Saturday, May 8, 2010

Riverbank Run

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of rain beating against the window; not what I wanted to hear.  Most of my drive to Grand Rapids was in the rain. Yippie.    Geez, I thought Ann Arbor highways are a mess with a bunch of closed lanes and exits but Grand Rapids is way worse, 2 of the highways leading to downtown were closed.  Thanks to a friend who lives near G.R. I avoided a mess.  If you read this, Thanks, friend, for leaving work and driving to an exit and leading me into the city!!!  It is much appreciated!! 
Anyway, after a rainy drive there I checked into my hotel and walked to the expo.  It had stopped raining but it was much colder than it was when I left home.  I discovered that I had forgotten the jacket I had intended to take.  I actually wrote last night about the expo so I won't go into that. 
This morning when I first woke up it wasn't raining but it soon started.  I was having flashbacks.  Last year it rained for the entirety of this race.  It began right as the announcement was made for the 25K runners to begin lining up in the street and it rained the entire 2 hours, 23 minutes that I was running.  I was soaked.  I really didn't want to repeat that experience and today was colder than it was last year.  It did stop raining before the race.  It wasn't raining when I jogged over to where the race starts.  I checked my sweatshirt and long sleeve tshirt with about 4 minutes until the race, I wasn't giving it up until I had to!!  I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  I went back and forth on wearing a long sleeve shirt.  It was 46 according to so I knew that I'd be freezing to start but if I was overdressed it wouldn't take very long until I would be miserable.  Around 5 or 6 miles I began hearing comments of being too warm and often I saw people taking off jackets or a shirt layer.  The wind came up a few times and that was miserable. 
I treated this as a long run since I know I am nowhere near the shape I was in the last 2 years.  My time was 2:33:46 which is 9:53 pace.  Oh well.  Last year I had 2:23:something and the year before 2:20:12 so I was way slower this year.  This is a huge race and there are always many people around me the entire race.  I picked up my pace at the 14 mile mark even though I knew better.  I kept it up until nearly the end!  The 15th mile was the fastest mile I ran in the entire race but my last half mile took 5:08. 
As soon as I stopped running I was freezing and I had to walk back to the place where gear check was.  It seemed like a very long walk.  Then it was back to my hotel. When I was in the building getting my things it had started raining so I walked back to the hotel in the rain.  I did not have any pants to put on over my shorts so my legs were freezing and my feet really hurt and my legs were getting stiff and sore.  I had 1.5 hours until I had to check out.  I stretched my hamstring, showered and crawled into the bed and rolled up in the covers and took a nap for about 40 mins. 
The good news: my hamstring never bothered!!!  It was well behaved! 
It's now 3 weeks until the marathon.  I will be running 20 miles next weekend.  I have no idea where I am going to run the 20 miles yet. 
It's time for bed, I'm exhausted and feel like I could sleep for 18 hours!! 
Happy running,
Runner Nerd

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