Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's fall! That means it's Capital City River Run time!

I don't run many races more than once. There are a lot of races to be run, and in general I don't see the point of doing one repeatedly. The obvious exception, however, is Lansing's Capital City River Run (CCRR). I love this race, and this is the fourth year I've run it.

The CCRR has several really good things going for it. First off it's right downtown Lansing, so I can actually park at my office and walk over to the Lansing Center for the start. Very convenient. Second it takes place mostly on the Lansing River Trail, and that's where I do many of my long training runs. It feels very comfortable to run this race. Third (and perhaps most importantly) it has great swag. I wear all of my CCRR shirts all the time. They are my favorite long-sleeved running shirts. This year's shirt is no exception - a perfectly fitting, long-sleeved blue t-shirt that I know I'll wear frequently.  In addition to the awesome shirt is the fantastic medal. I love adding the CCRR medals to my collection.

On race morning I did something I rarely do - I waited until the last minute to get moving. We live only about 3 miles from the race start, so I found myself moving slowly. By the time my husband and I got downtown the race was only about 15 minutes from the start, which is entirely unlike me. Usually I'm waiting around for 30-45 minutes. Being that I'm quite anal I was anxious about running late, but everything worked out perfectly.

I resolved myself to stay with the 9:30 pacer who turned out to be a friend of mine. Of course when we started I did what I always did and thought that pace was too slow. So I took off onto the course thinking I could just end with the 9:30 pacer. Fat chance. I felt great for much for the race. The weather was perfect - 50s and overcast. I was moving along nicely until around mile seven when I found myself slowing down.

After the race with rock star pacer Lainie
Just before mile nine I heard my name and knew the 9:30 pace group was catching up to me. I ran solidly with the group until around mile 11.  I was starting to struggle and knew I just wasn't going to be able to keep that pace. I was also having some pain in my toe, and I knew I was at that very moment losing one of my toenails. Ah the joys of marathon training.

I ended up finishing in 2:09:38.  While I was disappointed, it is only the third time in 13 half marathons that I have broken 2:10.  In the past I've done quite well while training for a full, but given that I was on the tail end of bronchitis and just wasn't having a good day, it wasn't going to happen.

Finishing strongish.
The one complaint I have about this race is the water situation after the race. There is never anyone there with water, and I find myself having to go in search of water once the race is finished. I was handed a bottle of chocolate milk, but that wasn't going to cut it. Fortunately I brought my own water in the car, and that was the only water I found handily.

Despite my dehydration, I'll do the CCRR again next fall. It's one of my favorite running events, and for me it truly marks the beginning of fall racing season.

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