Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Athens Half-Marathon Recap

(And recapping last week is kinda worthless: Ran Wednesday and Saturday, strength-trained & walked on Thursday.) 

Athens is done, and I can't really complain too much about the way things went. I had a sore throat going into the race, but the illness mostly held off until Monday/Tuesday of this week so no complaints.  Let's back up... Saturday morning started bright and early with a 3-mile shakeout run. The training group had 12 miles, so Aaron and I met them to start them off. I didn't feel great, but it was okay. Then we ran a few errands and got on the road around 1:30 or 2.

First stop: Weasel Boy Brewing.  This is a new tradition, and I love it! Aaron and I worked with Lori many, many years ago, so we have quite the affinity to the place. Our whole crew met there, so that was fun. We had a beer or two, ate some pizza and growlers to go and then headed to Athens -- just to miss packet pickup.

 No big deal as we're staying in the host hotel and there was also packet pickup on race day morning. We did our annual Chinese meal (although it's probably no longer the choice as one guy had issues with it two years in a row) and got to bed early. I didn't sleep that well Saturday night, but that's to be expected. I'm never that comfortable in hotel bed. We got up at 6am, got dressed, ate, got our packets, etc. We were ready to head to the start and got there in plenty of time to hit the restrooms beforehand. Perfect.

Going into the race, I wasn't feeling very confident. I had abandoned any hopes of PRing, so I just decided to take it easy. I ran the first half at a pretty easy pace. My breathing was good, my heart rate seemed good. At the turnaround, I picked up the pace some, but not as much as I wanted. I ran pretty steady for the second half, so that's good. First half was around a 10-minute pace, the second half around 9:40. My watch says 9:37, and my official pace was 9:42. Given my fitness level and the fact that I'm sick, I can't really complain. I did what I set out to do: Run the race like a long run with negative splits and feeling good.  But man, I didn't feel well afterward. My right hamstring was a disaster. My cold came on full-force (along with a hangover from our victory lap in Athens). I'm turning the corner now, though.

Kinda embarrassing to be running while that dude's walking.
Or maybe it's the other way around. 

Aquariums at The Pub with a much smaller crew this year.

Next up is the Salt Fork 10 Miler and the Cleveland Half Marathon. Judging from Athens, I am not expecting anything great (especially since getting to trails seems to be pretty tricky for me). I'm still not 100% that I'm even running Cleveland, and I'm tempted to ditch Salt Fork (but that's mostly because I'm scared of how poorly I'm going to do). 

I took yesterday Monday and Tuesday off from running. I would have run Tuesday except I was laid up on the couch all day. (It was bad.) Running Wednesday, maybe something Thursday, maybe not (might have post-work plans) and then figure out the weekend. I'm keeping this week very loose since I'm sick and "recovering" from Sunday. I use quotes because it was more a long run than a race effort; however, my right hamstring was a disaster. I'm hoping a lot of that worsened by dehydration from the victory lap Sunday afternoon/evening. We'll see as I run this week, right?

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