Half Marathon #27
Weather - Sunny, COLD (low 30s)
The Caesar Rodney half marathon was actually a last minute add. It is pretty expensive to travel to the east coast, and I figured whenever possible, it's best to just have a double weekend to get some of these smaller states out of the way. This one seemed promising... I mean any race that is on its 48th year has to be doing SOMETHING right.
Anyway... we were taking the train from Union Station to Wilmington, DE. I had found a Doubletree hotel for a pretty decent rate that was really close to both the train station AND the start/finish area for the race. This all seemed like a no-brainer.
We got off the train and headed to the hotel. We noticed right away that Wilmington ALSO seems hilly. Greeeat. My calf was still feeling tight and it was cold and windy on our walk. We noticed there didn't seem to be many food choices on the way and hoped we would find something. Checked in to the hotel and then headed back out in the opposite direction to find somewhere to eat.
|Pretty cool architecture|
|Ziti, chicken, salad (fries, even though I asked for veggies)|
Problem #1 with adding this race. I only "skimmed" when I read the race info. I thought it started at 8:30 and therefore a 12:54 train and a 3:20 flight out of Baltimore would be no problem. Well. The 5K started at 8:30, but the half didn't start until 9:30. Especially with how yesterday's race went, and that my calf was feeling funky, I was NOT optimistic about a 2 hour finish. Of course we would still have to walk back to the hotel, shower, walk to the train station.
This was ALL going to be cut VERY close. We also had not picked up our packets yet, and the only detail on the website was that pick-up STARTED at 7:30. We decided to get up at 8:00 in the morning, walk over in our pj's and get our packets, then come back and get ready.
There were quite a few people in line getting their packets. It took about 10 minutes to get our bag, then I grabbed a cup of coffee and we headed back to the hotel to get ready. After the last couple of races, I was really torn on if I should do something off the wall like run with my jacket. Just so tired of freezing throughout (and before and after) the race. Decided that I would not wear my jacket, it's really not so much my arms that get cold, but my hands. I did, however, decide that I would wear my gloves for the race. L and I had also brought travel blankets with us (to keep warm at the start). I was glad to have it, it was pretty chilly.
|Sure DID feel like 25|
|L by the Caesar Rodney statue|
The first two miles were ROUGH. I cannot even begin to describe how tight my right calf was. I know that it doesn't actually need to bend or anything while running, but it was so tight I felt like I was gimp/running. I noticed my foot didn't hurt, so I was undecided if this was better or worse. At mile 1, I noticed I was under a 9 minute pace and decided I needed to slow down a bit. The first part of the course was weird. Ran around and through a strip mall. Clearly just to get the correct amount of mileage. Came up on the first aid station and I was really relieved to be able to walk.
|Stadium by mile 2|
Luckily that walking at mile 2 seemed to have loosened up my calf a bit and it didn't hurt as bad when I started up again. However... I started to feel that ache in my foot. Damn. New plan. Attack the race like I do a marathon, run easy, don't race. I started to get passed a lot. Oh well... I just had to finish (ideally as fast as possible so we would have time to shower :D )
|In the parking lot|
|Mile 4 aid station|
|Cool bridge, approaching 1/2 way|
|Between Miles 7 & 8|
I actually was able to jog a little longer than I thought I would be able to, but then I eventually decided that walking for a few minutes might loosen up my quads and give me a quick break. The next aid station was somewhere around mile 8 (and the only one with Gatorade), and then we headed to another park area:
|Between Miles 8 and 9|
After we exited the park we ran through some neighborhoods, then the next aid station at mile 10. I liked that the kid that handed me my water very enthusiastically said "You can do this!" LOL. There was a nice "out and back" along a residential area and I think the aid station was supposed to have been in the middle of the street we were running on. I had been expecting another aid station at mile 11. We turned a corner and were finally running the downhill of that huge hill. I was finally feeling pretty good! I hadn't expected that so late in the course.
Approaching mile 12 and I see the last person heading up the course at mile 7. An old man, walking. He looked SO happy! (By the way, he finished in 3:53). I kinda wish I could enjoy more races like that. I knew we'd get that aid station again under the bridge, the last one of the race. I walked through it, and realized I only had about 3/4 of a mile to go. I can do that!
The course ran along a park on one side, and the city on the other, we turned into the city, heading toward Rodney Square, and the last quarter of a mile? ALL UPHILL. A ridiculous uphill. A hill I was cursing. UGH!!! I was struggling and wanted to walk but of course this is where all the spectators were so I couldn't. Again, I had nothing left in me to "sprint" to the finish, but at least I didn't walk across the finish line. I crossed the line, was handed a small cup of Gatorade, and found L. We got someone to take our picture in front of the Caesar Rodney statue:
|Me and L|
Official Pace - 10:06
Halfway Split - 1:04:37
Halfway Pace - 9:52
Overall Place - 1046/1316
Division Place - 60/85
Gender Place - 377/534
Garmin Time - 2:12:11
Garmin Distance - 13.19 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:01
Mile 1 - 8:42
Mile 2 - 9:25
Mile 3 - 9:56
Mile 4 - 9:53
Mile 5 - 10:12
Mile 6 - 10:16
Mile 7 - 10:24
Mile 8 - 11:31
Mile 9 - 10:24
Mile 10 - 9:58
Mile 11 - 10:06
Mile 12 - 9:36
Mile 13 - 9:47
Mile 13.1 - 10:26
FYI... Caesar Rodney is on the back of the Delaware quarter. L had grabbed me a bottle of Gatorade, and then we each grabbed a slice of pizza (from Seasons Pizza, the same folks that delivered our food the night before), and we headed back to the hotel. We walked by the start area and saw our blankets still on top of the trash can... This was a trash can that had a lid and our stuff was just sitting on top... so we grabbed them. I was still FREEZING. Anyway, we got to the hotel just before noon, and we both took super fast showers, and were out of there by 12:15. That gave us almost 45 minutes to walk to the train station. PLENTY of time...
Got to the train station, bought a drink and a souvenir and then tried to figure out where we needed to be. That's when we noticed that our 12:54 train NOW said - "Now 2:21." WTH??? We get in line and found out the train was delayed almost 1.5 hours! What that meant is that we were going to miss our 3:20 flight out of Baltimore. 2 out of 3 trains were a bust. NOT impressed with Amtrak. After about ten minutes the incredibly rude woman finally refunded our money (we had kept our tickets from BWI and got that refunded to). Our only solution was to take a cab to BWI. That is NOT cheap if you were wondering. Our $38/each train tickets became a $225 cab ride. Ugh.
It was about a 70 mile drive to the airport, and we got there right around 2:00. We still had to actually print our boarding passes and then go through security. After printing our boarding pass, we discover our flight is delayed. An hour. You are kidding me... Sigh.
It takes a while to get through security, there is only one person checking tickets, and the X-Ray lines are LONG... At least since our flight was delayed we would actually have time to sit down and have a nice lunch without rushing. We went to a diner and got our typical lunch of salad and a burger:
Best lunch ever! Then we headed to the gate area. Our flight ended up not being quite as delayed as they had thought, and we were actually boarded about 15 minutes earlier. Once on the plane they thought we would land only about 20 minutes later than originally scheduled. I was psyched!! We haven't had a flight that got us home during daylight hours in ages! The best part of the flight?? New snacks!!!
Once again, we lucked out and all our travel issues were fixed and most of them were at the END of the trip.
Another double header complete... and another on the books for this weekend. Bring it.