Monday, March 12, 2012

Four Courts Four Miler

I have a post percolating in the back of my mind, but since it's not ready yet and it's not the kind of tone to start a week, I'll tell y'all about my awesome Saturday.

I had signed up for the Pacer's Four Courts Four Miler a while back, before I lost my mind and signed up for the National Harbor 70.3. My coach rearranged my training schedule a little bit and instead of having to run 12 miles prior to this race (seriously, guys, this was my plan...and this is also while I have a coach), I ran 4 miles around my neighborhood, then popped in the car and met up with Blair and Anne at Blair's house.

We walked to Four Courts in Clarendon, dropped off our bags and took our place in the corral. Here's me in my Ragnar gear!

I was standing next to this guy:
I hope when I'm this old, I'm badass enough to run a race like this, much less do it in wind shorts and a singlet...

The gun went off and though it was a clear, cold and [very] windy day in Rosslyn, I suddenly felt warm and tingly. Running felt like it made sense again and looking down the Rosslyn hill, I felt totally effortless. 

The Four Courts Four course is very deceptive and a real test of how well runners can adequately pace themselves. The first 1.5 miles fly down the Rosslyn hill and finish the second mile out on 395. That hill is FAST. I checked my watch at mile 1:

Mile 1 Split: 6:50 - w.t.f. Y'all, I have NEVER run a sub 7, ever. This is a huge accomplishment for me and even though I knew in a horrifying mile I'd be regretting is all the way to the finish line, I didn't care. I didn't care that the downhill gave me that ability to get under 7.

I slowed down A LOT at this point because I knew that a bonk was going to come, even if it was only a 4 mile race. 

Mile 2: 8:06(ish): If only I'd kept the first mile all in the tank, I bet I could have managed this pace on the way back up.

Mile 3-4: Roughly a 9 minute mile. Alas. I'm fine with the 9 minute, but it was such a wild swing back from the first mile. And I certainly felt the horrible hill coming back up, to the point where I started to wonder if I needed an inhaler - I felt like I couldn't get a deep enough breath (something I almost never ever experience).

I tried to stay with a guy who was also huffing and chugging up the mountain hill and managed it for a bit, but just couldn't get a breath deep enough to justify it.

I still finished in 33:06, 50th in my division (of 396), and did better than last year (33:32). I also beat the Leprechaun (again) - Robbie Wade is a craycray fast runner/area semi-pro triathlete. They let him go about 20 minutes after the start of the race. For every person he passes, Pacers donates a dollar to a good cause, and if you make it to the end before Robbie, you get a water bottle. Watching Robbie run is a beautiful thing. He was running just over a 5 minute mile and the sight of his fluid, effortless run was just an amazing experience.

I finished the race and waited for Blair to tackle the mountain. We tracked down the Leprechaun!
Check out those awesome hot pink compression sleeves. Love them so hard.

I was flagged down by a couple while we were waiting for Anne who saw my jacket and were interested in running Ragnar! See, guys! I am a good ambassador :)

I told them that they shouldn't "think" about running Ragnar, they should simple sign up today and do it! What was really cool was that this guy's grandfather actually had a major role in creating the state park where Ragnar DC starts! How amazing is the running community? While I was talking to this couple, I happened to see fellow Ragnar Ambassador: Amanda M.

I had an epic brunch with Anne and Blair afterwards:
French toasty goodness. You can't see the beer in that photo, too.

Saturday was a great day for a race, and an even better day for catching up with fellow crazy triathlete, Rachael.  Rachael and I met up for a quick cup of coffee then experienced what is quite possibly the most excruciatingly amazing experience ever: a pedicure with paraffin and a massage chair on crack.

We went with awesome colors:
In case you can't tell, my toes are basically Barbie Neon Pink. And amazing.

I really love spending time with Rachael because, she too, is insane and signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon, despite being a runner (and only a runner!) just like me. We've been tweeting back and forth about our successes and failures (none so far!) and the aches, pains, and bottomless pit of a stomach we seem to have as we learn how to balance three sports instead of one.

Rachael is raising money for Team in Training in memory of her mother. I didn't get the chance to meet her mother, but I can tell you this - she must have been some kind of extra amazing for raising a woman like Rachael. If you have $5, it would mean a lot to me (and to Rachael!) if you could pop over to her fundraising page and let her know you support her.

And with that, happy Monday! Hope my fellow morning workout-doers aren't suffering too much with the time change.

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