Monday, April 19, 2010

River City Half Marathon

Yesterday, 4.18.10, I ran my first half marathon in Sacramento. It was a perfect morning for the beautiful bicycle trail run.

We drove up to Sacramento on Saturday and spent the evening with Ian's Dad and step mom. We went and picked up the race packet and then headed to our carb dinner at 'The Old Spaghetti Factory' in Elk Grove. We met our friends for dinner. Tim, Sara, Asher, Lori, Robin, the couple they were staying with, and Lauren all were there for our delicious dinner. Amy and Jeff arrived while we were leaving. Amy had work that day.

Sara and Amy ran the full marathon on Sunday, they're start time was 7am.

Woke up at 6:40. About 7 I started eating. I had a wonderful loaded breakfast salad I had prepared before we left for our trip (knowing the hotel would not really have anything), a banana, and some hummus on whole wheat flatbread. Yummy, energy filled grub. The salad was great for replenishing some water loss due to sleep, and the potassium filled banana and yummy hummus were a great filler. About 15 minutes before the race I downed a Luna Bar and a Cliff Energy Gel. With a few swigs of water, I was ready to go!!!

Ian drove me to the start for the half and the air was filled with runner's anticipation and excitement. I was ready. Here Ian snapped a fantastic pre-race picture.....

I ran in my Vibram Five Finger Sprints. (pictured below) It was so funny walking around before the race. Without fail, everyone mumbled among they're friends about the 'shoes.' Things like "Wow, oh look she's wearing those barefoot things...." or "I've heard about those..." or just nudging and looking and chatting about how they've heard something about running barefoot, and/or these shoes, or the Nike Free's or something along those lines. It was fantastic. No one did anyone approach me about them until we were about to start. There was an awesome guy who had tried them at an expo and was asking about my experience with them. ( I LOVE THEM BY THE WAY) My feet are strong, and I have NO injuries at all.

Once the race started, I had about 6 or 7 people trot with me and chat about the shoes. We talked about the science and info behind the running barefoot trend. If you know me, you know I just love to be barefoot anyway I can. These are SO light, I don't feel like I have heavy clunky shoes weighing me down. I feel myself landing on my mid/fore foot more often, my posture is straighter, they let me feel the ground and let my toes have some space. My feet are stronger, and I am not depending on any fancy cushy inserts that would just weaken the tendons by having them stay inactive. It's just like working out any other body part, allowing my feet to naturally strengthen with work. I guess it would be like trying to lift weights with cushions around all of your muscles supporting them and doing the work for you. Your muscles would never strengthen properly that way. Also, a lot of running teams spend training time barefoot, and Nike has there new 'Free' shoe that simulates a barefoot feel. I just love them. I am not running in them to be trendy, (and seeing how everyone was just looking at me and chatting about them and not really approaching me) I TRULY believe that they are the best thing for me, my feet and my running. It seems like there are just a few people running in them right now anyway. We'll see how it is in a few years. Some people just can't give up their shoes.

The following are some pictures from the start of the race....

I finished in 2hrs 20min and 06seconds. (according to my official foot chip time)

I am super excited about it. This was my first run at this distance ever. I was super back and forth about wether or not I was going to run this race anyway. I really started training seriously only 3 1/2 weeks before the race, so I wasn't expecting a lightning pace or anything. I am vert satisfied with my pace. I ran the whole thing VERY comfortably. I was expecting to hit a wall, but never did. I just kept it steady and relaxed and stayed at a pace that was challenging, but not too much. I had one guy run with me for a few miles. He wasn't entered in the race, he was just out for his long run. He was encouraging me that my pace was great. I was consistent, comfortable and kept it relaxed. With about 2 1/2 miles to go, I passed another guy going the other way who commented... "you're doing GREAT, nice and relaxed, keep it up." I was so encouraged.

I finished strong, and though I probably could have pushed it a bit more, I was glad to get a feel for the distance. I am planning on running the Disneyland 1/2 with my sister and some friends on September 5th. I will be training for that a lot longer than I did for this one.

I will post some finish line pictures, when I get them back from the course photographer.
Ian and the family were unable to get to the finish before I made it back. There was a mix-up with the time and everything, but they supported me the rest of the day with love and admiration!!

We finished out our time in Sacramento with a visit to Sutter's Fort in the city, here is a picture of us all...

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