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Going the distance March 10, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in LMJS.

On Sunday, a rainy day, I headed out the door at 7:40 to run 13.1 miles. My knee, which had been hurting off and on since the previous weeks’ run, was bugging me, so I promised myself I would go easy on myself and turn back if I needed to. But I really didn’t want to turn back because I had signed up to lead a pace group, and this was an opportunity to preview the entire half marathon course.

As I drove to the starting point, the Marriott in downtown Oakland, I looked west hoping for a break in the clouds. “All I need is two hours of clear weather,” I told myself. No luck, more rain was clearly on the way, so instead I focussed on finding parking and getting to the starting point ontime. This was a course preview not just for LMJS but for anyone who had signed up for the Oakland Running Festival (ORF) and who was interested in running in the rain early on a Sunday. Amazingly, there were at least 200 people and it took me a while to find some friendly faces in the crowd. First the marathoners (running 20 miles) set off, pace group by pace group, then it was us, the half marathoners. Shortly after we left I realized I had overdressed (again!) but fortunately it was raining(!!!). As soon as the rain soaked through my top layer, my body temperature was about perfect. I was wet but warm. And as soon as I warmed up, my knee stopped bothering me.

One thing I will say about this course: it’s flat. Another thing: there are a lot of turns. The race organizers had passed out these super cool laminated route sheets with the half on one side and the full on the other. The sheets were slim, maybe 3 inches wide and 8 inches long, and simple (“turn left at 12th Street”). This was much easier than clutching the double-sided cue sheets and maps I had printed out and stuffed into an oversized ziplock.

We had previewed part of the course previously, but kind of out of order. By the time we got to Jack London Square, I knew I was home free (even though we were only about 5 miles in). And the last little loop around the lake felt great. But the last mile was difficult and my legs felt leaden and I was feeling distinctly non triumphant, even though hey, I just ran 13.1 miles! I don’t know what the issue was, but by the time I got home I had completely stiffened up and was tired and headachey.

I was pretty happy with my time, with was 2:10. This included time spent at stoplights and even a bathroom stop where I failed to pause my watch. So yay me.



1. Jackie - March 10, 2011

Yay you!!

2. Eric Childress - March 10, 2011

You go, Merrilee!

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