Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This weekend was kind of insane.  There was really two main components and lots of surrounding fun.

WakeMed Distance Festival 10k

This was the 6th and final race for both of us in the Second Empire Grand Prix series.  It also looks like we are both going to finish the series 4th place in our age groups.  You have to compete in 6 out of 10 races to be eligible, and there is still one race to go.  So it is still mathematically possible for someone else to pass me, but looking at the standings, it's not likely.
In the car before the race

It was very sunny and hot on race morning.  With an 8 am start, we already had temps into the upper 80's.  I'm so glad we both decided to carry our own water bottles.  We drove the course Friday night, so I knew it was pretty hilly.  I wanted to take a conservative approach to the race as a whole, trying to finish without passing out or having a heat stroke.

The course started out through a shopping center, then out onto some mostly shaded residential roads.  There is a couple of lakes in this neighborhood, and a very popular golf course (Lochmere).  So we had a big downhill going towards the first lake.  The good news is that I hit the first lake and saw the first mile marker in 5:42.  The bad news is that the mile marker was only placed at 0.77 miles in.  My actual time on the first mile was more like 7:07, which is perfectly reasonable.  Perhaps too fast, even. Eventually they spaced the mile markers more properly, as the course overall was accurately measured. 

I walked most of the steeper uphill parts after mile two, again trying to be more conservative in the heat and save my energy for the downhills. There wasn't any actual flat spots on the course, except for the 100 yard long bridge across the lake.  It was an out and back course though, so every uphill eventually turned into a downhill.  The worst part was that there was no water stops until well after the mile 3 marker.  SO glad I carried my own bottle. 

At mile 5.6 there was a huge uphill section.  This is actually the worst place that you could possibly put a huge uphill section.  It lasted for .4 miles, so it was a quick jaunt through a parking lot to the finish line after you got to the top of that hill.

I finished the 10k in 52:03 according to the Garmin, finishing 7th out of 14 people in my age group.  Overall, doing these series races has been really fun and (most likely) we will try to compete in another series, either the fall races or next year's spring series.  I *think* this was also my first standalone 10k.  All of the other 10k's I've done have been in Oly triathlons.  Those have all been much faster, except for my first oly where I pulled a 1:10 for the 10k run.
After the race we got some Chic-Fil-A.  I look like a cop, my arm looks bigger than my head here.  Funny shot!

The Concert

After the race I got cleaned up, packed a bag, loaded up the car, and headed back to SC.  My chorus teacher from high school is retiring at the end of the school year, and this weekend was her last concert.  She has always invited alumni at the concerts to come up and sing with the current chorus, so for her last concert there was a big push to get as many alumnus as possible to attend.  We had a rehearsal Saturday afternoon with a catered dinner afterwards and the concert was on Sunday afternoon.

I left Raleigh and made it into Greenville by 3:30, when the rehearsal started at 4.  To me, this was better than a high school class reunion.  I lived and breathed concert choir in high school, and most of my friends were older than me.  Next year (2013) marks my 20 year high school reunion, which I will likely not attend.  When I went to my 10 year reunion, none of the people that I was close to and looking forward to seeing actually showed up.  And that was before facebook existed. 

This time had plenty of my old friends both older and younger than me, and it was proof that some people never change.  We're all older now, and the sheet music seemed to be in small print like I could barely read it.  But the cutups were still cutting up and causing trouble, and our teacher fussed at us for the same things she was fussing at us about 20 years ago.  It was awesome.

The dinner was great too, and I really enjoyed getting to socialize with everyone.  Saturday was also my brother Morgan's birthday, so after the dinner I got to hang out with Morgan and his new girlfriend.  Fun times all around.

This trip was so short I just hopped in the car and went.  Kelley and the girls stayed in Raleigh as I didn't want to have the kids in the car for 8 hours when the duration of our stay in Greenville was only about 25 hours total.  That meant Sunday morning was spent out on the back deck and in the garden with my mom, and that's a treat that happens very rarely anymore.

The concert was fun, but very long.  More alumni showed up for the concert than at the rehearsal.  We had a huge crowd and it turned out to be a great show.
I'm in the orange shirt on the back row.  Stole the pic from one of the other back rowers from facebook
The whole thing really made me miss singing.  I've got to start going to the church choir rehearsals.  When people participate in music like this, kids, teenagers, or adults, you get back so much more than you put into it.  The creativity you learn in music makes problem solving easier at work. I started developing my leadership skills as president of the concert choir my senior year.  There's no difference between standing up and singing in front of an audience and standing up to teach a classroom (back when I used to teach).  It's so rewarding it makes me want to get my kids involved.  Soon enough they will be ready for piano lessons.

I left straight from the school and got back to Raleigh about 9 pm Sunday.  A completely insane trip where I got to see so many fun people again and do so many fun things.  And that was the big two from this weekend.  Other random notes:
  • Yesterday I really hit the weights hard and it feels so good.  Then I hit the hard hill program on the stationary bike.  Felt good to get a good hard workout in.
  • Today I'm going to run over lunch and swim tonight.  Got my first triathlon coming up on the 19th and I'm nowhere near as strong as I wanted to be for that.
  • Mom's arm is healing nicely from the break, she's able to move the arm more freely now.  It's quite a relief.
  • I should have done a 40 or 50 mile ride on Sunday as next weekend (besides being mother's day) should be a recovery/taper weekend before the 50 mile tri on the 19th
  • Our close friend Kayte graduated from Meredith college on Saturday.  We're all very proud of her accomplishment and were planning a big graduation party for her on Saturday night.  The party has been postponed for a couple of weeks.
  • Kelley's cousin Ryan has graduated from NC State and is starting a through-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  He's got a tumblr going to blog from the trail, and he's making really good progress hiking over 20 miles a day.  It's a seriously impressive feat if he can pull it off.


Hugh Jass said...

First and foremost, I am oh so jealous of Kelley's cousin Ryan and his through hike of the AT. I have this big plan to do it with each of my kids after they graduate high school. Obviously a distant goal. I'll definitely have to read that tumblr.

I agree, music is very important. I was in band (as my singing is horrid and only introduced through heavy drinking) and I learned so much from that beat up french horn.

Fair Weather Runner said...

whoa, big weekend indeed. sounds pretty perfect really. nice job on the 10K too! also. i totally love indulging in CFA after a race.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That's so cool about Kelly's cousin!! I grew up on the Pacific Crest Trail and the hikers always amazed me! I would love to do that someday!

You had a busy weekend! I love singing, but I have the voice of a howler monkey.

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend - great effort getting the workouts in on the road! I love the idea of a choir reunion - I imagine your teacher really appreciated it :) now on tomuchmore random things, what is the tattoo on your arm of?!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that is so cool that you got to go back and do that concert. What an awesome experience. I did not know you were a singer! I was really active in choir in high school, too. I want to join a church choir. I keep saying 'as soon as the cfa is over' or 'as soon as this marathon is over' etc etc. I have to just make the time to do it as I know i'd enjoy it.

Nice work on the race!!!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

This post confirms my long-held belief that we need longer weekends. For centuries, perhaps even millennia, seven-day weeks have consisted of five days of work, two days off.

It's time that was reversed. It's only fair.

Get on that, Cletus.

Congrats on the 4th place finish.

raulgonemobile said...

I saw that first mile time and was like "holy shizzz, you're running that in a 10K?!" Of course, 7:07 is nothing to sneeze at, either.

I didn't make it to our choir reunion.. I read a post like that and wonder if I should have. Sigh.

Nice job on the race series.