One summer half marathon down! The Foot Traffic Half at Sauvie Island was a success and now it’s time for a little recap from the runners Kale (KH), OG, and Liffy C. (LC). If you want read the pre-race check-in, you can check it out here.
The air is clear and the sounds of cheers coming from spectators ring through the area. The announcer yells out names of runners crossing the finish line through the microphone and there is an assembly line of volunteers filling cups of water. Runners grab at the cups, emptying them as quickly as they were filled.
Off to the side behind the finish line, Kale, OG, and Liffy C. sit next to each other, reveling in their most recent accomplishment: 13.1 miles. Kale cradles an American flag, which she had been using as a cape just minutes ago. OG sits in the middle, holding a can of coconut lime juice that a volunteer had passed her. She pops the can open and chugs. On OG’s left is Liffy C. who.has pulled a wad of napkins out of her backpack and was in the process of wiping the sweat off of her face. The three exchange hi-fives. Liffy C. pulls out a hot dog, which she had been saving, and begins to eat it. Kale and OG glance at her briefly before looking away in what could probably be described as shame or embarrassment. “I don’t know how she can eat right after running,” Kale sighs. “I’m just eating my feelings!” Liffy C. replies. The three of them give off a small laugh before sitting back to take in their surroundings. They were done running for the day, and they had the giant medals and tired legs to prove it.
Did you have a time that you wanted to hit? What time did you wind up hitting?
KH: Not at all. My goal for my first half was to finish and keep walking to a minimum. After having to hit the bathroom at Mile 3 (slightly disappointing) and stopping at the aid stations to drink water, I finished at just around 2 hours 30 minutes.
LC: I was secretly planning to hit under two hours. But then my IT band flared up and I knew it wasn’t going to happen. It completely ruined my plan! I wound up finishing with a time of 2:02:48. Ugh, it was so close! At least I still beat my disastrous time from my last half. REDEMPTION!
OG: I didn’t have a time starting out, but about four or five miles into the race I felt pretty good so I decided to go for a sub 2-hour finish. Luckily I continued to feel good throughout the race, and I ended up finishing in 1:57.
LC: She freaking flew through that course. I saw her at Mile 4 and tried to keep up with her before my leg flared up. So close!
OG: I thought you were long gone after I passed by KH!
The weather was really cloudy. Some people weren’t too happy with it. What were your thoughts?
KH: AMAZING. I was very worried prior to the race about wearing tights to run in but was not ready to commit to 13.1 miles in shorts (Holy chafing, Batman!). But the weather was cool enough to the point that I was comfortable and not burning up in tights. It was also nice to have cloud coverage so I wasn’t having to fight the sun-in-the-eyes run that I’m pretty sure everyone hates.
LC: “Word” on the sun-in-the-eyes part! I forgot my sunglasses so I was hoping it’d be overcast. I love cloudy and cool weather for running. Running long distance in temperatures above 70°F doesn’t sound fun to me at all. It just gets hot after a while and then you find yourself trying to down more water, which…is really hard to do when you’re running.
OG: Yup. It was perfect running weather. I ran the Foot Traffic Flat last year and even though it was nice to have clear blue skies and sun, it got pretty hot by the end of the run. This year the temperature was great the entire time.
What was the strangest thing you saw on the course?
KH: Did anyone else notice the good amount of roadkill along the way? A little more sinister but I guess that is what we get for running in the country.
LC: Yeah! I saw a dead rabbit in the middle of the road at around Mile 7, I think? So there was that.
KH: Okay, glad I wasn’t the only one.
LC: I also saw someone running in Roshe Flyknit shoes. I mean, that’s not really strange, but it was equally as horrifying.
OG: Ugh, my body hurts just thinking about that. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but then again I also tend to get tunnel vision and keep my eyes on the ground, so there probably could have been a kangaroo jumping next to me and I wouldn’t have noticed.
How do you feel now? Any soreness?
KH: So tired. I feel like I could take 20 naps in a row. I can’t even imagine how tiring a full marathon would be. I am a little sore in my hips but beyond that I feel great, for now. I am usually the most sore the second day after a tough workout.
LC: No soreness for me, but my IT band is just furious at me. I can’t even bend my leg! Haha, it’s just awful and I’m limping around like I have a peg leg, but other than that I feel amazing.
OG: I feel great! My right knee flared up a bit from a past injury, which usually always happens on long runs, but overall no pain or soreness.
Were there any specific challenges that you came across during the race?
KH: Surprisingly, not really. I felt like everything went really smoothly. If I were to be nit-picky, I would say having to make a bathroom break at mile three was not ideal (the double edge sword of trying to stay hydrated). I also felt a little pressure on my ankles I think from the way the road was slanted to one side. Overall, it was a great race though.
OG: Luckily, no for me as well. Except for right around mile 10, where it was just one long, boring stretch of road which got a little tedious after a while.
LC: I’m just going to go refer back to my IT band for this. It started flaring up early in the race…I want to say it was Mile 4 or 5. I was trying to keep up with OG and then finally my leg wouldn’t let me. It was really frustrating. But it definitely forced me to dig deep, because the temptation to stop running and walk was pretty strong…I was also afraid that if I stopped running, I wouldn’t be able to start back up again!
What was your favorite part of the race?
OG: I enjoyed the whole thing, but I loved the starting line right when the gun goes off. All you hear is a chorus of GPS watches starting up and cheers from the crowd, and it’s a perfect moment when your adrenaline is pumping, your legs aren’t tired yet, and anything is possible.
KH: For me, it was the last three miles when I, obviously, put Beyoncé on and felt like I had a lot of energy.
LC: The last 0.1 miles was the best part. Adrenaline just shot through me and I was able to fully run to the finish line without any pain. I felt like I was flying! (I wish I had started that final kick earlier though. Maybe I would have gotten under two hours if I had. Oh, regrets…)
What was your least favorite part of the race?
OG: The crowd during the first mile, it’s near impossible to escape.
KH: Oh, yeah! That was kind of…
LC: Anti-climactic. Though it was entertaining to see those cars get stuck because they were surrounded by runners!
KH: My least favorite part though…probably getting started knowing that it would be a while before I finished. I started feeling a little impatient.
LC: Definitely when I was trying to get through Miles 6 and 7. Under normal circumstances, those two miles are mentally hard to get through for me. And when you factor in the leg pain, it’s like…man, I got really impatient.
What were your thoughts as you approached the finish line?
KH: “I made it!” was the first thing. Also, feeling really happy and good about the run, especially for my first half.
OG: Oh thank God I’m almost done.
LC: Yup. That sums it up. Congrats, by the way, KH! Dude, when I saw that finish line, I was just so happy. Not just that I managed to finish it without stopping, but that I was able to get through the mental challenges of the run. Mental grit! Grrr!
If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
KH: Work on speed. I really would like to be faster next time. Also work on not having to stop at aid stations and keeping running while staying hydrated.
LC: Well, hopefully my IT band will be recovered by the next time I run a long distance. Or maybe I’ll just get a new pair of legs! Can I do that? Haha. Seriously though, assuming all that’s taken care of, I’d like to see if I can go “balls to the walls” on the last mile.
OG: Get to the race earlier! My timing was off, so I was pretty rushed before the start. Which was actually kind of a good thing because it didn’t give me a lot of time to get the pre-race jitters I usually have.
OG: Egg & avocado on toast, coffee, and a mimosa.
KH: Chick-Fil-A, duh.
LC: I actually stayed true to what I said in our pre-race check-in: I grabbed the first thing I saw, which was a hot dog, and inhaled it. Our group photo at the finish line? The only reason I wasn’t smiling with my teeth showing was that I had the last half of my hot dog in my mouth.
What’s next (race-wise)?
KH: Hmm, good question. I want to do another half but haven’t gotten that far. Maybe a full marathon? Still not sure about that one though, we’ll see.
LC: The Bowerman 5K is the next actual event/race that I’m confirmed to attend. After that, it’ll be the Chicago Marathon. We’ll see though. I’ll probably take part in other races to keep me on track with training once my leg stops fussing.
OG: I’m not signed up for any races currently, but toying with the idea of signing up for a marathon, and keeping my fingers crossed that I can get on a Hood to Coast team.