Monday, June 18, 2012

Dexter Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Half Marathon

It is now mid-June, 3 months since I re-injured my calf.  I've gone through extensive PT, run the Dexter-AnnArbor HM, and the Ann Arbor HM portion of the AA Marathon.  Because I was unable to run the miles, I had to bail out of the AA Marathon.  As it was, I only  barely squeezed in a 12 mile training run a couple of weeks before the DexAA HM.  That barely got me ready for that event.  Then I had all of two weeks in between the DexAA HM and the AA HM - I did a short 5 miler in the week in between.  The good news is that my calf is all good and I'm very happy with that.  Plus I've learned a lot of cool and interesting techniques for stretching and exercising my legs. I've also done some biking for cross training.  Out of a bad experience I've picked up some good things, so all positive there....

On the down side, since my training has been so limited, my speed and endurance has suffered.  I barely completed the DexAA HM - I started cramping coming up the hill and pushed hard to finish. My time was so-so: 2:00:31, a full 1:38 off last year.  The AA HM was going well for me, but the humidity got to me around mile 10 and I got very hot and started cramping - so I slowed way down to take care of myself so that I could be sure to finish (I didn't want another "Milford incident").  Even so, I was bull headed enough to push hard at the end and suffered cramps started after mile 12, first in one thigh and then the other (fortunately not both at the same time).  I found that I could sort of run by grabbing the upper part of the cramping thigh with my hand and sort of hobble along.  It was very uncomfortable, and I know that I made for quite a sight, but I made it.  The good news there is that I recovered very quickly - I was seemingly just fine moments after I crossed the finish line and stopped running!  My time for the AA HM was a dismal 2:09:01.  That included a 13:35 minute mile between mile 10 and 11.... (that's 4:30 race minutes off my intended pace of 9:00 min/mile that I was not going to make up!).  Oh well.....

I had flirted, briefly, with the notion of doing the full AA marathon - I'm glad that I had the good sense to back off of it.  That would have made for an ugly day.

As an aside, I noticed in the article about the event a lot of not-kind comments from very unfriendly locals about the event.  I'm hoping that these people are not the majority or that they don't sway any decision to not have the event again.  While I'm not crazy about the route, I think that it is great that AA has it's own marathon and I'm hoping that it becomes a much bigger event.

I am still hoping to run the Grand Rapids Marathon in October.  I need to figure out some logistics (hotel), but I'm aiming for that as my next big event.  17 weeks to go.