Well this course is just simply my kryptonite! This year was basically a combination of the last two times I've attempted this race, with the exception of I felt a lot better later into the race.
Weather was the big topic leading up to race day and for good reason it was a downpour and low 40s for the entire race. We lucked out in that the starting area was clear and rain didn't show until mile 2 or so. So, it was easier this year to stay warm for the 1.5+ hours you have to sit in that field before the race starts.
The race was off and I executed my pacing strategy almost to the exact second on most of the first half. I wanted 1:12:30 give or take 10 seconds and I came thru in 1:12:10. Anyway, there was a pack of six of us early on Anthony, an East African, Jake, Fritz, and some guy who I didn't recognize.
After two miles Anthony and the East African started to pull away and Fritz and the other guy gapped Jake and me about 3-4 seconds. Eventually Jake worked up to Fritz and I was content to keep hitting my splits back in 6th, saving legs for the rollers and the canyon. During mile 3 I had two throw-up burps...gross and a foreshadow of things to come.
By mile 6-7 I was about 10 seconds back of the chase pack of Fritz, Jake, and other guy. During 7 I decided to "race" even though I had been hitting my splits as planned. So this mile and the next were the two that got me 20 seconds ahead of schedule at the half. But I passed Fritz and Jake here, but Jake latched on and came with me.
Jake and I passed other guy just as we started the rollers. I have struggled in the section in the past and tried to keep my pace at 5:30 or slower to ensure I didn't blow up. So, Jake gapped me a bit again here.
I took the only gel I took all race in mile 10 and slowly nursed it until the next aid station and then washed it down with 1-2 ounces of water. I was feeling pretty good and caught back up to Jake at the half. At this point we saw the East African walking on the side of the road and we were now both in podium positions.
I took a lead on Jake just after the half and probably had 5-8 seconds when I stopped at 16 to use the port a potty. My stomach had been sour all race long and it was really started to bug me. I came out still in 3rd and figured I could catch Jake still if, and it was a big IF with how my stomach felt at this time, I didn't throw up.
During mile 17 I started dry heaving and gagging on some mucous. I stopped and hacked that up and started again maybe 60 seconds back of Jake. Once I turned off the dam and hit the biggest downhill of the race my stomach had had enough and I stopped and try so hard not to throw up. I knew it was game over if I threw up. But I couldn't hold it back, I threw up 8 times. I couldn't believe I even had that much fluid in me since I'd taken only 1-2 ounces. The death sentence had been pronounced and it was now only a matter of time before the others caught up to me. I was able to pull off one more 5:40 before the cramping set in. The next 5-6 miles down the canyon consisted of slow running, stopping to self massage, and stretch. I was still in 3rd, but finally around 20-21 Fritz passed me. I gave him a five and wished him well and on his way.
Later just before mile 22 I got passed by other guy and I immediately felt sick again and threw up 6 more times. During this time Dave passed me, which I had no idea happened until after the race. So all race from here out I thought I was one place higher than I really was. Finally my stomach was completely empty and I could at least run without feeling sick. So I was able to finish the race without any more stopping. But with the cramping it was 7:00-7:30 pace range. I had a hard time lifting my legs. And strangely enough my arms and shoulders were cramping too and I ran a good portion of the last 10k with my arms dangling to the sides because I couldn't lift them into running position.
Jon passed me around Monroe Blvd, and Tracey passed me at like mile 25. The last mile was a bit of a blur, but I passed my family and apparently gave Ben a five, though I only vaguely remember that. I finished and collapsed, but got caught by Jason Blackham and another volunteer. They kept asking me if I was ok and I was so cold I couldn't speak, I finally muttered, "cccold". They sent me into med tent and covered me head to toe in blankets, took my BP and pulse.
So tough race, but I knew that I had to finish. I wanted to drop out SO BADLY. I'm ashamedly a prideful man and dropping out would allow me to avoid being passed by friends and maybe even the top female finisher. I could drop and no one would blame me, I mean it was a brutal hand I was dealt. But, I had promised my daughter Evelyn I'd give her I high five at the end. My older sister Karlie was also running the half marathon after months of training and attempting to lose weight. I knew she wouldn't quit and I wouldn't either. Finally, I had watched "Unbroken" last night with Ben and Spencer and after seeing that my situation seemed like child's play. So I finished and took the bruises to my ego, glad I did!
8th place 2:41:46
1st Half: 540 535 521 521 523 528 525 516 524 528 539 527 530 1:12:10
2nd Half: 521 549 (hill) 629 (bathroom) 606 (hacking) 635 (throwing up) 540 709 800 808 (throwing up) 644 711 722 707 and 255 for what was .43 on my watch 1:29:30-ish.