On Saturday I woke up at 5:30 am to drive an hour in a rainforest-worthy deluge to Martinsville to run their half marathon. The rain didn't let up during the wait for the race, and standing/shivering in the pouring rain while waiting for the race to begin was unpleasant. When the race started 10 minutes late, that was even more unpleasant. But once I got started I was much happier. I do actually enjoy running the rain.
The race wraps through some town streets and then spits out onto a greenway at the 2 mile mark. One thing I loved about this course is that there were plenty of water stops and they also had portapotties along the course. I didn't need one this race, but it's always nice to know it's there.
I've had some trouble from my right glute for a while now, and I took a couple of ibuprofin before the race as a preventative. It's good I did, because it was acting up fairly early on in the race, around mile marker 4. I eased up a bit on my pace since I still had a long way to run at that point. The pouring rain served to keep me cool, though, and obsessing over whether or not my drenched lavender running shorts were see-through took my mind off my discomfort. Since no one pointed at me and laugh, I'm going to assume they provided adequate coverage.
During the race, you head to the right on the greenway, to a turn around point, then head back up to run down the greenway the other direction. Oh how I loved running down the greenway the other direction. It was a long downward grade and that made for some speedy leg turnover. My ob/gyn and his wife passed me along this stretch. But then came the turnaround. Which meant I had to run up what I'd just run down.
The long grade from mile 9-11 slowed me up quite a bit. A few folks passed me. My glute, which was hanging in there, at least wasn't any worse. At mile 10 I ate a Gu, hoping for a little extra energy. Around mile 11 you come off the greenway, and into the town streets. There were rolling hills along the last couple of miles. And finally, soaking wet but happy, I saw the finish line.
I ended up running 1:53:48 and I'm happy with that right now. Do I want to run faster? Of course! But I feel like I raced fine for where I am right now. Martinsville gave out very nice technical t-shirts, tote bags, medals and hand towels. That's some great swag!
I think I'm going to start getting some more frequent ART treatments the next month or two to try to get this glute issue rehabed. It's been bothering me since January, and although it only acts up when I'm running 'fast', I don't want it to become a larger problem. My next race will likely be a 5K in April.