Monday, March 19, 2012

The half aftermath

I am really, really lucky that I can work from home today, because walking is just not something that excites me.  Even if it's just the few steps from my car, up the elevator, to my office. 

Yesterday, it was my joints, today it's my quads.  They are really unhappy with me.  My feet feel pretty good - a little tightness in my back, but other than that, well, it could definitely be worse.  Massage later maybe?

Hooray for job flexibility that allows me to work stretched out on the chaise...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

13.1 and DONE!

Well, this morning's half-marathon went about as well as it possibly could! 
This race was timed with St. Paddy's day festivities - which for me included a GIANT Port City Java smoothie, and a lot of pasta for dinner.  Oh, and like 12 Guinness brownies.  ;-)

I was lucky that my friend Jade opened up her place for me and Alisha to stay. While the party raged down the road, we were in bed by 10, and it felt great.

Alisha had to sit the race out unfortunately, because of a nasty foot injury.  But she is still the best team mate ever, and woke up at the crack of dawn (actually, about an hour before it) to drive us to Wrightsville beach.

It was pitch black, and cold and misty, when the countdown came at 6:45.  We ran "the loop" at Wrightsville and then over the bridges to the mainland.  I was a little disappointed we couldn't see more of the sound!  The sun came up later, but the weather stayed misty and cool.  Pretty good running weather if you ask me.

I had a killer playlist, supplemented by song suggestion from my friends.  It was like getting a musical shoutout!  Alisha met me around Mayfaire (mile 4) and ran about a mile with me.  It was really nice to have some company and get some reassurance that I was right on track.  Then, Preston rode with me on his bike for a while.  It was awesome to see him, and it perked me up! 

Right about then, the marathon and half-marathon elites passed me.  Haha.  Half guys were about to finish and the fulls were half way.  It was kind of cool, and I'm in pictures with the winner of the half.  It's like we were just out on a jog or something!

We swung into landfall around mile 6. It's a VERY exclusive neighborhood in Wilmington.  So exclusive that Preston couldn't come in there with his bike.  It felt like "Oh, aren't you so privileged that you get to see our special neighborhood??!!)  We even got a "welcome to landfall" on our way in.  It came off as snotty.

6-11 were in the neighborhood, and those were definitely the longest miles.  There were fewer people cheering us on, bigger gaps between me and the other runners, and lots of big houses.  It was pretty though.

My splits in miles 8-10 were pretty bad - I went from a 12:15 average to about 13:00.  I was struggling.

But, at mile 11, there was Alisha, ready and waiting to get me to the finish.  She ran the last 2 miles with me and it was welcome.  I would have slowed down even more if she hadn't joined me.  I even burst into song around mile 12 (Don't Rain on My Parade of course!)... people thought I was nuts. 

Good lord, I love my friends.
As I rounded the final corner to the finish, all of my friends were there cheering their guts out. (And considering the fun they had the day before, I was more than just a little honored that they were there before 8:30 am waiting for me.)

Anyways, I finished at 2:50 - just 10 minutes slower than my "stretch goal" pace, and about 23 minutes faster than my last half.  Doesn't get much better than that!

 The aftermath hasn't been pleasant - did it hurt this much after the last one?  My joints are all sore.  I'm living on ibuprofen.  I've also got a blister in a bad spot.  You don't want any more details than that.

So, there you have it.  2 half-marathons in less than a year.  Sure didn't see that one happening!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Half-marathon in 2 days

Today I took the day off to relax.  To plan.  To pack.  To compile an EPIC playlist with loads of contributions from my friends.


Because on Sunday, I'll run the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon. 

I figure childbirth is kinda like endurance running - you forget the pain and difficulty so you'll do it again.

Because really, I can't believe I'm doing this again.  Last year, it was pretty crazy.  Mostly it was hot.  And we were last in the first block.  Talk about about a "check your ego" moment.  I just read my entry from last time - I didn't think I'd be signing up to do this quite so soon. 

I'm hoping this one will go better for a couple of reasons:
1- It won't be so damn hot.
2- It's 2 days out and I'm feeling pretty great.  No injuries.  My feet have felt great this time around.
3- My friends are going to be at the finish, and a couple cheering me on during the race.
4- it's a MUCH bigger race.  2,000 people for the half.  So, it's a lot more likely that there will at least be SOMEONE around me on the course.  Or at least within sight.
5- Wrightsville beach is lovely, as is the neighborhood we have to run through.  MUCH more scenic than jacksonville, NC.
6- It won't be so damn hot.

Unfortunately, I won't have my team with me this time, but I did 3 of my long runs solo, so I'm confident that won't slow me down too much.  My friends have all submitted fantastic songs for musical shout outs on the course. 

Let's DO this.

2011 Half-marathon.  Will be rocking the penguin again!

13.1 here I come!!