Saturday, April 28, 2012

The American River Parkway Half Marathon 2012

I was using today's race as a training run. I have the Mermaid Half Marathon in two weeks and figured that this would be a great last long run before then. 

This was my first time running this race but it wont be the last. It's all on the American River Bike Trail so it was a beautiful course and all the proceeds goes to maintaining the trail. That's great for everyone! :o) The Grant High School drum line provided some entertainment at the start as well as a group of bag pipe players. It was really great. Then, just before the start of the race, there was a little ceremony honoring Officer Randy van Dusen with bib #1  for saving the life of one of last year's runners. The runner, Ralph Jefferies was given bib #2 and his wife, Felicia, was given bib #3. Here's the story from last year's race:  

On April 30, 2011, Officer Randy Van Dusen watched a runner at a half marathon event collapse. Without hesitation, Officer Van Dusen went to check on the runner, thinking he had just tripped or stumbled. Instead, the runner was found unconscious with no pulse. Officer Van Dusen called for Code 3 fire and medical response and began chest compressions on the runner. As other runners arrived, some medically trained, Officer Van Dusen continued chest compressions. Despite several medically trained people on the scene advising Officer Van Dusen to discontinue compressions when the victim did not respond, he did not stop. Several minutes later, prior to medical aid arriving, the victim’s heart started to beat. The victim was transported to the hospital where he began his recovery.   -

I try not to judge a half marathon or analyze how I'm doing during the first few miles. I use these miles as a warm up and I usually struggle through them. I tend to hate running in the first ten minutes of any run. I almost always find myself ask "why do I continue to do this to myself?" But once I work the cobwebs out of my legs I'm fine and enjoy the rest of the run. However, today was very different.

Early in the race, around mile 2, my right foot started to feel weird and my big toe felt like it was going to sleep. That had never happened before and I was little concerned about it but I tried to just forget about it keep going. It was also around this time that I started running/walking in 30 second splits. This works well for me in longer races. It keeps me running without getting too tired to cover the miles. 

As I was approaching the turn-around point my right foot was starting to really bother me. My toe wasn't asleep anymore but I felt the outside of my foot rubbing against my shoe and the bottom of my foot felt tired. This is the same foot that has been giving me problems all year. It gets really tight and I feel pain in my heel a lot of the time, both on and off the road, but this pain was different. I decided to stop and try retying my shoes at the next aid station after the turn-around. Since I felt my foot rubbing against the shoe maybe tightening up the laces would solve the problem. As I as was retying them I noticed this...

Yep, I was wearing two different shoes... Normally, the night before a race, I pack everything I could possibly need or want in my "race bag" along with the clothes I plan on wearing, with my bib already pinned to my shirt, and my shoes, with the timing chip already attached. The morning of my races I take the whole bag to the bathroom and get dressed without bothering my husband. But last night the clothes I wanted to wear today weren't finished drying so I didn't go through my usual preparation rituals. I got dressed, including putting on my shoes, in the dark and walked out of the house without going over my attire. Now I know NEVER to do that again. 

You see, the pink and white shoe on my right foot is half of my old pair of running shoes. They were very good to me but no longer have the cushioning and support my feet require. They still work great for around the house, yard, walking the daycare up to the park and my bodypump classes. Not so much for running any substantial distance and defiantly not for 13.1 miles. As a result my right foot was very angry with me and I ended up supporting most of my weight with my left leg. That caused me more pain, mostly in my knee and hip. I was forced to walk most of the last five miles. I did manage to suck it up long enough to run for the two sets of photographers that where snapping photos on that portion of the course and to cross the finish line running.    

Overall, it was a nice race. It was beautiful out today and it got nice and warm. Of course I would have been a little bit more comfortable if I finished earlier and enjoyed the warmth from the shade instead of out on the course... I feel like I did pretty good all things considering. My last half was in late February and my time in that race was 3:15. Today my time was 3:43. I think if I didn't have to walk I would have defiantly beat my last half's time and I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the Mermaid half. Hopefully anything that can go wrong I got out of the way today.  

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