Jonobie Ford (jonobie) wrote,
Jonobie Ford
jonobie

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Adrenaline can carry you four miles...

I renewed my affair with Mercer Island this morning for the Mercer Island half marathon. It was fantastic! I think the half marathon distance is becoming a favorite distance of mine. No official time yet, but I was around 2:44.

The race was really well organized; my main complaints were that they didn't have the first water station until 3 miles in and that they had too many races starting right near one another -- I nearly got mowed down by the 5K race starting shortly after the half marathoners started. But the miles and course were really well-marked, and I've never seen so many volunteers in any race. I don't think I ever went more than a quarter mile without seeing another volunteer. And the course was absolutely breathtaking in areas; it was a loop around the island, so there was a mix of mossy forest areas and vistas of Lake Washington.

I started in the next to last position and shortly after starting a woman on a bike introduced herself to me as "the pigtail". Her job was to keep track of the last set of runners and let support staff know when we'd be coming, so she kept spiraling around and checking in. When I passed the second checkpoint, she indicated to the volunteer there that there were two more people after me. I overheard and grinned at her and said my goal was to keep adding one to that number at each aid station. I succeeded by the next one, which earned me some words of encouragement from her. By the next checkpoint after that (around mile 7), I'd blown past 4 or more people which got a huge cheer from her and announcement that she used to be tracking me, but that I "KEPT PASSING PEOPLE!!" It was fantastic. I kept passing people after that, and eventually worked my way forward enough that I didn't see her anymore. I think I ended up ahead of around 10-14 people by the end.

The only downside was around mile 9. One of the problems I have when I get tired is I start to drift to the right if I don't pay attention. (This is such a common problem of mine that one of my catch phrases for ends of races is, "Watch the right, Jonobie.") I had just eaten my second gel and trying to stuff it back into my pack when I suddenly realized I was in the middle of tripping off of the right side of the road and onto the gravel shoulder. I flailed around and managed to right myself before falling but not before twisting my right ankle. I stayed at a walk until my heart slowed down and then started a slow jog, deciding that if it started to hurt, I'd immediately drop out and catch a ride to the finish. It did start to hurt shortly after finishing the race, though. I didn't realize that adrenaline could carry me so many miles.

At about 3/4 a mile to the end was Jeff -- halfway up this monster hill. The course was quite hilly, and this was right before the end, so it was hard. He ran up it with me (after having already run up it in his own race!), and then told me that the rest of the 3/4 of the mile was all downhill. That was one of the best finishes I've had - I passed three people and had a blast just rolling down the hill to the end.

At home, I've iced and elevated the ankle. It feels stiff, but not too bad. I'll see what happens in the next few days.
Tags: running
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