So I’ve abandoned this blog for the most part and it’s unfortunate. But trying to keep up with it, the kids and their activities, my day jobs and my new photography biz (we’ll, new focus on the biz) I just can’t seem to keep up. If you’re interested in the kids, I post periodically about them at my photography blog
I thought I’d pop by however and record (for my own posterity) my latest half marathon. I’m really starting to get the hang of these things and no longer feel like a slow poke jogger but an actual runner of sorts. I managed a near PR on a pretty tough course in pretty tough conditions which of course only pushes me to want to do more to see if I can improve that time!
The weather outlook for the RnR USA race was not a favorable one. Beautiful weather Friday made way for a cold wet forecast for Saturday (and of course a cold dry forecast for Sunday). Unfortunately the weather guys were right and it started raining Friday late and really has yet to truly stop (as of Saturday early evening). Fortunately the temps were not super cold – 40 and 50’s which was the only way it was doable.
I was racing alone again which I’m actually getting used to. It’s funny how being among a collection of like-minded crazies can really motivate you and boost your mood. I was dreading this race when I woke (at 4:45am!) but once I got to the metro where everyone was catching the train in, the energy was contagious and I was feeling much better. Runners are such happy, social people!
My ride in was about an hour but I couldn’t find it in me to sleep so I read a book. A nice relaxing time before it all kicked off was nice. As I exited the metro station I donned my 50 gallon bin bag to keep dry and went to drop my gear bag and get a quick potty stop in. Met a few new friends while waiting.
RnR does wave starts and I was in corral 14 so even though the gun was 7:30 it was about 7:50 ish I think when I crossed the start. Just as it started to pour (prior to that it was just a steady drizzle). I was bin bag less and in it for the duration so I just prayed it would stay warm. Those first few miles I really wish I had had gloves. I know they would have been water logged later but in that first few it would have been nice.
Maybe it was the rain or just the energy but the first 4 miles passed quickly. My splits were amazing (for me) at like 8:30 and 9 min miles. Not sure I would be able to keep that pace but I was going with it while I could. There is a killer hill between miles 5 and 6 that I knew I was going to walk so I wanted to build up a buffer of time so it wouldn’t hurt me as bad in the end.
Miles 5 – 8 were pretty rough. The hill at 6 really took it out of me and it took till 8 to really recover (plus there were a few smaller hills after 6…ugh). But I was keeping a decent pace so I was okay. I was fueling up at every water station and had Gu’s at 4, 7, and 9.
I lost connectivity in my phone around mile 9 so from there on out I was in the dark about my pace (and without music – realized today I really need a soundtrack as I’m running…). The trouble really started at 11…I totally bonked. I had to stop and walk most of mile 11. But I really wanted to finish so I figured a walk break would allow me to do that. I’m not sure why it happened. I’m fighting a cold, it was horrible outside and I never really did get to train up to 11 so I figure it was a combo of things.
After 11, 12 felt pretty slow and like the longest mile in the world. Thankfully it was mostly downhill so I could take advantage of gravity which is probably the only way I was able to finish. As we turned the corner I could see the decent into the finish line. I tried like hell for a kick but there was just nothing left so I just cruised across the line – hopefully smiling for the pictures rather than grimacing. I noted the clock on the way thru – 2:20 something which was gun time..not my chip which means my chip was under 2:20. My goal for this race was 2:20 because of that stupid hill so to know my chip time was already under that made me excited.
As I walked through the finishers chute, DH called. He’d been tracking me via texts and had my chip time. 2:07! Holy hell, at least now I know why I felt like hell right that second. Even with the hill and horrible rain I nearly PR’d (which of course makes me mad for walking mile 11 – I could have killed my PR! ). Now I’m determined to PR on this course so I’m already signed up for next year:)
I wandered aimlessly for a while grabbing snacks, my gear bag and some fluids then I had to make my way back to the metro for my ride home. No DH to drive me home this year – it was too cold and wet to get the kids out there. The metro ride was uneventful – long and cold but nothing much to remark about.
Now that I’m home and reflecting on the race I really think I did the best I could. My training was not perfect and I had been fighting a cold so I’m really happy with my overall time! Plus I’m just really happy that the addition of compression socks help alleviate the calf pain that I’d been dealing with the last few long runs.
Lastly, and probably my single smartest move of the whole race was to pack an entire extra set of clothing for after the race – with the rain I figured I’d be soaked and I was right! It was so amazing to put on that dry shirt and fleece (all while standing on the metro platform..haha). I wanted to change my pants but I figured I was not going to test the tolerance of the metro police for indecent exposure. Plus I had compression socks on and soaking wet shoes. Pants wouldn’t have made a huge difference at that point. It was just nice to have the shirt and fleece.
Anyways…long summary but I love going back to read them later as motivation to do my next one:) Right now I don’t have anything else scheduled but want to find an april or may race and the another in Sept/Oct like last year. Maybe another shot at Hershey:)
3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – 2:06:14!!
3/14/2015 Rock and Roll USA (trained to 10ish) – 2:07:26!!