Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 RibFest 5-Mile Race USATF-NE Grand Prix #3

Photo by Krissy Kozlosky
I'm so thankful I went into this one with the right mindset. I didn't have a care in the world how I finished. I just assumed I would be around 32 minutes and was fine with that. I have done zero road training. I've been injured, and I just ran Mt Washington the day before. My excuse bag was spilling over! Haha. But in all seriousness, my goal was simply to show up, race hard and be satisfied with whatever result I ended up with. I have to say that I walked away completely happy.

It was tough getting up so early for another race, especially after a draining 17 miles total the day before. The only thing that saves me is the early morning light...that will now be fading. Ugh. The drive wasn't horrible, and I arrived pretty early. I warmed up the .6 Miles from the lot to the race site. Picked up my bib and talked to Nick and Nacho over at the Millennium tent. I ran into Hank from Six03 who wanted to snag a picture together. When I looked at the pic later, I noticed I looked pretty tired.

I was kind of sad that most of my team wouldn't be there, and even my surrogate teammates from Whirlaway wouldn't be either. Post-race was going to be lonely. There were others I used to hang out with, but not anymore, so the whole day just felt weird from the get-go. I decided to just focus on race prep instead of other people so I ran back to the car and then another mile warm up around there. I was thankful for the clouds because it was really hot and humid for the start.

I lined up at the back of the elite women, which was perfect. I was right next to Lauren Tilton and Tammie Robie, both of whom I tend to race near. I was pouring in sweat. Like dripping. But no one else around me was. Wtf. I didn't want to start any farther ahead since I had no idea how this was going to go. Lack of road training plus Mt Washington PLUS being really sore (which never usually happens after Mt Washington) could spell disaster. I honestly didn't expect to break 32 minutes today, and I honestly didn't care. I think that apathetic attitude was actually the thing that pulled me through this race. I just kind of went with the flow of those around me.

The start was a bit tight through the shoot, but then opened up perfectly for space as we climbed the hill out of the lot. Just as we rounded the corner, we saw some poor girl on the ground in tears. I felt so bad for her after having been in that same situation myself. Just to get back in the race is difficult after that adrenaline rush. I don't think she continued on, but I don't even know who it was.

I found myself side-by-side with Tammie which was perfect. I felt her pace was right where I wanted to be so I used her to keep myself on track. Miles 1 and 2 were quick at 6:10 and 6:20, but nothing crazy fast. Slow for "me", actually, but the humidity was definitely noticeable and I wanted to attempt to run a 5-mile race instead of a 5K for the first 3 miles. Haha.

I was surprised to find Tammie and me passing a lot of people just before mile 3. I'm not sure what happened to them all, but everybody was falling back. And then just all of a sudden before the 5K, Tammie fell back. I passed the 5k in 19:26...which was actually faster than my last 5K. That worried me knowing that I was in shitty road shape, so I figured I would die after this point, and I did, but it turned out most of the people around me were dying more. Mile 4 hurt like a motherfucker, and I wanted nothing more than to quit. My legs hurt SO badly!! But I kept Mimi Fallon, who was just ahead me, in my sight and reigned her in. I could see that I was also catching up to Diana Bowser. And strangely, I never got passed by a woman from basically mile 2 to the finish. A laughable 6:48 for mile 4, but it was a sneaky uphill the whole way. All I had to do was get through mile 4 because mile 5 would be downhill to the finish.

I just stared at Mimi's back through this and then just before the left turn, I was right on her heels. I passed her easily on the downhill, but the flat to the finish was no match for her awesome kick. She beat me through the finish. I came through in 31:58! Exactly what I expected and a 6:14 for mile 5. I was more than happy with that.

I would end up finishing 4th master and 25th woman. I really believe my lack of road training was more of a factor in the slower time than Mt Washington the day before. I just haven't been able to really do speed work. As soon as I do the injury hurts. I'd rather be running slower on the road right now, though, than not be running at all, so it's just where I am. I had zero disappointment in my race today, and that's really the best outcome.

My only beef from the day was the stupid chip time as official time for 40+. Because of this I finished ahead of Mimi. She beat me fair and square across the line and should be ahead of me in the results. I think this new rule is SO wrong. Good thing we weren't in the same age group because that would have been really shitty.

I chatted a bit post race before running back to the car to change. I can finally wear dresses again since winter just ended haha. So I take every opportunity I can. Today was perfect since the sun came out and it got really hot.

On the way back to RibFest to have my post-race beers, I ran into Tammie, Lauren and Christin Doneski. We all talked for awhile, then they left. Boo. No friends left. :(

I ended up just sitting alone at a table next to some family for my first beer. The beer was all Anheuser-Busch owned, but some of the breweries they've acquired are still pretty decent so the Goose IPA was my choice for the day.

After I got my second beer, I was so happy to spot Paul Hammond and friends. Finally! People to hang out with, and they we're fun. We were also joined by Nadine Palmer and her teammate. Once again, my surrogate team, Whirlaway, came to my rescue. I was having so much fun, in fact, that I didn't want to leave. But, I had told Apryl Sabadosa I would give her a ride back to Conway, and she really needed to get going, so I decided to go. It was tough being on someone else's time when I was kid-free for the day.

We stopped at Millennium Running on the way back to use up some gift certificates, then roasted to death in my a/c-less car the whole ride back. I stopped at Silver Lake to pick up John, but his friend's mom said they had only just gotten there and that it was fine for him to stay.

I dropped Apryl off then took the dogs on a walk and got my upper body and Abs workout in. I was so happy to see John when he came home since I'd hardly seen him all weekend, and he was about to leave for Costa Rica for a whole week. I was going to miss him. And as I'm writing this, I'm missing him :(

Since RibFest felt like running through a jungle, here's the song Jungle.

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