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Bridges and lessons learned

July 19, 2009

Yesterday Katie and I had a wonderful girlie day while Carl was in a training. We started off the morning with a relaxing breakfast and just enjoyed each others company.

Eventually we got motivated and headed out to Jacksonville Running Company so Katie could be fit for a new pair of running shoes. Josh, the very informative store guy, started the fit process by scanning her feet to look at any pressure points that she may have and to see what her arches looked like.

He then put her in a neutral shoe and had her run on the treadmill (where she does most of her running currently) to see what her feet/ankles did while she ran. After she finished, he played back the video and asked her questions about what she saw and explained everything to her.

Overall she was very pleased with the entire experience and is all set to buy shoes when she goes back home. While we were there I decided to buy some Zensah compression leg sleeves. I’ve heard really great things about them (and a girl working in the store was wearing a pair) so I asked our helper Josh about them (and my shin splints) and he said that he would recommend them. Sold!

We ran around Town Center a bit and had some lunch at Panera. I haven’t been there in ages and was really pleased to see a lot of healthy and different options since the last time I’d eaten there. The lady at the counter was a little faster than I would have liked so I felt rushed and ordered the Chipotle Chicken Panini which included all-natural pepper-mustard chicken, smoked bacon, smoked cheddar, tomatoes & ancho-chipotle spread. It was really good, but in retrospect I probably should have ordered something else since I had a race later that evening.

When we got home Katie and I decided to try and model the Zensah sleeves, but Bradley had another idea and took advantage of the fact that we were on the floor.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave for the Vestcor Bridge Run! I was a little nervous because I’d never run two bridges before (and I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going either…) and because this was the first race that I was going to run without someone that I knew beside me (or at least somewhere among the runners).

We lucked out and got a great spot fairly close to the start. Although it rained on our way up to the race it looked like it was going to hold of a bit so we wouldn’t be completely soaked.

Putting my stuff in the back of the car

We found the race start and wondered around for a little while, looking at the different booths that were set up, and I got my timing chip and used the port-a-pottie (yuck!) before stretching a bit.

On the other side of where we were standing was a group/family of people with the best team t-shirts. Love it!

About 15 minutes before the race began we all lined up and got into position. Katie found me among the crowd and got a great shot of me adjusting my earphones.

Eventually the cannon went off and forward we went! The first part of the run was an out and back down the street that we started on. I was amazed at how quickly some people were running, and a bit envious too!

After the out and back, we ran towards the Landing and Katie got this shot of me on my way.

The first bridge that we ran over was the Main Street Bridge. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I ran up the entire thing before taking a short break to walk once I got to the top. It was a bit freaky to run over the bridge, though, because it was grated so you could look down and see the murky water beneath you.

Main Street Bridge
Carl took this picture later in the evening
after the run

There was a water stop on the other side and a short stretch of road before we were on a bridge again – this time it was the Acosta Bridge. This one was rough! It was really long and felt like I’d never reach the top! While I set my watch to do a 2:30/1:00 I decided to walk and run when I wanted to knowing that I needed to run up those bridges more than anything to practice for the hills in San Francisco. I did manage to run up most of it although I was incredibly slow!

Acosta Bridge

After the bridge we had a little less than a mile and it was the same route as the out an back that we did at the beginning of the run. People who already finished were coming back to encourage those of us who were at the back of the pack and it was really helpful. Eventually I could see the balloons of the finish line and I tried to muster up as much gusto as I could as I crossed the mat.

My chip time was about a minute off of the clock. I came in at 38:56 with an average pace of 12:32’/mile. Slow but I’ll take it with those bridges!

I was so emotional after I crossed the finish line and almost started crying! I’m not sure if it was because this was the first race that I ran alone or if it was that it was just the smallest taste of how the hills in San Francisco are going to be and I realized that I’m seriously under prepared for! Either way I ran straight into Carl’s arms (who drove back from his training and literally got there 10 minutes before I crossed the finish line!) with my super sweaty self and cried a little before giving Katie a super sweaty hug too. I felt so loved to have the two of them there rooting for me!

We walked to the other side of the park where I picked up a water bottle to chug and stretched a bit. We tossed around ideas about where to eat dinner and settled on the Landing.

On the way to the Landing I started to have some tummy trouble. I wasn’t sure if it was that I chugged my water too fast (it was super hot and humid!), the lunch that I ate, or the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch.

I tried to enjoy the atmosphere and the river while I waited for my tummy to settle down. This is when Carl took the pictures of the two bridges.

I was a wreck for about a half an hour before I felt it was safe enough to move away from the bathroom (gross, I know!) and we walked back to where Carl parked his car in front of the Omni Hotel. I drove us back to the car where Katie and I parked (since I get motion sickness we all thought it would be better if I drove) and Carl took the car and we headed off to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I was feeling much better at that point, so we enjoyed a lovely dinner and great company, despite the annoying conversation that was going on at the table next to ours.

After dinner we came home, I took a shower and immediately put the Zensah sleeve on my right leg since it was already feeling tight and I wanted to keep the shin splints at bay. When I woke up this morning my leg felt great and I didn’t feel any tightness or shin splints. Woo Hoo!

Overall it was a great race and has me even more excited for the Gate River Run 15K, that goes over those two bridges and a third one, in March. I’m still nervous about running hills, but now I really know I need to kick my training into high gear!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Croughwell permalink
    July 20, 2009 3:55 am

    Good job on your race!

  2. Kelly permalink
    July 20, 2009 9:43 am

    Great report, great race. Sorry you felt icky after your run. After my 1/2 I was too dehydrated and dry heaved for the next 1+1/2hr. So, I kinda feel your pain. You made it though!

  3. Meganerd permalink
    July 25, 2009 9:15 am

    Great job on your race! Sorry I'm a little late đŸ˜¦ I'm just now catching up on your blog!

    I've been wanting to do the Gate river run for a while now… maybe I will this year!


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