Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Lake race recap

Wow, time really does fly when you're having fun.  Last week went by wicked fast.  When I got back from Copenhagen I had a little trouble readjusting to the time difference.  Days seemed like night and I struggled to sleep during the night.  Often waking up at midnight or 1:00am totally wide awake. 

Saturday morning I did a fun run with some of my favorite running friends.  We ran in Methuen and we were celebrating Cherie graduating and returning to weekend long runs.  YAY!  We just did 8 miles, but Methuen is really hilly and I think I only got a few solid hours of sleep from when I got home to when I woke up to run.  It was rough for me.  I was definitely the slowest one in the group, but I didn't care, it was just nice to see everyone and catch up.  I averaged 10:00s and felt like I was dying the whole time.  I was so sluggish.

Sunday I was suppose to do 14-16 miles, but decided to relax instead.  I finished a book and made some soup, watched a few movies, and just napped on my couch all day.

Monday it was back to reality and back to work.  I mean I was working the whole time I was in Copenhagen, but I wasn't working on MY stuff.  I was working on Copenhagen stuff.  It was nice to get back and try to refocus on things.  It took me a while and my brain was a little hazy all day, but I made a to-do list and started chipping away at it.  After work I went for a run along the Charles and felt a lot better than I did on the Saturday morning run.  I did 7 miles and averaged a 9:40 pace.  Felt really good.

Tuesday I rested (it was gross and rainy out and I'm tapering so I told myself it was ok).  Wednesday I did my weekly Ayer run with Kim.  Nice and easy, 9:50 average pace, tapering for the half and taking it easy.  Thursday I did a short 3 mile out and back from work then went home to pack for the weekend.

Friday, the day went by super fast and then I rushed home and finished packing a few last minute things.  Kim and Bill picked me up and we headed up to Alton Bay for the Big Lake Half.  We stayed at Sandy Point.  It's far from fancy, but it's cheap and right on the race course.  Unfortunately, the walls are paper thin and the neighbors were, well for lack of a better word, A-holes.  We went to sleep around 8:00 and the people in the next room over checked in around 9:00 with a whole friggin litter of kids that were running around like animals.  They were screaming right outside our room and SLAMMING the door to their room over and over again.  Kim finally couldn't take it anymore and got up and asked them to keep it down.  After that they were silent.  It was much better.

We got up in the morning and ate breakfast before heading to the race start.  We got there a little early, but it was good because the line for the port-o-potties was about a mile long- not kidding.  We actually found a hidden port-o-potty and waited in that line before abandoning even that shorter line for the nearest section of woods we could find.  It was pretty funny because everyone else was doing the exact same thing.  We made it out of the woods and headed to the start.  Bill went to the front with the super fast people and Kim and I hung back in the middle of the pack.  Here we are pre-race:

They had someone sing the national anthem and the gun went off and we started.  The course is absolutely stunning.  You run along Lake Winnipesaukee and the views of the mountains are amazing.  Each water stop has a different theme.  The first one I remember was Parrot Heads/Land Sharks playing Jimmy Buffet.  The next one was grass skirts and flammingos.  Then there was some sort of female bootcamp pink camo group.  They were enthusiastic, but tough to tell what their theme was.  After that was super heroes, they were cute. Mostly little kids in halloween costumes.

I forget but at some point in the first 5 miles Kim and I were chatting and then started talking with some girls near us and realized they were from the greater Lowell area too.  Not only that, but they were nurses like Kim AND one of them was married to a cop just like Kim.  Meaghan and Melinda.  I was talking to Meaghan and Kim was talking to Melinda for the whole first half or more of the race.  I lost track of the miles and before I knew it we were at 6, then 7, then 8 and 9.  The miles literally flew by.  Then somewhere between 9 and 10 I was in the zone.  I noticed I had stopped sweating and got goosebumps so I knew it might be downhill from there and not just topographically.  I took some salt tablets and put the hammer down.  I lost track of Meaghan and Kim and Melinda and just focused on finishing strong. Here we are with Meaghan and Melinda at the finish:

Right at the 10 mile marker I passed some Greater Lowell Road Runners and gave them some encouragement, "warm up is over, let's race!"  I felt great and knew that the last part of the course was fast and downhill to the finish.  I passed people left and right and tried to motivate people that were struggling, "less than a 5K to go", "only one more mile", "you can do it".  With a little less than a mile to go I saw Bill running towards me.  He asked where Kim was and I replied I didn't know, he wished me luck and kept running to meet her and run her in to the finish.  Last mile, I picked up the pace and killed it.  Thinking to myself the entire time, "race smart, start slow, finish strong" mission ccomplished!  I crossed the finish at 2:05:16 and felt amazing.  I waited for Kim and then I ran and jumped in the lake:
Best ice bath ever.  The water wasn't even that cold.  Here is a photo of all of us plus the Greater Lowell Road Runners that ran too:

It was a great day for a race.  Weather was perfect.  50s and partly cloudy in the morning and then gorgeous and sunny at the finish.  Oh and there was free ice cream at the finish.  My favorite part.

Here are my splits from the race according to my garmin: 10:00, 9:34, 9:27, 9:21, 10:07 (stopped for gel and to see where Kim was), 9:50, 9:08, 9:23, 9:22, 9:07, 9:04, 9:03, 8:53.  I'd say I'm ready for the full this weekend.  Nothing left to do but relax and that is exactly what I have planned for the week. 

Birthday spa day Wednesday including a 90 minute massage and a manicure/pedicure, then acupuncture Thursday after work, and perhaps a little carb loading on birthday cake Friday.  Saturday is the stair climb in Bennington, VT and then I run Marathon #10 Sunday.  Oh FYI I'm still $90 short of my goal to raise $500 for American Lung Association, I'm asking everyone to please make a donation to my climb, I have everything I need, so to make my birthday special I want to give to charity.  Please go to my page and donate whatever you can to help me reach this goal:

Thanks in advance!

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