When you go to do a race, even one you’re just seeing as an organized training day with 5000 other people, do you take it easy, enjoy your day, and make it fun? Evidently, I don’t. I woke up late, got 2 miles from the house before I realized I didn’t have my visor or my Garmin, had no idea where I was going, and got stuck in traffic. And that was all before I got parked. Then, because I was late, I had to climb a big hill and walk almost a mile before I even got to where the race start was, and climb a set of stadium stairs to packet pickup. Then after tying my car keys to my shoe I ran down the stadium stairs to the starting line.
While I was stretching at the starting line, I saw 2 things: Meb Kaflezighi winner of the New York City Marathon and soon to be Olympian was standing right next to me, and I saw that the keys I had just tied to my shoes were not at all attached to my shoe. So back up the stadium stairs, across the 2 sections I had to cross to get into the crowd, and back to where I tied my keys on hoping they were there. Thankfully a friendly volunteer at the t shirt table had picked them up. So, back down the stadium stairs and over by the starting line and again passing Meb (this time I at least had a chance to say hi as I passed) and a minute or so later they signaled the start.
With the way I’ve been feeling the past two weeks I didn’t know what to think about how the race would go; I didn’t know the course, saw the 10 mile folks who started before us running up a massive hill, and I was already sweating by the time the race started due to all the running around. I guess the warmup must have done me some good, I was on a 13 minute per mile pace for much of the first couple of miles, alternating walking and running 1/4 mile at a time.
Right after mile 2, there’s an insane hill that is so tough, they actually record splits for it and it goes most of the entire 3rd mile. So far they haven’t published all the splits, just the top hundred, but I know mine was SLOW. The day was warming up by this point, and there was no wind, and it was just plain HOT up that hill. I wound up walking most of it. But once I got to the top, I was able to run most of the rest of the way in. The race is officially a 4+ mile course, but my Garmin had it at almost exactly 4 miles. I did it in 58:20, and I have to say I was pretty happy with that considering how my workouts have mostly been going lately. And without the massive hill I would have been faster.
The race was sponsored by CEP Compression, who also sponsor Eleonore Rocks, and there were tons of goodies; a nice race medal, a tshirt, and a water bottle, plus plenty of healthy post-race food. This is a race I would definitely do again.
The rest of my weekend was spent attempting to build my bike. It was mostly a dismal failure because I still cannot for the life of me properly tension a rear derailleur. I was able to install the bottom bracket and crank, neither of which I had done before, but I just couldn’t finish the most important and hardest part, so now I’m taking the whole thing into the bike shop tomorrow and there will be no rides for me until I get back from the cruise. Thankfully they have a gym with stationary bikes looking out over the ocean so I can get some miles in while we’re sailing the high seas.
Oh, and Rachelle found my Swimsense, it was hiding in the car. So it was a pretty good weekend.