This race kind of sneaked up on me. B&A half was only three weeks before this race, and I spent the first week post race sick, the second week post race trying to keep up with my workouts but not really doing so because I was still recovering from the previous week's sickness, and the third week tapering for this race.
Let's just say I didn't get a lot of quality runs in between races.
Friday - the day before the race - I was in court. Fortunately, it was a quick day so I was able to come home a little early to pack and get my shit together before my iron buddy Deb picked me up. We drove to the eastern shore (hitting traffic, non beach weekend, it's just a bridge people, wtf) and arrived around 6.
Packet pick up was at the Y (a super nice Y) and OMG this is the shirt:
a bunch of little crabs and a bigger crab? YES PLEASE.
The Italian restaurant Deb eats at (used to eat at) apparently closed, so we followed her GPS to a random Italian place. It smelled like plastic fruit but my pizza was really good so it evened out. then to our Walgreens for toothbrushes, toothpaste, and clearance easter candy (chocolate covered marshmallow for $.025? awesomesauce), hotel, a couple episodes of TLC's "Four Weddings" (and my easter candy) and then to sleep.
We were up around 6:00 AM (no parade at 1:30 AM) and drove to the start.
I really wasn't sure how I'd race. I felt great for B&A --- solid training, good taper, but with the sickness, recovery, and taper (all in a three week period) I didn't have a feeling for my race fitness. My goal was to PR - I mean, that's almost always my goal - but I told myself that if I stayed under/ around 1:48 I'd call it a successful day.
I also made the mistake of looking at last year's result --- if I ran this race the in same time I ran B&A, and the same field showed up, and those people ran the same race - I'd place first (first!) in my AG. I should stop doing this.
The race is (basically) the run portion of the Eagleman HIM course only unlike EM, it's not 100 * and in the middle of the day, so hooray for that.
Pre race was uneventful - bathroom a couple of times, hung out in the gym, and then finally - go time!
I started running at around a 7:30 pace and again, told myself to slow down and run my own race. I told myself to stay within an 8:00 and 8:05 pace, and pick it up at mile 10 when/ if I had anything left. The beginning of the race went along the Choptank and it was absolutely beautiful. The weather was perfect -- low 40s, sunny, and I went with a running skirt, tank top, thin long sleeved shirt, and throw away gloves (that I almost tossed around mile 3 but tucked into my skirt .. glad I did, because I pulled them out later)
The race is pancake flat, but what it lacks in elevation change it makes up for with wind. I don't know how one can run into a headwind for 72% of a race (I made up that number but trust me, it's close ) but I did. Every time I hit a turn around I'd think oh thank god, a tail wind and then the wind was back in my face.
The race was really well run (ha! pun intended). Lots of aid stations, and while there weren't a ton of spectators (this isn't what you'd call a major city) the ones I saw were enthusiastic. The volunteers were great.
The worst wind was mile 10. I remember seeing the Columbia Triathlon Association flag whipping around in the wind and I thought oh good that's the right direction. However. It was mile 10 and I was delirious and it was actually blowing in the wrong direction. I felt like I was running so hard but barely moving.
I knew I was on track for a PR but I also knew it would be close and it would depend on the last 2-3 miles. I also knew that my finish place in my AG wouldn't change ... I realized this around mile 8 when I didn't see any women near my AG ahead of my or behind me. At one point I heard footsteps but it was a guy and I was like meh you're not in my AG.
Once I got to mile 11 I knew I could PR. I still felt good (well, good for mile 11) and I knew I had it in me to finish strong. And I did.
My mile times ranged from 8:04 to 8:18 and I ran the last mile in 7:43. hooray!
Finish time: 1:45:20
Average pace: 8:02
Overall: 42/ 224
Women: 10/ 127
AG (F30-34): 3/ 20
I got my medal - from the mayor! - and it's a crab. wearing running shoes. fantastic!
and went into the gym to warm up (as soon as I finished I was sweaty and hot... about 2 minutes later my body temp dropped and I was shivering). I got half a doughnut (the spread was amazing but I couldn't really stomach anything). I stretched and waited for deb to finish. She did and then we waited for the finish times to post. Then I got more (a lot more) food ... homemade cupcakes, trail mix, cookie, brownie, yum.
Unfortunately, the AGs only rolled one deep, and the winner of my AG ran a 1:32:21 so yeah, not really that close (also jeez that's fast!). I finished THIRD in my AG so award or no award, that's pretty awesome. and also, a PR. second one in three weeks. sweet.
we back over the bridge(s), back home, to a napping H and a gardening James.
next up? Pike's Peek (yes, spelled correctly) 10K. And another PR. I hope. I think.