Running Update and Race Report: March 12, 2016

My latest one yet! The funny thing is I almost posted this last Sunday night, but decided to wait until the next day and then just never got to it.

So anyway, last Sunday I ran the Chattanooga Half Matathon. Checked Tennessee off my list of states (although I have a very long way to go), and used it as a training run in my preparation for Flying Pig. Made no effort to get a PR, and it was nowhere near one–on the slower side of all my half marathons, if anything, but that was the plan.

Overall, it was a great experience and the race seemed well-organized. I flew in Saturday afternoon and went to the expo to pick up my packet. It was reasonably small and I wasn’t really in the mood to spent much time there, although I did buy some socks and some new fuel to try during a training run some time. People were there from Flying Pig to get sign ups, which seemed like a nice coincidence (not really a coincidence, it’s not surprising at all given time and location, but still cool). After the quick trip to the expo I walked to the small downtown area where the start was to be so I’d know where it was and to look around the town (and because I needed a a charger plug-in for my phone).

As I got to the downtown (I’m assuming) area, the first thing I saw was this kind of funny bull statute (in front of the Merrill Lynch building, of course, and this man and dog):

Found the starting line for the race easily, but walked around what seemed like hours before I managed to find somewhere to buy the plug-in. Beautiful sunny day that felt hotter than the temperature (low 60s). Saw a museum and a lot of restaurants, but the stores all seemed to be closing pretty early and I assumed the museum likely would be too so didn’t try to talk myself into checking it out. Basically just relaxed and read–since I’d forgotten my laptop (left it on the couch during last minute packing), explaining the need for the plug in for my phone I felt much more unconnected from work, etc., than usual, which made everything extra relaxed once I realized I’d have to be (that this was even an issue for such a short amount of time is ridiculous).

Woke up really early the next morning (usual for me, I never seem to sleep well the night before a race) and dressed in shorts and light t-shirt and then realized it was in the 30s and switched into leggings and decided I’d wear a jacket to the start and check it (something I usually try to avoid).  Since it was a small race I figured no need to line up much before it started, and that proved to be true. Kicking myself some for not bringing a long-sleeved shirt and was momentarily tempted to keep the jacket, but I did not, and that would have been a huge mistake. The only photos I snapped at the start were before many people were lined up–the building in the second photo was basically right behind us.

The race itself was really a fun run. Not as scenic as some, although we did go by a riverwalk and some historic-looking neighborhoods, but a good mix of hills. A complete map is on the race website, linked above. The course had a lot of uphill for the first half, especially around mile 5 or so, and then more downhill (although nothing terribly steep, unlike at the end of the Seattle half I did) with a mix of flat and rolling for the second half. The elevation map is here, and right after it is the one for Flying Pig:

elevationFP map

Looks superficially similar, but the amount of the climb in that one part of Flying Pig is a lot more, as it starts at a lower elevation. Being used to completely flat courses I could feel the difference with Chattanooga, but it was enjoyable–hills will have to become more a part of my training for sure, however.

Unfortunately, I was too worried about losing batteries, which happens occasionally lately, to take photos when running, even when I thought about it, and I mostly did not. My finish line photo also slipped my mind until after I’d gotten my water and post-race orange and even my jacket out of bag check, and isn’t particularly interesting, so I’m not going to post it here.

On running more generally, I continue to have a bit of a mental block about my long run–specifically the time I think it’s going to take to do a run more than 8 miles, and definitely more than 10, makes it harder to get going at all, as I just tell myself it’s going to be so long. As a result, I am going to do another race as a training run next Sunday (one of the many St. Patrick Day themed races, a half marathon) around here, and then tack on another 2-3 miles.  I’m also going to try to get over the mental block, of course.

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