Monday, March 25, 2013

17.75 Race Recap

I will tell you I wasn't feeling very confident about this race. As you can imagine prepping for a race by going to a chiropractor is definitely a first for me. The forecast for the DC area was NOT springlike.

Indeed, Even last year when I was running a race a month, I didn't have a race this cold. Well, maybe the George Washington 10k, but we waited for the race inside!

The Marine 17.75 is in honor of the year the Marines were founded. We ran (or walked in my case) 17.75 km or 11.03 miles.

I woke up about 6:00 and got ready. I ended up wearing my capris with my yoga pants over them. I am so glad I did. The forecast was for the day to get to 50 degrees, but I could very well be done by the time it warmed up. Most of the run was in the Prince William Forest, which was very beautiful and peaceful.

First thing I did when I got to the race start was to meet up with some ladies from Moms Run This Town for a photo. So nice that it was light out!

After a short wait, we were off.

We started the race by going up a road with a nice continuous incline. The theme of this race seemed to be be what goes down, must come up. It was very hilly! Anyways, we began and I was moving quickly, but having trouble getting into running form. There were many walkers and the crowd spread out quickly. The race had published a quick video about the logistics a week or so ago and the woman's voice saying "grueling course and rolling finish" just kept repeating in my head. Rolling anything in VA is just another word for hilly.

Check out those hills. The last one is even after the finish to get to the race festival!.
Pretty early I got into a groove with a group of folks. I always make friends with the people around me. I don't usually talk to them too much, but I make up back stories about them and why they are running. Let's face it when you are our speed, there has to be a story! Does anyone else do this? Today I was with a father and daughter that looked like maybe they were running for a husband or brother based on his shirt. Another woman in teal was simply amazing, she kept running no matter what. I would run and get ahead and then slow to a walk and she would catch me. (I am not a slow walker, so this was a little surprising) She never made a move to talk to anyone, just was focused on the road ahead. There was also a guy that was stopping to take a ton of picture. At first I thought he was running with someone, but that didn't seem to be the case.

One thing I will say for the Marines, they are truthful! 
The race was not full of signs or even personnel. We were in the park after the first 2.5 miles and then ran down a huge hill of gravel trail. About the 5 mile mark we flattened out and were on a nice paved road. Then about mile 8.5 or 9 or so, the "rolling" hills began. It was tough, no joke. I was walking almost the whole time. I felt like I should run the downhills, but they were pretty steep and even that was difficult.

Then all of a sudden I ran into a treat!

Don't they look like the friendliest water crew you have ever seen? The moms from the Moms Run This Town facebook page gave me such a boost.

One of the hills. (this was a small one!)
At the end of the road, we returned to gravel trail for the last mile to the finish line. We finished on an uphill. How wrong is that?!

They even put up an 11 mile marker, even though the finish line was .03 past it! I pretty much ran through the post race area. Picked up my "Access Granted" card, which gives me the ability to register for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. More on that later.

They had these fun guys, a tent where folks were getting massages, a foam roller station, a beer truck and a HUGE line for the buses back to the commuter lot. I believe I was in line for about an hour to get on a bus back. It was all very courteous, but I was cold and tired. That would be my only complai nt about the race. I ended up having to text my husband to let him know I wasn't going to make it home before he left for baseball practice, so he had to take my daughter.

Can't see the end of the line or the buses! 

In the end I wasn't happy with how little I ran, but I managed to finish in 1:34:54, which is a 13:17 mile average. Not bad at all, and back to where I was before Disney. A little more run in my step and it would have been a perfect day!

No comments: