Monday, August 3, 2009
Beach To Beacon!
Happily displaying our shirts before hitting the pool for a much needed cooldown.
Sheila's first race...Walking to the starting line with my daughter Amanda....no nervousness yet!
After I finished, I caught up with them somewhere in mile 5.
I ran with Sheila for the last mile....it was a good cooldown for me.
After the finish line....and she didn't think she could make it!
A very long line waiting for the shuttle busses.....and we were not even there yet!
The morning of the Beach To beacon started a little shakey. I wanted to leave before 6am but waiting for the ladies had us pulling out of the yard at 6:15. My daughter claimed that 15 minutes or so would surely not make much of a difference. I have been to enough B to Bs to know that an early start is needed for this race.
When we hit portland, the traffic was horrible and by the time we crossed the bridge to South Portland we were riding nothing but bumpers as far as the eye could see. being vindicated was not much consolation as I fought for the right turning lane toward Cape Elizabeth.
The girls kept saying, "perhaps we should have left a bit sooner" then adding in, "I still don't think 15 minutes would have made a big difference" Of course that allows them to be right and for me not to be right.
No big deal though because we got there in plenty of time and the worst was over...or at least we thought until it was apearant there would be more problems. One , the parking lot/ field was too wet wet near the start line and they sent us further down the road to a field that was still really too wet for 2 wheel drive vehicles and they would only let certain vehicles attempt the trek.
Well, our van is all wheel drive and even though they said we shouldn't. I went for the mud. Hey, I'm a trail runner....what's a little mud? It actually was not that bad and I only slid around a little bit. I viewed is as a little bit, my wife seemed to think we were inches from being stuck.
Ok, slightly wet/ muddy feet by the time we reached the access road, but hey, it's all in the experience. second problem was by the time we walked the extra distance to the start line....plus the fact that we were already later then I wanted, we found the portapotties to be extremely popular as the lines were 15- 20 people long already.
Somehow, I lost the girls and by the time I found them to wish my wife good luck, people were already packing into the corrall.....I had no time for a warmup run and couldn't get any further than the 8 minute mile area. I really wanted to start at the 7 or so.
Standing and waiting for the start of this race is the worst part. I think we stood there packed in like sardines for at least 25 minutes.....any warmup before this would have probably been wasted anyway as there was no way to stay warmed up in this crowd.
I felt good when I finally got past the surging crowd and setted into a decent but slightly slower pace than I planned. I passed the first mile mark at 7:46, I figured I better pick it up a little in the second to get back to my plan.
Suddenly some lady tried to scoot in behind me to the left for some unknown reason and slammed into my left calf. The result was a very painfull charlie-horse. I felt out of sinc for the whole second mile and ran much slower than I wanted. For the first 5 minutes or so, I thought I was going to cramp right up and have to stop completely. My second mile a very slow 8:12.
I forced myself to continue and even though I felt the calf with every stride, it didn't affect me physically so much as mentally. I couldn't really get into a zone as I kept feeling the calf, worrying that it would stop my race. I just couldn't let go of the whole thing.
In spite of the calf problem, I really ran a pretty good race, picking up the pace in mile 3(8:05), 4(7:50) and 5(7:46), running hard and steady in mile six hill (8:09), an extremely fast last .3 mile and finally a great kick (5:58).
My hope was to beat my last years time of 48:03 yet I trickled past 49 by 5 seconds.
Of course the calf was not completely to blame as it was very humid and I never managed to get down to my planned racing weight.
I felt better after checking my heart rate and seeing how high it was....I am not sure I could have run much faster on this day,with the weight I was at and under these conditions. I did manage to run faster than my group at track and actually beating a couple in the next fastest group.
After crossing the finish line, I bee-lined it back on the course with the hopes of running in with my wife and daughter. I found them somewhere in mile five and was happy to see my wife still running. I was quite impressed as her furthest run was 3 miles, her furthest walk run was 4 miles in her training. Her original plan was to walk/run the race but decided to attempt running about two weeks ago.
She was very happy to cross that finish line. It made for a great time, at least until we tried to get on the shuttle bus to return to our car. Apearantly they decided to trim the amount of busses for shuttling and realized they had made a grave mistake. The organization was quick to remedy their problem and had more busses issued so the line started moving much faster for the people behind us.
Race 6.2 miles 49:05 (7:54pace)
8:12...156-160(charlie horse recovery)
My cooldown was 2.5 to catch sheila and run back with her (11:19 pace)