This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Run the Quay and Then Some

"Quay" is pronounced "kway", not "kwhy" as I have been saying in my head.

The race was in Fuquay (hencem the "quay") and it was a race I decided to do last week, with advice from my coach, Coach B.

I was pretty content with doing this race. I felt like I could do better than the 5K I did just a few weeks ago. After all, I ran Thursday in the heat of the day...4.6 miles...and I was pretty darn proud of myself for that.

I warmed up a mile, which gave me a sneak preview of the first 1/2 mile (1/2 out, 1/2 back). Then I was ready to start...

And we're off! I'm at the top middle of the crowd. We all seem to be doing the same pace and about 1/4 into it, I look at my watch and I'm at around a 7-something pace.

Impossible, I think, since most of the folks around me don't, um, look like 7-something paced runners...and to me, it doesn't feel very fast.

It must be 'catching up', I think to myself, regarding my GPS watch.

But this becomes my "thing" for this first mile: constantly glancing down at my watch to see what the pace was. For this first mile I was doing great, topping around 8:12 but keeping it close to 8. I end up with an 8:07 time for my first mile. Cool, because that felt pretty do-able.

I spoke too soon as the second mile sucked. My feet started to get hot and if there's anything about me and running that I hate, it's when my feet are hot. I get angry, pissy and my mind just says "Screw this". Everything else is doing okay, well, my legs are pissed that there are hills but for the most part, that didn't bother me as much as HOW HOT MY FEET WERE.

And I'm wearing my shoes that I buy just to deal with this hot feet condition. I start thinking about "next time, I shouldn't wear socks" then I think, 'but I might get blisters'

Those thoughts distracted me for a second and the rest of this second mile, I am just trying to keep running. I dropped my pace well in to the 9s...around 9:25. I am not too torn up about it because, I think at this point, I don't give a crap about my time anymore. Just don't stop running...

Then I see the water stop and I again say "don't stop running...grab water and try your best to throw a drop into your mouth"...

I get my water and then I stop running and start walking. Hey, the girl in front of me did it! So why can't I? I pour water over my head and drink what I can then start running.

And actually, that felt good. I start out slow and think to myself, 'let the pace come to you'.

At that moment, I knew I was gold to finish because it's only a mile (and .1) left. I can do this and I'm NOT going to screw up my overall time. I pick up the pace and it feels like I'm running as fast as the first mile. I look at my watch and I'm in the 9s. What the hell?

The route takes us back to where we just ran the first mile, so I know where I'm at and even though I think the finish is still too far away, I am getting excited about finishing this hot-ass race. Unfortunately, when I get excited, my heart pumps up and I lose the patterned breathing I have tried to hold on to...

Unbelievably, I pick up my pace. I no longer look at my watch, so I may still be running 9s. The end reminds me of a race I did in Greenville a few years back...the feeling of taking forever to get to the end.

I see a minivan close to the finish and I think, I'll start booking it when I reach that van...well, it's like right in front of the finish. But I hear Coach B yelling "Go Cindy" and then "You can break 27!" and I run as fast as I can. I'm thinking "The clock must be around, run, run! You don't want 27 AT ALL!" and I find this pretty funny as I really didn't think about what I wanted to finish this thing in.

My watch said I ran 3.14 in unofficial time. This is more like it. This is where I was a couple of years ago. I was very happy with my time and Coach B was too, although I got a tsk...tsk...for my 8:07 time (going out too fast).

I _think_ I could have held on to a sub 8:30 pace if my feet didn't get hot. I just can't deal with hot feet. Throws my whole cosmic balance off.

And the first thing I did after I found water was take a sip, then pour some onto my hot feet...ahhhh! I was much better after that...

But my plan today included a two mile run afterwards. God I was ready to just go home. But I did it -- circling Fuquay neighborhoods to get my two miles in. And I found it hilarious that I ran the last two miles in 24:48.

I ran into a volunteer a few times, who was picking up signs. At one point, he said "you again" and I joked that I was stalking him, to which he replied "I wouldn't mind that at all." He looked like such a sweet, country dude...

But this race was really set up well. Extremely well-marked and despite the hills, it was a really nice route. It would have been better without the freaking heat, but I was pleasantly pleased with the route. Great southern hospitality too.

I enjoyed hearing the announcer, before the race, reciting announcements:
"Yooo mhust haaave a cheeep on yur shoooo. If yuh due nhot have a cheeeeep on yur shoooo, pleeese go inside and get yur cheeep."

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