Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nineteen Halfs and Counting

This weekend I ran my 19th half marathon. I thought I'd only run 17, but I looked back at my running spreadsheet (because I'm that kind of nerd), and it turns out it was number 19. Now I feel like I should run number 20 this year just to start 2016 on an even number...but I'm already digressing quite early in the blog.

I've run the Capital City River Run 5 times - the half 4 times and the 5k once. It's one of my favorite races which must be obvious because I don't often run races more than once. I love that it starts in downtown Lansing and runs the Lansing River Trail, a course with which I am so familiar because it's the site of all my long training runs. It's always impeccably organized and most importantly has great shirts and medals.

I loved waking up and walking to the race start. I met my friend at our office before the race where we stretched and chatted before walking to the start. On Saturday, the day before the race, my Crohns decided to be a situation. As we walked from our office to the start I had the realization that this could be a challenging race if I couldn't get my GI issues under control.  GI problems are a common issue for runners. There are articles dedicated to it and tons of nutrition suggestions. Despite my general life GI issues, it's (thankfully) rarely been a problem when I'm running.

The sky over the Capitol = perfection.

We started off strong down Michigan Avenue to East Lansing. Last year the CCRR added a full marathon. I didn't run the race last year because I was still recovering from my hospital drama earlier in the summer. I imagine they changed the course to accommodate the full, but it never occurred to me to check out the course in advance because I'd done the race so many times. I was surprised at how far we ran down Michigan Avenue before turning to hit the river trail. We followed the lengthy run down the Avenue by turning onto Michigan State's campus and back to the more familiar territory of the river trail.

By mile 3 I knew I'd need a bathroom stop. I was frustrated because we were right with the 8:30 pacers meaning a certain PR. I stopped at mile 6, and my awesome friend stopped with me despite my telling her to go on. We quickly jumped back into the race and had a goal to catch back up with the pacer. 

After mile 9 I started to fade. I was fighting the need to stop again, and I urged my friend to go on as I dialed it back just a notch. I saw another bathroom (the most disgusting one I've ever been in) at mile 10 and had to stop again. It was so frustrating.

As I rounded the turn to the finish I saw my time on the clock and knew I was close to my PR. I dug deep and pushed hard to the finish. I heard my friend and my husband yelling for me. My rockstar friend took several minutes off her PR, and I am so proud of her. I was 15 seconds slower than my PR, a mark I would've broken if not for f*&#(@g GI problems. 

Post race with one of my two biggest fans.

I love the CCRR: the course, the energy, the crowd. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and even though I don't quite love the new course as much, it's still pretty great. Other than the aforementioned problems while running, my body felt great afterward. I had a moment where I realized I'm well on my way to being in marathon shape, which is reassuring.

I haven't been thinking about a running plan past the New York Marathon because logging training miles becomes all consuming. Now I'm thinking about half marathon number 20, the Mid-Land half in Midland, Michigan the weekend after NYC. 

On Sunday evening we joined friends at the newly opened Creole restaurant in Old Town. I've been waiting with bated breath for the opening of the Creole. The kitchen isn't fully open, but we were able to have delicious cocktails. The gin fizz is an amazing drink. I highly recommend it.

We left the Creole to get food at Cosmos, also in Old Town. I'm not eating gluten right now (remember...I'm that person), so I couldn't eat their delicious pizza. I could, however, eat mussels and duck fat fries. It's rough being me. 

It was a late Sunday evening, but it was a perfect day of running, napping (I also had a two-hour nap!) and delicious food/cocktails. It's been real, CCRR. Until next year! 

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