Sunday, March 18, 2012

lessons learned after every race

When you race, no matter the distance, you can usually learn something.  Yesterday I ran the Rock n Roll Suntrust half marathon in DC.  It was a great day for a run and a great day to learn some more running lessons! 

Megan and I started off bright and early heading off to RFK stadium in plenty of time to start to race.  We made it to the metro in Clarendon in plenty of time.  While on the metro more and more runners were hopping on making for one sardine felt ride.  A few stops before our destination, the train cars were really full, so much so that one of the doors would not close.  There were multiple pleas for people to step away from the doors and check to make sure that your bag is not blocking the door.  After what seemed like a good 15-20 minutes (I'm sure it wasn't that long)  We were told to empty the train.  Ugh!!  We have a race to get to people!!  So we all rushed off and were expecting to re-board when the train took off.  Of course the next train was jammed packed and not many people were able to push there way on.  Luckily we were able to squeeze into the third train headed our way.  We started out at 6:30 on the train and didn't make it to the race until around 8:10..yeah the race starts at 8:00.  Luckily I'm slow so I knew that it was a good thirty minutes until my corral left. 

We did some bag check, headed to the bathroom (used the Amory bathrooms with flushing toilets and running water!  Yea!)  We also made sure that we knew where we were meeting after the race.  And we were off.  We ran right into the corral as it was moving up..I guess one good thing about arriving late is you don't have to stand that long in your corral.  I yelled a quick "Good Luck to Megan" and we were off. 

Well I was off.  It was a beautiful day for a run.  I knew it was going to be rough going.  I was sick for most of the week and  I really didn't do the running I needed to do to have a great running time.  I knew I was in for a bunch of run/walking.  I just didn't realize the amount of walking I would be doing. 

Now most of my races in DC have taken place around the title basin, which is pretty flat.  I have ran the Cherry Blossom ten miler (flat course) and the Race for Hope (flat course).  Because of this, I just assumed that DC is flat for running.  Everyplace that I have ran has been pretty flat.  Around the monuments..flat..Well I now know that DC has some hills that can kill you!  If you haven't figure it out yet, I hate hills!  So running through some of the neighborhoods around DC was pure torture! At one point I looked at the girl beside me and ask "Who put this mountain in our race?!" 

I ended up walking the last shoulders were tightening up during the race and killing me, along with my hamstrings and calf..I was slowly falling apart!  I knew that I was going to finish, it was just a question of when. 

The lesson on today's run?  Well the lesson that I need to learn over and over always helps.  But the bigger lesson...check out the elevation map before you hit the start line.  That way you are not surprised when around every corner there seems to be a hill popping up!

My goal for this one was to finish without dying!  I made it!!  I am alive.  And I'm feeling pretty good today.  I will do some stretching, but all in all a great day for a run!

Megan made her goal and PR'd!  Go Megan!  Looks like one down in the road to becoming  a Half Fanatic!  Now on to the Kentucky Derby Mini with some Cherry Blossom Ten Miler thrown in for fun. 


Lindsay said...

That train ride sounds stressful! But I agree - its nice to not have to stand around and wait in the corrals. Glad the weather was beautiful for your run, even if they did throw in a few surprise mountains :)

Anonymous said...

yay! a wonderful start to our fanatically fun running season! kentucky, here we come!

Anonymous said...

yay! a wonderful start to our fanatically fun running season! kentucky, here we come!

Renee said...

Great job pushing through. I have now run this course three times and the hills killed me this year. I was expecting the Dupont hill, but somehow blocked out all of the rest of them.