Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thunder Road Course Preview Race
No pain, no gain! That's what they say, anyway. Yesterday we did the Thunder Road preview race for the first half of the marathon course. Basically, we were previewing what our half marathon would be. I don't even know why I'm saying "our," because I still haven't signed up for it yet. I posted a pic of the map above. What we ran yesterday was mostly that, with a change in the start and finish positions. We started and finished at the Dowd YMCA, and the way they sent us meant we finished at 13.5 miles.Morehead.
After yesterday, I don't quite know if I'm ready for it. I took 1000 mg Ibuprofen before the start, to try to ward off the issues with my ankle and my Achilles. It seemed to work, for the most part. It was a sunny day, and maybe about 50 degrees when the race got started, but still a little fog/moisture in the air. They gave us directions for the course in little sandwich baggies. In the beginning, it was easy to see where the turns were, because we were with the crowd. But as the crowd thinned out, I had to really pay attention to where we were going. Since this was only a course preview, there was no one out there directing traffic. None of the roads were closed. We were on our own, with the exception of 3 -4 water stops where they had left water coolers and cups for us.
I didn't get a chance to re-calibrate Nike Plus on Friday, so I knew it was going to be "off." I used it anyway, because I really just wanted to record the run and the time it took to finish. I thought I'd be running by myself, somewhere in between Jay's pace, and Cheryl & Janelle's pace. But Jay slowed down to stay with me. I pushed through several hills that I probably would have walked had Jay not been there.
Thankfully, this course was NOT as hilly as the 15K we did in October. That course was a never-ending slolum...up and down, up and down. This course was planned so that we'd have some flat areas, or areas with minor inclines. There were two good sized hills on Colville Road, and Providence Road was just one long hill. I'm horrible at estimating distances, but I swear we ran uphill for 1/2 mile. The course took us on a little maze through some of the nicer neighborhoods in Charlotte, but definitely the older neighborhoods. I had driven through some of these areas, but you get a whole new perspective when you are running. I took my first 1 minute walking break after about 6 miles. It was in the middle of a hill, and my legs just were not working with me. As usual, Jay continued on, but running a zig zag pattern, back and forth across the road until I caught back up.
It's funny how one moment can make you happy and frustrated at the same time. Once we got to about 6.5 miles, I knew we were halfway through. Then I thought, we still have 7 miles to go! I was in charge of the directions (because Jay says he can't run and think at the same time...or something like that, lol).I would look down and tell him the next few turns, in case he got ahead of me. I was able to keep up with him until we got to Queens Rd. At this point I felt like I was just over it. I Queens Road West is a LONG road. And because I don't frequent that area often, I had no idea how long it would take us to get back to Morehead. I just tried to keep him in my sights. I think I took my 3rd Gu somewhere along Queens Rd. It seemed like it took forever for us to get back to Morehead. I made the left and saw Jay up ahead, he ran up to the first light and then he stopped to walk. I ran to that same light, then walked fast to catch up with him.
I figured we'd start running again once I caught up, but Jay said he was just spent. Probably because he wasn't really hydrating during the race. Lots of lactic acid build up that wasn't being flushed. By that point we had run about 11.5. We ran some intervals on and off, and walked most of the last half mile, because the directions were confusing as to how we'd get back to the YMCA. Once we figured out where we were, we kicked it in, up the hill to the stop sign. Took us 2:45 to finish, even with all the walking we did.
Jay hasn't signed up for the race, either. I think - like me - he doesn't want to register, pay the $50, and then get out there and not be able to actually run the race. I've got 4 weeks to decide. My sore, aching legs are telling me to pass. We'll see.
Oh - by the time we finished, Nike Plus was almost a mile ahead of what we actually ran. LOL! I think I'll try to recalibrate on Tuesday.