Monday, March 23, 2009

Race Report

This past weekend I flew down to meet steve in D.C. to run the Suntrust National half marathon. I ran this race in 2007 I think - and it was alright - not the most scenic run thru the ghettos of D.C. However, I thought it might be fun now that it had been a few years to give it another shot. Going into this weekend - i didn't run Thursday or Friday - b/c my legs still hurt from the 20miler the previous Sunday. I was a little worried about how bad the half would be - so i thought better to rest than to over do it. As usual I wasn't sure what to expect. My goal was to just run a nice comfortable training run instead of racing. My training has been less than consistant - so I didn't want to worry about pace. I just figured I would try and run a sub nine pace the whole time and just enjoy a race for once.
Well Friday night was a rough night - apparently our hotel was party central - so we didn't get much sleep thanks to our neighbors. When we got on the elevator at 5:55 that morning 2 guys were getting off the elevator - who had obviously just returned from a night out. there was a third guy passed out on the handrail in the elevator. Steve was like "dude" you going with them? So the two guys had to come back and wake him up - he had puke all down the front of his shirt too. Ew. Well my stomach was already upset - I was really getting nervous for some reason - (more nervous than usual that is) It took everything in me to not throw up before that race started. I was also freaking out b/c I didn't know how to dress. The forcase was between 36 and 38 degrees. I do not know how to dress for that. Too cold for shorts - too hot for pants - just bought some capri's but wasn't going to wear them with out trying them on a shorter run. I eventually ended up with a tank top, a short sleeve shirt, gloves and pants. Wish I would have had some arm warmers. It was a beautiful sunny day - but just one of those in between temperature swings. Then when they played the national anthem I started crying. I have no idea what my problem was.
The race started - and I just kept saying to myself "run comfortable" by that i meant - don't worry about your pace - don't push so much that you feel like hell - just run and enjoy. So in the first mile I had to stop and tie my shoe for the first time -
mile 1 : 8:56 - ok - not too bad with the shoe tying in there
mile 2 : 8:26 - felt really comfortable still - getting hot though
mile 3: 8:29 - still felt nice and comfortable - slowed down to take off long sleeve shirt
mile 4: 8:31
mile 5: 8:59 - i think there was a bit of a hill in there - and I realized both shoes were untied - picked it up a bit after that -- but still nice and easy
mile 6: 8:19
mile 7: needed gu - and both shoes untied - hands were cold so had trouble with tying shoes and getting gu open. By the time i started running - my lap pace for that mile was at 10:40 - tried not to panic - and just picked it up again... mile ended up at 9:41 - ugh. I need to get something to stop these shoes from untying!
mile 8: 8:10 - still felt good
mile 9: 8:30
mile 10: 7:49 - I felt awesome at this point - so i decided to just go with it
mile 11: 7:55
mile 12: 8:37 - stopped at a water stop and checked port o pot line - told myself to suck it up and get going - i could hold it for another mile
mile 13 : 7:52 -

Total time 1:52. Now - that is not the best race I've ever run timewise - but it was the best race i've ever run. I had such a good time, the race flew by, I wasn't worried about my time or anything else - and for the first time i ran negative splits! I'm always the type that goes out too hard and then is dragging my butt over the last few miles. When i got done with this race I felt great and that was the best feeling!

So a few notes on this race - they redid the course - MUCH MUCH better - ran us thru much prettier neighborhoods. Not much fan support - no music or bands - but it was a beautiful course and a beautiful day. The thing is - it doesn't matter what side of politics you are on... when you are running down a road next to the washington monument - it's a really cool feeling. Also I was listening to people's conversations as I passed them - that's the other great part about starting off slow - all you do is pass people the entire race - which is so much more fun than being passed!!! anyway I heard this lady talking about fundraising she was doing and her friend said he would give her a nickle a mile for a half ironmant. I said "well that's not very supportive" so I asked what she was raising money for and if she had a fundraising website. I told her if i could remember her name by the end of the race I would make a donation. By the end of the race i had her last name all wrong - but with a little research i was able to find what i thought was the correct lady's web page and I made a donation. I got an email back from her and she is sooo excited! It was pretty cool... b/c you know she thought - yeah right she won't remember...

At the end of the race the "bag drop" or pile of bags from hell as I would have called it was ridiculous. Basically they took all the bags from the half marathon and threw them in a pile. It took me about 5 minutes to find my bag - which wasn't too bad - but there was this poor man standing there who had dropped out of the full marathon and could not find his bag. It took me what seemed like forever to find his bag. I said what does it look like and he said "it's black" that didn't really narrow it down - so it took awhile. I figured I would change in the car real quick and then come back to see steve finish. His pr was a 2:17 - so i figured I had a few minutes - i changed real quick got out of the car and looked up and steve was standing there. He had finished in 2:05!!!! I was so excited for him that i punched him! I couldn't believe how awesome he did! I told him - no more sand bagging on his races - i expect him to keep doing that well!!

It took us about 2hrs to get home from the race b/c we couldn't get out of the neighborhoods were the race was being run. The cops were not coordinated so the streets were gridlocked! When we finally got back I realized why I was so nervous. I haven't really "raced" since the towpath fiasco. With my training being so wacky i wasn't sure what kind of shape i was in - and i was nervous about racing again. So i have to say - i am very happy.... I didn't break any records - but it was a great race- and it definately lets me know i am in better shape than i thought - and that I am ready to step it up again!


solarsquirrel said...

Awesome post! You ran such a great smart race - congratulations on the NEGATIVE splits at the end! I was bragging to Molly about you and Steve's awesome race at the SERC run on Sunday.

What a great first race for this year! I think 2009 is going to be filled with good races and PR's for you!

DaisyDuc said...

Way to go B!!! I am so glad to hear things went so well for both of you and it sounds like a great way to start the year!

Brian said...

Nice job. You know I have heard if you double knot your shoes...

See how well he does when you don't trip him. :)

ramblings of a runnner said...

i soooo double know my shoes!!

Brian said...

Negative splits rule! Way to go. I tie my shoes regular and then double knot the loops. When is your next marathon?

allanjel said...

Tied and re-tied my shoes 3 times before crossing the mat at Philly last year. Congrats to you on a great race.