Sunday, August 24, 2008

Annapolis 10 Miler - Completed and HIGHLY recommended

Before I talk about the race itself, I'll talk about what could have been. I was running later than I thought I would in terms of getting up to Annapolis, and to boot I thought I was ready to go but forgot my sunglasses. A five minute delay caused by me going back to get them could have saved me a lot of headaches as it turned out. I was delayed a bit on the Beltway by a nasty car wreck that required multiple ambulances and police cars. Had I not had that last delay I would have been right in that area where the wreck happened. Whew!

They had a running expo where I picked up my registration packet, picked up some running tights for cooler temps for 1/3 of what they normally cost. Also picked up a couple of Under Armour tops for cheap and a pair of Adidas running shoes for $30, continuing my mantra of if you get them for ridiculously cheap get them and save them for later. Hotel was okay but breakfast started at 7, race starts at 7:45. Damn. Had to drive out to Giant to get some bananas, gotta have the potassium.

Race morning, other than the traffic to Navy Marine Corps Stadium (which is smaller than I figured it would be but I think they took out seats in one of the end zones - the seats look like they're on top of the action though) everything went well. I decided to take it as more of an experimental race since a ten miler is a new distance for me, there were lots of hills, and I was trying out a new running belt that holds small water bottles.

Well, I lost about 3 minutes or so because I had to fix stuff with the belt and shorts (just like Rockville) but that was cool. The hills weren't ridiculously steep save for a small one after crossing the Navy Bridge into Severn, but there were a lot of them. Not to mention crossing the same bridge twice, followed by an uphill stretch at mile 9 that we didn't run down on the way there. The final rough count: 1 hour 37 minutes 10 seconds. Not a great pace for me by any means, but it was the longest race for me yet, and as I said earlier, it was an experiment just as much as it was a race. Keeping in mind the time I lost, the hills, and the fairly high humidity, and I was pleased with the day. My legs didn't start to feel heavy until mile 8 or so, good sign. I was able to run harder than I had been towards the finish line to finish strong, another good sign.

I definitely recommend this race to people. There are reasons why the 5,500 participant limit fills up in barely over a week, if that. It's a very professional operation with tons of water stops. And there were plenty of neighbors who squirted us with hoses (and the runoff water all seemed to go downslope somewhere for re-use!). I love the running jacket I got as a premium for finishing too! The city's also pleasant, reminded me of a smaller Old Town Alexandria with Boston-style, not straight, cobblestone streets. Tons of people there, no shortage of places to eat. A worthwhile weekend for sure.


charlotteharris said...

Sounds like you got some sweet deals at the race expo... And Annapolis is a great town for a race... did you hit the Rams Head Tavern afterwards!?

maryjanejeff said...

The deals were splendid - I'm pretty much set for clothes for a good long while. And I did hit Rams Head for lunc, funny you mentioned it. No beer though since it was hot, humid, and I had a drive home that included the Beltway. The burger with blue crab toppings was good. I'm semi-mad now that I didn't get to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm play there last September.

If they have this trail half marathon again ( I am going to try to run it for sure.

charlotteharris said...

Cool, another Rams Head fan! Wish you luck in your trail half marathon. I love trail running and wish I was ready for a half marathon. Maybe a half-half marathon, he he!

maryjanejeff said...

I'm not sure if I'm ready for a half trail marathon. I'm sure you'd do just fine. But half half marathons are cool too!!! I'm running one on Sunday, the Nike Great Race thing from Pacers in Arlington. I need to get out on trails really soon if I'm going to actually attempt this next March. I could trail run out in Colorado next week but I need to spend the time hiking to get ready for the big jaunt up Pikes Peak. So it's time to use my Great Falls Annual Pass (go 4 times it pays for itself, I've been twice).

The trail runs I've been on this summer have been fantastic, $3.75 or more gas prices limit the options a bit.