Sun Capital Half Marathon: A Nice Easy Run Will Always Teach You Things

Today, I ran the Sun Capital Half Marathon in Boca Raton, FL, to benefit the Police Athletic League.  I had signed up for this race in 2011 but after being selected to do the NYCM via lottery, I had to DNS this race.  So, I was looking forward to running a very small and local HM in a not-flat area of Florida.

Boca Raton is 45 minutes to an hour away, so my first concern was doing packet pickup and going back home and back there again the next day.  Fortunately, I was working in West Palm Beach on Wednesday so I picked my packet then.  And I didn't know that they had race day packet pickup so for next time, that is resolved.

I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend, so this was definitely not a race for me, but rather a run.  I've been dealing with cough, asthma, and now a funky knee for three weeks now.  I finally got an answer to the cough from the asthma doctor and an answer to the funky knee issue, so I'm all set.

After the MCM, I went to the doctor for my asthma follow up and my breathing was at 49%.  I was still coughing constantly. She believed that, apart from asthma, I have GERD (reflux) which is causing me to cough and causing my asthma to flare.  So, I started on medication this week and apart from a bad reflux day, the cough is almost gone.  But it is still there and I knew it would be a limiting factor come this race.

In addition, my knee has felt funky for weeks.  Not painful but sore after workouts.  I finally asked the chiro to check it out.  The diagnosis is weak adductors (I knew that) which are causing my knee to track to the right (and therefore, become sore).  So, I have new adductors exercises to strengthen that area and hopefully the knee will feel better soon.  It is funny when the doctor tells you, your adductors are weak.  Your quads and outer thighs, on the other hand, are too developed from your running TOO MUCH, so you're unbalanced.  LOL.

Anyway, I started my adductors exercises yesterday and my inner thighs are super sore!

On to the race:
Woke up at 4:40am to be on the road by 5am.  Got to the race at 6am and went to the restrooms and walked to the starting line.  By the time I parked and did all that, they were singing the national anthem.  Off we went at 6:30am.

The weather was nice, 65F but by mile 3 it was 75F and the sun was strong.  By the time I finished it was 80F.  Not bad but not cool like the start. This course is part of many races I've done in WPB and it's hilly.  It has ups and downs and this time we also had two bridges.  But, after MCM, these bridges felt like nothing.

I started running at easy pace but soon I saw my HR go to MP pace and I left it there.  I did some 10mm-ish miles and 4 sub-10mm miles (at MP) and then wind down to finish at closer to 10:30mm.  At Mile 10, I started coughing, but decided not to use the inhaler to see whether I could finish the HM distance without albuterol.  Then, the sock began moving and my knee started feeling it.  These compression socks are no longer as compressed as before and my toe arthritis was in full force so it moved a lot.  And I stopped a lot to fix it.

The only thing I don't like about this race is that at Mile 10 they make you go inside the park and go by the finish line before heading out there for two more miles.  WTF?  Do you know what seeing the finish line while knowing you have to force yourself to continue out, does to your psyche????

Anyway, by the time I finished it was 80F.  I finished strong, except for the many stops to fix my sock. The colder the weather, the worse it will be, due to the arthritis being worse when it's cold.  Hopefully, it won't affect many other races like last year.  We'll see.

What I learned from today:

  • I can run LRs without albuterol - This was my longest run in two years without albuterol.  I still used albuterol before the race but I no longer feel the need to use it every 10 miles.
  • I can run hills well - I don't run many hills but keeping my pace on the bridges and downhills, the same as the flat areas makes me very happy.
  • You just ran a marathon the weekend prior so the legs will be limiting what you can do - Doh, I know this, but this is the first time that the chest is not limiting my ability to run but rather the legs, which felt tired during most of the race.


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