Saturday, May 15, 2010

Drowned Rat

There are certain things in life you shouldn't have to learn - things that are just inherent in your make-up.  I, however, seem to have to learn these things that hard way. 

I drove to town last night excited for today's race.  I have been working very hard at the USA Fit training and had hoped for a personal record this morning.  I was so sure of myself!   However, I arrived in town only to have my car taken to the shop for new brakes, belts, etc - totalling $1500!  That was a fair amount of stress to handle the night before my run, but the good thing is that the car made it to town! 

I went to bed last night at 10:00pm, after spending my Friday evening peacefully with the dogs.  I penned up the two mystery poopers (I still haven't figured out which one is the culprit), and went to sleep.  Only to hear my brother's mutt, Oliver, cry the ENTIRE night.  Yay!  So, I alternated good sleep with yelling at a dog three rooms away.  Throughout the night a thunderstorm hit the area, and I was worried that today would be rained out.

But I woke up at 6:15am this morning, got dressed in one of my new tech shirts, pulled on my compression sleeves, and my running shoes, strapped my Garmin to my chest and arm - and left the house (in my Mom's car - Volvos are very safe you know).

Now, just in case you don't live in the Houston area, this is what the weather map looked like when I left the house: 

That looks kinda menacing to me, but I was so pumped up from Coach Leno's "Inner Warrior" crap, that I just KNEW I was gonna kill today.  I got to the race site and began to realize a few things:

  1. I forgot my deodorant

  2. I forgot to eat breakfast

  3. I forgot my sunglasses and/or a hat

  4. I was not wearing waterproof mascara
Maybe not big things to most people, but to me - all huge items.  Regardless, I picked up my chip, dropped my superfluous crap back in the car, and strapped my bat belt on.  I am now carrying two 6oz water bottles, my cell phone, some id, lip chap, my bank card, my insurance card (I never leave home without it - never know when you might break your leg), the car key, and my bib is attached to the belt.  I look AWESOME!

Doesn't that sky look inviting!  It was a neat send-off though, with a Marine color guard, and some vets on bikes.  The National Anthem was sung, and the gun fired.

I actually didn't do too badly.  But here is another thing I learned today, when rain has threatened a race only the most intense actually show up for it.  So there weren't that many of my 14:00/mile friends around.  I lined up in the middle of the pack, I swear it - but the middle of a damn small pack wound up putting my up with the 8:00/mile people.  Are you freakin' kidding me!  And then to add to that - we had to climb a ramp for the first 0.1 mile.  Hahahahahhahahaha

I was crazy winded, and had no idea why - so then I look down at my Garmin and realize I am running a 7:30/mile.  WTF!  And for second - I was like I can keep this up.  And then my body went - no you can't.  So I forced myself to slow down to a 12:30/mile, which was the pace I had wanted to keep.  I waved goodbye to my starting friends though as they left me behind. 

And then my people began to surround me.  The heavy mouth breathers, and walk/runners, and fitness walkers, and all the other slow-ass people.  It was like coming home! 

I will say that the absolute coolest thing about the Garmin is that I could look down, see my pace, and speed up to compensate.  I was tired about halfway in, and looked down and saw a 14:30 pace, so I tried to speed up and keep it under 13:00/mile.  I really wanted to beat my time from the Azalea Trail 5K, which was 40:09. 

I didn't quite make it, at least according to the Garmin, but then again the Garmin tracked 3.15 miles. 

When you look at the lap splits, my first mile was a 12:07/mile - holy crap!  I think that is my best split yet!  The second mile was slower, and closer to my comfort zone.  And the final 1.14 miles took a little more time, but was still in my 13:20/mile time.

The rain chose to bless us at the end of the race.  It wasn't a downpour, but it wasn't friendly either.  I felt bad for the runners in the white race shirts.  Poor things! And at the finish lines, we all looked like drowned rats - and since I was wiping rain out of my eyes - I looked like a drowned rat someone had punched, thanks non-waterproof mascara!

See where it says "Houston", yea - that's where we were. 
Downtown Houston - right about where the yellow is.  Awesome!

But overall, not a terrible race.  If I use the website that I always use to calculate my pace, I am told I ran an average of 12:51/mile.  That means that I did hit my personal record!  Insert Rocky theme song music here!  Now I just have to wait for the actual chip timers to be uploaded. 

I even asked a kind soul to take a picture of me for my blog post, but with the rain, humidity, and my overall cell phone technical abilities - this is what you get:

Sharky and I - best buddies!

I got back to the car and tried for another image to show off my mascara-punched eye, my tech shirt (which received a lot of compliments), and my Imma Punchya face (which was now my Imma Cry face). 

Seriously, all I wanted at this point - was hash browns.  I was HUNGRY!  So I left downtown Houston and headed back to the west side looking for a Waffle House.  Now here is something else I learned today - apparently Waffle House is not very welcome in Snob-urbia!  Who knew!  I drove 20 freakin minutes around my part of town, and wound up on Westheimer at a dive Waffle House. 

I ordered my eggs, hash browns, and chocolate milk.  I scared the poor waitress because even before she could get me a straw, I had successfully chugged the entire glass of chocolate milk.  It does a body good!  And yet, here is where I learned my final lesson today.  Running 3.15 miles, chugging chocolate milk on an empty stomach, and trying to force-feed yourself hash browns does not make your stomach your buddy.  I had to get a doggie bag at the Waffle House.  But at least the dogs will get leftovers!

So now it is 11:50am on a Saturday, I have been up since 6:15am.  I have run 3.15 miles.  I beat my previous personal record.  I wore an awesome shirt.  I learned a few life lessons today.  I hear a dog snoring (Oliver), and I am GOING BACK TO BED!  G'night race fans.

Tune back in on Monday - it's hills training again.  Yay!  Go team go - rah.

Update - I ordered my pictures from this race through Sporting Image, but until the physical version shows up and I can scan it in:

I swear that almost looks like a smile on my face!  Holy crap!

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