Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NDN Half Marathon 2013 Recap

Miles today: none yet
Miles in 2013: 46.19 miles (pre-knee injury, this is what one week looked like...)

What a morning and what a fun race. Smaller local races just make my heart happy. The atmosphere at the NDN half is one of the reasons I love running so much. There were elites that ran the race in 1:03, and people that were running their first half marathons. Regardless there is so much camaraderie and good energy. I am SO glad I decided to run. Even Saturday night I was wavering, but know I would have regretted not running way too much.

Pre-race. I think I am still waking up and I know Larry was pissed I wanted to take pre-race pics.

The race has a prompt 7 AM start. Before the start, they played a recording of the Star Spangled Banner (and no, there was no Beyonce lip-syncing) (Sorry, couldn't help myself) Anyway, something happened and the recording stopped midway through the song. All 2000+ people at the starting line began singing and finished the entire song. So much better than listening to the music play. It was a surreal moment. Such a moving and cool way to start the race. I wish I had been recording it. 

So originally I had planned on pacing my mom, but we completely lost each other at the start. Larry ran with me for the first mile (9:24) and took off. I was feeling great and happily settled into a comfortable pace. 

The best thing about local races is all the familiar faces. I am pretty sure I spent the first 4 miles just chatting and cheering away. Normally, this behavior might annoy me, but I wasn't pushing the pace and was having a blast and cheering for friends. 

Nice pics, Dad. (Seriously though, thanks for cheering and being my photog.)

I hit the halfway mark at about 57 minutes. With a negative split, that would have put me in PR territory. Not too shabby for someone who has been hurt for the past six weeks! I was thrilled. More importantly, I was feeling great. I took an energy gel down but unfortunately less than 10 minutes later, I had a shocking pain in that damn left knee. So pissed. I tried to run on it, but decided to walk. Cheered some more and put in my music. I ran (gimped) - walked for miles 8-10 and then decided that that sucked. Time to run, or at least hobble the rest. 

Cardiovascularly, I felt awesome. I ran all of mile 10 at an 8:40 pace, walked for 30 seconds, and then ran to the finish. I really tried to push myself and passed people for 2 straight miles to finish. 2:09:09. I was not thrilled with my time, but had such a good time running. Maybe one of the most fun races in a while. I knew I couldn't push my knee and had low expectations going into the race. Being so relaxed really helped me mentally.  

I have to say, other than the knee pain and thus walking, I had a great morning. It was made even better by all my friends who ran PRs and ended so strong. The race even makes me regret dropping out of next week's INGMiami. I am still going to try to continue recovering, building up my mileage again, and hopefully will make it to the next races on the calendar. (Which has been updated!!)

Don't mind my face, it was coming off in chunks, thanks to my TCA and Spot Peel on Thursday. 

Tonight is the unofficial Beer Run, put on by our good friends at Leapfrog Running!
(Who by the way, is offering free trial of practices until February 1st!!)