"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red White and Boom Bombed.

After my third half marathon this season (Minneapolis, June 6, Grandmas, June 19, and now this one, July 4), I learned some valuable life lessons. One of them being this: Don't fall asleep on a boat in 92 degree weather...it leads to heat exhaustion.

Jeremy and I had a wonderful trip in Lake City with my parents! We spent Friday and Saturday on Lake Pepin, enjoying the sun and the water. Saturday was a scorcher of a day. I had downed two bottles of water before hitting the boat. We got on the lake around 9AM, and did some waterskiing and tubing, which was so much fun! After my arms felt like noodles, I happily peeled my wetsuit off, lathered the sunscreen, and fell asleep in the sun. After about 5 hours on the boat we got off to start making an early dinner before the drive home, in preparation for race day. As we were walking up to the car I started feeling extremely light-headed. I chugged some water once we got back to my parents condo, but it was too late. Heat exhaustion had set in. I didn't think it was a big deal, I thought I would be fine once I got more water in me. We had a nice dinner, and we were soon on the road home. My head was pounding and I slept more on the car ride home. We got home around 7pm, and I showered and crawled into bed, hoping the morning would bring the strength I needed to complete the task.

I woke up at 4:30AM, to a swoldering 79 degrees, with 80% humidity. I cringed as I checked the hour by hour forecast. My faithful husband and I took off for the start around 5:10. We met up with Trey, and made it towards the start line! I was very happy to see my friend Grace, prior to the start. Trey and I made it close to the front. I was still shaky, and told Jeremy, who stood by on his bike, that I may not finish the race.

About 1.5 miles into the race it started raining. This was a welcomed addition to the race; however, about 3.5 miles into the race the downpour began. I could hear peoples shoes squeaking with water as they trampled the pothole-invested course. The inaugural Red White and Boom Half Marathon took an unfamiliar path through the NE Minneapolis neighborhood. Many steps were deceiving as puddles filled potholes, and you never knew whether your foot was hitting the pavement or a hole. The course had large puddles most of the way. From the start of the race I knew I did not feel strong, and I wondered if I would finish. But I found a quote in my mom's magazine that lingered in my heart:

"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

That thought wouldn't go away.

I made it to the hilly neighborhood, prior to the Demming Heights Hill. At the bottom of the hill I saw Cal, an old friend from school, and Steele Fitness. As I approached Demming Heights, I wasn't sure what was left. I started making my way up, and knew I needed help. Towards the top of the hill, my good friends Andrea and Mary were there....cheering me on. I couldn't believe that they came to cheer in the pouring rain! I was uncomfortable, feeling light-headed, and questioning my previous races. But then I saw them, and knew I had to tough it out. At the top of the hill, Austin called out my name from behind, and then kept going. He looked so strong, and it made me so excited for his XC season in the fall.

The tail end of the course made its way along Boom Island, and along the muddy path leading back to St. Anthony Main. The last mile went by quick. It was my training territory, the place the Runnin Rams mark as their 6 mile loop. I knew I was home.

I finished:
Time: 1:45:11
Overall Place: 229/2375
Gender Place: 56/1321
Age Group Place: 7/168

Looks like I wasn't the only one who had a bad race.....

A tough time to cope with after a 1:41:23 finish at Grandma's Half two weeks ago. However, even after a disappointing finish the quote still rings true: "The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

This was a tough training run, and there will be more to come, and redemption will be received.


  1. Beautiful! If every race was a PR then everyone would be a runner! Its hard work and life doesn't take breaks! You're gonna bounce back well, I just know it! You're faithful and He always rewards those who are. Winning takes a different form every run and the victory on Sunday was finding how strong you are when everything is less than ideal. Recoup and we'll see ya in a few weeks should you decide for another race in August!

  2. I still think that is a great time! Although, I admittedly know nothing about running. I added you to my weekly list of blogs to read and this blog inspires me to keep on keepin' on. I don't run, but it is an encouragement for my other fitness endeavors. :)

  3. Why didn't you tell me you entered blogland? You can not compare your times on two totally different courses, that will make you crazy. I believe that you learn more from "bad" races then the "good" ones anyway and the mental toughness that you displayed to get to the finish line speaks volumes of your strength and character. Way to go Bree, you should be proud of yourself!