Monday, September 8, 2014

Popcorn Panic 5 Mile Race

Well, I think before this race, it was official: I had forgotten how to race. It had been SO long since I toed a start line, I forgot how to do it! Case in point? I completely forgot about the whole "Oh yeah, you get a race packet with a bib and shit" thing. Luckily, I remembered juuuust before the pick-up was over the night before. Yeah, I could have done the late pick up that morning, but I never do that. Well, at least back when I remembered how to run a race I never did that. Now, who knows.

Anyyyyyway- after remembering I was in fact running a race the next morning and trying to pull my head out of my booty and remember HOW to race, I did get my packet and all was right in the world. There's no "expo" with this race, just getting your bib and t-shirt.

Later that night, I kept trying to remember how to be a runner and laid out all my crap. Well, almost all my crap. I forgot my shoes. Ya know. Just shoes. NBD. It really wasn't a big deal, as I was home and they were simply in my closet instead of on my dresser with the rest of my race outfit. Still. How could I forget shoes? I'm a dummy.

The logistics of a race get significantly more complicated when you have a baby. Add about a gazillion complicated points when you're nursing that baby. The race started at 7:30am and Bailey usually gets up at 6:30am and nurses right away. Perfect, right? No so much, as I was petrified about the parking situation (I heard everywhere that the Popcorn Fest is a BIG DEAL and parking is like impossible) so I wanted to be out the door by 6:30am, even though the start line was literally 2 miles from my apartment door (spoiler: that was totally unnecessary). So, I woke up at 6am and got dressed and ready (aka: made coffee) and then nursed B at 6:15am, handed her off to the Hubs, and was out the door by 6:30am.

I made my way to the downtown area, again worried about parking. To my surprise (and a little irritation, though better than the alternative), there was ample parking (to be fair, a few hours later, you'd be lucky to park 2 miles away, so it did get crazy, crazy crowded). I parked, headed to the start line, did the porta potty thing, and waited. Luckily, it was a BEAUTIFUL morning. 60*'s and overcast. Beautiful.

7:30am rolled around quick and we were off, right on time. The plan was for the Hubs and Baileybug to meet me at the 3 mile mark (literally a hop, skip, and jump from our apartment), so I was looking forward to that almost right from the start.

Mile 1-2 were 100% up a slow and steady hill. Not a great way to start, but I knew we'd hit them on the way back, so that was reassuring. I was going slower than I liked, but keeping steady. I think mile 1 was about 10:40 and mile 2 about 10:30. I felt slow and sluggish and my legs felt realllllly heavy. Not ideal, but when you've barely run in months, what can you expect? Didn't help that I am still getting over this damn never-ending cold and had to hack up a lung every few minutes. Turns out breathing while running is hard when you can't stop coughing. Who knew?

Anyway-  the Hubs texted me right before mile 3 and told me he wasn't going to make it in time. B had a poopy diaper explosion and it just wasn't gonna happen. Boooooo. I felt deflated and lost a bit of energy. But, what can ya do? I also knew I was over half way there and just told myself to push through, get done, and then you can see them at the finish.

Mile 3 and 4 were mostly downhill (yaaaay!!). I seemed to catch a bit more of my rhythm there, as well. I think they clocked in at about 10:20 and 10:00. It was nice to be passing people instead of getting passed the whole race. I kept steady/speed up for some nice negative splits, which has never been my race-day-strength.

Mile 5 was uphill-- boo. My legs were getting tired and it was starting to warm up a little. I was ready to be done, but my competitive side came out and I made it my goal to beat a few people ahead of me. I really picked it up the last half mile and pushed myself out of my comfort zone with speed. I was huffing and puffing and coughing like crazy. I'm sure I looked and sounded like a lunatic. Usually I only sprint the last quarter mile or so, so this was definitely pushing it for me. I was SPENT by the end. I'm not really sure, as I forgot to hit my garmin for a few seconds, but I think the last mile was about a 9:40. Fast? Noooope. Fast for me right now? Yep.

(Ignore the pace-- that's just what I was at when I stopped the Garmin)

It was slower than I wanted and expected. I was hoping to keep a solid and steady 10:00 pace. Oh well. What can ya do? Interestingly, the next day I went out for a 4-mile run and finished in exactly 40 minutes. Legs, you're funny. Anyway, it was a good, small, local run. I'd definitely do it again, though likely only because we live right here and it's convenient to then go to the festival and already have parking and such. It wasn't exactly a fun and beautiful/scenic race, but I dug it.

It was nice to get back to a start line and I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend last night looking online for another (short) race.

Running, it may be time to start seeing each other again. We'll see. :)

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