Sunday, February 24, 2013

Post Chinatown Firecracker 10k

Gosh, so much to write about!

Coming off of Thursday night's run, I'd planned to take two rest days focus on sleep, perfect nutrition and recovery, in prep for Sunday's Firecracker 10k.  So much for the plans of mice and men...

Friday morning I was up at 4:30 and down at the Academy covering for a sick coach (which was a absolute blast I might add), then a full day of prepping the building for Saturday's competition.  There's nothing like the motivation of a big event to get projects completed, and that stupid table that's been in the back yard for months is finally gone.  (Who'd have thought a trash truck could actually take it?)  After a late dinner at The Hook (My first time there, and oh yeah, their lettuce wrapped hickory burgers are fabulous!), the rest of the evening was spent Prius shopping... damn cool cars, but the  verdict is still pending.

Saturday was another 4:30 morning, along with another long day and night down at the Academy for the Diamond of the Tough competition with the Academy hosting at least 400 people for a good 10 hours solid.  I had the pleasure of being Corlyn's "Handler", whose sole job was to make sure she ate, rested, warmed up, recovered, and didn't miss any of the competition requirements.  It was such an AMAZING DAY.  Donna, Corlyn, Tom, Brian and Chris all performed excellently, were absolutely phenomenal to watch and I am so incredibly proud of them.  

So much for rest, recovery or perfect nutrition in prep of a race... 

Enter Sunday morning, 5:30 rise and shine, because we're picking up friends and taking the train down to Chinatown for the race at 8:30.  OMG!  I had no idea what this race would be like, but I was completely unprepared to be sharing it with over 5000 other participants.  My friends and I quickly became separated while we were waiting for the race to start, and what a hoot because I kept bumping in to old friends and casual acquaintances, something that probably wouldn't have happened if I'd stuck too close to my friends.

The race opened with the roar of 100,000 firecrackers and we were off.  Around the first bend, we hit the Taiko Drummers... such energizing power in that sound, incredible!   The race was hard just like I'd been told to expect.  No getting around it.  I'd like to say I didn't walk any of the hills, but I'd be lying.  It wasn't that the hills were so steep, because I was able to jog the majority of the climbs, it was that they stretched for longer spans than I'd ever encountered while running.  The combination of mental doubt and leg fatigue set me walking on four different occasions. It took me almost 29 minutes to cover the first 2.5 miles to the peak. Knowing that, I did my best to run extra hard on the downhills. (I also carried water so I didn't need to stop at any of the break stations.) I kept watching the mile markers and was slowly making up time, but fatigue was catching up after I passed the 5 mile marker... then I heard those amazing drummers and the fatigue literally fell away, just in time to round the bend and see the finish line.  1:04:19... still not sub 60 like I used to run, but definitely better than my 1:10 goal.  And that's good enough for today.

By the way, we have a rule in the Arrogant Bastards that we ALWAYS race in our team jersey and there's a $5.00 fine for racing out of uniform. No excuses.  You'll see in all my photos that I'm dodging and weaving the inevitable... coach's eagle eye.  Of course he busted me along with the other two team newbies, but boy we had a riotous time trying to hide me in the pictures!!!

 After the race, Hope had a cop give us directions to what was supposed to be a Chinese American breakfast house... uh, not quite.  Instead we all shared some very fine Chinese food and Roadkill got to end her meal with the most perfect fortune cookie she could have asked for...

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