Saturday, September 10, 2016

Black Diamond Express Half Marathon: Its gettin HOT in here!

You think I would have learned my lesson.  Run the damned race, decompress, eat Pizza, BLOG.  Makes it a bit easier to remember shit, right?  But, of course, here I sit, 2 weeks later, wanting to write this race report (and about 3 other posts!) and it's gettin a little fuzzy to remember the deets.  But, to be fair, the whole second half of this race was fuzzy, so it's a legit race report, right?  Right.

Greg and I signed up for the Black Diamond Half back in April for a few reasons - it was close (about a half hour away), 6 weeks out from our A Race (Empire) and it was cheap ($50).  Plus, it was on a rail trail, which was pretty darn flat (less than 200 ft gain for 13.1 miles).  he only downfalls were that it was a day after a wedding shoot and...August.  But hey, we figured we would roll the dice and see what happened - either way, it seemed like a great tune up!

My training had been going pretty darn well until the week of the race, when I stupidly (out loud) made note of the fact that I had been feeling strong and had no injury since April.  Rae, you dummy.  I spent the latter part of the week feeling like crap - Achilles flair up and low grade sickness.  Lesson learned - my poker face is on with training now!!  The night before, Greg got home at 1am from the wedding, and the kids decided not t go to bed until 10:30 - and then Biz woke up every frickin hour from 12am on.  Sweet.  This was compounded by the fact that Friday night, I got about 4 hours of sleep because I wanted to let Greg sleep in.  Dammit.  I woke up race morning exhausted, sore and super queasy.  Looked at the forecast, which was calling for 80 a 8am start time.  On a course with little shade.  You'd think I would have gotten used to that from Running with the Devil, but it always sucks to see a hot day ahead.  Eh, it is what it is.  Packed up our crap, waited for Gramma and Liz (thank you so much for babysitting!!) and headed out to the race site.

Pre Race, we hung out, relaxed, and chatted up some fellow runners.  And I hit the potty.  Alot.  Five times, to be exact.  (Yes, I know its TMI....but this is a race report.  Deal).  I was seriously questioning a 3rd immodium and if I should stuff tissues in my bra (yeah, theres a runner problem!) when they started the anthem.  Shit.  Greg and I revised our race A goal was a sub 1:50 (PR) which I was sorta thinking would be doable....but with the weather (83 at 8am), humidity, and my tummy, I knew it was probably dumb.  So I decided to play it be ear (Famous last words).

And we were off!!  This race attracts some serious runners, because its low key, cheap, no frills, and situated perfectly for a fall marathon tune up.  All of my running skirt ladies were there (they are ALL faster than me, 3rd place OA coming in 1:30 something.  I asked her for a piggy back.  I think she thought I was kidding...I wasn't.)  I planted myself behind a few BQers and tried to settle in with my sloshing stomach.  Miles 1, 2 and 3 all clocked in around 8:15, which was what I needed for a PR....could i do it?  I hooked up with a fellow skirter at mile 4, and we decided to aim for 8:20s, which would set us up for a 1:49.  Cool.  My stomach started to settle, but I was hungry, so I ate my fuel (gummi bears, cause I'm cool like that) at mile 5.  Sweet.  The water stops were every 2 - 2.5 miles, which was fine on the way out....but you  know whats coming.  The temperature climbed...and it got grosser.  Hit the turnaround (mile 6.55) in 54:00 and I started to think a PR might be doable!  Then....we started running into the sun.  And I lost it.  I was thirsty, foggy, hungry, and yucky feeling.  I stopped for a quick walk break, and was done.

no joke.
The back part of this race report is lame and completely predictable.  Run five minutes, curse, walk, hitch up m soggy skirt, try not to flash people, look at my garmin, swear, repeat.  Add in a few extra colorful expressions, good to go.  Amuse myself with the people still running out with a "What the fuck" expression on their face.  Curse some more.  WHERE THE HELL IS THE WATER??  Miles 6.5 to 8/5 were an unhappy blur, as were miles 8.5 to 10.5 (we all told the RD afterward he needed water every mile).  At mile 11, I decided to suck it up and just run - which I did, still hitching up my skirt every 2-3 minutes (this is not the marathon skirt!) and I finally crossed the finish in 1:55 - not what I originally went into the day for, but it seemed everyone suffered by at least a few minutes or more....evidence that my out split was 6 minutes faster than my return!!

Post race I grabbed a bagel, pickle ade  (nectar from the gods) and hung out with my girls while I waited for Greg (who finished epically and strong).  I came in 16th OA woman (out of about 80) and 7th in my 30-39 AG (out of 23) so I was pretty pleased, even though I hadn't gotten the time I wanted.

I felt pretty good about a sub 4 in 6 weeks (now 4!) in Empire.  And that's what I came to do.  And thankfully, my tummy cooperated once we got started!  Now, onto the little things - like picking out a race outfit, a new bra to store gus (the struggle is real) and a few little 20 milers.  Such a charmed life, I know :-)).

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