Whoa, what an experience my half marathon was today! One that started way too early this morning with me leaving the house at 5 AM – ick! As much as I love races, I hate the part where I have to get up that early on a weekend day! I ran the Shamrock’n Half Marathon and it’s a bit of a famous half here that always fills up months before the race. I had to find out what the big deal is about this half compared to the Urban Cow I ran in October, so I registered the day registration opened for it months in advance. One of the early registration perks is adding a custom short message to your bib – what do you think?
The race started just outside of Raley Field in West Sacramento and ended on the field after crossing the golden bridge into Sacramento and weaving all through mid and down town, it was a great track. The weather wasn’t horrible, but not great – cold, overcast and a little windy. As usual, the line for the porta potties near the start line was insane. But, since my sister didn’t run it due to a foot issue, I got her Brooks special pass sticker to use their heated, no-line, luxo bathroom trailer and I’m spoiled! Even the toilet paper had Brooks logos on it and we had our choice of different hand soaps. And, as exiting, we were treated to Gu packs and mints.
Hubby was kind enough to get some good shots while I was running. :-) We had to run the bridge twice to enter and exit Sacramento and even got to run the old west themed dirt streets of Old Sac.
The race was very crowded and it took about 15 minutes to cross the start line giving a pretty big difference between my chip time and gun time. And the start weaved through a lot of narrow, under construction roads around the baseball field, so it was tricky navigating around slower runners and sometimes just impossible until the crowds started breaking up at the bridge. Still, a lot of the course was packed, especially on the parts running narrow bike paths along the river, I felt boxed in by other runners a lot.
This ended up being a very hard run for me because I had to make two pit stops thanks to unhappy insides and my ankle started flaring up at mile 6. The stomach problems caught me off guard after all my careful eating, I think part of the problem was being an hour off-schedule and running on a lack-of-sleep with the time change. I was not the only one, there were waits at all the porta-potty stations throughout the course, too bad Brooks didn’t have luxo versions because they were nasty! My insides were cramping and rumbling most of the half, but still I beat my last half marathon time … only by 4 minutes. I’ll take it though considering the challenges! I was much better prepared this time around to make up for lost time by upping my pace and adjusting my stride to minimize ankle pain and confident my time would have been considerably better without the issues.
I was thrilled to make it to the finish and that hubby was right there with our new camera. :-)
But climbing the bleachers and wondering around all the booths in the stadium was not easy on my tired feet!
The free beer helped numb the pain and the chilly breeze. :-)
Now I’m chilling in sweats at home while the rain is coming down outside and that’s all right with me since it didn’t rain during the race. I’m relieved the race is over and, while I’ll still be running, I probably won’t be taking on another half-marathon until October or so. I’m looking forward to getting more into yoga, mountain biking and SkyRobics after such an intense running schedule.
I promised to announce the winner to my raw treats giveaway – and the winner is: