Oh, this race.
As a forewarning, this is going to be a long race recap.
I didn’t blog much last week because I didn’t have anything but negative thoughts to share about this upcoming race. I felt underprepared. I was terrified of the humidity. I was even more terrified of the hills. I had twisted my ankle on Thursday and knew it was going to be painful to run. If I had paid for this registration fee I would have totally backed out, but because I didn’t (it was a birthday gift), I couldn’t. And wouldn’t.
Last night I received a text from a running pal in the Rochester area that the race directors *might* cancel the race because of the pending thunderstorms. I immediately thought, yes! This was my way out of the race! I was still anxious and still devoured nine oreos. I was up at four, showered, packed my bag and made an English muffin PB&J sammy. Five AM came and it was announced that the race was still on, so we hit the road.
I thought I was going to vomit. I choked down my sandwich and tried to shut my eyes for thirty minutes. We ended up parking near the start because I still had to get my bib = I didn’t get any of the race swag. As we were standing in line, I kept saying to the beau, “I don’t want to do this.” I didn’t want to say it louder because there were a ton of people around and I didn’t want to get all worked up and cry. I was on the brink of tears while standing in line for the bathroom.
Before I knew it, I gave the beau a quick kiss and shuffled my way over to the start line with his brother in law. We planned on running together and it was going to be my job to slow him down at the start, and then he would help me pick it up toward the end. Perfect I thought. The race began and it took us ten minutes to cross the line! For some reason this race seemed larger than the VCM but my nervousness disappeared once I got moving; just another Sunday run I told myself.
Miles 1-3: It was packed! Our first mile was just over ten minutes because of the sheer volume of people. And I was already sweating. There were a ton of people along the course and a ton of music which was great because I didn’t wear headphones. My ankle felt the best this morning than it had in days and thought it would be fine running, but it wasn’t. Early on it was very sensitive and apparently I wasn’t hiding it well because Dave could see it on my face. He reminded me what others had shared leading up to this race that it wasn’t worth it to run and mess it up more. I was pissed like you wouldn’t believe and told him I was done. He took off and I texted the beau.
Miles 4-6: By the time I decided to stop running, we were already in the golf course; essentially an out and back c-loop. I turned around, walked down the hill to some volunteers and asked them how far it was for me to walk to the finish. They were totally confused by my question and were like, “just over six miles!” I decided to walk back up the hill while texting the beau/entering in the coordinates to the brewery/finish line. I stopped and asked another guy for directions and he told me it was ten miles! I kindly pointed out that the race was only 9.3 miles and we had already traveled over three… I was getting pissed. By the time I was exiting the golf course, I had already taken off my bib and shoved it into my water bottle pocket.
Just before mile five, the beau and I determined that we were a 45 minute walk apart. Forty-five minutes! This is when I started talking to myself:
- In the amount of time it would take me to walk to him, I could run a slow 4.5 miles and cross the finish line.
- I didn’t pay for this race and was not about to waste my gas money and the beau’s time for driving me at 5 AM.
- My training plan for the day required me to run 9.3 miles and I was going to do them NOW rather than later dammit.
- I did NOT want a reason to have to run this race again next year. Ha!
So just after passing the five mile marker, I started to run. I quickly texted the beau and I decided to try and run as fast as I could. I took my bib out and held it in my hand as I sprinted across the 10k mat. Look at me now.
Miles 7-9.3: Dave told me at the start that mile 7 was his least favorite because it’s an open stretch of road that gets really hot when sunny. Luckily today it was overcast. I was still sweating, a ton, and took full advantage of all of the hoses being sprayed into the street. There were even more people along this stretch and even more bands, DJs, and residents blasting music. I actually really enjoyed mile seven and the few breezes that I caught.
I don’t really remember mile eight but I can tell you that mile nine was the most difficult. I definitely slowed down to what I thought was a shuffle and took frequent sips of water that I carried throughout. I so desperately wanted an ice pop that I saw around mile five but thought of all the water I could drink at the finish. At this point I had guessed that Dave had already finished (and he had) and searched the crowd for the beau. FINALLY I saw the finish line and shuffled across the mat, sweat pouring down my face and into my eyes.
I immediately texted them to say that I had finished and I think they were all shocked that I came in when I did. My knee was now starting to hurt because of my change in stride but I had my eye on the prize: free beer! I collected my finisher’s pin, met up with my group and headed for the beer. But first I devoured a fruit pack, a whole water and grabbed an orange popsicle. Heaven on Earth!
I can’t complain about the unlimited free Saranac beer. I can’t complain about the weather. I can’t complain about the organization of the race or the amount of support this town shows. I can officially cross this big race off of my list but I must admit I don’t know if I’d do it again. The course wasn’t as hilly as I had led myself to be afraid of but I’m just not a fan of a) summer training and b) that many people. But who knows, never say never.
Final time: 1:34:04 = 10:06 pace and I came out 457/1022 in my division.