Finish time: 22:28
7:15 /mile pace
7/23 age group
Not exactly the race (or the course) that I was hoping for. Started out nice enough. The race wasn't until 10 am, so I got to sleep in a bit, eat breakfast, and get out the door at a reasonable time. The weather was unbelievable, sunny and in the mid 60's. I took the little camera and got a couple of shots before the start:
|Proof that I was actually there|
|The start/finish line. Not too crowded 40 minutes before the start.|
I made my way near the front and lined up with a kid who was expecting to go 21 something. Found some really nice people to talk to at the starting line, that made it easier to start without nerves. Somebody said the course was basically uphill all the way out, turnaround at one of my favorite restaurants (the Player's Retreat), so it was downhill most of the way back. I knew, however, that the worst two uphill parts were on the way back, that's why Kelley opted not to do this race with me. So I was in for a nice challenge. That's always something you want to find out at the starting line.
The gun goes off and we take off fast. Too fast. I had been coughing a lot that morning, and 200 yards into the run it felt like my heart was stabbing my lungs. How did my heart even get a knife? Oh, now my lungs are on fire! Wow, the cold air (at 60 degrees?) was really doing a number on me. I accidentally left the garmin at home again, so I was going naked. So I'm pretty sure I went out of the gates too fast, but not really sure how fast that was.
Made the turn from Edenton onto Hillsborough street, and held pace. Nobody really was passing me, and I wasn't really passing anybody else either. So I was in good company. Until I completely ran out of gas about a mile in. Since it was an out and back course, I saw the leaders coming back in and was surprised at how quickly I saw them. Then almost instantly after that I saw the turn around point. I think, at the turn around, I was still in the top 30 people or so overall. I made the turn around and walked a bit just to regroup.
Then I picked it back up, but my abs were really fatigued at this point, so I was having a tough time holding proper form for any decent distance. I knew the toughest two hills were coming up and the rest was a slight downhill, so I walked about halfway up the two hills as well. There was an aide station at the mile 2 marker, so I grabbed a cup of water there. That was also the only mile marker I saw.
The second bad uphill was close to the end. I started walking at the bottom of the hill, and about halfway up started a slow jog again. By the time I got to the top I was powering up again, and increased my foot turnover once it leveled out. By then the finish line was in sight. My abs were completely gone. Totally unable to support the weight of my upper body anymore. My lower back started to compensate, and it got very sore as well. That's a first for me; I never had the lower back go out like that. I was also audibly and involuntarily expressing my displeasure with the current state of my abs with language that should not have been used that close to a church. I got a few funny stares when I crossed the finish line, then immediately doubled over, grabbed a water bottle, and found a nice quiet sidewalk to cry and puke on.
The winner came in at 15:23, the winner of my age group was 17:04 (4th overall), and the first female was 18:44. I should also mention that the winner was 19 years old, I bet he never smoked a cigarette or had to lose 70 lbs in his life, and does nothing but be out of high school and run. punk.
I am pleased with my time, but I could have managed the course better. I took the first half of the course too fast without knowing that it was mostly uphill, then had nothing left for the easy return. Kelley might have been right to skip this one. It is, however, the first race in the Second Empire Grand Prix series, so I have the first race down for series points. Five more to go.
My next race is the Charleston Marathon next saturday, then the Myrtle Beach marathon in February before my next 5k and attempt #3 at going sub-20. Charleston has its own set of goals.
Good luck if you ran Disney! Hope it was magical!