Seattle Rock n' Roll Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap (aka The End of the Run Streak)

I decided to run Rock n' Roll again (you can find the recap of my first experience here), since there was an INSANE Groupon deal last year: I paid $44 (with a coupon) for the half. That's practically 50% off the lowest early bird entry fee. Fast forward to this year and I've felt burnt out on racing and have just been enjoying running for the sake of running, and keeping my fitness. Until now, I have not run a single race this year, which is kind of crazy - but fine by me. I kept Rock n' Roll on my calendar as an incentive to keep up on long runs every week: enough to be able to run the distance, but not at any kind of hard effort. My last long run was up to 10 miles, and I've done a few half marathons with only a 10 miler under my belt. So my goal was to run it easy and only slow down/walk for water stops. 
The day before the race was a crazy one. I didn't fuel well, forgetting lunch while helping out at the expo and then I had that horrible emotional hangover feeling after our son gave us quite a scare. (He tripped and hit his back HARD on some stairs, briefly losing consciousness, and we were worried enough about nerve damage to bring him to Childrens ER.) He was fine, but I certainly still felt drained with a fierce headache and didn't sleep well that night - the night before the race. And it's a pretty early wake up for Rock n' Roll, with a 7am start and a shuttle to catch by 6:30 for the new point to point course. All these things conspired against me, but I had weird stubborn streak to prove to myself that I'm still capable of running 13.1 miles for giggles. 
I trudged out the door at 5:30 AM and headed into the city. Thankfully my husband works right by Safeco and I used his parking pass to park in his garage. I avoided a VERY LONG line of cars all heading towards the exit with the public garage, and easily walked over to the shuttles. This new scenario was one of my concerns that day and it all went off quite well. There was not a long wait at all to get onto the school buses, and they got us to the start very quickly, as they drove the closed off course back towards the Seattle Center. It was nice to have time to have a quick check in with some Oiselle teammates (pictured above) and hit up the restrooms, which were severely lacking for such a big race. But the start time was pushed back 15 minutes, so I had plenty of time. I also didn't realize how much time I had ahead of me to just stand around. Based on my corral, giving myself a nice easy finish time of 2:15, I was all the way back in 29! It took at leas 40 minutes from the start of the race until our corral crossed the mats. Needless to say, I am putting my PR or something close to it as my time if I ever run this race again. My feet were getting annoyed before we even started! GAH. Another check in the plus column for small local races... 
FINALLY we were off and the course is still really awesome with great views of the city, a nice stint through Seward Park and the last mile or so is a lovely slight downhill coast towards the stadiums. I felt fine for most of the run. Not great, not good, just... fine. I did meet my goal and ran easy the whole time, walking the water stops except for the steep incline to the I90 express tunnel and a weird little uphill near the end. The finish area, and race overall, are still really well organized.
The medals are nice, too.
As I hobbled towards my car to drive home, I started feeling my right foot ache a tiny bit more than my left. I chalked it up to the usual post race pains and spent pretty much the rest of the day like a vegetable. The DOMS set in the following day and on Monday in earnest, so nothing felt out of place when my foot still felt kind of achy. But, by Wednesday, nothing hurt at all - except by the end of a day on my feet, my right foot kept niggling (because it's go, go, go all the time as the summertime children's cruise director). I had plantar fasciitis, many years ago and I remember that it is VERY difficult to get rid of, but that it hurt in the morning and eased up after exercise. Right now I'm experiencing the opposite - no pain at all in the morning and a slight ache in the evening. 
Regardless, I decided to go ahead and end the run streak last weekend. YEP. I knew that if I ever felt at all injured, that I would be smart about it and stop in the short term, so I wouldn't stupidly mess up anything long term. I was already icing, rolling, compressing and elevating my foot since the day of the race. I'm continuing that several times a day and I took last Saturday and Sunday completely off from exercise. I did one boot camp class, modifying everything to low impact and a couple of elliptical and weights workouts this week. All while wearing this lovely flesh colored support sock!
I even bought a pair of hideous Crocs to wear around the house, so I'm never barefoot for long. I'm already feeling like I have very little pain now, but don't want to push it. I'll probably give it another week of a few rest days, low impact boot camp and some elliptical before I start in with a short and easy run/walk test flight. I'm surprised at how long I was able to go without getting REALLY ANTSY about wanting to run: not until Tuesday, a full four days! 
So, in the end, I hit 759 days total for my first run streak! Because, of course, I'm going to get back on the horse eventually. I'm pretty sure that this bump in the road was the cause of several random factors, not related to my daily streak: bad pre-race fueling and rest, for one. I also did most of my running on nice packed dirt/gravel trails and the pounding from the race course might have made my feet angry. I also should have replaced my shoes many miles ago. I usually buy a pair every 6 months at the Brooks Outlet truckload sales, but the Ravenna 6s felt awful on my feet. I figured I could skip them and was waiting for the 7s to be available at the outlet. I won't make that mistake again and have already gone ahead and bought the 7s, pictured above. So, I shall take it easy and maybe start streaking on the first day of a calendar year this time for 2017, or maybe before... Barring any sort of injury, of course.
Oh, yeah, and final time was 2:23:10!


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