Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lone Gull 10K

I've really been slacking on my blog posts for the past week and a half. Oops. So I'm finally getting to my Lone Gull post. I'll probably leave out some things since I've already forgotten a lot of it, but I'll do my best. All of my races have been running together in my head so much that I can't even remember what races I've run and when. Someone asked me what I had raced recently, and I responded, "I don't know." Maybe that's a sign I've been racing too much. Haha.

The day before Lone Gull, I took a zero day so that I could rest the legs a bit. I had taken it easy during the week, but I was still feeling the prior weekend's double races. Instead of  a run, John and I went to Cranmore for the Jen's Friends Hill Climb Against Cancer. It's basically a hike up to the top of Mt Cranmore to raise money for this charity that provides financial assistance to local people with cancer. This would be our third time doing this hike, but this time we joined our neighbor's team. Our neighbor's son just happens to be John's best friend, so I ended up hiking with the two of them, plus another friend of theirs. This was the first time John was able to hike up easily and not even stop, and he had so much fun getting to be with his friends. This was also the first time his dad and I had been at the same event in I don't even know how long. Years!! His dad was there with his job, but he was still able to see John some; I think John enjoyed having us both there, even if we weren't hanging out together at all. And his dad and I were actually civil to each other for the first time face-to-face in over a year, so that was good for John, too.
The boys and me at the top of the Hill Climb

On the way up. At least 2 out of 3 liked it.

The 3 boys walking together

I wasn't "allowed" to share the lift with the boys on the way down, so I had one all to myself. Haha.
 John ended up having "the best day ever", since he was able to go with his friends afterwards to the pool. I spent the time going to down to Bolles Preserve to walk the dogs and then over to the Sandwich Spring to fill up the water jugs.
Heron Pond in the Bolles Preserve

Sitting by Chocorua Lake in the Bolles Preserve

John came home just before dark, so that was it for our day. We had to get up at 4am the next morning to head to Gloucester, so I didn't stay up too late.

It was tough getting up so early and making the 2.5 hour drive to Gloucester, Ma for the Lone Gull 10K, but it was the last USATF-NE Grand Prix race, so I was looking forward to it. The sunrise on the way down was just gorgeous. Plus, I was pretty excited to be going back to Gloucester for the first time since 2007. I house/dog sat there for 3.5 weeks when John was just over a year old and loved it there. The people of Gloucester were so nice, so I was excited to be going back to this beautiful place while also running with a full team of CMS ladies for the first time really since New Bedford. I was NOT excited, however, when I stepped out of my car at the service plaza on 128 to find the air disgustingly humid and warm!! What?! I looked on my phone. 87% humidity!WTF. No!!!! This was not supposed to be like this. My nemesis, my arch enemy was rearing its ugly head. Damn humidity!!! I thought for sure the PR I was hoping for would be out the window. But, oh well. It really wasn't a huge deal. I knew I wouldn't be competitive today, especially after my 10K fails over the summer, but I had really hoped for a cool, crisp day. That was definitely not in the cards, but I knew I would still go out and give it my best.

John and I got to my teammate, Jenn Brook's, house to drop off John with her family and then ride together over to the start. Jenn's husband and parents would be bringing Jenn's kids and John over to watch the race. This was a huge help for me since I didn't have anyone else around to help out. Jenn and I got down to the race site about an hour before race start. We couldn't find any other teammates, so we warmed up together. The air was gross. Warm and sticky. I was pouring in sweat right off the bat. The only thing that brought relief was the cloud cover. As we warmed up we saw a lot of the usual people. It was so cool to see these people whom I've come to know or at least put faces to names over the last 9 months. It almost feels like its own small town, and I was happy to see everyone and a little sad knowing it was the last GP of the year. Jenn and I happened to spot Apryl Sabadosa at her hotel room and made a quick pit stop there to say hi and use her bathroom. We started to run out of time and only ran 2.2 miles.

John and Jenn's family had arrived so I got to see John once more before the start. We finally caught up with our teammates and got together at the start. It seemed like forever before they started, and I was so ready to get the show on the road. The air in the crowd of runners was thick, so it was time to break free. We were all standing there talking when the race just kind of started out of the blue. We never heard anything; people just started running, so we did, too. Unfortunately, we had started kind of far back in the line of women, so I now had to make my way through the tight crowd. The people I wanted to either be with or ahead of were way too far from me at the start. I went out stupidly fast, too. I shouldn't even write this in my blog anymore because it's pretty much par for the course for me. It is just understood that I will go out stupidly fast in every road race. I won't stop either. I will keep doing it, say how stupid or smart it was and then get on with how much slower the second mile was. Haha. But I hate crowds and by mile 1, I want to be where I want to be. So needless to say, I flew out, caught my teammate, Regina Loiacano, passed her. Then proceeded to pass Amy Benard who yelled out a "good job", I think. I responded with, "Thanks, but I'm going out way too fast." Amy responded in agreement with that, and I laughed, but kept going. I didn't care if I was fucking things up; I just wanted to go all out. I also passed Christin Doneski and said a quick hi. Hit the first mile in a ridiculous 5:45 split. Although, it was downhill, so it's not really THAT bad. Regina caught back up to me quickly, and I decided to try to stay with her as long as possible. We passed a few more Whirlaway ladies and kept at it. By mile 2 (6:09 pace; so much slower than mile 1! Haha), I had to turn to Regina and ask her if the whole course was this easy. She said yes, except for the one hill around mile 3.5. Easy enough. I was feeling good and just kept up with Regina. We caught a Greater Boston woman, who I would end up running with almost the entire rest of the race until she got ahead at the end. Mile 3 was a little faster at 6:01/mi, and I was starting to wonder why I was running this so much faster than the other 10Ks since the weather sucked balls; I think it was just the speed of the crowd and trying to hang with Regina. I tried to stay with her as long as I could, but the woman is unbelievable on uphill roads, so she pulled away on the climb. I managed to keep a close gap, though, so that she could pull me along the rest of the way. After the climb, the course loops back, and this is when the air was absolutely stifling. Like a sauna. No breeze. Nothing. I was hurting all of sudden. The people around me were hurting, too, and I was surprised to catch up to Sam Wood; he's been running really well all summer, but this race had him cooked early. We ran together for a short distance before he picked up the pace and moved ahead briefly. I wasn't surprised to hit mile 4 in 6:20. The hill and the air slowed me a bit, but all I could think of at this point was how damn easy this course was. Other than the one hill, to me, it was flat. I think that's why I was running it so much faster than the previous 10Ks. Still, the humidity was killing me, and then the sun came out. I actually looked up and called it a "fucking bastard" out loud. haha. I hit mile 5 in 6:11. Then came the head wind for the last mile. Even though, it probably slowed me down a bit (6:19 for mile 6), it was a welcome relief. I was a hurting puppy, though, and was passed by two women (Christine Shaw and Maria Servant). Maria had already passed me earlier, and I managed to get ahead of her again briefly. We would end up crossing the finish line with her just ahead of me in the same gun time of 38:33. Funny, though. My chip time would end up being 38:27 and hers 38:28. Gun time is what matters, but I thought that was interesting. I also finished 13th woman! A PR and 13th were a HUGE surprise to me. I didn't expect to even hit top 20 in this race, and I definitely didn't expect to PR by 50 seconds, either. I don't consider myself a good 10Ker, especially not in this weather, but I think it was just a fast course that I could run well on despite the not ideal conditions. Results.
Not a great photo, but I'm in there somewhere.
 It was great to see all of my teammates come in. After Regina and me, Jenn Brooks, Layce Alves and Melissa Donais rounded out our open team scorers. We would end up placing 6th as a team. This was Layce's first race back from injury since New Bedford, and Melissa was sick, so I think we have a good potential to move up a bit as a team next year when/if everyone is healthy. We caught up with John and Jenn's family. I gave John some popsicles and then headed out on a short 1.6 mile cool down with Regina, Jenn and Layce. Jenn had her son's soccer game to go to right after, so we didn't hang around long for the post-race stuff.

John and I went back to Jenn's house where I got cleaned up to go meet Regina at Mile Marker One at Cape Ann Marina. She had her boys with her, as well, so John swam with them in the pool while Regina and I had drinks and lunch. It was a really nice time. Regina is such a cool person, and I enjoyed spending time catching up with her. I think we were there for over 3 hours!
John and Regina's son in the hot tub

John at the marina
We finally had to say goodbye and head home. The dogs needed to be taken care of, so, even though John was all done for the day (after swimming for almost 3 hours straight!), I took the dogs up Heavenly Hill just before the sun set.
Chill on Heavenly Hill

Sun just about to set behind Chocorua
John declared this weekend to be "the best weekend ever", and I had to concur that it was a damn good weekend.

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