Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Memories from first half-marathon

Race day is a top ten adrenaline rush experience. The anticipation and nerves, athletic ability of competitors and challenge, and the variation in people watching for me is fascinating. The running crowd is not like the usual crowds I see. I am not part of a running club, and church isn't exactly a fitness haven, though my dear wife and I have noticed that Northwest pastors are a much more fit bunch than Midwest pastors.

Memories from the Super Jock and Jill Half-Marathon (run and walk) and 4-mile run:

* I ran across a female runner nursing her baby before she ran the half-marathon.

* The atmosphere produced varying degrees of rain for about 3/5 of the race. I found it refreshing most of the time, though the accompanying humidity kept me plenty soaked.

* This was a large half-marathon--I think they said it was the 33rd annual race. It takes quite an effort to pull off something like that. I think I saw at least 20 police officers directing traffic on the course that traveled through Woodinville and Bothell. When I had the energy, I said thank you to the police officers and volunteers sharing a cool cup of water. One police officer said I was doing a good job. I gave him a thumbs up and said thanks. He said "keep it up. You're doing what I can't do." He smiled his encouragement was one of the many things that kept me going.

* I hit a wall about mile 10. I was by no means going fast during the first 10 miles. But the last three miles about all I could manage was jogging 200 yards and walking 100. I think what zapped me was that I was a little dehydrated--I hit all the water stations, but I could have used a few more sips. I lost 7 pounds during the race, and after my recovery I'm still down 4 pounds. I didn't do any hill training for the race and I could have used some. The course hit the hilly UW-Bothell campus--I didn't attack the hills, and I only ran about 2/5 of them, but I need to do a few more hill workouts for my next race.

* My last 3 miles put me in somewhat of a competition with a race walker. I didn't get a look if he was registered for the walk or the run. But I would go into my slow jog and pass him. Then I would walk and he would pass me. I wasn't totally dead by this time of the run, because I still managed to pass a few people in the final 3 miles.

* There was an odd free food offering at the end of the race. I picked up a hand-crafed chocolate raspberry doughnut. I couldn't bring myself to eat it, but someone in my family appreciated it.

* I missed my cheering section during this race. I didn't know the course all that well, nor did my dear wife--and with the rain, it seemed like it would be a wasted effort to have a cheering section. But my dear wife and daughters took the trip with me to Woodinville, sent me off with love and encouragement and welcomed me back. Daughter #1 really likes these races--I think I'll sign us up to volunteer sometime.

* My recovery is going well. I feel a little achy, which is helped by some ibuprofen and some short walks to keep out the stiffness. I must have been clinching my shoulders, because my trapezius ache a little. During the race all I could feel cramping was my hip flexors. I will be ready for a short run either tomorrow or Thursday. Thanks to .Jeff Galloway's training program I'm not going out of commission just because I ran a race. I'm spent, but I can function.

* I'm going to look for a 5k to run sometime around Thanksgiving. I want to do some longer cross training, so I definitely don't want to train for a longer race. I'm looking to go biking on Fridays with my new day off and pull along daughter #2 on the copious trails in the area.

I will compete in another half-marathon, I'm just not sure when or where it will happen.

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