I think I started this blog too late to bitch and moan about the massive hill (1.2 miles, 116 foot incline) that started the River to Ridge half-marathon that I did on September 24th, but compared to the hillfest that was the Zooma Great Lakes Women’s Half it was nothing. Keep in mind that I’m usually the one to groan going up what I consider to be a hill around here – a highway overpass bridge. Pretty sad. The Zooma race was this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier that it was on Saturday – otherwise I’d still be at home popping Advil and clutching my glutes. I ran this race with my sister-in-law and a friend from college (both faster than me) and we all had the same thought – it MUST to flatten out eventually. Alas, not. We started out with the 5K crowd and ran out pretty much a mile and a half straight up then turned around for the descent. My foot was still bothering me enough that I ran with a cheap-o ACE bandage/ankle support thingy on and I’m not sure it helped any. It twinged on the uphills and just plain hurt on the downhills. After the 5K runners split off, the course continued as an out & back with a small lollypop loop. I accidentally left my Garmin on overnight on Friday so it was dead for the race and I can’t get the elevations from it but if you want to consider my aching quads and glutes as an indicator then you can divine that the course had virtually no flat spots. I did not come in under 2 hours – I felt lucky to have come in at all, but I’ll take the 2:06:XX and try to better it in the half I have coming up over Thanksgiving weekend which is mercifully flat. Since I’m all about the gear, I can tell you that I wore a Brooks long-sleeve top, a Brooks Glycerin bra, a pair of cheap-o shorts by Layer 8 (I think that’s the name) that I picked up at a Marshall’s and now wish I’d bought every pair they had, Under Armour socks, a SportHill baseball cap, Tifosi sunglasses, my Amphipod pack (no chafing this time thanks to liberal Glide application), my iPod shuffle and my Kinvaras. It was chilly at the start, but not cold enough to wear the windbreaker I’d brought. I saw some ladies heading out to the start line dressed like it was January and I figured that they would be sorry when they heated up – I know by the end of Mile 1 I was toasty and warm except for my hands which remained pretty cold for the whole race. I need to swipe a bunch of the thin inspector’s gloves they use at work to use as throwaways. Since it was a women's race they had a nice gimmick - instead of a (most-likely) fugly and non-functional medal we received a very pretty sterling silver necklace - nice touch.
I was really concerned about my foot the morning after the race – it absolutely ached and there was a shooting pain going up my Achilles tendon when I walked. Luckily I iced it for 30-45 minutes and it went away so it couldn’t have been much of anything more than generally soreness and abuse, but I’ll take it easy and not run for a couple of days.
Next up is a Halloween 10K on Sunday – should be fun and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping for nice weather, a wide course, and a new PR.