Monday, May 01, 2006

CMM Part 2:How the Collapsed Guy Cost me 23 seconds

Hey! What a night!! We're trying to fix our car and think it is a bad sparkplug/sparkplug thingie. What a nightmare! I hate car stuff. Anyway, as goes any do-it-yourself project Brent has run to the store for a part so I thought I'd get started with the actual race recap. Here goes! And big thanks to Brent who took most of these pics!!!

The alarm goes off at an ungodly 3:45 am. We get up, cram down some oatmeal, make nice with the potty and head out right on time at 4:42. The Expedition sounds funky. Cars are never right after accidents and I will forever blame this wench. The Service Engine Light comes on a mile from home so we hop off on the next exit and hold our breaths til we make it home. We throw our cooler and other crap into the Jeep and head back out. We always take the Expedition to races/runs because it has the keypad so we can lock our keys inside. This insanity put us about 10-15 minutes behind our target time. As soon as we get close to downtown it's a major traffic nightmare. The interstate is jammed with cars getting off at the Coliseum. We thought about hopping ahead to the next exit and weaving around but worried with the street closures it would be just as bad. We were stuck about 20 minutes on the interstate. Capping it off were the two policeman just standing there, watching the traffic jam. Not helping the situation or working the lights to ease traffic, just having a good ole morning chitty chat. The Coliseum lots were already full so we parked in a lot across the street. When we left later that day there were cars abandoned ON the interstate, in the interstate medians, EVERYWHERE! What a mess. The Coliseum holds a ton of people - but most football go-ers park downtown and walk across one of the pedestrian bridges. Elite Racing has a ton to figure out about race logistics!! As soon as we pulled up it started raining. Ugh, I just didn't think I could take more chaos so early in the morning! I had packed trash bags so I grabbed two of those, we geared up and jogged over to the shuttle buses. There were tons of city buses there to take you the 3 miles up the road to the start area. We got on relatively quickly and were at Centennial Park right at 6 am. We immediately got in a porta-john line. It had been an early morning and I have the tiniest bladder ever and already had to go. The lines were enormous and completely ridiculous. I kept telling Brent I was MORE than happy to pee behind a bush but he told me we'd be fine. We chatted with the girl in line in front of us who was in from Chicago. This was her first half ever, she was really nice! Towards the end we all started cheering for everyone as they went in, telling them they were super fast and should be up in the #1 corral! At least we made it fun. Of course there was no toilet paper when I finally got in! I swear I peed forever! We both got finished around the same time and started running for the corrals. We heard the national anthem being finished, caught sight of a coworker right as we jumped into corral #5 and the guns went off!! They stagger the start about a minute and a half between each group of 1,000 runners. About 7 minutes after the official start we were off!

I was so exhausted by the time the race started. In the bathroom line we ate some Sports Beans because I figured we would need a boost. Helicopters were swirling overhead and the media was everywhere. I waved at any and all cameras!! Once we crossed the start line we were off down West End Avenue. That's my favorite part of the race. It's a huge boulevard and on this particular day it's full of runners as far ahead and as far behind you as you can see. It's a pretty cool sight. One bank had their electronic billboard saying "Run Forest Run". Cute! Spectators were waving and cheering! Immediately Brent spotted local sports-caster John Dwyer right in front of us (bright green shirt). We yelled out "Channel 2! Channel 2!" but he didn't hear us. The girl beside us was pretty amused though! He's really fast and beat me by 10 minutes, including one stop where he chatted with a newscaster broadcasting live! Next year I'm taking him down though! I did beat two other local news personalities - Joe Dubin and Bob Mueller. Next year all 3 are mine!

My race strategy was to go out hard, and keep a tough pace the whole way. I'm comfortable enough with a half now that to me it is a race, meaning I can stay fairly uncomfortable the whole time and not die too much at the end. We turned off West End and started heading towards Music Row. I wouldn't call this course overly hilly, but it does have hills and it's not pancake flat by any means. The hills are just long enough to make you mad, and once you think you've got nothing left they're over. I started taking each one one at a time, slowing down just a little but still putting forth a lot of steam. The first couple of miles passed really quickly, I completely missed the first two mile markers. Around mile 3 I started pulling away a little from Brent. He didn't look like he was in any pain and I knew we were keeping a low 8 pace. A little after Mile 3 the road narrows because a lot of this course is out and back. I think they're going to have to look at this in future years because it is getting CROWDED. Most of the split is maintained by small cones, so I'd hope onto the other side and pass people here and there, and then jump back over. Around mile 4 the top wheelchair athletes came flying through and we all cheered! I also saw a coworker who was riding bike support alongside the wheelchair athletes and yelled out for him but he was deep in concentration and didn't hear me. (Not too much further than that he ended up having a flat and rode support with the elite males instead. How cool! He said it was amazing.) Just a minute or two behind the wheelchair athletes the top men came flying through. So exciting!!!! This part of the course has a lot of spectators, so it really keeps your mind occupied. I was still pushing hard and felt really comfortable. Then we saw the women!!! Yeah!!!! I cheered and that gave me a major boost. There was a cute, shorter woman in the lead pack so I hoped she would win and represent the shrimps like me! She ended up coming in third, not bad! Around 5 the course loops through a neighborhood before you return back to sharing the road. I was so happy for this split! It's not that a ton of slow people had started in the front or massive groups were intentionally blocking the road or anything, but the course was so crowded that it inevitable for it to be difficult and energy consuming to pass. During this nice loop the crowd really thinned out, which helped immensely when we combined back with the other (now slower) runners right around Mile 6. Right when we came to the top of the hill where we combine back together I saw the 2:15 pacer go by on the other side. Wow! That was me last year!! It's crazy to think that I would've been 2 or 3 miles back then. I was feeling great and the miles were flying by. I was tired, but it was manageable. I had eaten some Beans right at mile 5, and of course the course photographer was right there!! We headed back through the same way we'd came and I watched all the runners over on the other side. Even though an out and back is boring it is fun to draw energy from the runners on the other side. Around 7.5 we split back off and headed through some other Music Row sights. Then I saw one of the most terrible sights ever - a really, REALLY bad running skirt. It was made from a soft cottony fabric - like the super soft T's you can buy at Victoria's Secret to sleep in. It had a split right down the middle of the backside. I totally don't get that!!! And with each step this girl was taking it completely flopped back and forth - exposing her entire backside. Did this running skirt have shorts underneath? NOT AT ALL. With each step her ass was hanging out there - it just had small panties!! She wasn't an overweight person at all, a normal pear-shaped gal like me. But we all have some junk in the trunk and she was showing us all her jingle and jangle! Oh, it was just terrible. I thought about taking a pic with my camera phone but it was just wrong on every level. A guy right beside me was also passing and as he went by he slapped his ass a few times! Sad thing is she probably didn't even get the connection. Once you pass through Music Row you end up in some boring industrial areas (but it is cool how people like the overpasses - like Brent caught in this photo). One cheer squad was giving out beads. I would've liked some but where would I put them??? The last thing I needed was one more thing attached to my body. Around mile 10 I started to get really tired. My feet were starting to hurt and I knew I had some blisters. It was also starting to get sunny and warm. Then is when my angry runner side starts to come out! At mile 10 I decided that I was never going to run again. I wasn't having fun and I vowed once I crossed that line I was throwing my shoes away. This was for the birds!! Who comes up with crap like this??? I still kept pushing and was telling myself I could walk the last 2 miles and still break 2 hours. Those are the thoughts I use to pacify myself! I finished one of my Gatorade fuel belt bottles and thought about tossing it! I thought about tossing every piece of equipment attached to my person!! I was getting SO tired. Then "Stand" by Rascall Flatts came on my Nano and I thought about Susie and all the other great bloggers - and that I was almost finished and pretty well on pace to have a new PR! Finally Mile 12 came and I felt like I was slowing but just wanted to keep pushing. We headed through Bicentennial Mall and started crossing the bridge over to the Stadium! I laughed to myself because I completely did not remember the bridge from last year, which is insane because it's pretty long! I think I was so tired then that I just kept foot in front of foot. I started watching my stopwatch and realized I was really, really close to breaking 1:50, which was my dream goal for this race and my overall half goal for this year. I started pushing to the best of my ability, but it was hard to tell how much further I had to go. I'd been about .2 miles ahead of the course for awhile now. Another woman was right beside me and she started kicking it in as well, so that really helped me with my drive. We were both pushing hard and then.........the collapsed guy. Right before the 13 mile marker there was a guy who was being carried to the finish line. He looked like one of those Ironman commercials for Gatorade. Both arms were stretched over two guys shoulders and his feet were basically dragging, head down. And of course they were right in the middle of the course. The crowd was going WILD cheering for this guy - and several other runners slowed down to help and pat him on the back. But fellow woman and I were PUSHING! We had times to break!!!!! Collapse on the left or right please! We exchanged helpless "why us!" looks at each other and slowed to change direction and avoid the massive traffic jam of men. Then I knew I wouldn't make it but I still pushed as hard as I could (which I knew because I nearly threw up when I stopped). My watch said 1:50:22! Sweet!!! A new PR and I guess I'll have to break 1:50 later this year. That also ended up being my official time which is crazy, that never happens!

Overall I came in 1,401st out of 14,641 finishers and was the 386th female out of 9,211 women. Pretty sweet! That's top 10% overall and top 5% of women. I'll take it. I can't belief I cut off TWENTY-FIVE minutes from my first half time at last year's CMM! I guess a year of solid training makes a huge difference.

From there I went on to wait for be continued tomorrow!

(Oh, I finished writing this tonight. We finally got my car fixed last night. UGH! What a chore. I hate cars!)

See ya!


Mon - 1 mile am walk with Pips
Tues - 6.4 mile evening run


At 6:55 PM, Blogger angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, that was a great post. I was so caught up in it, I totally forgot that you led off with the collapsed guy and it caught me off guard. Darn it, 23 seconds! You did great, cutting 25 minutes in one year is incredible!!!

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Audrey said...

you cut 25 minutes off your time???

you're speedy!! congratulations!

At 7:59 PM, Blogger KT said...

25 minutes! That is AMAZING. Hooray for you.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Lana said...

WOW! Sounds like you really pushed it to the limit...that's awesome!
I agree with the "collapse on the right or left"!!!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I think they need to publish something and put it in the goodie bag with race day etiquette. Walkers to the left...or right or where ever...but not right slap dab in the middle of the course.

Congrats on your PR - that is sooooo awesome.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger lainb said...

top 5%?! whoa!! that's incredible....WAY TO GO RAE!! great post too!

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Cory said...

Oatmeal makes me have to not just make nice with the potty, but suck up!

But nice run there, folks.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Running Jayhawk said...

Great job! I always love reading your race reports. You've got some mad running mojo!!

At 2:56 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

We run right about the same pace. I'll have to pace you one race for a super duper PR!

You had the right approach for a PR... start strong and stay focused. I thought it was funny that you did some recreational math to figure out how much you could walk to still come in under a certain time... we all do that but it's good to hear other people actually admit it!

Looking foward to the next installment

At 3:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your training has really paid off, Rachel. I love how you have those thoughts of quitting in *your* head, too. Makes me feel normal. Hey, I'm glad I could help you with a "keep going" thought--that music will always remind me of you, too:) 25 minutes is amazing. Congratulations!

At 7:11 AM, Blogger D said...

That is a HUGE chunk of time to cut off Rachel! This is the proof that you are training properly. Awesome!

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

YAY! THat sounds so great! It is so nice to read a recap that is fun! Mine is so dreadful. Great great job!

At 8:52 AM, Blogger rice said...

great run. Always nice to come in with a new time.



At 8:58 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

Not too shabby speedster! That's a great half time! YOu are right! Just peel a few more minutes off that and you'll be Boston bound in no time!

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

You rock girl...haha..other than the girl with the flapping and what not.g.reat race report.

You should have a nickname, Rachel, the newscaster killer :)

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Robb said...

Adding my congratulations too Rae. You showed real strong mental power to push through those neg thoughts of 'throwing everything, walking and quitting' after the race. That's a victory in itself!

Excellent report. You always make great observations about people and life. Good run girl!

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Garou said...

Congrats on the PR and the massive improvement over your previous time. Cutting off 25 minutes is phenomenal!

Too bad about the collapsed guy though. I'm sure that you'll break 1:50 the next time out, unless he reads your blog and figures out a way to keep collapsing in front of you.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Anne said...

What a riveting race report. The suspense in getting there! The mayhem on the course with the collapsed guy! And, of course, gratuitious nudity!! Congratulations on the outstanding performance too :-)

At 4:37 PM, Blogger brent said...

that is an awesome half and a great improvement to boot. nice!!

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great report! And congrats on the PR. I echo all the previous comments!
(And that was a funny story about the running skirt. I got mine this week and tried it on the treadmill, cause I was too embarassed to wear it out in public. The panties are WAY TOO TINY even for a skinny girl! Needless to say I will be wearing my regular shorts to the marathon!)

At 7:10 PM, Blogger redlib said...

I'll call you peanut bladder like someother unnamed running blogger I know well..
I think it's so funny reading when your anger switch goes off.
You are so top 5% of the women! Your red hair gives you superpowers.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

WOW! Huge improvement Rae. I am not usually opposed to women exposing themselves on race day, but I will take your word for it that it was not worth the visualization, and my wife thanks you as well.

At 8:41 AM, Blogger jeanne said...

I'm in total utter awe! 25 minutes in a year! How is that possible?!?! I guess hard work is how, huh?! :)
I so wish you'd taken a photo of the skirt girl. Just so we'd know what NOT to buy!
Congratulations again, one day soon you'll be in the winner's circle!

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Michele said...

ok, Lana and I have just figured out that it was me you saw at 21.5 miles and her at 25 miles. We both yelled at y'all and we both had on orange!!!!

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

Way to go Rae! Awesome improvement. What an incredible emotional roller coaster. I'm glad it all ended on a high note.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Hilda said...

Great to learn the difference on strategies you follow to break the time and how fine you can push on a half!!
Great also you give your best and to see how you improved from last year to now!!
Funny how you defetead the temptation to take the skirt photo!
I couldn't read your post before and then saw it was a long one, but didn't wanted to miss any word! I designated a time to read you!! I love your race reports!

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...



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