Sunday, August 14, 2011

Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon Race Report

Grab your coffee and settle in for the good, the bad and the ugly…

The day started out in the most unspectacular of ways. I am so type-A that I set my alarm for 4:10 a.m., recheck it 20 times, then end up waking up at 3:00 a.m. Overachievers don’t need alarm clocks, is what I’ve decided. I could not poop before leaving home, because in the SUAR world, morning dumps arrive at 6:30 a.m., not 4:30 a.m.

Joie picked me up at 4:45 a.m. and we hauled ass to the start line, a 90 minute drive. This race is a point to point course, so you are supposed to park at the finish and take school busses to the start. I did that two years ago and learned my lesson. With that plan, you end up sitting in the cold for 90 minutes at 9,000 feet waiting for the race to start. I was so cold, I went into the gross porta potty to warm my hands over the steaminess coming from the deep dark hole. That is desperation. So, now we park at the start and have a second car at the finish. Genius.

We stopped at McDonald’s so I could poop. Perfect. I knew McDonald’s was good for something other than Oreo McFlurries and lard.

We sat with the heat on, cranking up our seat warmers. I farted a lot, which on a seat warmer is especially luxurious. Joie was not a fan.

The sun started coming up, it was time to race!

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Home-made throwaway arm warmers are the bomb!

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For the first two miles I ran with Marshall Ulrich, famed ultra runner and author of the recent “Running on Empty” book (see my review HERE). Marshall told me he was going to Nepal for some trekking and then to South America (I think?) to climb 20,000 foot volcanoes. I told him I might watch Bachelor Pad and eat microwave popcorn. He seemed impressed.

The miles flew by (8:04, 7:55, 7:49…). My goal for this race was “no goal.” I had no clue how I would feel after my half ironman six days before, so I decided to see how my legs felt and go based on that. The air was cool, my legs were strong, so I paced accordingly. I exerted myself, but kept some in the tank. I walked through every aid station, took a strawberry Clif Shot at the halfway mark and made the 10K mat by 51 minutes.

This is about the time where I realized gravity had taken its course. Not to get graphic, but my “down there” region got damp. I won’t go into detail about a “time of the month” surprise or other things, but suffice it to say, NASTY business. This was a distraction, but I was already at mile 8 and figured I could deal with it for the next five miles.

I came into the finish and saw my family while Sam snapped this photo. Still smiling despite the “dampness.”

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I finished in 1:46:33 (8:05 avg), which is a PR for me by about a minute. I was 15/215 in my division, so can’t complain about that.

I tried to clean up in the porta potty best I could, but that was futile. That’s when the pain set in and I realized I had CHAFED TO HIGH HOLY HELL (bikini line area). In my three years of running, I’ve never chafed. Honestly, I didn’t know what the big deal was. Now, I get it. I am starting a support group called, “Race Chafers” where we can all share our war stories.

On a side not, the chafing was not the skirt’s fault. I wore this skirt for a full marathon and many other training runs with no issues.

I found Hugh and Angela (Running Yogini) from Team Refuel (Refuel with Chocolate Milk) and we took some photos.

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Refuel was a sponsor of this race and a sponsor of me running the race. They did a great job giving out chocolate milk right as you crossed the finish line and providing milkshakes for milk mustache photo-ops! Hoping to see them at lots of future races.

Got some more pictures with Joie.  I like her shirt:

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By this time it was hot and I was getting REALLY uncomfortable. I hobbled to the car and knew I had to get my cheetah skirt off ASAP because it was rubbing in all the wrong places. I did not have a spare pair of shorts and I was desperate. I did the only thing I could do: stripped down and wore my race t-shirt like shorts.

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Bake side view “2011 Finisher.”

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It was not pretty, especially with the neck hole hanging down (good ventilation), but I did it. Normally, this would have been VERY funny, but I hurt too bad to even care. Later when I went into Starbucks wearing this (yes, I did. I am serious about my coffee) I was given looks like I’ve never been given in my 44 years on this earth.

The ride home was long and torturous for me. I am not being dramatic. This shit hurt. And, I knew it would hurt much, much worse when I got in the shower.

I tried to distract myself by noticing how pathetic my huge second toe looked. This “Mortons” toe takes the brunt of my running. The toenail is long gone and the toe tip is one big blister. I try to put polish on it just to spice it up, but it’s no use. I can, however, flip people off with it when they cut me off in traffic:

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First thing I did at home was get in the shower. The water alone (no soap) brought on such intense stinging that all I could do was cry like a baby. It was like 100 bee stings all at once. Fortunately once I put on some Aquaphor, all was well.

Running is so damn humbling. Injuries, chafing, cramping, pooping. All I can say is, we must love it a lot if we all keep doing it. Despite it all, I would still say this was a GREAT day!

SUAR

62 comments:

  1. so would you say that the skirt somehow caused the chafing?? i was in the market for one, but will rethink after reading your post...would love your honest feedback.

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  2. I am a chafer, I feel your pain and love Aquaphor! Awesome half.

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  3. Anon - not the skirt. I wore it for a full marathon with no issues. It was the dampness factor - I think it would have happened no matter what I was wearing unless I had vaseline, body glide or something else on.

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  4. Awesome run!! You rocked that skirt ;-) BTW- sooo a fan of Bachelor Pad and usually ice cream but have been known to partake in the micro corn too!!

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  5. I use secret solid on my legs all the time!!

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  6. Mega chafer here - more on my boobs tho. It doesn't help that I sweat like a man either. After I ran my first full marathon - I was chafed to high hell. I think the combination of sweat and all the water I was pouring overmyself to keep cool did not help my situation one bit.

    How cool that you got to run with Marshall Ulrich - I'm reading that book right now, loving every second of it. He's supposed to be speaking at the Airforce Marathon in Dayton in September, I hope I get the opportunity to meet him.

    Great race despite all your troubles. Glad to see you were still smiling through all of it!

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  7. Way to rock it!!! Look how resourceful you are!!! Great job....oh yeah and chafing sucks!!

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  8. I chafe everytime and somewhere new everytime. I basically take a bath in Glide and somehow always miss a spot. Great race!!

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  9. You are awesome! I love your humor! You are an inspiration to moms that run!

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  10. I love the race-shirt shorts. I mean, I know it hurt, but seriously good thinking.

    I keep a towel in my trunk at all times "just in case". I never knew what it was just in case of, but now I know.

    I had my first "chafing" incident at the Bolder-Boulder last year, under my arm where the edge of my sports bra was. That HURTS. I hope you heal fast!

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  11. great job! Congrats on the PR. SO SORRY about the chafing. BAD CHEETAH.

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  12. I have never had chaffing before...kncok on wood...
    but my 2 middle toes want to divorve me since my first half back in January...no more nail..or almost none..what is there does not grow and bloody blisters on top of newer bloody blisters..it is not pretty. I just got new BIGGER shoes and I hope it will help a little!!!

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  13. Congrats on your PR!
    Forgot the most important..sorry..!

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  14. What can you do when you live through a series of unfortunate events? Blog about it!

    Sam took an AWESOME picture of you! You look super strong :)

    So glad that race shirt was so useful…i am quite experienced in Macgyvering diapers myself ;-)

    Congrats on making it through with your fantastic sense of humor intact and a superb PR!

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  15. Only you could fit your tiny legs into the arm holes of a t-shirt! I would have to use the neck hole for one of my giant thighs, and then I wouldn't have anywhere else to put the other leg! Very creative use of a race t-shirt, though!

    Chaffing was new to me when I ran my first half last year, and that after race shower was a bitch! Gonna remember to put on some body glide for my next one!

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  16. Nice! I sympathize. The first time I chafed a body part that guys don't think about much, I didn't discover it till I was in the shower. So yes, I sympathize with the chafing. But it is a cute skirt.

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  17. Congrats on your PR! I have never had a problem with chafing but was training for a marathon and some of my runs were in a little hotter temps than I would have liked which equals more than normal sweat... It was during a 20 miler that I had not realized the extend of the chafing. I hit the shower and pretty much cried like a baby. I didn't even know what to apply to make it feel better.... Pretty funny looking back but now I always use the glide on the sensitive areas..

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  18. Ugh, this happened to me during a full marathon - I think that loosing electrolytes leads to cramping which leads to unexpectedly early cycles or something. It was TORTURE, between the cramps and the generally ugliness I really wished I was dead. Go you for killing it anyway!

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  19. OH NO...what a bummer about the chafing! But, way to knock out an awesome 1/2 mary and get a PR! Woohoo!!

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  20. this post made me laugh out loud. bodily functions don't mesh well with running, but we persevere! it seems the more that goes awry, the harder we try. glad the race went well for you.

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  21. I had the same problem yesterday, even after using anti-chafing balm, which was NOT long-lasting, despite what Mission Skincare says. (They're getting an email from me...) But anyway, I've got some road rash down there today too, and it's not pretty. I did catch sight of you at the Refuel stand at the finish, but you were chatting with someone and I was pretty delirious. I went in search of water and then you must have hobbled back to the car. It was a fun race, but HOT (for me, at least) and I missed a PR by 1.8 seconds. I blame the chafe.

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  22. I got some serious chafing too and found that BioOil made it heal very quickly. Good luck and congrats on the PR! Amy

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  23. Congratulations on the PR!! Awesome!! I love reading your blog. No matter what it about, I always have to laugh. You have the best tone. Love it. Chaffing Sucks!! When it happens to me, i rub desitin all over those parts before I even get in the shower. It hold up through the shower pretty good if you don't rub it off. Pls be sure to write about your favorite anti chaffing cream if you find one.

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  24. Body glide is my BFF. I too am a chafer, often not noticing it until I'm reduced to tears in the shower! I am too nervous to run in anything but compression tights, just for that reason.

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  25. That's bizarre on the chafing considering your non-chafing history.

    Did you sweat extra? Usually the chafing comes when you have a lot of salt crystals on dry skin of your body. Were you fully hydrated? If not you could have maybe had extra chafing as well.

    Considering your PR I would think hydration not an issue, but alas we must solve this chafing mystery.

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  26. Holly - no, I didn't sweat much at all. It was related to female stuff going on I'm pretty sure.

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  27. Last time I chafed it was on one of my upper arms under the hem of the sleeve. I spent the last 3 miles of my 7 mile run with my hand on top of my head so it wouldn't rub. I am sure someone thought I was doing some new balance exercise. Hang in there, chafing usually heals fast once you get past that first shower

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  28. Unexpected female stuff will definitely make you chafe. I've had it happen before.

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  29. Two words: Diva cup. You won't go back to anything else. Sorry about the chafing.

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  30. I seriously second Kathy - Diva Cup! I love the fact I can put it in if i have something big going on a day or two before the expected arrival of girly time...just as a back up. Definitely look into it if you haven't already.

    Congrats on dominating the half, even with all the girly bits drama going on! You earned that PR lady!

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  31. Congrats on the PR! You rock! You look like a rockstar with the Cheeta skirt! I love how you applied quick problem solving skills to convert your race shirt into impromptu shorts- new fad shall we say? Very adaptive!

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  32. First tri in July and wore bike shorts over my wet one-piece swimsuit. The chafe wounds from the seam on the padding on the shorts and between top of my 'cheeks' (which I felt only minutes into the run - aka slow walking 5k), was WORSE than anything I felt in the rest of my body even though I had only done HALF the distances in training. Took me less than a day to recover from sore muscles, but close to week before I had no wincing in the shower. OUCH!! I'll join your support group.

    But GREAT RACE!! Congrats on the PR!

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  33. So sorry to hear about your chaffing! It seems like weird stuff hurts wrong after the 70.3. I can't believe you did a half marathon after your HIM. I could barely run 7 the week after mine. I have bad skin, and get weird chaffing all the time too. As a Team Aquaphor member, I am glad Aquaphor helped you out. Let me know if you need some samples!
    The chocolate milk Refuel folks were at the Derby Mini, and it hit the spot!

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  34. Congrats on the {painful} PR! No surprise that you just kept pushing through, or that you stopped in Starbucks for that caffeine ;) Gives someone else a story to tell, and you get your coffee - win, win!

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  35. See you really are a superstar! I'm a freak. I tried to run on Saturday and my legs still felt heavy.. From what? I don't know because I didn't really run last week!

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  36. Some day I plan to write "Oh, the Places You'll Chafe!" I SO feel your pain, Sister. Congrats on being a Rock Star through it all.

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  37. Great race, amazing you PR'ed so soon after your half iron! As for chafing, now you know how the rest of us feel. I'm sorry you experienced it though. The shower is the worst. Sometimes I don't even know I chafed until I shower then the stinging is unbearable. Oi!
    Love your creativity / McGuyverness with the shirt though. Brilliant.

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  38. I left a comment on fb, too... but forgot to mention how much I loved the picture your hubs got of you rounding the corner... your legs looks so awesomely toned and muscular... my goal in life is to look like that! I'm making strides towards that lofty goal (he he - strides, get it?), but have a ways to go yet.

    Love the toe pic, too... lovely background scenery!

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  39. Nice run, I told you, you would be running PR's in the shorter races...

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  40. I chafed on my run yesterday too - mega-ouch when I hit the shower. And today it's nicely scabbed over. I'm really looking forward to how it feels on tomorrow's run.

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  41. congrats on the PR.
    wish I could have been there this year.
    I encountered the same 'dampness' last year. Something about running with mother nature I suppose.

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  42. I don't mean to laugh at your pain, but the discriptions and pictures were so funny. Glad you could still see the humor of it.
    Love the toe shot!!! Looked like a beautiful place to run.

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  43. YOWCH! I wonder why the heck that happened out of the blue??? Hope it feels okay now. Ouch ouch ouch.

    Congrats on the PR! Less than a week post half-ironman?? Incredible!

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  44. Gotta love a PR. Most excellent race!

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  45. Awesome race. Even better attitude. I canNOT picture you crying like a baby in the shower. Because of my generous backside I have had chafing in the continental divide but didn't put a diaper on. Looks cool.

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  46. Congrats on an awesome time!! (Sorry about the chafing. I also am not normally a chafer--even on the really long runs; however, it does randomly occur [dampness is absolutely the catalyst] and when it happens it is NOT fun...it looks really gross and hurts like CRAP. So now, I always use Body Glide during my long runs--because one just never knows when dampness will happen lol)

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  47. Congrats on the pr!! Sorry about the chaffing. I've had a blister like that, just on the other side of the same toe.

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  48. I know about chafing if I wear short shorts. I have fat thighs and my shorts pull up and my thighs start chafing, now I wear capri style leggings to run. But it hurts like hell!
    About the 6.30 transit, I wait untill after I went to the toilet. Breakfast, coffee, toilet and I'm off... Friends told me it was just between the ears my toilet-thing... After some runs where I had to knock on doors and ask if I could go to the toilet and after one humiliating "sitting" in a cornfield I decided to start listening to my body :o)
    Great site! Great accomplishments!!!

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  49. Great race, especially a week after a half ironman!!! You are a rockstar!!

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  50. Wow! Way to be mentally tough!! So sorry about the stinginess and chaffage! Ouch!

    I love the pic of you-- looking strong and stylish!

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  51. Marshall Ulrich? You are so awesome.

    I am so sorry about the chafing. Your poor thing.

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  52. Lol.....I'm only laughing because it's now after the fact & I've been there (the chafing part). It SUUUUUCKS. A couple of times I have thought long and hard about whether there was any alternative to a shower. Congrats on the PR & on being a crazy trooper. :)

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  53. Definitely not the skirts fault!! I run in everything and still chafe if I forget my body glide. I love the desitin idea, maybe I'll steal some butt paste from my friends with babies and see if it helps heal faster.

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  54. ROTFL, love that you rocked the tee shorts at Starbucks!

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  55. Way to go...you are my inspriation for sure. I'm sorry about the chaffing but I actually laughed out loud to the point of tears in my eyes when i saw your picture with your t-shirt for pants.
    You crack me up!!

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  56. This may be my favorite race report ever. You poor damp thing! I can't imagine having that feeling during a race. For me it's usually a GUSH. That's the best way to describe it. I've had that "oh shit" moment of gushing, but never during a race (THANK BUDDHA!)

    I can't believe you PRed! Then again, you had a good reason to rush to the finish line. :)

    I want thet SUAR t-shirt!! It's so stinkin' cute.

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  57. ha ha....i've done the t-shirt as shorts move before. Makes taking a dump real ez b/c of the neck hole.

    Now, on to the farting on heated seats....all I'm going to say is be careful b/c you could blow up.

    And hey anonymous....read the blog post....it clearly says that it was not the skirt.....

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  58. Great run especially after the tri! I also ran it but the heat got to me...didn't do as well as I had wanted. It was a gorgeous race though. We also didn't take the bus had the husbands take us to GT then they picked us up after to IS :)

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  59. Woohoo, so exciting to hear! Georgetown holds my PR record, too - love that race! I was up North doing the Wild West Relay so missed Georgetown but Ryan did it (1:39...as a tempo run. Hate him!) and he loved it, too. His first half!! Congrats, Bethie!!

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  60. I feel bad for your pain but I have to say I love your race reports. Always something entertaining to provide. I say this as I sit next to my boyfriend who seems amused by farting and burping at the same time. Both of you make me laugh!

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