Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Falmouth Road Race, 1,596 words and 4 pictures

From the looks of things the past several week must have been my annual blog slump.
I was super busy, SUPER BUSY and therefore vanished.

In the Spring I was exited to gain entry to the New Balance Falmouth Road Race via the ever fickle lottery system. Based solely on the less than stellar luck of my compatriots, this particular lottery is extra fickle (or- more likely, overburdened with a gazzilion hopefuls!) What I am saying is that I got lucky....
One of my friends (we will call her Other Sarah) got a code to get a bib somewhat after the fact. I would like to thank cool internet friends for this- it was a fun situation where you actually really appreciate people who you have never met. (such a nice gesture from Capecod Runner!!!) So I had a buddy to meet up with down there which made everything seem like a good idea.

There were a few bumps in the road on the way to the start line.
-Life in general threatened to get in the way and keep me home but I quickly figured that out.
-The cost to stay on the Cape during August is astronomical- Other Sarah and I had some lengthy conversations about what on earth to do about this. After much debate she and her family bravely went camping and I, being of a very fragile and delicate nature stayed with my wonderful cousins an hour away. (We had a blast, ate pizza, watched Up and fell asleep early- I LOVE them!)
-The week leading up to the race was absolutely insane. I had my busiest work week of the year. My sister graduated College with her Nursing Degree (smart cookie) Eric was headed to Canada to support his brother at his Ironman (crazy) so we had some rendezvousing to do. There was other stuff that I luckily can not remember but you get it- life was busy!

So honestly, on Saurday AM I was like, PHEW, I get to drive 5 hours each way and run in 95 degree heat and IT FEELS LIKE A FRIGGIN VACATION. (I was like that. For real.)

Oh yeah. 95 degree heat was happening. GAH SO HOT.

I drove to the Cape along with everyone else in the world to pick up my bib, my sweet mug and my poster (I love mugs and posters. My two favorite things to get as race swag!)
While it was a bit of a hassle to drive the extra miles to the Cape to pick up all my crap it was worth it in the long run. With 12,000 runners attending Other Sarah and I were not confident in our success rate of meeting up on race morning. (In retrospect this was NOT a problem, we met up with ease. But who could have known?)
I got to my cousins house just as a million huge thunderstorms were rolling in.
I also arrived to find a HUGE basket of flowers sent from my lovely husband since it was our anniversary, awwwwwwww!

Flowers are always the right answer.
We hunkered down with all the things one needs to survive several huge storms (as previously mentioned, pizza, TV, comfy couches and some wine) and had a lovely evening. I slept well and was terribly offended when my alarm came screaming to life at 4:30 AM.

Sunday morning dawned humid as shit and hot as balls. There is no nice way to put that so there it is.

I arrived at the designated middle school parking lot nice and early- and a good thing since the lot was already almost jam packed.
I was feeling a little off with a slightly grumpy stomach but a couple trips to the (clean) porta potties set me straight.
Despite the remarkably large crowds Other Sarah and I were able to find each other easily and hop on a (hot) bus to the start.
Thus far, Falmouth Road race was winning in my book. Decent parking, clean porta potties, extra fast bus lines. All very nice.

The two of us made it to the start with ACTUAL HOURS to kill.

With hours to kill why did we not take more pics? WHY???
Naturally, we did what any self respecting mid pack runner/s would do.
We sat on a step and watched boats.
We talked about running/runners/training plans/being stupid/clothing companies.
I patted a duck.
We found more clean potties.
We gossiped a little tiny bit.
We talked about FEELINGS (nope)
We only took one picture. 

We looked at some boats.
Then, we got up and ran a race.
Or more like jogged a bit because not only was it literally the hottest day in the history of the world but it was also the most crowded race ever.
Pretty much right off, there were nice views, an odd number of hills, lots of sweat and body odor and two Sara/h's glad to be running instead of waiting to run, haha.

We had a nice couple of miles together before getting separated at an aid station.

It wasn't exactly a perfect day for fast running so I did not run fast, I looked at the views, walked thru 4 aid stations and took in the large crowds. I really enjoyed my race- far more than I expected to actually!
After the little rolling hills early on, the course was basically pancake flat. There was a long stretch of ocean/beachside running and it was absolutely lovely. And HOT.
In the last half mile or so of the race there is one big hill- very rude, but it leads to a nice downhill finish.
I finished in 58:17 which I was completely happy with given the nature of the weather and my lack of speed preparedness. BTW, this is a 7 mile race which is totally random and led to an automatic PR. WINNING.

The finish area was super organized and I was able to quickly get all of life's important things like ice cream.

Such a good idea!!!!
The one less great moment was discovering that the only way back to my car was to walk (or run) the two miles. Luckily I was feeling good so this was not a serious issue.

I can honestly say that I had a much better time at this race than I expected. I loved the scenery, I enjoyed the course and crowd support, I appreciated the management of a HUGE number of people (and maybe I got lucky-but I got everything I needed and got it quickly!)
I think that I would have really enjoyed the post race amenities more if I had not felt the pressure to get off the Cape before everyone else did.
I did actually RUN back to my car, LEAP into it and drive like hell! Due to my frantic nature I made it back to Maine quickly and easily.

I'm tired just from writing this. If you made it all the way through you are a superhero and can come to the special runners camp that Other Sarah, my new pet duck and I are planning for next year. Phew.

So anyway, in closing. Fun, hot, 650 miles of driving but I have a mug to reward me for my troubles. Overall, another good day in the world of running!


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