The Biggest Little Run

What a whirlwind of a weekend. I took a road trip to Reno, Nevada to run the "Rock N River Half Marathon." This was my first time in Reno. I will admit I did not spend much time there as we took a detour to visit UMM’s family in the surrounding area. However, I did manage to do a little "run-seeing" while running the Half Mary on Sunday.

The day before the race I did a shake-out run at 5,000 feet elevation. I panicked when I couldn’t catch my breath. I got a sharp painful headache and my lungs felt like they were bleeding. I had followed proper protocol in regards to running in high elevation and followed my own advice, but it was still painful. I was quite nervous. I was also nervous about running the half with my recent injuries. I even considered dropping down to the 10k or 5k, but in the end, I really wanted to run the half so that is what I did.

The expo the day before was held at "Scheels Sporting Goods." The place was huge and being there was an experience in itself. I had fun picking up our bibs and chatting with fellow SF Marathon ambassador, Charlie, who ::spoiler alert::  local to
Reno, won the half marathon event. UMM and I even rode the inside Ferris wheel. Yep, you read that right. An inside Ferris wheel. It was so much fun until UMM started being a punk and rocking the car thing we were in when we were at the top. Talk about an adrenaline rush, sheesh! We also picked up our shirts after the ride. The tech shirt for men was grey with red lettering. The one for women was pink. Some women love pink. I am not one of them. If this was an all women’s race, I could certainly understand, but this of course was not the case. If they wanted to have different colored shirts for the sexes, why not all red with grey lettering? Or different options. Please don’t assume that all women like pink. This indeed left a bad taste in my mouth, but I let it go.

Entering Scheels under a fish arch!
Inside Ferris Wheel
 The race started at 7A.M. on Sunday, and UMM and I ran just a tad behind schedule. By the time we got to the starting line, It was only ten minutes before the gun went off.  The bathroom line was nearly a mile long. Like always, I really had to go, but skipped the restroom thinking this one time maybe just maybe I could just run through it. This wasn’t the case. A mile and a half into the race I detoured off the beaten path to use a city restroom. It took me two and half minutes until I was back running again. The course was quite lovely, starting in the downtown area, leading past rivers, parks, and beautiful neighborhoods. I set in at a comfortable pace and stayed pretty consistent throughout. At one point, the course narrowed to a paved trail where it got pretty packed. The marathon had started earlier at 6 AM with the first part following the half marathon course out and back. There were a lot of marathoners heading back at this point and a bit claustrophobic with runners on both sides of me. Luckily that didn't last long. Around mile seven, I felt that dreaded knee twinge. I had made a deal with myself before the race that if I was experiencing any pain during the race, I would DNF. I reminded myself of this deal and kept on running. The twinge remained until I crossed the finish line. It was after the running had stopped that I experienced that sharp pain that I so feared.

I got an ice pack from an
EMT and reunited with UMM where I discovered he placed 7th overall and 1st in his AG. I finished in 1:59:23 with a consistent pace of 9:05. Besides the knee issue, it felt good to run the half marathon distance, and I was happy with my performance. I didn’t push, ran with caution and enjoyed the course. It was perfect and I felt the race was really well organized. On the drive home I even got to stop at Lake Tahoe where I took a painful, but with gorgeous views ice bath. It was a beautiful day and a real treat. It was a very fun weekend indeed, and I didn’t even have to step inside a casino to have a good time.

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