drjen~11 7 year olds??
And a kick-butt 5k to boot! You rock!
It's 2 am, and I just finished my night of homework. I'm the discussion leader for my online class this week, so I had to summarize all the readings and pose some questions to get the discussion going. Sheesh. When I first looked at the readings, it didn't look too bad. But then I got started. Two textbook chapters. One article that was actually another textbook chapter. Three journal articles. And a very, very long governmental website.
And that's just for my half of the discussion! There's still another topic that I haven't even started reading yet because I only have to reply once to that topic (and the discussion leader hasn't posted the introduction yet). This class is going to be the death of me. On top of that, I also wrote my "personal philosophy of nursing" paper. 500 words. Oy. Do you know how hard it was to cram everything into 500 words that was supposed to be there? Hard. Very, very hard. But, it's done. And 36 hours early, to boot. Go me! Who cares that I've been up for 22 hours at this point?!
And since my 5 hour energy shot is still going strong, I might as well write up my race report.
I arrived at the race site this morning plenty early, because I am paranoid like that. We had to park near the finish and take buses up to the start line, and I think I was on the second bus. Lisa had warned me that because of the busing, the race would probably start late, and she was right! Only 15 minutes, but still. I was at the start area over an hour before the scheduled start. One bonus: nice clean portopotties with no line! I got my timing chip and just sat down and relaxed for a bit. I went to turn on my Garmin to make sure it was all set up...CRAP. Dead. Of all the times for it to freeze up (it's happened a handful of times, but never at a race)! I frantically posted on twitter, asking if anyone knew how to do the emergency reset, and luckily someone came through for me. For the record, hold in the mode and lap button for 5-10 seconds and then try to turn it on. Repeat if it doesn't work the first time. It worked! But, apparently it screwed up my battery, and even though the battery was fully charged last night, as soon as I turned it on, I had the low battery message.
I turned it back off until just before the start, hoping to conserve enough battery to get me through.
Around 8:15, we were off. The race started at a ski area, and the first 1/2 mile or so was running through the parking lot, which was dirt with a lot of large-ish rocks. I kind of tweaked my ankle on one and freaked out that my race was doomed before I even got started, but it was fine. Once we were through the parking lot, we were on a dirt fire road through the forest. It was so calm and peaceful. Except for the massive amount of people around me, since we hadn't spaced out at all yet. My first mile was about 20 seconds slower than my goal pace, mostly due to trying to dodge people. Miles two and three were FAST, and I made up for the first mile and then some, and then four and five were right around goal pace. I was trying to run fairly consistent pace, maybe trying to bank a little bit of time each mile if I could. I was doing ok through this section. I felt tired, but I really think that was more due to my stress/lack of sleep because of school more than anything else. My legs were doing fine, I just wasn't really awake. I hit 5 miles in 44:25...nearly 2 minutes under my 5 mile PR! And then mile 6 hit. Yikes. Lisa had warned me that there was a hill around mile 6 or 8, but I didn't take the warning seriously enough. This is also where the fire road came out of the forest and we started running on a frontage road along the highway. It was pretty warm, and between the heat and the hill and my legs deciding that they didn't really like the first 5 miles of downhill, I was done. My first walk break, but by no means my last! My quads and my calves started seriously protesting, especially my right calf, which was the ankle I tweaked at the start. I've never had any issues with my calves in a race before, it was really, really weird. I felt worse at mile 9 of this race than I did at mile 25 of my marathon!
And then my Garmin died. Just after the halfway point.
The last split I had was an 11 minute mile for mile 6, so I was pretty sure my hopes of a sub-2 or even a PR were shot. At this point, I pretty much decided to just try to enjoy the scenery. Which was just phenomenal. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this was the most beautiful race I've ever run, and even as painful as it was, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was gorgeous. Running through the mountains, along a mountain stream. The last few miles we ran next to a historic railroad line, and got to run alongside the train on one of its runs. Pretty darn cool.
Miles 7-10 are kind of a blur, to be honest. They weren't completely awful, but there was a good bit of walking for sure. Around mile 10, we came off of the frontage road onto a bike path, and the incline (actually DEcline) picked back up again. At one point, I looked off the side of the path, saw the runners several hundred feet below and realized that we would be down there pretty quickly and just thought...crap, that's gonna hurt. And it did. I was walking a little less by this point, but my run felt like a full-on shuffle. I must have been moving ok when I actually WAS running, though, considering my final time. I missed the mile 12 marker, so when we came into town, I had no idea how far we had left to go, but I could see the finish line and obviously thought we were close. Um, no. Again, Lisa had warned me about the sadist who designed the course, but it had to be experienced to be understood. The last mile goes through town to the finish line. Uphill. Every time you think you're up, you turn a corner, and you have to go up some more. After running downhill for almost the entirety of 12 miles. There was a lot of grumbling amongst my fellow racers through this section, including a lot from me.
Samples (censored) included: "seriously?!" and "you've GOT to be kidding me!"
At the top of the last hill, there was a volunteer having a great time, singing, dancing, playing music, and he was awesome, really encouraged me to stop walking and get going on into the finish line. Unfortunately, my legs were so done that I didn't have any kind of kick left, but I at least managed a shuffle-y run!
I honestly had no idea what my time was. I didn't see the clock when I crossed, so I couldn't even get an estimate. By the time I was in the line to get my t-shirt, I found out that it was 2 1/2 hours after the race had started, so I figured I was somewhere between 2:20 and 2:30. I can't even tell you how shocked I was to see 2:12 when I checked the online results. Apparently, I was going a lot faster than it felt like in the parts where I was actually running! I hung out for the awards, and the raffle...I won a loaf of amazing pepperoni parmesan bread from a local bakery. YUM. I sat next to a really cool girl who's training for Ironman KY and we hit it off. We ended up skipping the shuttle ride back to the cars (the line was LONG) and walked back to try to loosen ourselves up. We had parked next to the lake, so I decided to just go on and take a little dip since I knew I wouldn't want to hit the ice bath when I got home, but it was very necessary. I saw an older guy looking like he was wanting to do the same thing, and I encouraged him in. He thanked me afterwards, because he went in farther and stayed longer than he would have if I wouldn't have been there...which is funny, because he probably got in up to mid-ankle for less than 2 minutes.
Whereas I went in up to my waist for at least 5! Aaah...ice cold mountain lake!
I'm way, way sore now. More sore than I ever remember being immediately after a race. My quads are pretty sore, but the biggest thing is my calves, especially the right one. Ouch. I will be spending some quality time with my foam roller before bed!
In conclusion, an awesome race. I'm bummed I didn't get my sub-2 or even PR, but really, considering how I felt for the majority of the race, I'll take it! And it was truly a beautiful race, well worth the pain. Hopefully I can get a swim tomorrow or monday to loosen things up a bit. Ok, I think it's time for bed...before the east coasters start getting up!