Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chips & Salsa half marathon - Race recap

Albuquerque, NM
Sunday, September 19

We had to pick up our packets for the 7th annual Chips & Salsa Half Marathon by 3:00, so we took a late morning flight to get there in time. Picked up non-exciting packets (cotton shirt, bib, ads) and then hit up Whataburger for lunch (it being National Cheeseburger Day) and all:

Lunch was pretty inexpensive and fabulous. We had some time to kill so we drove to the "Petroglyph National Monument." We neglected to read the sign that suggested a hat, water and closed-toe shoes for the 2.4 mile round trip walk. It was mildly annoying doing the whole walk in flip flops... through sand... in the desert... but we managed. Most of the conversation varied between "This is the hottest I've been... ever" and "I wonder who authenticated these petrogylphs."

Petroglyph National Monument


I think that is a goat or sheep petroglyph behind me
Pretty! But we decided probably a "fancy weed"
We finished up and headed off for the next adventure... The Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Oh yes. It was supposed to cost $4 to get in but since as were there at 4:00 they had already closed their registers (???) so it was free. Took less than an hour to get through it - and I may have actually learned a few things. (Did you know farm animals were the first in flight? I believe it was a sheep and a chicken... there might have been a third one).

Then we headed to Target to pick up our beverages. Checked in at the La Quinta (which we found in spite of the iPhone's terrible directions. Quick shower and then we headed to Applebees for carbo load dinner (also found in spite of the iPhone).

Fabulous!!! Chunks of Oreo at the bottom!
Dinner was fabulous and by the time we got back to the room it was almost 8. Beer and reading for me - movie for L.

Made sure I had everything ready the night before. I don't  like any surprises on race mornings!!

Didn't sleep as well as I usually do so I was up before my alarm - which was supposed to go off at 5:15. Dressed, braid hair (took a bit longer than I had anticipated), bagel and peanut butter. Headed out the door right around 6. Found it thanks to the other people driving there, nothing was marked or lit, I might have passed it if I wasn't paying close attention. Parked the car and they were just setting up the tables... In the dark. Seriously. Got my timing chip found out the bathrooms were back in the unlit parking lot I'd just come from. Potty #1. Back to car - time to kill, eat iced oatmeal raisin Luna bar and drink more of my Nuun, putting remainder in my fuel belt. Potty #2. Wander around looking for the start line - we think it's back where we got timing chips. Random guy says "I've followed you girls before." We finally figured out it was in Red Wing - which he also agreed to be WORST EVER. Realize race starts back behind the parking lot. Ten minutes to go. Potty #3. Drop off stuff I don't need in car, hide keys behind tire because I don't have an extra pocket. Race starts about ten minutes late. Supposed to be flat and fast but I'm already hot and ankle is tender.

Pace is really fast at the beginning, which I hate. It's like half the people are actually "racing" and the rest of us are doing a slow and strenuous training run in a half-ass attempt to keep up. Ankle sore right off the line and .49 miles in I burp and vomit comes up. Shaping up to be a fabulous race.

2/3 mile in - we ran this direction a LOT - happy to have visor & sunglasses
Somehow manage to keep a sub 10 minute mile pace for the first mile. Then the cramping starts. There were supposed to be port-o-potties on the course but I never saw one.

Crossing the Rio Grande
Very hot. Drinking lots, thankful for belt which I re-fueled. Cramping getting worse, turns into full on side ache. By about mile 9, the pace slows and I have to walk every half mile because putting pressure on the side does nothing.

I stopped looking at my watch except to gauge how long I was walking. I didn't even look at it when I crossed the finish line. Official results say 2:10:53 (actually not bad considering how this went). I felt like I was going to throw up (again). I have NEVER felt so sick after a race. No water at the finish line. EXTREMELY disappointed that the medal I thought I was going to get - "Finisher awards for ALL Half Marathon particpants"(exact wording from the registration page) turned out to be a stupid salsa bowl... one not even decorated with anything affiliated with the race.

Stop reading here if you don't want to read snarky & whiny stuff.

So the big slap in the face was L getting a medal. She apparently got yet another PR and placed third in our age group. I especially liked the comment "Oh, the number three by name, does that mean I place?" Really, now??? I will just say it bluntly. I AM REALLY TIRED OF LOSING GRACEFULLY. There. I said it. Every.Single.Race. she beats me. Usually by "only" ten minutes, but this time 17. SEVENTEEN FREAKIN' MINUTES. When my other sister races? They BOTH beat me. The first time that happened I was pretty upset but I learned to let it go, figuring I was at least giving it my best attempt every time. Well. I'm tired of it. Every race seems to get harder and harder for me, while every race seems to get easier and easier for her. We do the same training at the same pace. We live in the same house and eat the same meals. SO PLEASE TELL ME WHY I'M NOT IMPROVING AND SHE IS??? UGH!!! Jealousy reared it's ugly head and the last six months came crashing down in a meltdown (from me). Everything came rushing back "I'm too sick to race, so I'll run with you" and "I decided I'm running a full marathon in a month" hit me... and I snapped. I'm especially mad about the marathon. Really??? You can't even let me have THAT??? You have to do yours TWO WEEKS BEFORE MINE????? (W - for the record, it does NOT help hearing about it before hand, it just makes me more and more pissed with every passing day).

So I've been sitting here even debating about posting and whether I should mention any of this. But you know what? It happened, I'm mad, and I really wish I knew then what I know now, because I wouldn't have pre-scheduled soooo many races.

Blah. Help me get out of this snarky, jealous, crappy funk. There is nothing I can seemingly do about it and venting doesn't help.

Oh. And the ankle sucks and it hurts worse than before. I'm sure a few unplanned days off will improve my mood. >:(


  1. Hopefully you can shake the funk by next weekend. So looking forward to meeting you at You Go Girl!

  2. You've taken 19 minutes off your half marathon time in the last 6 months. That's a huge accomplishment and you should be proud. What L does is really not about you at all though. When I race a half marathon, the female winner is going to beat me by 30-45 minutes. I've accepted that I'm a very average runner and someday I'd like to be a bit faster. It's not about anyone else. And I don't think you'll ever be happy with your races if you are just competing against L instead of yourself. And L running a marathon before you has nothing to do with you either. You are extremely fortunate to be going to Greece, she is not. Denver just happens to have a race around the same time. It's not about you.

  3. Becka! Poor you! What a sucky race! Feeling like you have to vomit and all!

    I know it's hard (I really do; I'm pretty competitive myself...), but try not to compare yourself to your sisters. Honestly. The only one you should be racing against is YOU YOU YOU. And you ARE fast! And you will get even faster! Believe little slow me! Plus; you're going to Greece for a marathon; Way better than Denver!

  4. I'm so sorry about the crappy race, but hey, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger! :)

    I hear you on the sister competition, and it's ok to feel that way. But you have no reason to worry, didn't you have a PR on your last half marathon!? You came so far and you should be proud of it!!!!

  5. Hi Becka,
    I love the name of this half marathon! So sorry to hear about the tummy troubles...I have been there and it sucks! You did a great job hanging tough when things got ugly. Congrats:)

  6. I hear you on the sister funk. Been there. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes I just need to scream about it. Hopefully this managed to take some of the weight off, and you can move through it.

    You are WAY fast compared to me - it's all relative ;)

  7. Same house, same food, and you have basically the same genes...I hear ya!

    I hate that my BD ran his first 5K and BEAT ME when I've been training for months and months! What a jerk!

  8. Hang in there. Try not to compare yourself to your sister. There are always going to be people who are faster than you and people that are slower. The only one worth competing with is yourself.

    Focus on how much fun you are going to have racing in Greece!

  9. At least you have beaten "some random guy" twice in the last month. Even if it was the first and second worst races ever! I'm looking forward to following you and L again soon.

    Some Random Guy

  10. See, apparently you have some random guy stalking you now, you have to be pretty cool to have your own stalker.

  11. ohhhhhhh, are you me right now with the sister thing? I know exactly where you're coming from.

    Hope your ankle (and funk) is better soon!

  12. Okay I am super pissed off for you about the stupid salsa bowl. Don't we runners want medals? I'd rather have a medal over a kitchen dish any day!

    I'm so glad I'm an only child. I can tell you I'd be having a complete temper tantrum, too!


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