Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finally - RACE REPORT

Aaaahhhhhhh....it has been a month since I've last posted!!! Bad..bad..bad. I am going to get back on the Blog wagon again by posting at least weekly. All of my three readers (that is what family is for) will at least get 3 (boring) weekly updates.

Okay, on to a...drum roll...Catherine Valley RACE REPORT! Woot Woot!!!

Catherine Valley was a Half Marathon in Watkins Glenn, NY last Sunday -- on that day CNY received RECORD rains falls. Funny, because it was the same day, I got MY personal record!!! Beat my previous time by 10 minutes.

It was raining the moment we left Syracuse and there was a brief time period of maybe 10-15 minutes it stopped raining, but that was before the race started. HA!

We get there and it is of course, raining, but not pouring. We were like, okay, if it stays like this it won’t be too awful. Running in the rain is nice, but running in a downpour isn’t. The race organizers were totally disorganized. It was crazy. They totally didn’t have their shit together. Afterwards, we heard that everything that could possibly go wrong -- did. The start line was in a field between two orange cones. As the runners get out there it starts to rain pretty hard. Great. Everyone at the start was like, okay, might as well get soaked now.

The organizers lost the bull horn so they had to yell GO. But beforehand we were told, they“hope” the mile markers are up and they “hope” the volunteers are at the water stops and they “hope” the police are blocking traffic at mile 2. Everyone is looking at each other and laughing because what are going to do! There were only about 125 runners (if that) and 95 percent of them hard core. I mean, one of our crew, who is in his 50’s ran a 1:33 and was 10th in his age group and 20th overall. WTF?!?!

The race gets started and around mile 4 the heavens opened up and it just POURED rain. I mean, torrential. At one point I was laughing to myself because it was so comical. Seeing as I was running alone, I am sure I appeared to be a complete LOON to the volunteers. Anyway, the race was so small that I ended up running alone for most of the time, which was fine with me. It gave me a chance to concentrate and get into my groove.

The trails started to get seriously flooded and there was no way around the puddles, you had to run through them so my shoes ended up feeling like they weighed 40 lbs by the time I hit the turnaround. Oh, and the turnaround was a tent put in the middle of the trail. You either literally RAN into a volunteer (which I am sure that had to happen) or as you approached, they yelled: “STOP!!! Do you want some water? Okay, turn around.” HILARIOUS. Who needs a freaking cone!

The last 3 miles the wind decided to show up and at that point is was raining SIDEWAYS. It was terrible, horrible and everything in-between. I just wanted it over with and was in a panic because I didn’t think I was going to get in under 2 hours. Then when I hit that field, I was like SONOFABITCH WHAT IS THIS SHIT…(less than .5 mile left) I had to run through a flooded field – it felt like running through spare tires, I was trying to get my legs up so I wouldn’t trip! Have you ever tried to run through a flooded field? Don’t!

Finally I get on the high school track to run around to the finish. In my mind I kept telling myself to treat it like a 30 second speed interval – then I rounded that goddamn corner and nearly came to a dead stop because the water was so deep – I almost started crying -- I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO………tick…tick…tick…went the clock. The corner that you took to get to the straight-a-way was, and I am not exaggerating, ankle deep water. There was no way around it because they entire area was flooded. We called it the bath tub. It was like coming to a stop – I was desperately trying to lift my legs to get through it because the time is ticking away for under 2 hours. It was the last motherfucking 100 yards!!! It was like slow motion. Then I looked and I made it with 30 seconds to spare. WHEW! It was a close one. I’d crossed the finish line at 1:59:27.

We knew the race was going to be small, but little did we know that every fucking UBER runner in the Finger Lakes showed up. Seriously. I am running the 9’s and I am ALONE. WTF! There were a ton of people ahead of me. However, it did feel good to blast by at few people on the way back. AH HA motherfuckers.

What I am the most proud of is my last three miles because they were negative splits. I’d wanted to keep a steady pace in the beginning and then treat the last 3 miles as a tempo run – for the first 10 miles, I kept an average of 9:17 pace and then my last three miles were:

Mile 10 – 9:00
Mile 11 – 8:41
Mile 12 – 8:53
Mile 13 – 8:29!! WTF. Pure adrenaline at this time. I wanted that sub 2 and was going to give it everything I had.

Afterwards, we all were like drowned rats. One of the crew brought Mimosa’s and we had a celebration drink and headed off to lunch. After lunch we hit a few wineries on the way home. Despite the horrific weather...it was a perfect day with awesome running friends.