Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cannonball half marathon 2008 race report

So despite running the Chicago marathon on Sunday and both having colds, Shannon and I drove to Greensboro this morning to run the Cannonball half marathon. Shannon and I run so many races that we have the pre-race schedule down pat. I get up at 5am and proceed to guzzle Gatorade like I'm in some kind of drinking contest. At 7:15, Shannon has a sudden and nonnegotiable need for an emergency stop at a gas station rest room.
After we parked, we jogged over to get our chips and bibs, and my feet were killing me. In addition to dull ache I've had for the last month there was a new very sharp pain in my right foot. There was no way I was running a half if I couldn't run across the parking lot. Luckily, 15 minutes before the start, Shannon managed to dig out a piece of glass with a rusted bobby pin. She saved the day! Yea! It was 47 degrees at the start, close to perfect. My goal was a somewhat delusional1:29:59 and Shannon's was a 1:39:59. The adrenaline of a race is the best pain killer, and I didn't notice my mangled feet at all. The course is an out and back, with mostly blacktop park "trails", some neighborhoods and about a mile of a busy road with the lane closed to traffic. A little dog ran out from someones front yard and tried to bite me.
I managed to keep a 6:52 pace to mile 10 but after that I struggled up what seemed a 3 mile long hill. About a half mile to go, huffing and puffing, I got a side cramp which stopped me dead in my tracks. It was one of "Drank-too-much-ran-too-fast-you-dumb-ass" cramps I get sometimes in races. I must have looked pretty bad, because a very nice woman running past offered to carry my fuel belt for me. I said "no, thanks", thinking that no other human should ever touch that disgusting thing, which has been washed once in 7 years. So I pressed really hard into the cramp and managed to gimp across the finish line in 1:31:58, grunting in pain.
Shannon blew away her goal in a 1:38:36 finishing with a huge grin like she always does.
We completed our race day schedule with a stop at Starbucks, an hour drive home sitting on horribly inflamed hamstrings, and a handful of Advil.

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