Today was the St. Michael’s Running Festival Half Marathon. This is a small half marathon (1180 finishers) in the little town of St. Michael’s MD. According to my expert source, Wikipedia, St. Michael’s is a town of about 1000 people with an area of 1.15 square miles. How can you have a half marathon (13.1 miles) in a town that consists of only 1.15 square miles? Good question.
As you can see from this picture, there is a lot of water around St. Michael’s. It is on the Chesapeake Bay. Did we see any water during the race? No. Not a drop.
I went to St. Michael’s on Friday with my friend Kathryn, and we went to packet pick up, then walked around the little town. We had dinner at a restaurant on the water, so I can at least say that I saw water this weekend.
The town is touristy, but beautiful. Lots of old homes and churches, and cute bed and breakfasts. The next time I go I’d like to spend more time by the water and less time in the town.
After dinner we went to bed. I think it was about 8:00pm, seriously. For some reason we each had an outrageous number of bags – regular clothes, running clothes, and food, plus other various items. Of course, I always have to bring lots of food wherever I go. This is five of my bags – I had a couple more in the car.
Between us, we brought 9 bananas. Kathryn likes hers green.
Race day was cool, humid, cloudy and breezy, which was perfect, except for the humid part. This race was totally flat – I think the advertised elevation was 10 feet. We wandered around and used the porta-potties.
When the race began, we ran down the main street, then through a golf course community. That is where the interesting part ended. Unfortunately that was at mile 4.5. The rest of the race was along the highway, 3 miles in one direction, then back 3 miles in the other. 6 miles of narrow shoulder on the highway. The rest was through a neighborhood and then on a little trail to the finish line.
There was another problem. At the second water stop, there were no cups. We were offered the jugs of water to drink from. That didn’t give me a good feeling. Unfortunately at about half of the water stops there were no cups, but luckily Kathryn had an empty water bottle on her fuel belt that I could drink from with the water at the water stops.
Other than that, everything seemed to go fine, just massive quantities of boredom. Around mile 8 I had to start singing songs in my head. For some reason the first song I thought of was “America The Beautiful”, you know that “amber waves of grain” song. Then I switched to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and the ABC song, which are actually the same song with different lyrics.
My worst problem was my foot. I have a ganglion cyst on the side of my foot, and it has never bothered me when I ran before, but I think I tied my shoes too tight, so there was pressure on it. And rather than stop to loosen my shoe, I thought I’d just run through it. Not smart. It started hurting at mile 6. Around mile 9 I stopped to loosen the laces, but it was too late. You know how when you have a pain somewhere, and it feels like that is the only place on your body that exists? That was me…a pain in my foot. My entire being was a pain in my foot, which then started going into my ankle and shortly thereafter overtook my entire body.
Oh wait, there was another problem. Kathryn had told me that she had been running her half marathons at about a 13 minute pace. This would have been perfect for me, since lately I have sucked at running, and I haven’t been eating right, and I am totally out of shape. I told Kathryn that I was just going to go at her pace, and she set the pace. Well, we did mile one in 11:27. This continued to mile 5 which we did in 11:22. We did slow down a little after that, but by then my foot was hurting, so I told her to just go ahead. I just kept getting slower and slower, and I had to basically walk the last mile. Except, of course, when I saw the photographers, and then I ran and smiled. Gotta look good in the pictures.
As soon as I crossed the finish line I went immediately to the medical tent, took off my shoe and got a bag of ice from the EMT.
According to my best friend, Wikipedia, a ganglion cyst is a little benign tumor, like a knot, under the skin. Mine is small, about the size of a pea. I don’t know how something so innocuous could be so painful. In the old days the way to get rid of these things was to smack them with a bible. I might try that, but first I have to find a bible. I wonder if the Veganomicon cookbook would work, that is the biggest book I have. Unfortunately I wouldn’t have a good angle to smack it myself, I would have to get someone else to do it. Not sure if anyone would volunteer for that.
Apparently a needle can be stuck in there to drain it, if the bible doesn’t work. That sounds more medically sound I think.
After the race we showered at the high school, and went for lunch. Checking my happy cow app, I found one place in town that had a vegan option – Ava’s Pizza. What the vegan option was is a pizza with vegetables and no cheese. Which is fine, but really, any pizza place can say that on their menu, right? Actually the pizza turned out to be delicious.
And the day called for chilled white wine, which I never drink. Not that I don’t drink wine, I just don’t drink white wine.
It had started to rain, but we walked around the town a little, and bought chocolate, and then came home.
It was a nice place to visit, not a great run, a race I’m glad I did, but won’t do again. I did get a really nice medal though!