Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Race Recap: Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon {10.30.11}


On Sunday I ran the Lake Natoma Four Bridges {LN4B} Half Marathon.  We signed up for this race a few weeks ago {it wasn’t originally on our fall race schedule} after spending weeks running along the race course at Lake Natoma for our long runs.  Since we are so familiar with the course and we knew several running buddies that were doing the race we signed up for the race and adjusted our training plan to have this race be a step back week for us.  As the race approached the husband decided he was going to “race” as opposed to running the race as a training run.  I opted to stick with my original goal of running it as a training run --- I had no goals for another half marathon PR {like at Urban Cow earlier in October} but I was hoping for a 2:30 finish since I’ve been successfully reaching the 13.1 split at around that time on all most of my long training runs.  One of our running buddies, who we are training with for CIM, decided to run the race also and we agreed to run it together. 

I’ve been talking about my right leg issues since early September and leading up to this race they have been increasing.  I am under the care of a sports doc and received my first ART treatment last week.  I was advised that I could run, and race, as long as I was not having any pain during running.  After my treatment I started to feel better as each day passed.  The day after my first treatment I ran an easy 3+ miler with some mild soreness and tightness but no pain.  Then I took two days off {with the exception of a 3 mile walk with Lucy, pain free} and ran 5 miles last Friday.  As the miles progressed during that run I started to get pain.  The pain subsided by Saturday to mild soreness and aches and I decided to go ahead and run the race.  I made sure my running buddy has been aware of my issues and she knew that we might need to take it easier than originally planned.  Thankfully I had her by my side --- I’m not sure how I would have done it without her.  Actually, I’m not sure I should have finished either way.  But, I did.

Casio Point & Shoot
Pre-race photos

The race started at 8am.  There were three waves.  The husband started with wave 1.  I started in wave 3 with my running buddy.  The first mile+ of the race is mostly downhill through old Folsom.  We started strong but not too fast, chatting away.  Shortly after the first mile marker we turned onto the bike path to head around Lake Natoma.  This is a hilly course with rolling hills through out.  Thankfully we knew what to expect because we’ve ran here often. 

10.30.11 LN4B elevation Elevation Chart from my Garmin

I was feeling ok when the race started.  I had some extreme tightness in my right leg mostly in my calf and behind my knee.  By mile 4 I needed to stop for a short walk which ended up being right at the middle of a steep hill and at the second water station.  By mile 5 we had switched to a run/walk of 4:1 --- with extra walks, or longer walks, when needed.  At this point I was having pain in lower part of my right calf and around the outside of my right ankle and the inside of my right shin near the knee. 

The majority of the race is on the bike path and the race gets it name from {1} running around Lake Natoma and {2} from the “four bridges” you cross on the race course.  The first two bridges are pedestrian bridges along the bike path.  The third bridge is the Hazel Ave overpass over the American River and the final bridge is foot bridge near the end.  The last mile+ of the race is uphill after you cross the final bridge.

Casio Point & Shoot1
The “four bridges”

Around mile 10 the pain in my leg started to cause me to limp.  At some points it was harder to walk than run but running hurt bad also.  I am very, very thankful to have had my running buddy by my side during this race.  I struggled physically and I probably should not have finished.  I also struggled mentally and repeatedly apologized to my friend for slowing her down and walking so much.  Of course, being the amazing person she is, she didn’t mind and stuck by my side all the way to the finish offering words of encouragement along the way.  Heck, she even offered a piggy back ride :)

Casio Point & Shoot3
Scenes from the course

Don’t let that smile fool you.  At this point I was so defeated.  I had to continue to smile otherwise I might have started to cry.

This was the hardest race ever for me.  And when I finally crossed the finish line I felt defeated and angry.  And relieved that I was done.  And worried about what my injury means for my training and CIM

10.30.11 LN4B

Overall {Garmin}:  13.26/2:42:44/12:12 average

Overall {official results}:  13.10/2:42:40/12:25 average
117/129 Female 30-34
1461/1613 Overall


Casio Point & Shoot2 Post race photos

Race bling


Michelle said...

This brought me to tears! I know how defeated you must have felt and I am soooo sorry! You FINISHED tho! That says so much and I am so proud of you. I am rooting for you and your injury. One step at a time, I know you will beat this. You are being smart! I hope you are having a good week (as best as you can) Do you have an appt to go back in? Also, how did Hubby do? Thinking of you!

Michelle said...

(I just typed something and it didn't show up!)

This is tough course! I have done the race twice and it is so hilly and there is no shade out there at all. I hope you recover quick!

Maureen said...

Oh no! Feeling injured during a race sounds just awful. Great job on completing such a tough course! I'll bet if you rest up, ice, elevate, roll etc. for a few days, you'll start to feel better. You've been training really well up to this point and the occasional set back will happen. CIM is still a good 5 weeks away. That's plenty of time to rest up and recover!

Christy said...

Great job on your Half! That definitely doesn't look like an easy race! Hope you're feeling better! Rest up!

Carrie @ Maine Mom on the Run said...

Yet still a very respectable time! I'm sorry that you're still hurting. Rest up and take care of those legs.

That Pink Girl said...

I'm so sorry you hurt so much during your race. I've been there and I know how defeating that can be. But you are so much more than your injury. And you WILL recover and feel strong again!
Way to go hanging in there - and earning such a cute medal!