Friday, September 16, 2011

That's one in the books

So I am on my way to completing my next goal. Become a member of the Half Fanatics.
I took part in the International Peace Half Marathon.
This was an event that took place in Washington, DC on the C&O Canal tow path.
I was not looking to break any records, but I did have a good time.
I ran with a couple of "Purcellville Plodders". That is the group of runners that I am a part of.
I will say that I knew from a couple of people that this event is very low key. In fact they have a limit on the number of runners that can register. they will only allow 250. It was one of the cheapest half marathon events that I have run in. I was only doing this event so that it would count on my way to gaining membership in the Half Fanatics.
Anyway, there were a couple of items that came up that was a little upsetting. One was that fact that there were no bathrooms available. When asked about it we were told go and ask some of the shops or restaurants down the street. Really? Well it ended up not being that big of a deal. The other issue that I was going to write about I have decided not to as an email from the race director came out that covered it.
So now lets get to the meat of the story.
Race report.
It was a nice morning. Not too hot yet and almost not a cloud in the sky. This was not a chip timed event but rather timed by the clock. Again, not that big of a deal.
So part of this event was to acknowledge the lives that were lost on the attack of the US 10 years ago on Sept 11th. They rang a bell for each of the lives lost at the Pentagon. The National Anthem was sung (quite well) and then we were off.
Well for the past week we have had nothing but rain. So needless to say there were some puddles that we had to run through. The C&O is not a paved trail. It is more like crushed stone. So these puddles were more like mud puddles. Some of the runners were trying to run around then acting like they did not want to get their feet wet. Well for me I was more concerned about splashing the muddy water up on another runner. I was not too concerned about getting my feet wet. I did in fact bring a change of socks and an extra pair of shoes.
This was an out and back course with water stops about every 2 miles or so. The two other guys that came along were Dan and Mike. Well Dan is a faster runner then Mike and I so he went on ahead. Mike and I stayed with each other for quite some time. We were just chugging along having some very light conversation, taking in the scenery and just enjoying the moment. We did have to be mindful of the trail as it was not closed for our use only. There were a fair amount of other people out there ridding their bikes, running and walking and just finally enjoying a day without any rain.
Well like I said, Mike and I were keeping a very good pace until about mile 8.5. Mike had to take a break. I slowed down with him to keep him company. He urged me to go on. And even though I was not running for a specific time, I just wanted to have an official finish time. Which was good because this event did not have a time limit on it. Yet, I was torn. I enjoy the company of other runners, especially runners that I know. But I really did not want to slow down. I was feeling good. I was not pushing myself too much. Mike reassured me that it was ok to go on without him, so I did.
After a bit I felt myself getting tired. Well I only brought three Gu's. One I took just before the beginning of the race, one at about mile 5 and the last one at mile 10. I could feel myself getting tired. I could also feel the crust of dried sweat/salt stains on the side of my face. ***note to self - look into adding some electrolytes on the next one. The aid stations that they had set up were only providing water. Again, not a big deal.
I ended up learning a lot about myself on this run. This was a C race for me. I went out there enjoyed myself greatly. My A race that I am building toward is the Hershey Half in the middle of October.
Now I will say that my overall goal for my Half Marathon time is 2 hours. Right now my PR is 2:15 (and change).
I have been having some very goods runs as of late and feel that goal is definitely obtainable.
Not sure if I am going to try to get that accomplished in Hershey but maybe within a year.
Well that is all for now. Thanks for reading.