I was a little hesitant to sign up for the Trolley Run for a few reasons: 1. I wasn't sure how I'd feel after running the half the previous weekend. And I tend to be in the camp, if I'm going to spend money on a race, I'm going all out. Unless there is a good reason for me to slow it down a bit (running with a friend or a group or something). 2. It was my birthday, and I wasn't sure how I felt about getting up at the crack of dawn to go kill myself for 30 minutes. When really I could just be lazy and get pampered at home :o). 3. There was a 40% chance of rain.
Well by Thursday my legs were feeling pretty good, and I thought I could definitely 'race' the four miles. I might be a little slower since I had pretty much worked to my max the weekend before, but not too bad. Jill and her husband were running the race, and I knew I'd regret it if I didn't go with her. And it isn't like I wouldn't want to get a workout in that day anyway, so I might as well get it out of the way first thing. And Chris assured me it wouldn't be raining, it has never actually rained on a morning I've signed up for a race. It would be fine. I finally caved and signed up Saturday afternoon.
So wouldn't you know when I woke up Sunday morning, all I could hear was rain pouring down on our roof. I checked the radar map, and there was pretty much no chance that it wouldn't be raining while we were running. I was beyond bitter as I got myself ready. I had no desire to run in the rain or be wet. I really just wanted to crawl back into bed. But I didn't want to be the wuss who backed out, (and since I waited so long to sign up the race cost $40!), so I got myself ready, grabbed a giant trash bag and headed out the door. In all honesty I was freaking out about the rain a bit. I was a little worried I'd wipe out, and that I'd be freezing. It was only 54, which isn't too cold, except with no sun, short sleeves, and the rain...
Since it was raining I didn't take my phone out of the car. Which meant I had no music, and nothing to take pictures with. Slightly unfortunate, since I looked awesome running around in a trash bag, I really wish there was some photographic evidence of it. But honestly the trash bag kept me nice and dry and relatively warm. Anyway, we had to wait in line by the finish to ride buses to the start line. I was skeptical about how that would go, but the long line moved relatively quickly. We got in line around 7 I think, and made it to the start by 7:30, for the 7:45 start. Jill's husband was giving us running tips on the way over, and also informed us that women tend to have the edge in extreme distance races, such as 100 miles, because men aren't built for that kind of endurance... Pretty sure I'll still pass on running 100 miles even though it might give me a shot to beat some of the guys.
Because it was a pretty large race you had to sign up for waves based on predicted finish time. The speedsters were in the red wave, who were expecting to finish in under 30 minutes. You have to qualify for that wave by finishing the race in that time in a previous year. Jill and I were signed up in the blue wave, for those planning to finish in 30-36 minutes. Jill was aiming to be done in under 32 (eek, four 8 minute miles!!). My ultimate goal was to keep up with her, next I wanted to finish in under 34 minutes, and if nothing else I wanted to maintain a 9 minute mile so that it wouldn't look like I'd signed up in the wrong wave :o).
It wasn't too long before our wave was just about to take off. I waited as long as possible to take off my trash bag, fearing the rain. But the lady said go, I tossed it, and we were running! There was definitely a lot of traffic (the race had 5,929 finishers!) and it was a little tough to get going comfortably. I stayed with Jill for a bit, but I got cut off, and then I just couldn't catch back up. She was going so fast! By the first mile I was already feeling the burn in my legs, my right calf and shin were on fire. I was humming Kanye West's Power (great running song!) in my head over and over again to try and get my mind to wander, but honestly shortly after I finished the second mile I almost wanted to puke. It was around then that I caught sight of Jill up ahead of me, still too far to catch, but close enough that I didn't want to slow down. So I pushed through.
For the rest of the race there was a father and son running pretty close to me. The boy looked maybe 8 or 9. I was definitely impressed. And it was a nice distraction listening to the Dad coach him through it, he was very sweet. The little man ended up smoking me at the finish. They sprinted probably the last .2, and I just had NOTHING left in me. But enough to make it to the finish line, I wanted to be done and I wanted some chocolate milk!
We got our timing chips clipped, grabbed a bottle of water and headed over to the race results tent. It was pretty sweet, only minutes after we finished and they could hand me a print out of my race results. My official time?
HOLY COW. My pace was 7:49. I never ever EVER in my life dreamed I'd be able to finish a race with a pace under 8:00 minute miles. Craziness I tell you, craziness. I finished 44/586 in the F25-29 category, 181/3358 of all females, and 884th overall. The girl that won the female division? Finished in 21 minutes flat. Insane. I really wonder what it feels like to run that fast. I'm not sure I actually want to find out though :o).
This course was another nice one, relatively flat, without any extreme uphills or downhills. Definitely a fast course. And the rain never really bothered me, I wasn't cold at all until we were done. I'd also recommend my Under Armor shirt. I went out to breakfast with Chris and Ryann after the race and it didn't feel damp at all. It also never rides up while I'm running, which is a big bonus for me. I have a hard time finding fitted tops that don't ride up. Not to mention I look like a traffic cone, I doubt it is difficult to spot me. HA.
Overall, I am VERY happy that I got my butt out of bed and participated in that race. But really, how often do you regret a run? It may suck while you're doing it, you may be happy that it is over, but are you ever sad that you did it? Probably not. Get your bums out of bed people, get moving!
A quick recap of my weekly goals... I'm not sure if I gained any weight or not. We went out for Mexican last night, I had two margaritas and plenty of chips, so I wouldn't be surprised if I did gain a bit, but I also know I'm carrying a lot of water weight, so I didn't get on the scale this morning. My mileage for the week added up to 17, 11 running and 6 walking. Friday I did a three exercise circuit that included pull-ups, so I got those in there as well. Again, 2 out of 3 isn't bad.
My goals this week...
limit the sweets
drink 72+ oz of water each day
do a yoga or stretching session
In regards to number three up there, I know there are some online stretching or yoga videos. Can you all recommend some? Kristine? :o) My legs are getting WAY too tight, and I need to be better about taking care of them.
And two things that have been popping up a lot lately... I usually run in these headphones (but I didn't pay $42 for them, and you can buy a similar pair at WalMart for maybe $6). I can't say they are the best, and look a bit ridiculous, but I have yet to find a pair of ear buds that work for me.
And many of you have noticed my compression sleeves popping up on instagram. I got them before the half, because I knew I'd be sitting in the car for a while shortly after the race, and figured that wouldn't feel the greatest. To tell you the truth I'm not sure how they work, or what exactly they do (well they are supposed to aid in muscle recovery), but I can say that after the half and after yesterday, it just feels so good to have that compression on there. When I took them off last night I could immediately feel my right calf start to cramp up. It was weird.
If anyone was curious, I have the small/medium size. You measure the widest part of your calf to find your size, I know the small/medium was for 11.5-14.5 inches, I'm pretty sure anyway. So the xs/s would be smaller than that, the m/l would be bigger :o). And I chose sleeves over socks, because if I wanted to actually run in them, I'd rather wear the running socks I know I love. And I can wear the sleeves around with flip flops if I need to.
Wow. That post got long, sorry!
Congrats to all of you who were also racing this past weekend. Write about it! Link up! I'd love to read about it :o).