Getting out of the house on race morning is never easy, especially if it involves a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call. My body is simply not meant to function at that hour. Forget eating. Forget crapping. Ain’t gonna happen until my normal wake up time of about 6:30 a.m.
We hit the road at 5:00 a.m. for the two hour drive up to Georgetown, CO. Not an hour into the drive I feel the urge. We pull over at Loaf ‘n Jug. I’m sure you know why they call it that – duh -for all the people like me who stop there, don’t buy anything and pinch off a loaf. The jug part? I do have jugs, although it would be more fair to call them 5 oz bottles.
We made it to the start with time to spare. It was 45 degrees. Summertime in the Colorado mountains. Did the pre-run ritual of waiting in the porta potty line. Seemed every single person in front of me was in there at least 10 minutes. Since it doesn’t take that long to pee, I could only guess what was going on in there. The smell confirmed it.
Then we sat in the car watching people warm up. One of my favorite past times. My pre-race warm up, if anything, involves a 50 yard jog to get the nerves out. Other people, however, are more serious than I. They do push ups and jumping jacks, they sprint, they even do this:
I’m pretty sure that this guy kicked my ass in the race, so maybe I should be doing this from now on before all my races. I am going to study his form.
I, however, preferred to sit in the warm car eating my cinnamon toast. I will say that I was sort of dreading the race. I wasn’t feeling the greatest (time of the month) and my piriform-ASS had really been bugging me lately. While this butt pain hasn’t kept me from running and doesn't jack with my pace or gait, it’s still no fun running with any kind of discomfort. In the back of my mind, I felt worried that by racing I would be jeopardizing my run with Dean Karnazes next weekend. I told myself that I could use the race as a training run, but my personality won’t let me do this. If I show up at a race I am going balls out, regardless.
I had to pee again, but no way was I going back to those smelly potties. I had Ken hold up a blanket by his truck and I squatted, giving many folks a gander at blinding white cheeks . Nice work.
I was feeling nerves - those moments right before the gun when you know the next couple of hours will hold a certain amount of exertion and pain. You know you will want to stop, but you know you won’t. You might feel sick, you might feel elated, you might get discouraged. Chances are all of these things will occur at different points in the race.
They played the National Anthem and this got me into a more centered pace. The gun went off at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
The first two miles are through the small town of Georgetown, Colorado (elevation: 8,530, population: 2,000). This was the largest year ever for this race – 3,000 people in all – which made for some congested running through the narrow and pitted streets of this old mining town. Some woman inadvertently elbowed me hard in the left boob (or should I say 5 oz bottle?). Ouch, dammit.
Mile 1: 8:26
Mile 2: 8:13
We headed east out of town on a newly paved back road. I still wasn’t feeling it, but kept up the pace. With a cool breeze rustling the Aspen trees and cloudless bright blue skies, the day could not have been more perfect. Now if I could only turn around my attitude.
Mile 3: 7:55
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 8:15
Mile 6: 7:46 (fastest of the race)
At mile 6 I pulled my gel out of my pocket and my fingers grazed the good luck charm Emma had made for me the day before. I smiled big.
My ass was really starting to hurt. I even contemplated stopping not because I couldn’t go any further, but because I didn’t want to do more damage. I told myself to press on to mile 7 and see how I felt. I slowed a bit and the pain calmed down, or maybe i just got used to it. I stopped to stretch at the next two aid stations. I knew I probably wouldn't beat my half marathon PR that I made on this course last year.
Mile 7: 8:06
Mile 8: 8:10
Mile 9: 8:15
Mile 11: 8:08
I was mentally really done. I’m not sure why this race felt so hard. Maybe the elevation or maybe my head was just messing with me. I told myself to hold back until mile 12, then kick it in a bit to the finish.
Mile 12: 8:44
Mile 13: 8:26
Mile .1: 8:00
The official race results aren't posted yet, but my Garmin says my final chip time was 1:47:36 (8:10 average). This is actually a new PR for me!! 21 seconds off my time of last year! Quite a shocker given how slow I felt I was going and those stretch breaks I took at miles 8 & 10.
Ken and I meandered around the post race activities. I rolled my butt on a cold bottle of water. It helped. This is probably the first race I’ve ever run where my stomach didn’t revolt at the end. I felt great. No cramping, no nausea. I could actually eat and took in a strawberry cream Myoplex shake for protein.
We met up with blogger friends Shana, Marcia, Tara and Jill. Really fun to see these guys and to finally meet Shanna and and Marcia in person. Catching up with other bloggers is great because there is no small talk. You just get right into subjects of erections and crapping right off the bat. Kind of like old friends. Here we are – Ken, me, Tara, Marcia & Shana.
A couple of pictures when we got back to the car. Told you it was a nice day:
Overall a good day. Time with Ken. A PR. Peeing on the ground. Clean shorts. Meeting new friends. Can’t complain.