I have talked about doing Cap City since I got the notion in my head to start doing races a couple of months ago. I chose to do the quarter marathon instead of another 5k because I really want to work up to a half marathon (Columbus Marathon half, here I come… hopefully). After doing the 6.55 miles, I can tell you: that length is a great one. Not too short, not too long.
Prior to the race, of course, my training got terribly interrupted. My ankle has continued to give me problems and then there was the disc re-flare. So I never actually got up to 6.55 miles in training. The farthest I’d gone before then was 5 miles and that was before the back problems. So leading up to the race, I was averaging about 7 miles a week and putting in 3-4 miles a run. Not ideal training. If I had to walk a lot of it, I was going to do so, but I was going to finish it one way or the other.
The race was Saturday, so I hit the race expo and packet pick-up the night before. I was already getting excited when I saw people walking around downtown with their Cap City bags of goods. While at the expo, I found the CEP ankle support that I’ve wanted since February. My ankle has been swelling after work and that day was no exception, so I wore it for part of the evening. It was great! I decided that I’d wear it for the race as well.
As you can see from the timestamp on my little checklist here, I was up way past my bedtime. I knew that with all my anxiety about the race, I would never remember everything. Luckily, thanks to the list, I woke up, ate breakfast, and was out the door (mostly) on time. Somehow, I made it downtown, found parking, and got to the start with time to spare. That time, of course, was spent standing in the middle of Broad St, talking to a half-marathoner, while waiting for the bathrooms. I do love how fellow racers are always so friendly. We’re all in it together, I guess!
After the bathroom break, I headed to my corral. I was surprisingly not assigned to the last one, though I probably should have been in it. Commence waiting… and waiting…
There were 13,000 people in the race. Most of them were ahead of me… More waiting…
And then!!! Finally…
Ah! The starting line! Where I immediately went out too fast. And when I say fast, I really mean fast. If RunKeeper is to be believed, it was about 3-4 minutes faster than my normal pace. By the first turn, I was walking. By the first mile, I had walked more than run trying to get rid of the stitch in my side. Somewhere around 1.5, I got my groove. I had set RunKeeper for 4/1:30 run/walk. I didn’t follow it the whole time, but it was handy to have some guidance. I knew that if I was going to finish, I was going to need to be vigilant about not overexerting myself.
A lot of the race is a blur of focus on moving forward. The half marathon route and the quarter marathon route were together at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. It was kind of nice to run down Vine seeing all those half runners going down High St, though I felt slow and awkward in comparison. I tended to stay toward the sides so that I would hopefully stay out of the way of faster people who were not as prone to walking. If I had to guess, I’d say I did about half and half running and walking. The mile splits aren’t especially pretty and show how tough it got at the end. I was happy to see a friend of mine along the route between miles 4 and 5. I didn’t feel so great at that point, but seeing her definitely helped get me going again.
I finished with a 1:35:53. It was not the time that I wanted, but check out all these great things that RunKeeper said about me. Ha.
It was rough, but I’m glad that I did it. Really, really glad. I can’t say that I got teary after this one like I did my first race (because who would have thought!!), but I was really proud of myself. A year ago, I never would have thought I’d complete a quarter marathon. In fact, a year ago, I was cursing the runners for messing up traffic patterns! Yet there I was. I’d done it.
The high after finishing was out of control. What was also out of control was how hungry I was. Thank goodness for all the awesome stuff at the finish line like bagels, bananas, and chocolate milk. I gulped down most of it and completely neglected how thirsty I was. Definitely needed more hydration pre-race. Note for next time.
All in all, I have to say this race was a great experience. I learned a whole, whole lot about racing and recovery. I also came away feeling like I can do anything. Ha! If I can do a quarter marathon with a bum ankle and a herniated disc, I think that says something about my perseverance. I’m glad for that.
Onto the next races!! If I can get my ankle up to snuff, I have plans for two 5ks in the next 2 months. Still hoping for the half in October. Can’t wait!