Sunday, September 28, 2014
2014 National Capital 20-Miler, Carderock Park, MD
So I have been battling injuries all summer and the time had finally come to run a decent size race where I wasn't pacing someone or doing a planned DNF (YUTC 50k). I decided to run the National Capital 20 miler on Sunday the 28th. I didn't pick up my bib early like I usually do b/c it was in Arlington, VA. The last 20 miler I ran was 2 years ago on the C&O canal going from DC out to Carderock and I finished it in 2:57. I told heather I am looking at 3:20 for this race at best. The race was at 7am at Carderock park in Potomac, MD so I got up around 3:30am, ate my usual raison bread and peanut butter and got dressed. Actually, this was one of the few times I did not have heather at the race nor the kids. Zach had a double header and had to be at the game by 9am so I was rolling solo. Headed out the door around 4:30am b/c I had no idea how long it would take me and they had no address for the place, only GPS coordinates. So I finally get there around 5:30am and almost pissed my pants b/c I was drinking water the day before pretty much throughout the day. I pull into this parking lot and its pitch black and I mean pitch...and foggy, the kind of foggy when you watch a horror movie. So I got to drop the kids off and head over the porto of shitter, meanwhile I can't see shit - no pun intended. Open up the door and with one hand, got my finger on the cell phone to give me light and the other holding me up from not falling in the nasty as dumper...plus I couldn't see anything...I should of just shit in the woods. I digress. Packet pickup was at 6:30 so I grabbed my shirt and bib number. I stretched for about 2 seconds and was pretty nervous as I had no idea how long I could run since my longest weekly avg had been 28 miles however I did 15.1 at the YUTC 50k a few weeks ago. This course was flat and didn't know if I could keep a solid pace the whole way. So we all gather at mile marker 11 on the C&O canal path, exchange nervous chatter, talk about our next marathons, blah blah blah...then all of a sudden, people start running. No nothing, just go...ok, I can dig that. So I start out with a 8:49 pace but my heart race is around 160 for that mile...must of been nervous....I go about 5 miles in the mid-8's and then have to go piss which turns into a 9:15 mile. About mile 6 I hit a gel and that gives me some good energy...miles 8 or so, I hit another endurolyte. This is the point I start hating people as we begin to approach the DC key bridge...shitloads of people all walking, biking, or just running slow clogging up the small trail...I hit the 10 mile marker and tell myself, its time for little wayne to hit the scene so I throw on the ear buds and melted away for the next 4 miles or so avging a 8:45 pace. When I hit 15 I am still feeling strong, stronger than I should for someone who has only been running for a month. The last 5k I was actually running harder and finished off with a 8:06 last mile. I actually finished the race in 2:53:26 and had a 3+ minute Personal Best. This race, I actually wore a heart monitor and it was quite revealing...it had me in the 150+ range most of the race. Looking back at the 10 mile splits, I ran a negative split by about 25 seconds something I didn't expect. All in all, I was extremely happy to run hard even though the left hip was bugging me starting around mile 3. However, it was come and go - the right knee is a little sore the day after but am pretty happy I am somewhat back. The more I think about it, the more I could of ran even harder but I needed to start somewhere and an unexpected PR was a great place to start. Below is the splits for my race.