I didn't taper for this race -- just loaded my longer and harder workouts towards the beginning of the week and did an easy 3 Friday and rested on Saturday (rested = didn't run but did chase a toddler around the pool at a birthday party). H came with me to packet pick up:
and liked the hat. "we picking up the PACKET!" he told everyone there (who was, of course, also picking up their packets).
I set my alarms (my phone and my alarm clock) for 5:15 and went to sleep around 10.
I have zippy memory of turning off my iPhone alarm. Or my alarm clock. What I do remember is waking up at 5:50 in a absolute PANIC! (my plan was to leave my house at 5:30) and freaking the fuck out. Thank god I had pinned my number on my shirt and packed up my bag the night before. James told me to calm down, that I had plenty of time, that I should not drive like a maniac. I told him I wouldn't (I
Oh and the WEATHER! The weather! 60*F at the start and a sunny blue sky and a little humid but it's August in Annapolis and it's normally at least 20 degrees warmer. It was a beautiful morning. Phew, again.
I got to the starting corrals and put myself in the 7:30/8:00 mm group.
7:01 and we are off!
the RD's race description:
Start: You will run downhill, past the Blue Angels jet (this is the hill you will run up at the end), and make a quick right, and then another quick right. You are in essence running around the stadium, which was built in 1959 and in its first event Navy defeated William & Mary in football, 29-2. Go Navy! Did you know that the stadium also hosted soccer games in the 1984 Olympics?
Mile One: The first half mile is basically flat, then there will a few rolling hills. Make a quick right onto Rowe Blvd. You will pass the District Court on your right (see the marble columns? They moved them there special a few years ago) and then the Courts of Appeal on your right, and go over a bridge over College Creek. If you look to your left, you will see another bridge, which you will cross around mile three.
Mile Two: Flat and fast mile, time to get in tune with your run. The State House is off in the distance! Pretty, isn't it? It is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772. It was also the temporary capital of the United States from 1783-1784. After the State House, make a quick right, pass St. Anne's Church, the first church in Annapolis, founded in 1692, and home to the Holy Water Water Stop.
Mile Three: Run down hill on Main Street (but look up real quick and you will see the Chesapeake Bay). This is one of the fastest parts of the course. Pass the Maryland Inn (portions built in 1695), Chick and Ruth's Delly (they say the Pledge of Allegiance every day before breakfast), the Market House, the Alex Haley Memorial, City Dock and the United States Naval Academy, founded in 1845 on reclaimed land. This section is also flat. When you get to the College Creek Bridge (after you pass St. John's College, which was a free school in 1696, a military preparatory school and now a great books college) look left, and you may see runners on the bridge you just ran on. Make a right onto 450, and you will see the bridge in the distance.
Mile Four: Welcome to the Naval Academy Bridge, built in 1994. Beautiful views from 110 feet up! If you look right you will see the Greenbury Point Towers, used for submarine communication in WWII. Look down and you will see beautiful views of the Academy.
Mile Five: Make a quick right after the bridge, and this is where the race gets extra hilly. You will go up a hill, and make a right into Ferry Farms (Pretty views to the right of the Academy!) and then a left into Pendennis Mount. It flattens out and then there is a downhill section, but fear not, another uphill is coming.
Mile Six: Another series of hills, nothing too overwhelming, but they just seem to go on forever. You will run down a hill to the turn around and back up the same hill you just ran down. Doesn't seem fair, does it. What makes up for it? The communities, who will have impromptu aid stations.
Mile Seven: You will make a quick right on Severn Ridge Road, a steep downhill, and onto Route 450. When you drive 450 it looks flat, but not when you run it. Stick with it, a big downhill is coming past the WWII Memorial, dedicated in 1998. Beautiful view of the sky line of Annapolis here.
Mile 8: The base of the bridge, push your way up, and you will see the lights of the stadium in the distance, after which you will arrive at:
Mile 9: A slight downhill, then flat. As you get closer to the stadium, you will be directed onto a short grassy section, and then a quick right up the hill, past the jet and into the finish!
Minutes per Mile
Around mile 9 I knew I would PR but I wasn't sure about breaking 1:20 -- I knew it would be really close if I could swing it. I hit my watch at the finish at 1:20:01 and was slightly disappointed -- 2 seconds away from my "A" goal... and then checked the race results online and found that I ran a 1:19:59! SO HAPPY! (yes, I feel that deserves all caps, bold, italic, and underline)
I feel so good about this race. It's not (just) the PR and breaking 1:20 -- it was running a smart race. I felt positive during almost the entire race (once I hit the 5 mile mark I lost some pep in my legs and started feeling a little down but that was it) and I ran it exactly as planned -- around an 8 mm during and gave it my all from miles 8-10.
Finish time: 1:19:59
(first) 5 mi split: 40:24
(second) 5 mi split: 39:04:02
Overall: 474/ 3426
Division (F 30-34): 19/ 214
(for those of you keeping score at home [because, c'mon, why wouldn't you??] that's a PR in the 5K, 10K, 10 miler, and half marathon this year. 4 down, 1 to go**).
a big ol' THANK YOU to my Sherpa, James, who couldn't Sherpa today because he was up with toddler H. (I hope the almond macaroons from Graul's express my gratitude appropriately :) and I love you!)
and then an ice bath:
**bring it, Philly