November 27, 2017

Race Recap: Annapolis Running Classic

Last week, I headed up to Annapolis, MD with my friend Alicia for the Annapolis Running Classic. I had signed up for the Half after a really rough summer without a lot of running and a real need to try to get back into running.

The race started at 7:30 am at the Navy Memorial Stadium at the U.S. Naval Academy. I was surprised to see how small the race was and lined up around the 2:15 pacer. I wasn't actually going for time but I thought that 2:15 was what I could reasonably expect to run.

The race started and the first mile of the course was pretty nondescript. The first mile marker came up pretty quickly though. There was a water station and I grabbed a cup and kept running. I wasn't watching my pace but I felt pretty good. I passed the 2:15 pace group pretty early on and thought I'd be happy to stay ahead of them through the race.

In the 2nd mile, we went over a pretty small bridge and by the time we crossed it, my knee was feeling pretty sore. I changed up my form a little bit using some PT tricks I had learned a few years ago and kept running. We made it into downtown Annapolis which was really pretty to run through! Right at Mile 3, there was another water station but it only had two volunteers and they didn't have any cups out. I found that pretty frustrating and skipped the station. My knee was still twinging and I started to worry about finishing the distance. At Mile 4, we went over the same bridge we had gone over in the second mile and my knee really started to stiffen up. The more I ran, the more it was locking up. There was another water station but this one only had one volunteer and again - no cups out.

I've always had trouble running over bridges because they don't have as much "give" to them as streets and this race was proving to be tough. By the time I hit Mile 5, I knew I was in bad shape. My knee was so stiff and it was really hurting. I hadn't had pain like that all through my training cycle but I definitely had pain like that through the GW Parkway Classic and I had to start walking by Mile 8. I really didn't want to have to walk half of this race, so at Mile 5, I made the decision to drop down to the 10k. The turnaround was at about the 5 1/2 mile marker so it was easy to drop down. As I ran toward Mile 6, I knew I made the right decision. I sprinted through the finish as best as I could but my knee was in bad shape.

I got my medal for the 10k and stuck around to watch the first half-marathon finisher come through and then made my way to the Runner's Village for some oysters, bagels, bananas, and tomato soup - a post-run feast!

I was pretty disappointed with this course overall - water stations with minimal volunteers and no water? It was a cold day out but that wasn't ok in my book! The finish line festival made up for it but I'm not sure if I would return to this course - especially after what happened with my knee.

It took about four days for my knee to start to feel better and I went and got a massage this weekend to work things out and that wasn't pleasant. I'm not really sure whether I'm going to do much about this though - I think I'll just work on building glute strength, which I know is the source of all of my IT band issues and hope it works itself out. I already mentioned that I won't be training for any long distances next year so I'm hoping the added yoga and strength I build from that will solve this problem once and for all!

Have you ever dropped distances in a race?

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