple juice and huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms couldn't fix (which collectively cost me over $7).
So, that's it. I went home, ate my body weight in bean dip and pizza and went to bed at 9:30. I'm a normal amount of sore today, minus the trashed feet. But I can honestly say that I won't be signing up for anymore halves until I see some sort of change in my feet. I might do some 5 or 10ks just to stay in shape and have something to train for, but longer distances are out.