Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Savin Rock Half Marathon Recap

3rd Annual Savin Rock Half Marathon

on a cold, sunny day in March

C- 1:47:13

So there was a lot right with this race, and a lot wrong with my pacing.  As D and I were running the first flat mile along the water, D looked at his watch and said, "love you, see you."  I assumed this meant that he was speeding up.  Apparently this actually meant that I was running around 7 minutes a mile (when I should have been running around 8 minutes a mile).   It was an omen that I never saw coming.

D, helping me run in and get a new PR
First, The Course-  A looped course, with a flat beginning, some serious hills in the middle, and a flat end.  The course was "closed," but there were some sections where only one lane or even just the side of the road was "closed" via the placement of cones.  There were cops stopping traffic at the traffic lights, and as far as I know, runners always got the right of way.  This is a relatively small race, and at one point I found myself speeding up just to make sure that I could still see another runner in the race.  I don't think that David, who was ahead of me for most of the race, was ever alone on the course.  There weren't a lot of crowds supporting runners.  That said, there was one guy handing out mini water bottles of his own volition, random clumps of people cheering by the side of the road, and race officials on bikes who came back and forth, checking on runners.  It was definitely a quieter race, but I never felt lost or forgotten.

There were plenty of water stops, and a sizable amount of the stops had Gatorade.  I was a little annoyed by a much needed water stop that was placed half way down a hill- hills are when I speed up, and instead I came to a screeching, tumbling stop. I only remember seeing gels once on the course, but I may have missed them in other places.

Before the start of the race we had free access to a building, so we could stay warm and use actual flushing bathrooms.  There were more porta-potties outside as well, so bathroom access wasn't much of an issue.  When we came outside for the start of the race, I wasn't actually sure which direction we were to face to cross the starting line, and runners were lining up facing both directions until we were directed which way to face.

The end to the race was great.  We raced along the water and enjoyed a very flat end.  There were a lot of cheering relatives and friends at the finish line/start.  Then everyone could head back inside to the heat, where there was plenty junky warm food and a masseuse waiting.  Definitely a great way to end a race.

Second, My Race- As I've already mentioned, I started WAY too fast.  I did slow down after the first few miles, and I thought that I would actually be able to have a shiny new PR.  I did have a shiny new PR, just not the one I was on track to get.

The hills beat me up pretty badly, but the worst happened with 2-3 miles to go.  The laces on my right shoe somehow tightened as I was running down a hill, and I could feel my ankle swelling.  I'm pretty stubborn when I'm running and I figured I could power through it to the end since unlacing and loosening my laces was going to take time.  By the last mile I knew this was a mistake, and I tried to loosen my laces, but my foot was throbbing by then and my pace had slowed substantially.

The bitter end of the race was pretty ugly and really slow.  A race official had been biking up and down the course, and during most of the race he shouted "looking strong!" to me.  He passed me in the last mile, looked at me like you'd look at a wounded puppy (at least that's what it felt like), and said "you're almost there..."  Furthermore, my mother was filming me coming in to the finish, and when she saw me coming in the video plays her voice saying, "Oh no, she's in pain.  She's in a lot of pain."

So yeah, not exactly the pretty PR that I was hoping for, but a PR none the less.  So happy our families came out to support D and me.  And if you ever plan to run this race, please make sure your shoe laces aren't too tight.

Flat footed running on an angry, throbbing foot.  Still, running in the sunshine :)

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