So… today was the Cedar Point version of the Santa Hustle. I looked forward to this race for months. It is ON THE LAKE, how awesome is that. Okay, it isn’t quite the feeling of Disney, but hey, what is? I knew I was going to dress up for the race. I was determined to make it memorable.
It was memorable.
We got there 30 minutes before the race. There was a HUGE line for the porta potties. In retrospect, I should have been clued in, but hot off of the last race being the Disney half (almost a year ago now) I really didn’t think too much about it.
I should have. I should have waited in the line and gone to the bathroom. Turned out, the next porta potty I saw was between mile 4 and mile 5. By then I was sick from having to so SO bad. I puked twice and ended up finding my own place to go. I’m not proud of that fact, but it is what it is. NEXT year I will know better and plan better.
It was neat. They split the starting herd in two for the half. The two sections were released about 3 minutes apart. It gave the elite a good head start and spread out the runners.
The first nearly three miles is in the park. It’s a neat experience being in the park when it is the off season. The rides are in various states of disassembly. Cars are off of the coasters. The train is shrink wrapped. The park is buttoned up for the winter. The only non-runners in the park are the photographers and the volunteers handing out M&Ms, cookies and water. I would not recommend M&Ms next year. Entirely too many of them ended up being left in the glasses all through the rest of the park
I was very surprised to see that there weren’t many glovies or hats or any other clothes really littering the course. In Austin the first three miles had discarded clothes. People in Ohio realize the necessity of yummy warm clothes. I got three sets of arm warmers at the hustle store… they are amazing and I will wear them the rest of the whole winter to work.
By the time I exited the park I had thrown up once, shed my turtle neck (that I left with bear when I found him at the gate taking pictures). It is not pretty to have to go that bad and not have ANYWHERE to go. I was on “my time” (I was keeping the pace that I usually find myself keeping) but I was very much not feeling the way I needed to be feeling to finish this race strong. I wasn’t feeling like I should to finish this race at all.
I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled when I saw bear taking this picture. This was probably my lowest. I called him from mile 6.25 in tears. I hit my wall. I was at the lowest I think I have ever been in a race. I was not feeling good. I was still holding my time. I was not quite last. I was keeping up with the people I was near. I passed a few. I was passed by more. I was not last. I was not in a good place. I realized at that point that I needed to not be stupid and hurt myself more just to finish. I realized I could cut SO many corners and cross the finish line and appear to have a personal best and get the bling. I realized that I could push on and try to finish (I was STILL… even after puking, going to the bathroom in a dumpster and falling completely apart… I was STILL right about on MY time). I realized that I didn’t need to do that.
Halves are my race.
I let myself down? Probably
Am I mortified by this race? Oh hell yeah
Am I going to do race again? DAMN Straight. I’m going to sign up (soon) for the Cleveland Towpath Half in April… or maybe the Cleveland half marathon. I will sign up with squirrel girl so she can ‘race’ with me (and I can watch her disappear into the distance with pride).
It was too soon after surgery. I wasn’t ready
DFL (Dead Freaking Last) is better than DNF (Did Not Finish)… except that sometimes it is better to listen to your body when it starts to shut down on you and suck it up. Sometimes Did Not Finish is what needs to be.
Sometimes lessons MUST be learned the hard way and it sounds to me like you’ve learned a very good one here.
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a year ago or so… I would have pushed. This year… not so much! 🙂
When I was young I used to think winning the race was important, but now with age and maturity I realize sometimes just being able to run is enough. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my blogging friend.
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Merry Christmas!!! and Happy New Year