Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon 2013 - hear the moo'ing of my sore calves?

Ahhh........tis the season and I'm LOVING it baby!

Since I'm not pacing anymore, I decided that this would be a selfish season.  The race season about ME!

Granted, that didn't make me train for this one any more or.... at all. But I did manage to sign up for at least one race a month so I would have plenty of things to look forward to and to "train" for.

Today was the first of the races just for me, the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 Marathon

Splenda Daddy picked my packet up for me on his way home from work, so I really didn't have any idea where I was going in the morning but I didn't doubt I could just follow the predictable line of cars.

Alarm went off at 5:30.  I dressed, brushed my teeth, double checked I had everything and out the door I  scooted.  After a stop for gas, a monster and my traditional pre-race maple donut, I was on the road and headed south.

Sure enough, plenty of cars all lined up heading in one direction, so I jumped in the queue and followed along like a good sheep.  Several volunteers were guiding traffic, so I just did what I was told and easily parked.  It was about 20 minutes to race time and I wasn't ready to get out of the warm car just yet.  I got my spibelt packed with my phone, and lip balm.  Put on my garmin and then attempted to turn on my ipod.


Wha??  I fiddled, I flipped the switch and nope.  No music.  I must have left it on and it ran completely dry.  Huh.  Okay, so I am now facing 13.1 miles with NO TUNES!  I shrugged, stuffed my purse behind my seat, took off my long sleeve tee and locked the car up.

I quickly made my way to the porta potties and was a little worried about the long line.  Luckily it went quickly and I was able to make my way over to the start line.  I had seen a friend who is pacing and tried to find him, but couldn't.  Instead, I slid in right in between the 2:00 and the 2:05 pacers and waited for the start.  After a moment of silence (a whole 'nother blog post about THAT), we were off.

Since I was going into this race with little expectations, zero training, and only the rumors of a brutal course, I eased into my pace.  I really had no idea what to expect or where I should try and push myself so instead, I relaxed and just ran according to how comfortable I felt.    Holy smokes!  What a good feeling.  No looking at my Garmin to make sure I am on the right pace for a group, just listening to my body and doing what it felt like doing.

**Side note - Friday I was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis.  I have exercises to retrain the nerves, but I'm told it will take several months so until then, I have some motion and balance issues.  I should mention that while I had no ipod with tunes, the song that kept going through my head was Carole King's  "I feel the Earth".  Good times.

About mile 3, I came alongside a fellow runner friend Susette!  YAY!!  So fun to see a familiar face!  And since I had no tunes, I was up for a little chit chat.  We stayed together for a while, just talking until the next water stop.  I lost her there.

The course is extremely hilly with a lot of winding turns.  When someone told me it was brutal, well, they weren't kidding.  I've done more 1/2's than I can count and I don't remember anything quite like this.  I can take hills.  I can take winding turns.  What I didn't care for was the fact that the course was 90% on concrete.   If you do any kind of running, you know that concrete is NOT your friend.  Worst surface to run on.

The scenery?  GORGEOUS!  Truly beautiful.  It had been billed as an opportunity to run through the tulips, but I don't remember seeing any.  It's a beautiful golf course though and I wouldn't mind going back and driving the cart while the boys golfed.

The course was extremely well aided.  Every two miles or so, there was water, powerade, Gu, oranges, banana's.  I've learned to take advantage of every aid station, so I let myself walk through a few of them.

At about mile 10 is when my legs turned into open rebellion.  They not-so-gently reminded me that they hadn't practiced for this since January and they were not all to happy about what I was pushing them to do.  My right IT band started to ache, but more irritating was the fact that my calves were literally seized into tight little balls.  I reminded myself of the Naproxen I had taken at the start line and mentally tried to shake off the pain.

Love the feeling of the last mile.  Legs are dead tired, but you can see and often hear the announcer, the crowd and you know that you're almost there.  As I rounded the last corner for the final .2, I found enough energy to kick and sprinted in.  I was watching the race clock and noted that I came in 2:08 and some change!  YAY!!  WOW!  More than I expected for myself!

I let them cut off my timing chip and then walked to the fence to hold on to it while I stretched.  Ahhhh.......relief for the calves.  Momentarily at least.  Stretched for a good several minutes and then headed in search of water and food.  I noticed a tent outside the runner's area that had some PT guys doing some stretching.  I jumped in line and took advantage of them working my IT band, and my calves.  Felt great!

Made my phone call to Splenda Daddy, checked the results table and then headed home.  I kind of like this kind of race.  Get there, run, go home.  No dilly dally'ing around.  Just get in and get out.

Overall take away?  Could not have asked for better running weather.  Seriously!  I even got a smidgen of a tan line from my shorts and tank top.  It was the perfect temp, clear skies and simply beautiful.  Doubtful I'll do this one again simply because of the concrete.  Had the path been asphalt, this would become one of my favorite races, but me no likey the concrete and really, who am I kidding?  I'm just too old to hack it. Even the hills and winding turns were so doable!  Hard, challenging, but doable!  Vertigo?  pshaw!  Just that darned concrete.

Final stats
Time: 2:07:11
6th place (out of 33) in age group
331 place (out of 835) overall

Not too shabby.  Not my best.  But, I'll take it.

And for the record, I have re-dedicated myself to serious training.  Just you wait and see.  I'll get faster.

Thanks for a great event Thanksgiving Point - you did a stellar job!

**Coming soon, my thoughts on the moment of silence for Boston


Viki Bailey said...

You are so awesome - I love that you have a tradition of eating a maple donut before your races! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the silence for Boston part of it! ;)

Connie said...

2years ago, my daughter ran her first half at this same race. I ran the 5K. Got a phone call from her at mile 8. She HATED it! Wanted to quit. Said it was brutal and she hadn't trained as well as she should have. I jogged out to meet her and came in with her.
You're amazing to be able to run this half in the time you did with no training! You know you'll always be my hero when it comes to running. If I knew you better you'd probably be my hero in other ways too!

P.S. I ran the pink series 5K today. Finished in 27:57. I was ecstatic! Love those downhill races!

Pedaling said...

Over the years you really have latched on to your thang! Running. Your heart out for health and mental stability, and for fun!
and with the earth movin' under your feet! I'm impressed, as usual!

susette said...

I was so super thrilled to see you there and so glad I recognized you coming up to the side of me. I just wish I could have tied a rope around you and let me hang on for the ride. You did so great and the tulips are my favorite part of this run. I think that's what sucked me back again for a 2nd year. This race is opening up for 2014 next week and I'll be a sucker and probably sign up.

CountessLaurie said...

OY! V.N. (Im too lazy to scroll back up and spell it) sounds SUCKY! Hope you heal quickly!!

I am glad you had a good race!