Sunday afternoon, while recovering from my 11-mile ordeal to SAIC and back, I was checking out the running schedule to see if there were any half-marathons I could attempt for this weekend. I actually found two; the Riley’s Rumble Half Marathon in Montgomery County, MD, and a Wounded Warrior Half in Triangle, VA.
Riley’s Rumble Half is a run you do for the love of running. The official motto is “thirteen miles of heat, hills, and humidity.” The hills come with the course, and the heat and humidity of Maryland in July we seem to have in spades this year.
The course for the Rumble is split among three legs. The start/finish line begins with a lap in the parking lot and then finishes the opening third with a steep downhill; at the end of the downhill and after the four mile mark, the second branch is a series of rolling hills that takes you out and back to a local school. Halfway between the school and the course’s central hub is the midway point of the half-marathon, but as the announcer says, “…but wait; there’s MORE!”
The third leg takes you out to an open road; this road, unlike most of the course, is wide open country with no shade. If you haven’t felt the humidity by now, you will when you run this out-and-back stretch. At the bottom of the hill at the turnaround point however, is where volunteers had out packages of vitamin-packed freeze bars for you to suck on as you make your way back up the hill.
On your way back to the hub and back to the start finish is yet more rolling hills. Oh, remember that steep downhill at the three-mile point? At Mile 11, you get to run it uphill, a grueling three-quarter mile stretch of sheer climbing. You may have something left for a final kick for the last (mostly flat) mile-plus…if your legs have anything left after the last climb and if the humidity is not at blood boiling levels like it was this weekend.
Like I said, you run the Rumble for the love of running; there’s no complimentary tee-shirt or finisher’s medal. I do think the money they save on that means more for the decent sized food and drink fest after you finish. I have run this twice, but I’m not too sure about making the third trip to Montgomery County. First, my Sunday runs have not been too good lately. The last five: injury abort, Did Not Run, 8 miles, Did Not Finish (9 of 16 miles) and barely finished 11. Second is the recent heat wave, with the humidity making even the shorter weekday runs more of a challenge. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so maybe the heat wave will break…maybe.
I don’t even know about that much about the Wounded Warrior run in Triangle, VA…wherever that is. I might need to do some more research this week before I make that call. I do know that the course is mostly a gradual climb for about most of the first half of the run. There’s also the prospects of travel (rental car and hotel) that I will have to consider. At the end of the day, a second attempt at the St. Mary’s City run (13 and change) might not be so bad.
Whatever I decide, I really can’t afford to miss too many more workouts. Skipping the Wednesday run and the Saturday circuit course may have at least cost me the mental edge; I always seem to have missed workouts on my mind when the run goes bad. Right now, I don’t even know what runs I have scheduled because I didn’t print out my updated schedule at work today. For now, I will try to get through at least Friday and make the call on the Sunday run.
Song of the Day: John Williams/”Duel of the Fates:” 1) I am clearly running out of SOTD material, here. 2) Don’t ask me about the lyrics, I don’t know. 3) There is a really good story on how John Williams became the composer for the Star Wars movies, but I would have to look it up.