Yesterday, Michelle, Beth, and I ran the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon.
Our Sunday morning wake-up call came way too early at 4am! Our plan was to be out the door by 4:45, but we were all moving in slow motion and made it out just after 5am (good thing we always plan to leave early so we have some wiggle room). We step out the door and it's pouring....hard! We get all the way to Annapolis with no issues, plenty of time, then we hit traffic. And it's not moving. We finally find a map and figure a back way to the Naval Academy Stadium. It's raining so hard at this point, that Marc just hangs out in the car with Sofie and Lolly (Michelle's daughter). We get out and have to go potty. There is no way I'm starting this race on this full of a bladder. Someone was nice enough to tell us that the real bathrooms inside the stadium have no lines. We squeeze behind the starting line and the race starts, perfect timing.
Immediately, we lost Michelle. The first two miles went by quickly. All of a sudden we were at the first water stop. It was at the base of the Naval Academy bridge (which felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest). We saw Michelle on the bridge, chatted for a second and kept on going. I was also very glad I was wearing my Garmin. There were no clocks at all on the course. The next 2-3 miles were very hilly, like a roller coaster. We'd get to the crest of one hill, just to see the next looming ahead. Finally, another water stop at mile 4. This was smack in the middle of another hill. It's always my plan to walk through water stops. I just can't drink and run at the same time, plus I feel it gives my legs and my mind just enough break. I'm pretty sure this was about the time the rain stopped too. (Turned out to be a great day!)
At this point this I just didn't feel like I was going to have a good race. The hills were beating me up mentally. We turned onto the B&A trail around mile 5, this is when I finally turned my iPod on. Somewhere between here and the next water stop I started feeling much better mentally. We got Luna Moons around 7.5. We also saw more and more people coming back at us, we knew we were getting close to the turn around. We turned around a hundred feet before mile 8. This was where I realized we had to run the whole stupid trail again. I'm starting to wear down mentally again. (The one saving grace of the trail was it was flat! Except for the one spot where it slanted slightly one direction.) We also saw Michelle within a mile of turning around. She was all smiles and looked good.
Beth started having tummy and feet issues. We stopped for one port-o-potty stop and numerous walk breaks for Beth's blister. I didn't mind at all! Remember, I'm having the mental war of the year. Plus, this was Beth's first half marathon. I really wanted to finish with her!
Mile 11 we turn back onto the road and we both start getting excited, we know we can finish this! We had a really good down hill right away on the road and that got us to the final water stop. We pretty much walked up all the remaining hills and forced ourselve to run the flat or downhill stretchs. We made it back to the Naval Academy Bridge (thank God we didn't have to run over it again) and mile 13. We looped (downhill!) down and under the bridge. There's Marc..and my baby! And Lolly! We kick it into high gear and sprint to the finish.
We get arm loads of bananas, oranges, bagels, water, and wait for Michelle to come in.
Official chip times
Lauren - 2:38:29 (yea! beat my unoffical goal of coming in under 2:45:00)
Beth - 2:38:30 (so freakin' proud of you!)
Michelle - 2:53:27
According to our Garmin's (I think they need names Beth, what do you think?), we actually finished in 2:36:34 (since it paused while were waiting at the port-o-potty). And, get this....I burned 1318 calories! Whoo hoo!
I'm still waiting on official pictures, but here are the few I took.
Michelle, her daughter Lolly, Beth, me, and Sofie at mile marker 13. We look pretty darn good for just running 13.1 miles! (Forgot to get a still half asleep 5am pre-race shot.)
The girls took the shuttle back to the post-race party and Marc ran the mile or 2 (what can I say, he was feeling froggy). The post-race party wasn't as much of a party I was expecting. I'm not sure if that was from the early morning rain or it really wasn't going to be big to begin with. I got a new Bondi Band (great for growing your bangs out). We got some free wine (discovered I really like the Barefoot Moscato), free "lunchs" for the runners (more like a snack...and we shared our 3 "lunchs" with Marc, Sofia, and Lolly, so it really didn't go far). We decided to head into town and find some crabcakes for Marc (it was his birthday afterall and he wanted crab cakes and we were definitely in crab cake territory). Sofie and Marc were playing peek-a-boo across the table.
Michelle and Lolly had a mean game of hangman going on.
And I finally made it in a picture (instead of always being the one behind the camera).
After lunch, we went in search of this cupcake place that was supposed to be at the post race party. They were there, they just left their booth before us back-of-the-packers made it. We found the place but the cupcakes didn't look nearly as good as we had built them up in our minds. We opted for ice cream instead.
I am feeling great today! I'm not sore at all! I'm a little tight and could stand to stretch my hamstrings a bit. This is the best I felt the day after any race of 10 miles or longer. I don't know what happened? Maybe I could have pushed myself harder and had a better time? Maybe my body is finally getting used to the pounding of distance running? I dunno. But I do know that I had a great race (and wasn't expecting too with all my mental issues).
Also, I was not a fan of the course. Hills aside, mental issues aside. The out and back and 7+ miles on the B&A trail was not fun. There was nothing exciting to look at. The trail was a wide as a golf cart path (for runners going both directions - hardly any room to pass a slower runner or dodge a giant mud puddle). It's a shame the race didn't go through the historic parts of Annapolis. And, after the bridge, 80% the parts that were on the road and not the trail, were on the shoulder. The road was still open to traffic and the should starts to dip off (not level). Not sure I will do this race next year.
For the rest of the weekend with Beth, check here and here.
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