I know! I can hardly believe it myself. I mean, who ever would of thunk it?
But yes, yes it is possible for the port-a-potty lines NOT to be long enough. And THAT was the situation at one of my races this weekend.
And no, to answer your question, you did not read that last sentence too quickly and I did not make a typing mistake (this time). Besides the whole port-a-potty oddity, I did actually run in two, count ‘em 2, races this weekend. Because that is the exact smart thing to do just 2 weeks out post marathon right? (The correct answer here would be no.)
In fact, not only did I run 2 races, I attempted to PR 2 races. Why? I don’t know. Because I’m like that. How’s that for a sensible answer?
And it was race number one, the Red October Run 5K, that had the toilets from the twilight zone. There was a giant row of port-a-potties and at all times, it seemed one was open. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that’s terrific! Nothing’s worse than a race with a shortage of pots, but Runnana almost got into a brawl over it.
You see, you come to expect something of a line after being in them race after race. So you plan accordingly, and when suddenly you wander over there and there is none, chaos ensues. It went a little like this:
Runnana to kind racing stranger: “Go ahead. You go first.”
Kind Stranger: “No, that’s ok. You go first.”
Runnana: “No really. Go ahead.”
Kind Stranger: “No. No. You go ahead.”
Runnana: “NO! YOU GO! I’M NOT READY YET!”
Kind Stranger: “Ok. Ok. I’ll go.”
See. Totally bizarre. Nearly had to come to blows if Kind Stranger didn’t relent when he did. So next time you want to curse the lines at a race, think twice. You could wind up being branded Crazy Runner Woman Who Gets in Line for No Apparent Reason. And who wants to live with that stigma? Sorry mom.
Anyway, I had bad vibes going into this race ladies & gentlemen. My girlies got sick the beginning of race week and I could totally tell I was fighting it off. My lungs were just not functioning the way they should have been, I couldn’t really get a deep breath. So I tried to keep the runs to just 3-4 miles all week because I read once (where? why Runner’s World of course!) that runs between 1/2-1 hour would boost your immune system whereas runs longer than an hour or so would actually suppress it for a short while after your workout. And I needed no immune system suppressing last week thank-you very much!
If the pesky virus wasn’t enough, the weather turned out not to be my friend. Cold, windy, and rainy, which really, whatever, but we were bringing the babies (who are not so much babies anymore at 2 & 4, but I will probably refer to them that way forever I’m sure) and I didn’t want them to freeze.
Then there was some renegade off road driving by my father in my BRAND SPANKING NEW VAN to get to a decent parking spot (Yes, Dad it was good spot. Yes, Dad the van is fine.) And then, when I ran into the port-a-potty (literally because there was no line and I was doing a warm up) I discovered that I, joy of joys, started. And by started, you know exactly what I mean.
Somewhere on the mile run to get my car keys from my dad, then back past the lineless port-a-potties to my car to break into my glove compartment stash of emergency feminine products, followed by the return run BACK to the port-a-potties, I thought to myself (or actually it was more of a sarcastic question to God), “Really, could you send one more sign that I should NOT attempt to PR today?”
Which is exactly what He did, or at least I thought so, when He strategically plopped two walkers right directly in front of me at the start. (I overhead them that’s how I knew they were walkers. I wouldn’t dare judge by appearance). I waited for the lady with the megaphone giving orders to ask the walkers to move to the back, but no such luck. So I figured instead of plowing these nice people over, I’d ask them to swap me places and also pose for a picture.
Ha ha. Just kidding. I did not actually ask him to pose for a picture, but he looks more into the picture than I do doesn’t he? Certainly way cooler anyway. That’d be my yep, I’m smiling but I’m really just frustrated with the whole situation face. Don’t misread my crossed arms though. They are crossed for an entirely different reason, I’m frickin’ cold. And then there’s Runnana in her Martian 1/2 Mary t-shirt behind me. She’s sick, freezing, and probably just as frustrated as I am but she totally exudes joy and warmth. One day, when I grow up I’ll be like her.
None of this jockeying for position mattered btw because nearly the entire front row at the starting line was walkers and I spotted them pretty quick after the horn, so I ended up just jumping onto the curb and running on the grass to get around them. (Poor 5K newbie walkers, you should have heard them shrieking “AHHH!! We’re going to get run over” when the race started. Really, I’m not being a snot about this. I LOVE people that get out there and run, walk, or do some combination of the two at these races. But some of these super fasties will literally PLOW YOU DOWN if you are in their way. Trust me. I’m not a super fasty and I’ve learned the hard way. These race directors would do well to give these rookies at least a fair warning. How would they know?)
But then, you will NOT believe what happened…
Oops. Apparently in my zippiness to get around the walkers I went ahead and zipped out that first mile faster than I’ve ever run before (that’s me being zippy in the picture, waving to the fam). So yeah, at that point I figured I ought to make an attempt to PR. 24:40 was my best though, just under 8 minute miles and I figured maybe I ought to slow down just a touch. After that first mile, I could afford to.
Mile Two- 8:12.
Oops. Might have slowed down a little too much. Besides the whole PR thing, I also really really wanted to give this race all I had so I’d have a good solid performance to base the training paces for my next marathon (details on that to come, but yes, I have one in mind). So I kindly reminded myself of that and picked up the pace again.
Mile Three.1- 8:12
There was no mile three marker. Or at least, if there was I totally missed it. So I had to have picked up the pace again in order to bust out the same split as the previous mile with the additional .1 added in there to cover. All I know is, when I rounded that last corner and saw that the finish line clock didn’t even say 23 yet. I busted my butt to get in there sub 24. I was stoked.
I finished 2nd in my age group and 5th female (according to my brother in law but I can’t seem to find where it says that anywhere and I think he’s making it up. No wait!! I totally just found it on Active you guys. I’m on the leader board. NO WAY!! That’s never happened before. Go look. It’s so cool. Here’s the link) I won a little green glass artistic leaf thingy that my husband says is a paper weight and my dad says just looks like the bottom of a coke bottle. You can be the judge. Here’s a close up:
Runnana? She PR’d too. Woohoo!! 31:56. She finished 6th in her age group. And the sleeper was Muffin Man, my brother-in-law. He ran his first 10K and being that he was totally in the throws of that same cold I had, he was planning on taking it easy and running the 10K in about an hour. Imagine our surprise when he showed up at the finish line at 47:48 just barely missing out on an age group award finishing 4th. Still, stellar first performance, especially for a sicko.
Moving on to race number two, the Huron Applefest 10K. Now, I purposely planned the longer race the 2nd day, not because I’m a psycho, but because my 10K PR was from last year, 58:56 whereas my 5K PR was from this year. I’m in better shape this year than last, so I figured I'd need to have fresh legs and work harder on that 5K since that PR was more recent.
My legs were a little sore the day after the 5K but not shot, so I still figured I could make still make it happen. I’d just need to run a little better than 9:30 minute miles. Here’s how it rounded out…
Pretty good start, a little bit faster than intended, but it felt ok and I was kind of concerned my legs wouldn’t hold up after that 5K effort, so I figured I’d stick with it for as long as I could.
Not entirely sure what happened here. My legs did loosen up some as they usually do after about three miles, but I was totally shocked when I saw my split. I did not think I was running that fast. More like 8 minutesish. Since that’s a faster pace than my new 5K PR, I figured if I knew what was good for me, I’d better slooooooooow down.
Better, but still probably too fast and I was really starting to feel it. But I realized at this point that I had a serious shot at breaking 50 minutes. I knew this course well and was well aware that I had two hills coming on that last mile, but still thought maybe, just maybe, I could push through and make it happen.
Mile 6-8:15 All hills considered, this was a pretty good last mile. That last one was a serious struggle. In fact, I may have been running in arms only, but it was on the…
.2-1:52 that blew the 50 for me. I just had absolutely zip zilch nada left in my legs after all that hard running and those last hills to pick it up at the finish even though I could see I was so so close. I came in at 50:04.
I tried to convince my husband that since it was super windy, I should be able to wind adjustment my time to 49:59:59, but he didn’t buy it. So if it didn’t fly with him, I figured it won’t fly here, but you better believe I’ll be setting a new 10K goal.
No age group awards for me for this race. I finished 4th in my age group. Runnana, on the other hand, who I suckered into running a 2nd race with me, completely won her age group in the 5K and went home with a jug of cider. This after having completely wiped out running over some uneven sidewalk on her warm-up and smacking her head, wrist, and elbow on the concrete as well as scraping her knee. Apparently, she needs a good beating before she wipes the floor with her competition. (She’s totally fine everybody, just a little bruised up.)
And that was the last big race weekend of the year. **SIGH** Well…besides running the Mackinac Island 1/2 in two weeks and probably a Turkey Trot around Thanksgiving and…geesh who’m I kidding?
P.S. Of course my little miss got a chance to run this weekend too!
It was a whole mile, that’s an umbrella in my hand. I figured a mile in the rain could be a really long mile if she decided she wanted to walk. Fortunately, the rain held off until the grownups started running and she did run most of it. Her mile time: 12:30.
P.P.S. More reviews, giveaways, and details on the RRCA coaching certification class coming soon. And I’ll post the nitty gritty Racevine reviews of these two races just as soon as I write them.