Sunday, March 5, 2017

Half At The Hamptons: Where the wind carries me away, forever....

If I was a good blogger/writer, I would weave a web of words for you right now to describe my experience today.

Like this:

"Gazing out upon the frozen landscape endless blue carpet of ocean, our heroine felt the fucking hurricane wind gently ruffle her hair. As she ran, like a strugglebus, effortlessly, she felt the gentle heat of the warm spring sun... (She may have been confused, as she was rapidly getting a raging case of windburn, but for the moment we will imagine lovely spring sunshine...) Effortlessly leaping over the lovely dry ground (or, the frozen ice patches left from the discarded water of runners before her) she steadily surged onward. She could barely feel the effort of running because she was so fucking cold impeccably well trained. As the miles wore on, and the wind hammered her repeatedly in the face gentle spring winds blew, she knew she was on her way to a glorious, and empowering finish.

Yeah. Eff that noise. Let's be honest, with fewer scribbled out sentences.
Yes, today was pretty. Pretty stupid.

It was a freezing cold, howling wind kind of day in Hampton today, and we are all bat shit crazy.

It was also 6 in Hampton. BLAHHHHHHHH.

Honestly, until about 7:45 this morning I wasn't entirely sure I would be able to run. The weather this weekend was extremely unpleasant. Saturday's high temp was 8, and once you took into account the 30+ MPH wind, it was no spring day.
Not only does running in the negative numbers NOT tempt me, but leaving my job when the weather is atrocious is out of the question. So wait I did, and at 7:45 this morning I scooted off, quick as can be.

I arrived with moments to spare. I did manage to snag my number.

Hello 420. Yes, I did laugh.
My time crunch, of course, brought about this years editions of "Sara misses the start."

It was bound to happen at some point.

Bye guys, buh bye.
I wasn't too terribly bothered, as I was only about 90 seconds late.

Going into this race, my goal was a good workout. I was hoping that I could manage a Marathon Pace average (8:10-8:15) (but why am I calling this MP when I don't yet know what my marathon goal pace IS??) (Because this seems reasonable? Maybe even optimistic, considering the winter we have had.) (also, parenthetical excess.) If nothing else, I concluded that this would be/could be a good fitness test, and give me direction for the next several weeks.

Anyway. From Mile 0-3 it seemed as though it would be a truly pleasant day of running. There was plentiful sunshine, and very little wind. My legs, after a cut back week, felt chipper. My hands felt cold, because it was 18 degrees, but that's to be expected.
I could seriously HEAR the wind, but where was it??

Right on cue, at the mile 3 marker the cross wind came roaring in with vengeance. The turn at mile 5 was a turning point to complete suckdom, as the wind became a brutal headwind and didn't quit.

Running into the wind is exhausting. I know I am not as fit as I was this time last year, but I may have worked just as hard during this 13.1 even though I was 10 minutes faster last year. (Maybe I worked just as hard because I am so flabby? or maybe it was the FUCKING BITCH WIND?)

There wasn't really ever a point after mile 5 where life got easy, but it never got so hard that I stopped and wept openly for my Mother. Close, but not quite.
There is a point in every race when running becomes "meh" for me, and that point was mile 6.5 to 7.5.
But then....

At mile 7.5 there was a water stop, where a lovely volunteer offered me a Gu, and when I declined backed up his offer with some cigarettes. I LITERALLY STOPPED and laughed SO hard. The offer of butts was both unexpected and, on the part of the volunteer, seamlessly well played. Well done, my friend. This event helped to shake off my blahs, and I was able to run the remainder of the race with a minimum of bad attitude

I finished. In 1:48:24, which is both exactly to plan, and grossly slow based on my effort. (ok, ok, it wasn't that bad. Fighting the wind is jus #sohard and such a #struggle and blah blah... I want an easy ride, damnit!!!)

I ran inside for soup.

This was really amazing soup

And beer.

It was actually too damn cold for beer. Who am I??

And then I scampered outdoors to take an ocean selfie, as one does because #basic

I also put on 450 more layers of clothing
So. What is my take away from this run?
I am not as fit as last year, but I am more fit than I was several weeks ago.
I certainly need to make hill work a major priority for the remainder of training. The one very small hill on this course felt inconvenient.
This was a great MP race run on a tough day. It's almost impossible for me to run 13.1 miles in training, a pace, on my own, so the race atmosphere was key.

Hopefully, we get some consistently temperate weather. The constant fluctuations between 60 and 0 are not conducive to good training and I am feeling the effects of that to some degree. If I can manage to get in some consistent long runs and hill work outdoors, I will begin to feel more confident.

Week 9 recap to come in the next few days (it will go like this: It was 50! Then 0! and it sucked!)



  1. The wind has felt so WINDY this winter. But, the marathon I'm running next week is notorious for being windy so it's good training, I guess.

    Way to tough it out.

    1. Thanks and good luck to you! It has been a VERY windy winter. So stupid...