Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, I did it!! Race report!!

I'll try not to make this too long, as I am tired and spent most of my day in beautiful Trinidad, CA. :)

I woke up a little before 8 a.m. so I could have a small breakfast before leaving for the race. I had to drive about 50 minutes one-way to get to Trinidad, as our plans to spend the night at the inlaws' fell through. So I left the house around 8:45 a.m. because the information packet said to get to Trinidad by 10:15 to catch a bus to the starting line.

I got there before 10, so I was happy. There's nothing I hate more than being late!! Caught the first bus to the starting line, where I spent more than an hour waiting as other runners trickled in. Our bus arrived before the Porta Potties did! Many of us stood around looking at the ocean view, which was breathtaking. The 3-mile and 8 3/4-mile races both started from the same point, so there were more than 400 people milling around in the cold.

A few minutes before the race was to start, everyone gathered at the starting line. A man was counting down on a loudspeaker: "thirty seconds....fifteen seconds...ten seconds...five seconds..." I was so nervous!!! But I also was tired of waiting and ready to run. I was near the back of the pack at the starting line: blame the long line at the THREE portable toilets. Yes, only three!! I was talking to a couple women who were running the longer race when the gun went off. So I started jogging! It took me more than 30 seconds to get to the real starting line because there were so many people ahead of me.

For the first five minutes or so, many of us were moving in this large crowd. But then people started splintering off from the pack. Some started running really fast, while others started walking. I wanted to run the whole way without walking, and I wasn't changing my game plan now!!

Oh, a little back story on this course. It is situated in the redwoods on the coast, but the longer races end on the beach after crossing a small river. The three-mile finished in the town of Trinidad itself. While waiting for the start, I heard several people who had run this race before comment on how tough of a course it was. Uh oh. Yeah, I was a bit worried. They said there were many hills, and that scared me.

They weren't kidding about the hills. Within the first mile or so, I counted four of them. And they weren't slight inclines. They were pretty large hills that snaked around corners and seemed to never end. But I kept running the whole time. Others around me walked up the hills. By the second hill, I was passing many of the other three-milers. Oh yeah, very cool!! And not many people were passing me. I kept going the same pace and made sure I didn't burn myself out on the downhill portions.

There was no marker for the first mile, so it wasn't until I saw the two-mile marker that I knew how close to the finish I was. I looked at my chronometer: 24 minutes, 34 seconds. Not bad, considering all the hills! It was just before the two-mile mark that I had found my pacer-setter. Her bib number was 3001, one number ahead of mine. She was running fairly fast for a while, but then started slowing down to more of my pace. I locked on her and just stuck to her like glue. I guess it wore her down, because less than 1/2 mile to the finish I overtook her and she never caught up. I hope it's not wrong, but I was so happy about that!

Less than 1/4 mile left, and I see a photographer taking pictures of all the three-milers. Neat! I think I look fairly poised as he snapped my picture. I'll have to wait to see how it turned out, but I think they eventually put them online.

Anyway, I finished the last hill and rounded the turn for the finish line. I saw the clock, and it was almost 37 minutes. Crap. Then it was over 37 minutes. I was a bit upset about that. My finish time was 37 minutes, 19 seconds. But that was the gun time, not my chip time. My chip time was 36 minutes, 47 seconds. I was quite happy with that!!

My poor hubby, though. He got the kids all ready and drove up the Trinidad in hopes of seeing me cross the finish line. He missed it by about one minute. I was cooling down, walking down the sidewalk with a bottle of water, and he pulled up. He felt so bad he missed it! It was OK, stuff like that happens. I told him a photographer took my picture and he seemed to feel better.

I waited around for a couple hours until they posted the official times for each race. Heck, it was a nice day and I didn't want to rush home. At 3 p.m. they finally posted the results. I couldn't believe it. I finished 39th out of 117 in the three-mile race!! And I finished third in my division (out of six). The first three in each age division got a little award, so that was neat. I was so happy when I left that I started to get a little teary. Thank goodness I had sunglasses on!!

I plan to do this race again next year, but I'm aiming for the 5 3/4 mile race. And my hubby said he'd train and do it with me! I had a great time!!!

1 comment:

J~Mom said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did it!!!!!! Awesome job!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see the pic!!!!