I did it. Yes, I did. I know. I can’t believe it either. There’s so much to say about this race. So much bad and so much good. Then, at the end of this post, I’m going to get super sappy. So, just prepare yourselves.
First, you should know that I strongly recommend against (what’s the opposite of highly recommend? whatever it is. that.) Deborah Montgomery Racing company. This will be valuable information for basically no one, but perhaps, someday, someone will be searching for “Deborah Montgomery Racing” and they will come across this blog entry. Then maybe this will be helpful. I don’t like to talk trash about folks when it seems like it’s just a small operation and the people are really trying their hardest. But this was different. This was just kind of sloppy and poorly managed. Not cool, Deborah. Not cool.
You guys, it was super disorganized. There was no chip timing. There wasn’t even really a clock. Our course consisted of three loops and an out and back. There was hardly any food to speak of. The race shirt was this non-descript technical shirt that didn’t mention the actual race that we participated in. There was no clear finish line. The woman literally said, “On your mark! Get set!… Wait….” and proceeded to try to learn how to start her watch. It was a hot mess.
That being said…. Here’s the other thing you should know. I had a fucking blast. The course was b-e-a-U-tiful. I didn’t even mind repeating the loops so many times because it was just that pretty. It you live nearby, you should totally be running in this park every weekend. I would be if it were closer.
Also, it was my first half marathon, and I finished it without falling or otherwise making a fool of myself. Hey Hey!! I also finished in less than two and a half hours, which was a goal. That’s even with one bathroom break included!
Sergio was amazing as he always is. He was there cheering and offering my water bottle every time I looped around. We both managed to forget our cameras, but he took pics of it on our phones.
I’m now having a little bit of an issue with a seriously sore hip and ankles. As we finished up, I noticed that no one else starting limping as soon as they began walking away from the nonexistent finish line (Seriously, there was just a guy standing around telling folks “good job, you’re done”. No clock. No line. Nothing. He also wasn’t paying close attention so he forgot to tell some people that they were done. Smooth.). My limping and the fact that no one else seems to be doing the same tells me that something is not quite normal. I am thinking of taking a trip to Athens Running Co. soon and trying to get myself into some new shoes. Yes, I think the Nike Free’s have finally bitten the dust. So sad.
Taking a cue from my friend, Cindy at rundamnit, let me tell you about the song that was the MVP of this race. I don’t usually listen to music while I run. I’m an audiobook kind of gal. But there were some technical issues, and the music actually turned out to be a really good call.
This song came on when I was about 9 or 10 miles in. I was just nearly in tears as I listened and realized that I was definitely going to finish this thing. The past few years have been some of the hardest years of my life. Running has been a revelation to my body and mind. As I ran, I thought about what it means to be a survivor. I was just in awe of how beautiful life can be. There were so few people at this race that I realized I was there, all by myself, just running in the woods. I put my hands up in the air, thankful that I’m still young and strong enough to do things I didn’t know I could.
Today was my last long run before the Rockin’ Harbins Park Half Marathon on April 21.
12 miles, you guys. It was slow and it wasn’t easy, but it was still 12 miles. I’m proud. The only thing I’m not so proud of is the fact that I have not trained like I should have been training for this race. I set out today a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal distance. It’s the furthest I’ve ever run (until I run further) and with all my recent travel I haven’t gotten in all the training runs I had planned and marked in my calendar so diligently. The last time I ran a long-ish distance was March 2, and that was only 8 miles. So, I reached my goal distance, and I feel pretty damn good about that. The vast majority of the run was super fun, in fact. The weather was just gorgeous. Hello spring! I hydrated well before leaving and my stomach felt good, even after eating a gel about halfway through. I also love running down Milledge on a Saturday morning. The sorority/fraternity houses look so comically trashed and there is always some hangover victim sitting on a front porch with their face in their hands. It almost makes up for the nasty smell of spilled alcohol on the sidewalk.
Towards the end, my calf started bugging me. I stopped to stretch and then my hip/arse started bugging me. So that’s how it’s going to be, hmm? By then it was about noon and I was getting seriously thirsty too. There are no water stations in real life, you guys. Anyway, I finished, and limped into my apartment where I have spent the rest of the day alternating between icing my hip/arse , eating, and sleeping . #fitness
The half marathon will take place about 45 minutes from my house, so I’m now thinking about what that means for me and my hip/arse. I’m considering bringing an ice pack, just in case. I’m also thinking it will probably be all melty by the time I finish running, but what are you going to do? Thoughts? Tips from runners far more accomplished than me?
So I’ve finally decided on my 2013 New Year’s resolution half marathon that will happen before my summer field work. I’ll be running the Rockin’ Harbins Park Half Marathon in Dacula, Georgia on April 21st. That’s Dacula, not Dracula. I chose the race solely on the basis of the schedule. I don’t even have a clue what the course is like because I wasn’t able to find any info online. All I know is that it’s close to Athens and it happens at the end of April. Ta-daaaa. Race chosen.
I’ve been out of commission for the last few weeks. I’ve either not been running at all, or running very little, so I decided the way to jump start myself back into training was to schedule a race. I registered, so there’s no turning back now (kind of… I actually bought the race insurance, so I could cancel up to a few days before hand with no risk. Shhhh.). Today I ran a solid 5 miles at a decent pace, considering how little I had run in the past three weeks or so. I’m also getting to a reaaaally good part of my new-ish audiobook Gone Girl. This book was recommended by a friend of a friend and it is phenomenal. I highly recommend it.
I’m trying to figure out my 2013 race schedule and it’s really freaking hard, you guys. Race Tetris, level 2013. So many races, so many scheduling conflicts, so much confusion…
Here’s the thing. I’d like to compete in the following events in 2013:
- 5K (Completed on New Year’s Day, but I want to do another one)
- 8K (Charlotte Turkey Trot 2: Judgment Day)
- 15K (or a 5K & a 10K in the same day, because 15’s are hard to come by)
- Half marathon
I am willing to travel a little for a half or a full marathon, because they aren’t as easy to come by. I am not, however, willing to get a hotel room for a 10K or 15K, unless that’s my destination race with a friend, in which case…
Another challenge? I’m likely going to be doing field work during the summer months, taking me out of the country and out of running for at least 8 weeks, maybe more. Once I return, I suppose I’ll have to get back into running shape again before I could even think about a marathon or a half. I am not sure, but I imagine that running shape and field work shape are two entirely different things. Right now I’m thinking I’d like to try to do the half marathon before summer, and do the marathon in the fall/winter or even early January 2014 (Disney Marathon or Mississippi Blues Marathon, anyone?). That means I seriously have to start training for a half soon. Scary.