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The Cowtown - Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Fort Worth, Texas
United States
The Cowtown
40F / 4C
Total Time = 1h 59m
Overall Rank = 1240/3826
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 134/284
Pre-race routine:

Breakast of oatmeal, plus a baggie of cereal for the car. Left the house around 5:00 for the drive to Fort Worth. Arrived early enough to part easily. After using the restrooms, headed back to the car to stay warm. Clothes today included, shorts, gloves, and ear warmers, but I changed in the car from a long-sleeve technical shirt to a cold-weather technical mock.
Event warmup:

Just after 7, I headed over to the expo tent. It was warm and heated inside, but any time I went outside I started shivering heavily. So no warmup. (No place to run, really, anyway.) We all packed together trying to get to the start area as it got close, and I was still shivering there.
  • 1h 59m 6s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 05s  min/mile

In the end, today just pissed me off. And hurt like hell. So here's how it went down...

Felt better once we started running and the shivering stopped. My pace felt good. The 1:40 pacer started just ahead of me, and I caught him in the first couple of miles and started slowly pulling ahead. At this point, the lower back pain/ache from a couple of days ago didn't seem to be a problem. I could occasionally notice where the ache had been, but it wasn't slowing me down.

Unfortunately, this started changing. Around mile 5, I started noticing it a bit more. It didn't seem to be slowing me down; however, I wasn't able to really bump up the pace then, which was my original plan. By mile 7, it was clearly getting worse. I was having to start pushing through the discomfort. During 8, I was pushing to continue running until 9, but I made it and told myself I could make 10. It took a lot of willpower to keep running from 9 to 10.

But at mile 10 I couldn't keep it up. The pain in my sciatica and hip with each step was too much, and my leg kept threatening to buckle under me. Very pissed off, I was forced to a walk. And even that f'ing hurt. No way was I going to NOT make the finish, but even steady, short walking strides hurt. Faster walking was as bad as running.

I'd try to start again - sometimes I'd make it 20 feet, sometimes 50 yards, before the leg gave in. It was a gimpy, limping stride, and I found myself really tight in the middle and even holding my breath as I tried to stabilize my core.

It was frustrating to watch the 1:40 pace group pass me, and it sucked being passed by everyone for the next 40 minutes. I know all the people offering encouragement meant well, but I really didn't want to hear it at that point.

When I hit mile 10, I was still on pace for about a 1:38 finish. In the end, I took my last effort to force myself to shuffle-jog the last two-tenths of a mile to beat the 2-hour mark, and I crossed with less than a minute to spare.
What would you do differently?:

Can't predict the injury. I could have considered dropping out at the point I couldn't run, to avoid more serious injury. That's an ego issue I need to get over.

Would have been OK in the long-sleeve technical tee, I think.
Post race
Warm down:

Straight to the medical tent, where they tried to stretch it out a bit. Helped only a little. Grabbed a bag of food before heading to the car. Took forever to hobble the two blocks because every step hurt.

The car ride home was the better part of an hour. Sitting still must not have been good, because getting the 20 feet from the car to the house could only be accomplished in little, excruciating, 6-inch steps. Followed by lying down on the floor.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Only the lower back issue that only first manifested itself a couple days ago. I probably could have used some more cruise intervals in my training, but overall my fitness was decent otherwise.

Event comments:

Very nice event. Course is well managed, crowds were supportive. The 5-year medal is a really cool idea. Even some live bands out on the course for entertainment.

On-site registation on Friday was a mess. Well, registration was fine; payment took *forever*. Really, folks, credit cards should be fast and not 5 minutes per person. The expo was pretty decent, though.

Fantastic quantity of food for the racers, some good - fruits, yogurt, pretzals, popcorn - although a little surprised at some of the junk food (packaged doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, ice cream).

4/8/09 -- Doc initially assessed as pinched nerve, but wasn't resolving. MRIs finally confirmed a stress fracture in the right sacrum. I guess I can be proud that I still managed ~9min/mile. (Trying to be glass-half-full here.)

Last updated: 2009-02-25 12:00 AM
01:59:06 | 13.1 miles | 09m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/284
Overall: 0/3826
Performance: Bad
Mile splits (avg HR): 7:57, 7:34, 7:34, 7:18, 7:18, 7:20 Then hurting worse: 7:42, 7:45, 7:43, 7:50 Couldn't run any more 13:04, 14:01, 14:09 the extra: 1:51
Course: Single, large loop on city roads. Some mild elevation changes, no more than a couple hundred feet at a time, but nothing really steep.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-02-28 4:06 PM

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Plano, TX
Subject: The Cowtown - Half Marathon

2009-02-28 6:36 PM
in reply to: #1987931

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: The Cowtown - Half Marathon
bummer on the injury...but you got it done...hope you can recover..
2009-03-01 7:28 AM
in reply to: #1987931

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: The Cowtown - Half Marathon
Sorry to hear about your injury.  Still a nice pace up until the injury.  Hope you heal quickly.  Injury seems to be going around these days - I know several people, including me, who are injured.  PM me if you need sports doc recommendations.
2009-03-02 9:21 AM
in reply to: #1987931

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McKinney, TX
Subject: RE: The Cowtown - Half Marathon
That stinks dude. Heal up and get some revenge.
2009-03-02 4:41 PM
in reply to: #1987931

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: The Cowtown - Half Marathon
That stinks, David, but you are a hard headed trooper for pushing through. Hope you get some good news from the doctor today and you are back at it super soon.
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