Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Weekend Part 2: The Race and Beyond

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Weekend
Race Recap Part 2

Sunday-Race Day!

After finally falling asleep to a stinging feeling in my foot and having a horrible night’s sleep, I woke to warm temperatures and very high humidity (75*ish degrees and 95%ish humidity) and it was only 5am. :/ Good news though, after using my mad athletic training skills, a donut pad, and a little coban my foot was feeling pretty good.
I'll spare you the photo of my foot!

pre-race photo
We opted to take the shuttle to the race start, which got us there at about 5:30. Plenty of time to use the port-a-potty, take some pictures, use the port-a-potty, eat some food, use the port-a-potty, meet-up with my MRTT super moms, use the port-a-potty, and take some more pictures.

MRTT Super Moms

Because were running the relay, my sister-in-law was shuttled off to the relay point shortly after 6:00 and I got to pick which corral I wanted to start in. I was going to go elite, but since I haven't been training because of my ITB issues, I decided to go with corral 4.

Starting line.
I got to run with my friend Randi and thank goodness for that. It was HOT and HUMID and I haven't been training. She is very good at keeping me going. I went in with the mindset to just enjoy the race, use it as an opportunity to practice my new running form,  and if I needed to walk then I would walk, but I felt GREAT!
I always start out too fast, but this time I was actually able to keep it under control and somehow managed a 8:20ish pace most of the race. The crowd seemed thin but there were some cleaver signs that made me laugh and the local high schools cheerleaders were fun. I made it a point to run down the line and high-five them! I wanted to show them I appreciated them being out so early on such a hot day.
The first couple of miles were HOT and then when we reached the Rudee Inlet Bridge I just kind of got into my groove and the heat wasn’t an issue for me anymore. We made our way down General Booth Blvd and passed the VA Aquarium. I took water and Gatorade at every water stop, something I usually don’t do either, but I knew I had to today. Prior to race day I drank a couple of glasses of water with Nuun. With it being so hot and humid I knew that water alone wouldn’t cut it and I would end up with major stomach issues or worse.
I carried this for 7.9 miles.
Anyway, back to the race. At mile 6 I pulled out my phone and called my sister-in-law and told her to expect me in about 20 minutes. I was way ahead of schedule and was panting into the phone, this was another first for me, not the panting part, the making a call in the middle of a race part. Randi and I decided to take mile 6 easy and then give it all we had at mile 7. Well, the take it easy part was doable, the kick it into high gear at 7, not so much! I tried, I really did. Randi was off and with all my might I tried to dig deep but my tank was close to E. I managed to keep it under a 9 min/mile and even dropped closer to 8 at certain points, but there was no way I was sprinting to the end.  At about the 7.6 mile point, with the relay zone in sight, I started to hyperventilate and had to walk.  I quickly got my breathing under control and “sprinted” to the relay zone. This was interesting as my race bib slide behind me so they couldn’t announce me coming,  regardless Jill was ready for the baton hand off.  I swear I am face blind and didn’t see her in the crowd, but she saw me and popped out from the mass of people, grabbed the drum stick and was off. And I was done. I made it.

I met back up with Randi, she finished about a minute or so ahead of me and we were able to see our partners come back around to General Booth once they made it through Camp Pendleton. We caught the shuttle back to the start and met-up with my husband and father-in-law. I felt great. My ITB was fine, my legs felt fresh, I had energy, and my stomach wasn't in knots! I am finally getting somewhere with my new running form. Chi Running claims you will feel more energized when using their technique and I am now a believer. I never feel this good after racing. If I wasn’t hurting, I was exhausted, but not this time! Yay me!

Gene, Jill, and Me
Randi and Me
We had some post race beers and took more pictures. Traded stories and headed home. After a brief nap and a sometime in the pool we headed out to the American Music Festival down at the beach and enjoyed some more drinks and Train.

Mike and Me at Train

I had a great time and a great race. I know some people were not as lucky.  I passed one women, at mile 7, who was being treated by EMS and there were reports of others. I hope they are all ok. I also heard complaints of not enough water or cups and something about race medals. Big thanks to all the volunteers and spectators for coming out on such a hot day.
Train the band not the machine
I am looking forward to Tough Mudder this weekend and hope I can continue to improve on my running form. Oh and Jill and I came in 10th out of 91 women's teams! Not too shabby!

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