Sunday, November 20, 2011

Annapolis Half Semi-Recap


I'd black out my last name, but I don't know how to on a Mac.
Plus, I've got a kickass last name.

I'm no speedy McGee, but I am extremely happy with that time. Like, bowled over. Going into the race, my only goal was to try to stay around a 10:00 mile. Not only did I go quite a bit faster than that (9:28), I was very close to my half marathon PR, which I set two and a half years ago in regular shoes. I raced purely by feel, without a watch and (mostly) without music. And although I was pretty upset there were no mile markers (seriously? I get that this was the inaugural Annapolis Half Marathon, but considering how well it was run, this seems like a huge oversight), for much of the race that was a good thing. I ran completely by feel and because of that, I was able to run a strong, consistent race.

Let me start from the beginning. We had taken a bus to Washington, D.C. on Friday morning. We saw a few monuments (it was my friend's first time in D.C.) and went to the Smithsonian. Did anyone else know it's free to get in there?! Pretty awesome. We saw some African mammals, chowed down,

Thanks, homo neanderthalis!

and neanderthalized ourselves:

Here I am! A beauty, eh?

After we had had our fill, we hopped on a train to Annapolis and drove to some athletic center to pick up our bibs for the race the following day. We also got some pretty neat coats:

This is me post-race, wearing my goodies. I look like an idiot.
Hats have never been my friend.

And by neat, I mean ugly. They looked good on some people (probably 40% of the runners wore them for the race), but mine was big and baggy. And I'm not really a fan of mixing primary colors (in this case, yellow and red). I prefer more earthy tones (aka I'm boring).

After we picked up our stuff, we went next door to this place called Squisito's to eat pizza. "Squisito's" sounds like an American's vague idea of what Italian sounds like (although what do I know? It may actually be uber italian), but it has delicious pizza. Sinfully good. We bought a couple of pies and took them back to the place we were staying, and I absolutely wrecked like half of the chicken pesto pizza. It was so good. I was actually really concerned about my pre-race dinner since I have a knack for choosing the wrong thing and turning my insides to mush, but this turned out really well. I think pizza, which was also my pre-race breakfast, may be my go-to race fuel source from now on. I just have to keep it form becoming my go-to everything fuel source as well...

We went to bed reasonably early and woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to get to the start. It was freezing, and I was smart enough to have forgotten my running capris (or whatever you call those) back in New York. I had thrown a pair of old shorts into my bag "just in case," so ended up wearing those. To make up for the lack of leg coverage, I wore my compression sleeves. I was a sexy, sexy sight at that starting line. I'm sure everyone got a kick out of my shoes. My friend said it looked like I was heading to a dance recital. I like to think I looked more like an elf. Everyone loves elves! I got a few weird looks, but nothing too bad. People can be downright hostile towards the whole barefoot thing, so I was glad to have avoided that.

Like I said, it was freezing. The race started about fifteen minutes late, and while we were waiting my toes went totally numb. We were having a grand old time at the back of the pack (there were supposed to be corrals, but for whatever reason that didn't work out. Everyone was just hanging out in the Naval Academy's parking lot), and shortly before the race started I listened to a pump-up song. Heads-up: not a family-friendly song. And not usually something I would like, but the lyrics make me laugh. Kanye's ridiculous. Once I was sufficiently pumped, we dallied a bit longer until the mob finallly started moving. It was kind of weird, there was no opening announcement, welcome, or anything indicating the race was starting. Maybe we were just too far back to hear it.

I was planning to sum up the entire race in one post, but as I've mentioned before, brevity is not my forte. Buh-bye kids! Stay tuned for more!

I've got awesome screenshot skills.


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