Let’s recap this, shall we? (An Obligatory, phoned in, “race report.”)
As I sat in a bus watching the sideways rain before last weekend’s CIM, there was just one thought running through my head:
WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE?
I’ve spent the past year half-assing my training. I’ve been busy with other things like work and beer. It happens. Yet somehow I found myself registered for two marathons this fall. Hamilton is a 2 hour drive. That one made
since sense. (Ed – NOBODY POINTED OUT THAT TYPO? Come on guys. You should have. That’s inbred troglodyte level shit.) But what on fucking Earth possessed me to register for a marathon in California a month after that one?
I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. An excuse to take advantage of a cheap flight to California? The fact that I’m a moron? I don’t know. But here is what happened in bulleted form (and I don’t care enough to make sure I’m consistently using the active voice. SUCK ON IT):
1. I didn’t run very much between Hamilton and CIM – only about 100 miles. This included a 16 mile long run and a 10k race, which I finished in an appropriately mediocre 42:30.
2. I was a little drunk the Thursday before the CIM. I spent a lot of time walking around the next day. I spent much of Saturday trying to stretch every muscle in my leg. My ass hurt. So did my left shin. Not a great feeling.
3. I wore flip flops on the bus to Folsom to keep from getting my feet TOO wet beforehand. (I won’t bother describing the conditions. You’ve heard it by now: IT RAINED. A lot.) After I made a bathroom run I nearly face planted on the concrete after tripping and hitting the top of my foot while attempting to get back on the bus in the deluge. It hurt. Badly. I put my shoes on after that. I guess it was nothing but this is not what you need 30 minutes before a marathon.
4. I planned to go out slowly with the 3:25 pace group because there was no 3:20 pace group. (I understand this is often the case at races because it’s not a men’s BQ time. But really? THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3:15 AND 3:25. 3:15 is too scary. Give me a 3:20 pacer!) This did not work so well due to the fact that many tall men elbowed me between the eyes while I jumped over garbage bags and slow people. (WHY ARE THERE NO CORRALS AT A RACE THE SIZE OF CIM?) So I sped up a bit. The next thing I knew? I was going faster than I should. But it was okay because my ass stopped hurting.
5. There was a bad headwind between 7-10. I began to worry that I’d have to crumple up onto the side of the road and die. I happened to latch on to a group of women who were running comfortably enough to talk. I focused on the back of their feet and noticed a guy in a red vest doing the same thing. I forgot about the wind and things felt better.
6. The headwind died down. The rain seemed to die down as well. I got scared that it would stop completely and I’d overheat and probably die of being fat and from the northeast. (Note: this is hyperbole.) As we got closer to the halfway mark, I latched onto the two women and the guy in red came with. I had no intention of losing them.
7. There were Hare Krishnas on the course at the halfway point. It was weird. I went through in just over 1:40. So…as long as I didn’t die I could break 3:20.
8. I stepped in two pot holes around mile 14. I turned my left ankle. The same foot I banged before the race. I may have screamed “FUCK WATCH THE POTHOLES!” or maybe it wasn’t quite that eloquent. But it was bad enough that I had to slow down briefly to shake it off.
9. I finally talk to the women I’ve latched onto at about the 15 mile point. The guy tells us he’s on board too. We discuss the lack of the 3:20 pacer and formalize working together. OMG BEST IDEA EVER. Seriously. The miles flew by. We passed a lot of people. We sped up just a bit.
10. Just prior to mile 20, one woman drops back. We’re down to 3. I push ahead with the other woman who is running her first marathon. The guy drops back a couple miles later. I’m not really paying attention to pace, but shit is beginning to catch up a bit. I tell my impromptu running partner I’m going with her as long as I can and we continue to talk a bit. It helps…for the most part. We see a sign that says “HOT COFFEE” and decide that sounds good. Damn, best running partner ever!
11. We’re approaching 23. I know its about to flatten out. But fuck, I don’t feel great. My running partner tells me she sees a teammate up ahead who she’d like to beat. We work to get up there and pass her. She thanks me, I thank her back and then she takes off. I want to go with her but we’re at about 24 miles and shit, I’m scared I’m going to fall apart.
12. The last two miles? They went. I want to die. I am now alone for the first time in miles and it feels weird. I am not passing people with my usual vigor. No, I just want to die. I’m scared I’m running like 10 minute pace. A woman passes me. WOMEN NEVER PASS ME TOWARDS THE END. (In case you forgot: I’M A WOMAN.) Fuck. I refuse to look at my watch and keep forging ahead, even though I feel gross. Once I realize the finish line is right there I muster together some sort of kick and pass two women noticing that again I’m in the 3:18s.
13. I officially finished in 3:18:08. 8 seconds slower than last month. Had I stuck with the woman I was running with I would have PR’d and dipped under that pesky 3:18 barrier.
14. The sun came out about a half hour after I finished. Which frankly? PERFECT TIMING. There is NOTHING worse than running in wet clothes in warm rain with the sun beating down on you. Ew.
Look: I know. I phoned in this race report as I’ve phoned in pretty much everything over the past few months. I can’t explain it. Hell, I can’t explain why I still have a blog at this point.
But here are the things I want to highlight:
*It was a shitty few months and I’m rebounding slightly.
*Go figure, sometimes it pays to run with people! I lucked out finding a group of people running my pace.
*A pair of 3:18s on half-assed training about a month apart signals I can probably run faster, huh? Fuck. That’s kind of scary. Especially since it means I really do need to lose some weight.
*Once I got going, I didn’t mind the rain. It would have been too hot otherwise. Living in a shitty climate has its advantages because really, I’ve run in far worse than that. Though that was a pretty miserable pre-race situation.
*There were probably a billion port-a-johns (again, hyperbole)….yet people lined up for the first couple. Oy.
*So, Homeland has gone kind of off the rails, huh? Whoops, changed the subject.