Monday, July 29, 2013

Blue Crab Bolt 10K

Note the title, "10K" - HA!  This course was about 6.5 miles long.  That is, 6.5 of the hardest trails I have ever run [err... shuffled] in my life!

I woke up and scarfed down some Belvita breakfast cookies and an iced tea while driving out to Seneca Creek Park in Maryland.  I got there and noticed not very many cars ... that's a bad sign considering my consistent goal of not being last.  I don't care if I am technically last to cross the finish line, but dread the day that I'm the only one out on the course and everyone has already packed up to head home.  There was a distinct possibility of this.  I walked through the wet grass to check in, went back to my car and saw Jessie, so walked through the wet grass with her to check in.  Bathroom break, meet up with Marcie, Lori and Shannon, put on some bug spray that we got from a nice woman, another bathroom break and more walking through the wet grass before it was time to start this little adventure.
I ran the first mile which was mostly on pavement, and stopped at the first water stop.  I was gonna walk a bit but the first trail section was mostly downhill, so why not keep on running.  At the bottom of the hill, I let myself walk a bit as we meandered along the side of the river or lake (I wasn't really paying attention).  This isn't so bad, I'm thinking ... uh, I should've waited on that thought cause the next thing you know, I turn a corner and there's a magnificent hill that reminds me of exactly why I don't mountain bike.  OK, got up the hill, meandered a little more and then what do you know, another super duper hill that was difficult to even walk up!  These were not the only 2 hills.  I hoped the trail would loop back to the parking area as I would've quit and taken the DNF.  It didn't.

I'm trudging along, knowing that I'm slow as heck and not caring, running when I can and walking any sign of an incline ... when BAM.  I jam my bad foot into a log or rock or something and there is all of a sudden a shooting pain going up my leg.  Awesome.  I was pretty much done running at this point.  I would try to force myself to run from time to time but really only got 20-30 feet before the pain was too much.  I went down another steep hill to the side of the lake and I could hear the announcer and music at the finish line.  Great, almost done ... wait ... where is that music coming from?  THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS FREAKING LAKE?!!!  I glanced at the water and seriously considered diving in and swimming across.  FCUK!!

Just keep going.  That's what I told myself, just keep going.  Little by little, I made my way around the lake and checking my garmin.  0.7 miles left ... 0.6 ... 0.4 ... 0.2 ... 0.1 ... uh, were the heck is the finish line???  For a 10K, I should be done ... 6.3 ... 6.4 ... 6.5 and I am FINALLY running through the finisher chute, high-fiving Jessie, Shannon and Lori and freaking glad to be done with this thing.  Grabbed some gatorade and nibbled on a few things (skipped the breakfast burritos ... D'oh!) and went with Lori to get her leg washed off from her fall. 

I was so tired, I literally sat down in the shower when I got home!  I took a quick nap and then went out for margaritas for Jessie's birthday.  This was one hell of a trail run.  If I do this again next year, I will be more prepared with what is in store for me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Let Freedom Run 5K

I'm not sure how it's possible to be so exhausted from work when this is only my 2nd week and I was really only in the office for 3 days each of those weeks... First week, I had 2 days of orientations, and then this is a holiday week.  Nonetheless, I was exhausted and a little upset with myself for committing to an early wake up on the first day of a 4-day weekend. 

I did it though, woke up, made some iced tea and exited the house only to discover it was already disgustingly hot and humid.  I drove to Fairfax Corner and parked with about an hour to spare before the race start.  An HOUR, are you kidding me?!  I could have slept longer!!  I found a bench in the shade and people watched until it was time to line up at the start line.

I'm very familiar with the Fairfax Corner loop, and with all the hills that are associated with is.  As I started, I wondered if I would be able to run the whole thing without walking?  Uh, no.  Not sure where I got that idea since I can't remember the last time I've run more than a mile or so without stopping??  Such would be the deal today as well, one mile running.  I made it up most of the first long hill but than said eff-it.  I tried to keep my walk breaks to the minimum as we trudged along the pavement.  I finished off by running another half mile to the finish line. 
We'll file this in the "worst race photo ever" category.
I grabbed my water and walked around a little to cool down and then headed home, but not before stopping off at Panera for a breakfast sandwich... with BACON!!!  First bacon I've had since becoming pescatarian after the Ireland trip (no, I wasn't cheating -- I allow myself 1 meat day per week).  So yummy!  Then it was off to Gettysburg for the 150th reenactment and to visit with my cousins who were visiting from the midwest.  It turned into a VERY hot day with a lot of unexpected walking and I was exhausted by the time we got home, so no fireworks for me.