Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trenton Half Marathon Race Report

It was Trenton's first inaugrual half marathon and 10k....you may be thinking - "Geez Heather, what is it about you and your ghetto running...first Camden, now Trenton"  - For the few of my followers that are not familiar with the state of New Jersey - these are some of the top crime rated cities...I am saying this like I am proud or something.  For your information - Camden, NJ has a crime rating of 3 and Trenton, NJ a rating of 11.  What does that mean?  Camden is safer than 3% of the cities in the US and Trenton safer than 11% of the cities in the US.

Trivia and humor aside, it was a really nice course and did not go through the "sketchy" areas.  The logistics and spectator view of it was a rating of 15 - maybe 15% better than other races....meaning no bueno.  However, the spectators were able to see each runner from the stadium as we ran into Trenton Thunder Stadium and it was great for photographers Mike.

I think they are trying to make it better for next year, and probably something I would consider doing again since it really was a nice course with a good mix of flats, bridges and some hills.

As for me, as you saw in the last post I was suffering from severe off-seasonitis....I wanted it to be over and I just really wasn't mentally into it.  When you aren't mentally into it, it's NOT going to go well.  It wasn't my worse race but it was not my best.  The lack of training or what I may call fake training really had an impact.  I don't think I was ever so ill-prepared from the running side to bad nutrition, it was just awful and I just want to put my head down because I did not RESPECT the race, the distance, none of it.

The week before I ran Bridge run 10K and felt good, THIS did not feel good.  I'll share the story now...

Twas two nights before the race, I had too much to drink - scratch that I had 3 very very strong beers and felt like ass the next day, which I think just set me up for disaster.  I don't normally drink very much the week leading up to a race and this had a definite impact.  My eating was off all day on Friday, I drank maybe two glasses of water and sipped on a bottle of Nuun...after work we were going with some friends to check out some space for Brewtal - more on that later and I asked Mike what we were going to do about dinner.  Oh, we are having pizza, so I  thought oh okay we are going somewhere for pizza, and I could probably order some chicken and salad and I thought I would be okay.  Nope they were BRINGING pizza, so I am very religious about what I eat the night before and this was not that.  At this point, I was like f it and had a beer and continued sipping some water.  I went to bed too late at midnight, and had to wake up by 5:30...Then I wasn't quite sure about clothing, it was going to be 30 degrees, I thought I would wear a skirt and twin it with Yasi but when she came in my house bundled up I ran up and changed.  Again, not prepared.  The other hard part was I didn't have my normal breakfast, I had no banana and I barely ate a rice cake with some almond butter.


To top it off I brought only 1 gu with me.  Nicole, Yasi and I get to the race site and park and met up with Matt and Bub and Meg (who did her first 10K).  I ate something at 6 and the race did not start until 8:30...not to mention I didn't eat enough at all.  I was thirsty, and my stomach was rumbling which is not a good sign.  The race had a 45 min delay so it was a double whammy.    So we start - FAST...I looked at my Garmin and it said 7:54...SLOW the F DOWN!!  I then felt good and clocked in some 9 and 9:20 min miles...I saw our friend Lisa at Mile 4 on the Pennsylvania side and at that point felt awesome...and the thought crossed my mind that if I can stay in around 9:10 I can PR from AC!  

AS you see above it looked decent, THEN it started falling apart...


 I still felt okay at 6 and 7 but felt a little niggle in my calve, so I stopped and walked the water break and then tried to sip on my one and only GU.  Mile 8 was when the little hilly area came and that's when the calve cramp that has not reared it head in quite a while showed up for the party...uninvited...at Mile 10 I decided I was going to relax my calve with my mind...I don't know what I was thinking but I assumed it I took deep yoga breaths and breathed into that area it will loosen.  Just so you know it is mentally exhausting to try this.  I felt like things were picking up at mile 10 and I could at least hold that pace in.  Then mile 11 happened and it traveled to my achilles....and the calf was balling up, which then signified my toes to start curling like it did in DC!  So basically miles 11-13 were a shit show of pain.  I want to spare you the pictures that the race took, it looked like I was dying a slow death.  At one point this older gentleman said - "are you okay?"  I was standing in the middle of the highway trying to push my toes flat..."um, yes, just trying to flatten the toes..."  No amount of electrolytes and salt were curing this...

Anyway, I started a run walk strategy and just tried to make it in, I was running with some man and he said he wished he was faster and how glad he was to see the finish line.  I told him, I was just glad that we are fortunate enough to be able to do this in the first place.  Then I said to him, we are almost there what do you say we fake run it in together - we got this!  I think that was the point where I saw my dad, which always makes me happy.  I ran around the bases and made pretend I was not in pain when in fact the cramping was really bad but I refused to not look good at the finish!  So I made it in and saw Mike at the finish with his camera, my mom, sister and my friends that finished the 10K.
 Without my husband and family and phenomenal group of friends this wouldn't be worth a damn thing.  I love them all and truly appreciate them being there!  Oh and the beer breakfast that followed it!!

As much as this was a shit show of running, I learned that nutrition and training are that important, it was a great learning experience.  AND I got to witness two people finishing their first 10K and ready for a Half-marathon - congrats Megan and Mahlet!!  AND I was able to run with my two friends Yasi and Nicole!



Now it's time for off-season and celebrate this EPIC year of accomplishments!




















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