Monday, June 24, 2013

In which I race. For 2 miles. And run 20. And do a Half.

Alternate titles:
-In which I set a Half PR for 2013 which is still about 15 minutes off my good pace.. (keep in mind the ONLY 1/2 I've run so far was Quassy, it was 90, etc etc...)
-In which I use another race as a training run....
-In which I realize it is time to post some pics of me looking cute. Not today though!
-In which I sweat more than I have sweat since Quassy
-Gross, just gross...

You get the idea.
There was a bib with my name on it for Bands on The Run yesterday, a half in Lewiston that got solid negative feedback from everyone I talked to after last year. Since yesterday went fine I imagine they took the feedback to heart and made some big changes (plenty of volunteers at turns- and there were many turns- brightly painted roots on the trails- and there were many roots- plenty of water and Gatorade at the rest stops. All and all I had nothing to complain about.)

I'm not in a racing way right now. I'm training damnit! And I had a long run on the schedule for yesterday that looked better when I added aid stations to the equation. So off I went.  

I got there early and ran 5 miles.
It was only about 70 but was 95% humidity. And rained off and on.

I made it to the start barely on time but didn't care that I was in the WAY back of the pack since the goal was to do miles, not race. Honestly, it was not ideal though as my 1st mile was something ghastly like a 9:35 because I COULD. NOT. MOVE. no moving. all walking. grumpy.
In frustration I snuck thru the traffic jam at mile 1 and never looked back. In retrospect I should have counted the people that I passed again.
Anyway. The first 3 miles felt like they took forever. I have no idea why, because other than the sweat running down my bod nothing was wrong. The course was a little strange. Lots of twists and turns, quite a bit of narrow trail with some pretty steep sections. A long stretch of ass boring road around mile 5 which, after a sharp left turn basically went straight UP, prompting the lady next to me to exclaim "FUCK!" which made me laugh out loud.
I wasn't paying a lot of attention to my pace but knew I had locked into my happy go to pace of around 8:30 or so. Whatever. I was coming to a full on halt every 2 miles to drink a bunch of Gatorade (better luck with this than water as I suspected- no leg cramps today.) The final few miles were a study in strange. We did a loop thru a housing development of sorts, in and out of some trail with lots of rocks and hills and THEN into a huge cemetery. "Well THIS doesn't bode well!" I said to a person running next to me. Who was clearly suffering and was in the right place.
I got pretty sick of the whole running in humidity so turned it up a notch and ran the last 2 miles at a 7:35 or so. Big speed. Award winning even... If nothing else I did kind of enjoy my 2 mile "race" and was glad that my legs could kick it up going into what was mile 17&18 on the day.
I finished (my watch read 1:49). I was pleased with that since it was in the middle of a 20 miler! I ate a slice of watermelon, failed at conversation because so much sweat was in my eyes that I couldn't act like a normal human, and then proceeded to run 2 final miles. BLAH!

This is how I felt about my sweaty stinky body! GROSS!!!!!!

I did not puke, quit running or cry. It was an amusing run, a rather unusual course, and a good way to get a long run in. And it was hot. Good for acclimating to summer...?
While this might not be an ideal course if you're a first timer looking for flat, reassuring surfaces it was a fun course for people who love rocks, hills,  danger and death (kidding! I'm referring to the cemetery, haha!) There was a ton of food at the finish (that I sadly did not partake in) and it looked like they had some kind of obstacle course set up to keep the kids entertained. From what I have heard, many improvements from last year.
I'm pleased with my results looking at the day overall. I definitely benefit from the race environment as it pertains to getting my speed up a bit (I know, I know long runs should be slow...) Mentally it is good to know that every long does not have to be at a 9:35 FML pace. Also, there is no doubt that a race situation helps me to avoid the boredom of solo high mileage- I really start feeling the ill effects of that now and then and need people to chase. So all in all a win :-)


  1. Sympathy for the extreme humidity and sweatiness but using a race as a training run makes total sense. Your slow is my fast!

  2. why would you post pics of you looking good? this is about running. i feel i never look good running, especially now slugging along with weird form and dying. anyway... they must have changed the course, i dont remember a cemetery last year! i do remember the heat though... why would they make halfs in the summer?!
    and im silly, i was going to ask what you were training for. duh! :) go you!

  3. Nice job with the half and using it for a training run, races are definitely motivational. love the pictures, you aren't supposed to look fresh right?!

  4. humidity is just plain freakin' awful. It's not right to sweat just standing outside.