A Simple Running Log

December 7, 2015

Rehoboth Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 1:35 pm

Man, we need a do-over for this weekend!

Clark and I hardly ever get sick, and when we do, it’s just a bad cold at the worst. But we both had some bouts with sickness over the last week that affected our races this weekend, his more than mine, and then made us miss pretty much the whole reason everyone comes to Rehoboth, the Saturday night post-race party.

So I guess I should go back to last week. Clark had to go to California to take a contractor’s license exam. He got there Sunday and took the test Tuesday morning. About halfway through the second test, he said he started feeling nauseated. He finished (and passed) both tests and went back to his hotel. He felt worse and worse until he started vomiting. For the rest of Tuesday, he had severe… everything, from both ends, and got so cold he wound up lying in the floor of the tub with a hot shower pouring over him. He said he was pretty close to calling 911 for help, but then he finally started to feel a little better.

He thinks he got food poisoning from some ahi tuna he’d eaten at the hotel restaurant the night before. I’ve never had food poisoning myself, but it sounded about how everyone I know who’s had it described it.

He felt well enough to at least fly back home Wednesday, getting in around midnight. Thursday, he had to come home from work a bit early because he still wasn’t feeling well. Friday was the first day since Monday he was able to really eat anything.

And he had a half marathon the next morning.

I, on the other hand, had what I thought was just a cold that I’d been trying to fight off all week. Just a lot of snot, a sore throat and some headaches caused by sinus congestion. I felt almost normal by Friday afternoon, and really didn’t expect to have any problems in the race.

Since Clark had missed so much work all week because of the trip to California, he wasn’t able to leave very early Friday. Even though we lived the closest to Rehoboth of everyone going, we were one of the last ones to arrive at the house Friday night.

The house was huge! And gorgeous. We soon found out they’d definitely skimped on the building materials when they put the place up a couple of years ago, but other than the screaming plumbing, it was a perfect spot for our group. Bangle did a good job on the house this year.

Everyone was eating a customary pre-race pasta dinner when we got there. I don’t think there was anyone from the Loop staying at the house I’d never met before, though it was my first time meeting the twin Bangle. It was great to see everyone again!

Especially, of course, the rest of the slores, Jen, Jillian, Allison and Erin. This was our fourth year at Rehoboth – senior slores, as Jen dubbed us.

We lined up in the same order as the last three years. Even though JB wasn’t able to make it to Rehoboth this time, he edited the photo of us someone posted to Facebook, and Allison made this collage:

senior slores

Erin and I are missing our tiaras in the bottom picture. That’s because I left them at home, like an idiot. They’ve been sitting on top of a dresser since Rehoboth last year, so I wouldn’t forget them, and I completely forgot them until I got there Friday night and saw the other three wearing theirs. I’ll remember them in 2016, promise!

After I ate some of the pasta, Clark and I went to Dogfish Head so he could try their Hoo Lawd, reportedly the hoppiest beer in the world: 658 IBUs. Those are international bitterness units. Most IPAs are between 60 and 100 IBUs, and supposedly it’s hard to accurately measure them past 100. So this was a stupidly bitter beer.

It was served with a chaser of 60 Minute IPA. Clark took one sip and said nope. He tried mixing it with the 60 Minute to dilute it, but he still couldn’t drink it. I didn’t like it either, but I expected that, because I’m not a big fan of bitter beers. But when Clark says it’s too much, it’s too much.

clark and the ooh lawd

I have to give props here to Carissa, who hadn’t just drank the whole thing earlier that day, she liked it. Hardcore.

When we got back to the house, a little after 10 p.m., everyone was in bed. We went to bed too (in a real room this year, not the living room floor!) but we had to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup awards ceremony. Obviously.

It didn’t disappoint. Jeff Gordon’s final awards ceremony speech was introduced by Tom Cruise of all people, which made Gordon burst into tears before he even got up there to speak. Apparently they’re friends, and the whole thing was a surprise for Gordon? It was a weirdly fitting end to Gordon’s driving career haha. Cole Trickle, the best fictional NASCAR driver ever!


You can tell who’s the movie star here because his tie isn’t askew.

Saturday morning rolled around. My alarm went off at 5:45. I got dressed and was about to head out to the kitchen to eat some breakfast, when Clark, who was still in bed, asked me, “So, do you have to start the race at 7 with everyone else?” He was disappointed to hear that yes, he’d have to be there at 7, because they break down the start line right after the crowd leaves. You can’t just show up at 8:30 and cross the timing mat.

The house was a little over a half-mile from the start line near the boardwalk on Rehoboth Avenue. Clark had at least gotten dressed by the time I was ready to leave, but he was still eating his own breakfast, so he told me to go ahead. I left with about 12 minutes until the start. It was cold outside and I didn’t want to have to stand around waiting to run any longer than I had to!

I jogged a warm up to the start, along the boardwalk. It was a beautiful morning, but a little breezy. Did I mention it was cold? I was glad I’d gone with long sleeves and tights and worn real gloves. I definitely wouldn’t want to be throwing them away.

I found some of the other Loop runners huddled near the Candy Kitchen entrance, including Allison, who was there to spectate. She was joined by Rob, who meant to run the half, but didn’t realize he hadn’t actually signed up for it until it was already sold out haha. D’oh! He’d already made all the travel arrangements at that point though, so he came anyway, because let’s be honest, the party is the draw here, not a chance to run in Delaware.

A few minutes before the start, we finally made our way toward the starting line. Waiting that long was a mistake. Jillian, JJ and I couldn’t get nearly as far up as we wanted. Oh well, nothing we could do about it now.

It took us a couple of minutes to shuffle over the start line. We saw Clark off to the side of the crowd and waved at him to join us, but he was still trying to get a signal on his Garmin. At least he made it to the start on time!

As soon as we crossed the start line, JJ, who was running the full, quickly got to work weaving through slower runners, but Jillian, who was also running the half, and I took our time.

jillian and me start

Jillian and me (and one skeptical-looking fellow runner) just after crossing the start line.

The first mile was really crowded, and we ran it in 9:29.

We got a little more room to run in the second mile, 8:53. Jillian told me not to worry about leaving her behind if I wanted to take off, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to run any faster than that yet. Mile 3 was 8:54.

We made the first turnaround of the course just after mile 3. As we headed back toward an aid station, I told her I was definitely going to need a port-o-potty stop when I got there. I’d gone to the bathroom before the race, and taken two Imodium, but I had a Code Abby. We passed mile 4 in 8:41, and a few tenths of a mile later, came to the aid station. I wished Jillian a good rest of the race and got in line for a port-o-potty.

There were a couple of runners already in line, so I had to wait. When I got in one, I was pretty quick for once. I felt much better once I got back on the road, but with that stop, mile 5 was 10:51.

After the stop, that much better feeling quickly wore off. I never felt like I had to poop again, but the entire rest of the race I felt pukey. I’ve never had that problem in a race before. Poopy, yes. All the damn time, in fact. But pukey? No, this was new, and I didn’t like it.

I saw Allison and Rob cheering between miles 5 and 6, which was a nice boost. I had two salt caps in my tights back pocket and took one at the next water stop, hoping that would somehow calm my stomach. It was all I had.

In spite of my wonky stomach, the next several miles actually sped up a little. Mile 6, the last full mile of pavement before the trail, was 8:28. Then we got on the trail, which seemed even rockier this year. I was so glad I hadn’t worn my Zeros again. My feet hurt so bad after running on those rocks in them last year! The Zantes had enough cushioning that it wasn’t a problem this time.

I passed mile 7 in 8:24, just as the half marathon leader was coming back to the end of the trail for the last mile and a half. He was flying!

The trail was also more congested this year. The first time I ran this race, in 2009, there were 370 runners in the half (and less than 567 in both races total.) This year, there were nearly 1,600 runners in the half (and nearly 2,500 in both races total.) It made the out-and-back on the trail pretty dicey as the bulk of the half marathon runners ran toward and then back from the turnaround just before mile 9.

I tried to stay to the right as much as possible, and be really quick about it when I had to pass someone, so I could get out of the way of the runners going the other way. Not everyone was being so considerate though.

I saw Erin somewhere in this section, running fourth female overall. She and Jillian were the only ones I was able to pick out on the way to the turnaround. I ran mile 8 in 8:28, made the turnaround and then hit mile 9 in 8:33.

It wasn’t long after that I saw Jen. Since I was so far behind Jillian, who she’d seen me running with after the turnaround at mile 3, Jen quickly deduced I must have fallen prey to yet another Code Abby. So she yelled out “HOW WAS YOUR SHIT?!” and I yelled back “IT WAS AWESOME!” haha. Probably the highlight of the race for me!

At the next aid station, I stopped to dig out the second salt cap in my tights pocket to take it with water, so mile 10 was 9:01. Just a 5K to go! My stomach still felt weird but I decided it could make it another 3.1 miles.

The next mile was the last one that was all on the trail. I passed mile 11 in 8:23.

I’d been looking for Clark on the trail, but I never saw him. He later said he saw me, but I was looking down. Erin later said when she saw me on the trail, I looked like I needed a nap. Pretty much.

We left the trail and got back on the pavement. I knew it technically wasn’t that far to the finish line, but that long stretch of road right after the trail always feels endless. I stopped for one last cup of water at an aid station in this mile, and passed the mile 12 marker in 8:36. Just 1.1 to go.

The last mile took us down Rehoboth Avenue, and then down a side street. There were a couple turns just before the finish line, so we couldn’t see it until we were almost on it. That kinda sucked – you knew you were almost there but it felt like you weren’t because it was nowhere in sight.

It really was there though. Mile 13 was 8:24, and my Garmin said I ran a total of 13.18 miles in 1:56:29, an 8:50/mile average.

Officially, my chip time was 1:56:25, an 8:54/mile average for 13.1 miles.

I was 24th of 146 in the F 30-34 age group, 182nd of 1,057 women and 411th of 1,585 total finishers in the half marathon.

Meh. I was happy to be done but not happy with my race. At least I never actually puked! Yet… (Cue ominous music.)

Once I finished, my stomach settled enough that I was able to get down some beer. I didn’t want food yet though.

After we’d had one beer, a group of us walked back to the house to change into dry clothes. When we were about to leave, I got a text alert from the race timing company – Clark had just crossed the line in 2:55:04. Oof. More than an hour slower than last year’s race. He knew he’d have a rough race, but I don’t think he was expecting it to suck that much.

We made our way back to the finish area. Mr. Bacon had finished the marathon in 3:07, a big PR, but had to lie down in the med tent for 10 minutes because his calves were cramping so badly. We got there right as he was trying to get up. He still looked pretty wobbly! Jen had him under control so I went to look for Clark.

I found him in the food line. He seemed surprised I was at all worried about him haha. He said his calves kept cramping so he’d had to walk a lot, including most of the final 5K. Shrug. I was so relieved! Not being able to see him on the course and then getting his finish time, I was worried he was in much worse shape than he was.

After Clark ate something, he went back to the house to shower and change clothes too. By that point, the post-race party was in full swing.

The only pictures I took all day:

Caitlin 401

Caitlin beaming after running a 4:01 marathon, a 12-minute PR.

erin age group winner

Erin and Allison with Erin’s first place age group award in the half (she ran 1:27.)

sparkle skirt spectators

Allison and Rob, our intrepid cheer section, with their sparkle skirts.

But then… the BEER RAN OUT. Another sign this race has reached its capacity and cannot get any bigger!

I mean, technically there was still free beer in a restaurant on the other side of the finish line, but the real party is in the tent. Running out in the tent is a party foul!

Eventually they managed to get a couple more kegs in there, but that ran out too. I’ve never seen the taps run dry at this race.

Right after Clark got back from showering, there wasn’t any beer left in the tent. So he and I went to Fins.

There we had some raw oysters and a couple of oyster shooters, and talked to two sisters who’d just done the half together. After Fins, we headed back to the house.

I just wanted to get a nap before we were all supposed to be at Grotto’s later that evening for dinner before going out for the real party. But I started feeling worse and worse. This wasn’t just “oh, I drank too much” – trust me, I know what that feels like. Something was wrong.

I can’t remember the last time I felt that terrible. By the time everyone was getting ready to go to Grotto’s, I couldn’t even keep down water. It was only my stomach though; I wasn’t having any trouble with the other end. So it felt more like a stomach virus than food poisoning.

I really wanted to go out Saturday night, but it felt like the incessant violent puking would’ve put a real damper on the evening. We missed the whole thing.

Clark was watching movies on TV. I never realized how many food commercials there are! And it seems like they’re all for the kind of food that sounds great until you’re puking your guts out. I will never be able to think of Papa Johns Epic Meatz pizza without dry heaving again.

Around midnight I think I finally puked for the last time, and was able to drink some Gatorade without it coming back up.

Sometime after 1 a.m., everyone came back from the bars. A lot of them stayed up talking and drinking some more in the kitchen, which we could hear because our room was on the ground floor. Sounded like everyone was having a great time! I was so disappointed we had to miss it all.

I made it through the rest of the night OK. Sunday morning, Clark and I were up bright and early for obvious reasons.

He wanted to go for a short run to see if he felt any better than he had the day before. I would’ve gone with him, but I didn’t think I physically could. I hadn’t had any calories other than what was in the Gatorade in about 16 hours, and I’d thrown up everything I’d eaten before that.

Instead, I took a shower and ate a bagel. Much to my relief, I still felt fine after I ate it.

When Clark got back, we went to breakfast, where I was able to eat a little more. I really didn’t need to see him put down three sides of bacon, sausage AND scrapple haha. It was like an Epic Meatz pizza without the pizza.

Back at the house, people were up. I heard plenty of stories, saw plenty of pictures and even one video featuring a panda mask from the night before haha. Looked like the Loop was represented well in Rehoboth again!

People started leaving Sunday morning. We had to say goodbyes throughout the day.

A group of us went to the Dewey Beer Co. for lunch, which just opened this year. Clark and I had never been there before. The beer was good and so was the food. My favorite part was when I gave the waiter my NASCAR debit card and he looked at it, looked back at me and said, “You don’t look like a NASCAR fan.” I get that a lot. One cashier was more to-the-point and told me I looked too smart to be a NASCAR fan. Stereotypes are fun!

Sunday evening, the last nine of us went to Dogfish Head one more time for dinner. JJ got a taster of Higher Math, a limited release in honor of Dogfish Head’s 20th anniversary of the first beer founder Sam Calagione ever brewed in his college dorm room. It’s supposed to taste like cherry chocolate cake, but we warned her it was too gross to drink a whole pint. After suffering through a couple sips of it, she aptly announced it was like a titty twister haha. It starts out OK but then – HEY WHAT! No! What IS that?

This morning was the inevitable final goodbye. Sigh.

Rehoboth 2016 is Saturday, Dec. 3. I’m sure registration will open with a big discount New Year’s Eve again. I’m already looking forward to my do-over! Who’s with me?


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