19 January 2015

One foot in front of the other

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger (Friedrich Nietzsche)  
But it may hurt like hell afterwards.   (me)

Despite all the rumors to the contrary and my worst intentions, I managed to pull off another half yesterday.  Number 7 is in the bag.  13.1 miles later, another medal, another shirt, a few more stiff joints, and some sense of accomplishment.  

The run was very good, it was just runner that was less prepared.  0700 Sunday morning, clear skies, temps hovering around 48 at the start, streets were dry, the pack of runners were anxiously awaiting the starting gun.  30,000 runners crammed along several blocks in the predawn light made for one hell of a party.  
Waiting for the start
Heading for the starting line (20 minutes after the gun)

Since this is my 7th time on this merry-go-round, I knew what to expect, how to prepare.  Got up obscenely early (couldn't sleep) and drove downtown at 0400 just to make sure I could park next to the convention center.  I know, that is a bit A/R, but I like having my truck nearby so I don't have to hike a mile away just to find my ride home.  That and I ain't about to pay some guy $30 to park in one of the lots next to the convention center (I may be crazy but I am definitely cheap).  Got there early enough to find a good spot and prepare for the run.  Took the opportunity to revise my running attire - the weather was cool enough but not too cold, so I changed my layers. dropped the base shirt and went with the sleeves.  It is always interesting to see how people dress for the start and then watch how many clothes/jackets/gloves/sleeves/hats are discarded within the first two miles.  My strategy worked out OK for me - wasn't overheated nor too cold.  I bought a new spibelt this year - one that was waterproof and had extra belt loops for my Gu and I can hook the race bib onto directly.         

With that many people to cram across the starting line, it took almost 20 minutes for my corral to cross the start after the gun had sounded.  I like the whole event, but that kind of mob takes some of the shine out of it.     

I ran OK, but, my lack of prep runs showed.  Typical jackrabbit start and then lose steam on the back half.  I held a decent pace the first 6 miles, but the second were slower.  Not as achy as last year, but a bit off my time from prior years.  Not a pace I am particularly proud of (2:41), but at least I conquered the course/objective.  I won't bore everyone with the entire montage of the run - it was a good run, I was slow and some things worked better than others.  Developed a hot spot on my left foot.  Not sure if it was the new shooz or due to my lack of conditioning.  I am happy with completing the race, just not happy with my progress.  I should prepare better but things just seem to keep getting in the way.  In my mind, the race is not against the clock or even against other runners (no way I am in that class of running).  To me, the race is against yourself.  My competition is internal.  I try to beat my prior times, push the envelope to improve myself and best my previous attempts.  I spend a good portion of the run going over things in my head, arguing with myself, running through a list of chores/to-doos.   

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other (something a sage old running mentor once told me).  

This year I decided to change up my run strategy and focus more upon what was around me (the here & now).  I was trying to enjoy the entire event and the surrounding hoopla (ergo my slower time?).  The sideline action was almost as much fun as the runners.  Some of the slogans along the round this year:

A few others were:

  • Worst. Parade. Ever.
  • It's my birthday.  I expected a better parade.
  • I like your stamina.  Call me. xxxx
  • Run like you are being chased by zombies.
  • Romo wouldn't have made the first mile (not a Cowboys fan).   
  • When they said Marathon, I thought they meant Netflix Marathon   

Of course, you always see the most interesting people/characters along the course:

Now is the dangerous time for me.  The post race euphoria.  Now that it is over & done and I am back home warm and dry, the thought creeps into my head about next year. They've changed the registration system again for next year and gone back to old system of first come, first served.  They opened up the registration last night for the first 10,000 enrollees.  Lord knows, I just may be stupid enough to try for 8.  Somebody please stop me...


Abby said...

Ain't no stopping YOU! Congratulations on bagging number seven! 45 degrees and dry sounds perfect. Have you signed up for 8 yet??
I always enjoy these race reports. And what another round of great signage!
30,000 entrants,20 mins. to the starting gate - now that's a really big shoo. Can't wait for next year :)

ShadowRun300 said...

Congratulations on number 7! I'm so glad you had great weather this year. Definitely helps make it easier to enjoy the race.
Like Abby, I look forward to your race recaps. You're always hard on yourself, but I'm always impressed with how many you've run, and that you can finish without really training. You're a natural! You may as well keep going... hurry and sign up before it's too late!

terri said...

Congratulations on finishing another half! It amazes me that you go into this thing underprepared and still manage to pull it off. Definitely looks like fun is had on and off the course!

Rock Chef said...

Congratulations! I like the zombie slogan!
OK, put down the mouse and stand back! Do not click on that ENROLL button!