Ambitious Lisa got a little crazy with scheduling races after the DC Half. I was certain it was an intelligent idea to schedule something 5 weeks after my full. That sounded like enough time to recover to me! In some ways it was...in other ways (i.e. my knee thing), I probably could have used more time to get used to the longer distances. As I mentioned in my "marathon to half training" posts, my knee would get pain after double digit miles but, fortunately, it (the knee) allowed me to run a little further each week.
|Pre-race, make sure you go to the bathroom, coffee. James was very interested in this stuff that keeps his mom sane.|
The last time I was nervous about a race was in February for the Winter Run. The fact that I was nervous about this Johnstown race was throwing me off a bit! It didn't help that the start time was 5 p.m. I'm pretty sure I paced around my house for two hours before leaving to meet Marion! Because the nerves didn't come until early afternoon, I was able to eat throughout the day. I've never run an evening race so I just decided to eat smaller meals every couple of hours. When race time approached, I felt fueled and ready to go (minus the fact that my knee had been bugging me all day...I even had to ice it...I get race syndrome).
Race Syndrome= phantom pains and illnesses the week leading up to a race...it's a thing, I promise.
For those of you my age that raced when you were a teenager, think back to those ancient times when race chip timing didn't exist. When you had a white piece of paper with nothing but a black number. When there were actually people with timers at the finish line to get your official race time. When there was no dramatic start with a countdown...some one just randomly yelled "GO!" when you least expected it. THAT WAS THIS RACE! It was quite hilarious, in fact. The director gathered us in a semi circle in a school parking lot, gave final instructions, and, out of nowhere, yelled "GO!" Everyone busted out laughing!! I didn't have my music ready so I somehow managed to get that turned on without tripping on the uneven street!
Most of the first mile was on the streets of Johnstown. This was the only hilly section of the race (minus a hill in the last mile or two). It was a little tough only because of the uneven roads. I'm glad my ankles held up in that section. I started off faster than my planned pace. Based on the weather and my marathon recovery training, I went into this race wanting to average 8:00 miles (this would have been a PR by 2 minutes). I wasn't totally confident because of the status of my knee during long runs so I made a secondary goal of 1:50 and a tertiary goal of finishing under 2 hours without pain.
After the first mile, we hit up the paved trail for the rest of the race (I think only the last quarter mile was off trail). I suspected this might be completely boring but it wasn't at all. There weren't a lot of spectators but there were small groups of people occasionally as we passed over roadways and entrances to the trail. There was an awesome group after the halfway point with signs, bells, and high fives! The trail was gorgeous!! Mostly shade but had some areas of full sunshine that made it a little challenging. I would recommend at least going for a training run on this trail.
I sucked down so much water during this race! I carried a 10 oz. bottle and drank at every station except the last (I think there were 5). I even refilled my water bottle at mile 11. I also followed my gel strategy of taking one 20 minutes before the start, around mile 4 and just before mile 9.
I never go into a race expecting to win anything because, let's face it, I'm not even close to elite and I'm just not competitive enough with others to even care. I will admit, in this race, I developed an archenemy. I NEVER think of other runners as enemies but this girl was just rude. Because this is a story on its own, I'll save it for my next blog post. I'll just say, she was a meanie!
As I rounded the corner between the trail and the finish area, the course turned into a cross country race! You remember in high school when you ran races in grass?! I was not expecting this and I'm so glad my knee held up the entire race (minus a few sharp twinges every once in a while). That grass running was crazy! I ended up finishing as the second overall female (next to my archenemy) with a time of:
I knew based on my mile splits the first half of the race that I would PR (unless my knee gave out) but I did NOT expect a 1:40 anything. This was my half goal for DC and that obviously did not happen. My friends knew I had it in me which made me believe I could do it. After DC, I thought this goal would have to wait until after baby #2 so I as THRILLED with this race!!!
On a special side note, I would like to say that I feel like a true distance runner after this race. I am officially a member of the "Wet your britches" club. As I was approaching the finish line, I just had to let some go...just a little squirt. When I crossed the line, it happened again! I'm pretty sure I announced what happened because the guys who finished before me busted out laughing!
Next up for Lisa:
-A well deserved running break. I'm taking off for at least 5-6 days...NO RUNNING AT ALL! If you see me running, stop me! I do plan to do some Hip Hop Fitness in there somewhere.
-Hilliard Rotary 10k on July 4th. No goal yet. I've met all of my running goals for 2015 (except for running a long race while pregnant) so I'll be happy with whatever happens the rest of the year.
Thanks again to all of my friends and family members who support my obsession. And thank you, Marion, who allowed me to peer pressure her into running this with me. The girl rocked out a great time only 3 weeks after her first full marathon!!!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Shout out to my hubby. I didn't ask him to come to this because it was so small and late in the day. He surprised me by showing up at the start with James!! They were there cheering us on at the finish. I felt so loved ;)