Thursday, March 22, 2007

Needs more cowbell

A few weeks ago, I ran/ gallumphed the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail half marathon.
I dragged my happy butt to Annapolis just barely making it in time to sign up.
In fact, I sold out the half marathon, which the race director deemed lucky.
For being lucky, she gave me green Mardi Gras beads and a neon green running hat. Then it was the hour and a half long drive back to Vienna and sushi with John and Beth.

I like to eat some odd things as pre-race dinners. When running at home at the beach, I usually have spanikopita the night before. Race day it's all liquids until the race is over.
Sushi was a bad call. I had been sick that week and hadn't really eaten much on Saturday. For dinner, I had veggie tempura and miso soup, and forced down a bowl of rice, so I'd at least have some carbs in my system. Not so smart.

Sunday, I argued with myself for about an hour as to whether or not to head up to Annapolis to run the race. I was tired, it was cold outside, and I still wasn't feeling 100%. I decided that at the very least, I needed a long run to prep for the Shamrock half, and that sleeping in wasn't productive. So I dragged my butt out of bed and up to Annapolis to run.

It was cold and windy.
Wearing my red UnderArmour tank top (yes, I'm superstitious), a long sleeve UnderArmour t-shirt from the Baltimore half, my lucky green Mardi Gras beads, and a black cotton Gap sweater, shorts, and track pants, and I was freezing. I was so glad I had remembered my gloves.

The "trail" run was entirely paved and gently uphill the whole way out on the out-and-back course. I like continual inclines better than hills, and Yoda makes me run on an incline at the gym, so I didn't mind so much. What did really suck was that on the way back, where I had been hoping I would have a negative split even if it was artificial, was into a headwind. And my lack of food the day before caught up to me. I was tired, and my pace was shameful. I knew I wasn't anywhere close to making my time goal, and just settled in for having a nice day out in the (cold) sunshine.

Overall, it was a pretty (cold) day, and it was good to run, and I'm glad I did it. However, I definitely enjoy larger races better. I'm a solid back of the packer, and there were large stints where I was running essentially by myself, and I like the cheering and noise of bigger runs. And there tend to be more people finishing late at those events. It's a little demoralizing when they are packing up the water station when you get there, and people are leaving the parking lot when you finish.

Hats off to Jen who ran a true trail marathon on Saturday, then ran the half on Sunday and still beat me in. And who managed to take a shower in the ice-cold water at the gym. You are a champion!

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