02 September 2014

A little R'n'R: Split the negative

I made it up to the Hampton Roads area late Friday evening and quickly settled in with Stacy M. (who is stationed up in Norfolk and with whom I deployed twice), catching up on the minutae over Thai food and ice cream. Saturday morning was a 0530 wake-up as she was running the 1-mile Run in the Sand. This is where I discovered that I had packed two left shoes, as my two pairs of Brooks Ghosts are the same color, they are numbered 1 and 2, and I somehow grabbed both left ones. Sigh. So, I grabbed my Brooks Cadence, in which I was planning on racing. I also searched in vain for the roll of Rock Tape purchased the day before as well as my IcyHot roll-on and ibuprofen. Seriously?

It was a coolish 75F with overcast skies and a nice breeze at Virginia Beach. (Don't you love when you find the absolute best parking spot? We did, halfway between the start and the expo.) Stacy shooed me away to my shake-out run and went to the start line. I trotted off down the boardwalk, testing the left calf and right Achilles, I had slid a compression sleeve over my left calf in the absence of tape. A little tender on the Achilles tendon as I started but by a mile in, it had warmed up. I kept the pace easy and loose, just getting the blood flowing through the legs; turning around where the boardwalk ended and as I cruised back up, I checked on the sand racers, scanning for Stacy. I did not see her; however, I was happily surprised by the sight of Sabina and Maurice C. running with their kids - Sabina was the Family Readiness Officer (FRO) at my final unit and Maurice is a GySgt and was an instructor in that same unit. Awesome folks and it was really nice to see them. 
The C-crew after the Sand Dash
Stacy finished and immediately said, "Well, that's done." Ok, she said it with a few more expletives, but I'm taking liberties and editing. We walked back to the car, executed a deck change, grabbed a quick breakfast and made our way to the expo. Mission: collect bibs, peruse shoes and find kinesio tape. We accomplished two of three - the only K tape sold was in precut strips (we found some later at a sports store). We did meet a really neat guy at the Brooks shoe booth, Mike from Running Etc., and he was both knowledgeable and extremely helpful. They didn't have the shoes I was looking for in my size, so he told me to come to the store on Monday and he'd help me out. How cool is that?  After that, it was back to rest and relax until dinner at Sideshow's, which we did later that evening before retiring early for a 0430 race-day wake-up.
Looks like I need to do more sit-ups....oh wait....
Pre-race dinner w/Sideshow and family...lots of love here.
 Race day greeted us with 78F, 89% humidity and no clouds. Sweet. We parked at the Farm Bureau amphitheatre, hopped on a start shuttle bus and arrived at the start with about 45 minutes to the horn. I debated wearing the sleeve on the left calf and finally pulled it on over the tape. I left the right leg bare. I got some looks. I warmed up briefly and only squeezed myself into the rear of the corral behind my assigned corral (4 instead of 3) with about five minutes to the start. I was planning on an easy training run.

Below are my splits with my thoughts through the miles:
Mile 1: 8:38 - Go slow, take it easy. Holy cow, is that guy already walking?
Mile 2: 8:33 - Ok, this is good. My word, this feels slow.
Mile 3: 8:14 - This is nice, getting into a groove. That band was pretty decent. That cop was cute.
Mile 4: 8:17 - Am I going too fast? Where's that dude that I started with? Gatorade or water? Water.
Mile 5: 8:21 - Slow down, you've got eight to go. Oh, there he is. There he goes.
Mile 6: 8:26 - Ok, this still feels way too easy. It's supposed to, silly, training, remember?
Mile 7: 8:34 - Gatorade. I dislike walking to drink this. Yes, I'll take another.
Mile 8: 8:22 - I'm going to pick it up a bit and see what happens. Oh hey! Hi, Mike!
Mile 9: 8:19 - Ok, I am going to slowly pick it up. Oh hey, there's that guy from the start again. You coming with? No?
Mile 10: 8:17 - Nice, wonder if I should make it hurt a little. That band's singer was really pitchy. Wait, is my K-tape peeling off my Achilles?
Mile 11: 8:10 - C'mon, lady, stay with me, I could use a pacer. No, no, don't fall off. Shoot. Ok, all me.
Mile 12: 8:19 - Aaaand, I'm off-pace. My shoes are squishing. Stride, slap, stride, slap. My own tape rhythm, great.
Mile 13: 8:02 - I am channeling Ed Eyestone on this overpass. Here comes the boardwalk. I ran this section yesterday, dude, don't even try and pass me. Wait, you sound Scottish...are you Scottish? You still can't pass me. That's right, get back. All y'all get back.
Mile 13.1: 7:22 - Ok, this officially hurts a little.

Watch finish: 1:49:46 (13.17m) / Chip finish: 1:49:52 (13.1m). These will never match, but that's pretty good.
Results: AG: 9/618; Women: 101/4353; OA: 473/7752. Not bad for no speed work for the month, no running for almost two weeks and nursing an injury. Negative split race. Boom. (Actual race pics here.) Most inspirational people on the course? The Team Hoyt and Ainsley's Angels racers.

Stacy beat her planned time by three minutes and after some confusion as to where to catch the shuttle back, we made it to Sideshow's for post-race libations and recovery on the beach. Excellent way to spend a weekend.
Obligatory post-race pic.
Libations - that may or may not be a fantastic tequila concoction. 
The view accompanying the drinks. 
Where we cooled off and relaxed. 
 P.S. I did go to Running Etc. on Monday and found the shoes I was looking for and walked away extremely happy - what a great store, staff and community support. If you're in the Norfolk/Viriginia Beach area, they have two stores and I highly recommend them!

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