Monday, June 15, 2015

Market Square Day 10K

I'm just going to start this off by saying what a fucking disaster this race turned out to be. Yeah, my time was "good", and my place was "good", but, no, this was not a good race for me at all. By far, my worst race since..... I don't even remember. Maybe Pack Monadnock LAST year. But I really can't pretend like I'm surprised either, because I wasn't. I knew it as lined up at the start line. I knew it during the warm up. I knew it the second I woke up. And I knew it before I ever went to bed. That I was not going into this one well.

I had run up Black Cap Friday morning, which was probably my first mistake. I probably should have zeroed, but I just didn't feel that bad after Hollis the night before. Yeah, I had some soreness in my left groin, but I didn't feel it at all on my run, or even after it. BUT, by 7pm that night, it was really bothering me. I was thinking that I had really screwed up, and here I was with a lame groin pull from running Hollis. Stupid. So I went to bed pretty nervous about the next day, just hoping that this groin thing would be gone when I woke up.

Well, I got what I wished for. Groin pain gone... completely. Never to return. I breathed a sigh of relief until I realized how bad my legs felt. Just dead. Heavy lead in my quads. As if I had just run a fast downhill race. Oh wait... But this was new. I didn't have this deadweight in my legs at all the day before, but here I was, getting ready to run my first 10K in two years, and it was difficult just walking. Oh boy. My hopes of a sub-38 10K were pretty much gone at this point, but I thought a sub-39 would be ok. No biggie. Just wanted to finish top 3.

I got John into the car, and we made the drive to Portsmouth, getting us there about about 2 hours before start time. John was going to hang out at the first water stop with some Six03 teammates, so I had to meet them at the volunteer area at 7:30am. Like me, John was tired and definitely not as perky as he usually is, but he was fine to go with these ladies to the water stop. I had grabbed him a cinnamon roll at one of the bakeries, so he seemed content to have something sweet to eat. We parted ways, and I found the bib pickup area. I immediately saw Erica Jesseman and knew who the female winner would be. I knew she was going to be there, so it wasn't a surprise to me. Didn't bother me either since I knew this was not going to be a good race for me (Have I mentioned this yet?). It's not like I mentally psyched myself out and caused this disaster of a race. I was just facing reality and accepting it. My legs were trashed. It was a fact. I was going to struggle out there.

I dropped my bag at my car and went for a warm up. I stopped at the first water stop to check in on John who was lying on the sidewalk.
John never left the sidewalk. He stayed put right where he was the entire race, only sitting up to wave to me as I went by during mile 2. Photo by Sharon Morrison
I talked to my Six03 teammates for a bit then said goodbye and continued on. I wanted to check out the third mile of the course. I ended up making a much longer loop and running a little farther than planned for 2.8 miles. By the time I got back to my car, I was sweating buckets, and it was all of a sudden HOT out there. I wasn't expecting this. Temps were supposed to be in the 60s when I last checked, but it had to be in the 80s by this point. Although Hollis was hotter, I was starting to get worried that the heat combined with the heavy legs could spell disaster. Well guess what? Heat and heavy legs DO ACTUALLY SPELL DISASTER! Who knew? :)

I went up to the starting area, and quickly jumped in the Six03 team pic, then immediately stepped out in search of a place to use the bathroom last minute.
Six03. I'm on the very end in the shade. White hat. 
I still refused to stand in a porta potty line and lucked out with no line at all behind a bush at Citizens Bank. ha ha. I came back and lined up at the start. I spoke with Andy Schachat for a minute before he moved over to Erica Jesseman, who looked over at me while talking to him. He would tell me later that she told him she was worried about me! Ha ha ha ha!!! Very flattered, but ha ha, she had nothing to worry about, and he told her that. I still think it's funny that I intimidated Erica Jesseman. I'm dying laughing as I write this. Ha ha ha. I knew she had the race in the bag, so I set my sights on the other women lining up near the start line. One, I was pretty certain was Carly Dion (and it was). I didn't think I could beat her, so who else? A really young girl in a Gate City Striders singlet, whom I'd never seen. Maybe. Ashley Busa, who lined up almost right in front of me. She had the fast "look" down pretty well, and she is actually really fast, but I was also thinking I could beat her. Not certain, since I felt like I was doomed already, but I would give it a shot and hope for 3rd woman. Darin Brown lined up next to me and said he was shooting for a 37:30; I knew that was out of the question for me today, but I figured I would attempt to stay with him for as long as possible.
Start of the race. I'm bib 920. Photo by Ryan O'Leary.
Andy gave the countdown, and before we knew it, the race had started, and I nearly ran down this cute little kid who had lined up right on the start line. I always get nervous about little kids lining up in front of me, because I've nearly run them down many times. And sure enough, he hesitated at the start and I pretty much ran into him so that I had to grab his shoulders to keep him from going down. I let go really quickly, and he was able to go from there fine, but I went around him first. And just as suspected, my quads were on fire. Like searing. I knew I had been right about this race. This was going to be a huge struggle right from the get-go. Erica, Carly and Ashley were already way ahead of me, and the last thing I wanted to do was pick up the pace, but I felt that I had to for whatever stupid reason. My legs were killing me, but I picked up speed and passed Ashley. I put myself right into the third woman spot, pretty sure I was going to get passed before the first mile. I knew I was going too fast and couldn't sustain this pace on these legs, but I just kept going. Darin caught up with me right before the first mile, which I hit in 5:46. Omg. Yeah, I knew I had to slow it down. This was not a 5K, but I still managed to run what would have been a 5K PR. Very stupid. And my splits were just horrible 6:10, 6:21 for miles 2 & 3. By mile 2, I was DYING in the heat. I didn't even realize it was so hot until it just hit me. I wanted it to end by mile 3. I was sucking wind, and this was an EASY course. It should have been fast. I shouldn't have been dying, but I was. I kept looking back, though, and there was no other woman in sight. I thought for sure someone would be on my tail getting ready to pass me. I was running like shit. But maybe everyone else was, too. Huh. I could still see Carly Dion, who had a good lead on me, but based on what I was running, I had a feeling her race was not going as planned either. By mile 4, I felt more done than I did at mile 24 at VCM. I wanted to drop. I've never really wanted to drop from a race until this one. I wanted to stop. My legs hurt; I was so hot. I wanted it to be over right then and there. It was so difficult to keep moving on. This was only 6.2 miles. I couldn't believe I was struggling as badly as I was. I mean. I knew this was going to be bad, but I had no idea how bad. But I managed to hang in there. I was still hitting awful splits 6:33, 6:25, 6:32 for miles 4-6, but at least they were somewhat consistent. I couldn't believe no other woman was even in view. How could someone not be passing me right now? I was baffled. I looked at my watch as I passed the 6 mile point in 38:02. Wow. I was actually going to struggle just to break 40. But at this point, I knew I still had 3rd woman set, and that I would break 40, so I stopped worrying and just finished the damn thing in 39:29. I was relieved for it to be over.

I grabbed a water as soon as I finished. I was hurting so I just had to keep walking. No stopping. I saw Darin ahead of me and caught up to him before we stopped to chat for a bit. He had a pretty good race, not far off his goal time. That was good to hear, since he's coming off of an injury over the winter. We did a short cool down together trying to find John, but we had no luck. I went back to my car, grabbed my backpack and then Darin and I walked to the finish line. I was able to catch up with John there. He still seemed tired, but in good spirits. I thanked Lisa, who had taken him under her wing for the morning. Such a great help and so kind. John and I hung out for the awards with Diane Levesque and her husband, Brian, who is on the mend after a lengthy illness.  It was great to see them both, and Brian looks great. I won a medal and $100. For such a bad race, I was psyched to still win $100.

After the awards, John and I ventured over to Harpoon Willy's for the Six03 after party. It was super crowded back there, but a beer was placed in my hand by Melissa Garfield, so I couldn't sneak out just yet. Poor John, though, he was stuck in a crowd of people, so we went inside where he could sit, and I could drink my beer. I didn't really mind being alone in there since it was so crowded out on the deck. I figured I would finish my beer then go get John some food up in the Square from one of the vendors at Market Square Day. Just as we were attempting to sneak away, Tom Hooper spotted us and another beer was placed in my hand and an order for a hamburger and fries had been placed for John. Ha ha. Tom won that round. :) Andy Schachat was there, so we talked for awhile. I didn't really know many other people in the Six03 crowd so it was nice to chat with him. Tracy Burton came over eventually and we hit it off right away. My new favorite chick. :) The crowd had thinned a bit so it made it nicer to be outside on the deck. Next thing I knew, Tom was handing Tracy and me tequila shots. I had to draw the line there. Ha ha. I had had no food and a kid to drive home. I would love to stay and party hard, but sometimes, I just can't. We still had a good time. I finished off John's burger and then we left for the Square. I had to stop at Popovers, at Darin's recommendation, for a creme puff and popover. It did not disappoint.  We walked through the Square from there and then made our way back to the car.
John walking through Market Square. He got some new volcano shirts. I don't know why, but these are his favorite shirts.
I drove home with John sleeping most of the way. We spent a little time at home before going to Conway Lake for an hour. It was nice to hang by the lake and let John swim. He really needed it after the morning in Portsmouth.

Sunday was a day to sleep in. I had planned a zero, but I needed to take care of the dogs, so I decided just to run them up Heavenly Hill once. It's only 1.3 miles round trip, and I ran slowly. Once they were taken care of, it was time to go to Storyland for the first time this year. John had a great time, and it wasn't crowded. We rode the Roar-o-saurus  6 times in a row, making different poses for the camera each time. Two separate people bought photos of themselves that had us in them making faces. Ha ha. They both thought it was funny. Really good day there with him. We really needed a John day, and as much as I would have loved to be at the Ascutney Mountain Race, I was very content to skip it. I'll be at every other Mountain Series race, so I can still count for the series and mountain goat status, but on this day, Ascutney had to take the back seat.

On the Turtle Twirl, a ride that makes me sick every time.

Waiting for the train and finally caught on camera
We picked up the dogs once we got back home and took them to the Albany Town Forest for some exercise and a swim in the Swift River. John spent some time in the water, as well. He loves to swim.
John throwing rocks in the Swift River

John and all 3 dogs

I was having a Narragansett Summer Shandy. :)
Overall, it was a good weekend. As much as my race sucked for me personally, I can't really complain. And it was kind of expected by more people than just me. I've been pushing myself to my limits, so I was bound to have a bad race, especially at a distance I rarely ever race. I want to be ready for Mt Washington this week, so I'm planning longer runs for Mon, Tue and Wed. I work a 48 hour shift Wed and Thurs, but i'm going to try to get in something decent on our street at work on Thursday. Then, as much as it KILLS me to take a Friday off, since it's the one day a week I have the most time to run, I will probably take it off. I'll plan an easy hike of some kind instead. I want to be ready and rested for Mt Washington. I really, really, really want to do well there this year. Uphill-only is NOT my strength, but still, I want to do well. I can't go into it with sore tired legs, so here's hoping for a good week!

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