Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zooma Cape Cod Race "Weekend" Recap

I figured I should write the recap while my legs are still achy.  Which means the pictures are still in Todd's camera (hey, we picked up our iPhone 5's yesterday, my photos are low on the priority list!)

Since I haven't been as diligent as updating this, let's back up a few weeks.  I messed up my schedule and only (ha! "only") ran 12 miles for my longest long run. And it took me 2 hours 38 minutes.  I panicked, I bombarded the internet for help and they all responded with "silly girl, if you've done 13 before, and you did 12, you'll do 13 again. Rest. Your body needs rest".  Fortunately, I listened.  Still panicking, but listening.  I did 8 the following week then 6 last week.  Ran 3 on Monday and Wednesday and fought the urge to go out Friday.  Which was probably pretty smart, since Wednesday afternoon I got vaccinated for Hep A, Typhoid and Yellow Fever (Peru trip in November).  Thursday, I was incredibly cranky from the vaccines, and convinced I just threw the race out the window.

Sarah and Dimity chatting.  You can almost see the water bottle
I won on the table
But Thursday night, I went to Another Mother Runner House party.  That was so much fun! I showed up a bit late because of back to school night. But made it before Dimity and Sarah started talking. I threw my name in the raffle bucket and won one of the first prizes, I super cleanable water bottle.  Now, I don't have to use a kid's party water bottle for my runs anymore :)  I was surprised that Dimity recognized me (well, my name) but it was pretty cool to realize that I really am "another mother runner". I also "met" a few woman I had chatted with on-line (which always feels weird, since you already know them).  Erica had asked if I wanted to run with her, but she was expecting to be a bit faster than me, so I declined.  I also met a new mom, who showed up solo.  Rebecca and I both sat on the couch and I think we were both in love with the color of Sarah's toes! (she took a picture, I didn't!)  Anyway, had a blast at the night, got home at decent hour, and slept well.

Then Friday, we drove to my father in law's house about 15 minutes from the Sea Crest Hotel.  Had a nice dinner, tucked in nice and early. Then, 10 minutes before the early alarm went off, Pete threw up.  Poor kid, he never gets stomach bugs.  We all managed to scurry around for 15 minutes, get back in bed and rest until the late alarm.  5:30 am and we're up, eating and puking again.  Change of plans, Pete is staying home with Grandpa, Brian - the night owl - is up, dressed and ready for the kids' race.  And off we go!

We get to the race and park in the Old Silver Beach lot.  We go to this beach a lot during the summer, but it looked so different with the bath house closed, the gray, pre-dawn sky and fall in the air.  I grabbed my goodie bag (ok, 1st of 2.5 complaints: 4 samples of rub on pain cream? That's it? I hope the girls who didn't do the mail option got better stuff. Although I do like the bag itself!)  The race wasn't as crowded as I expected (not even 500 runners, including the men), but I still didn't find Rebecca!  Ended up seeing Erica and Danielle and lined up a bit behind them.  Ok, I lined up at the 12 min/mile sign.  I was feeling pretty gutsy doing so, since I was expecting a 2:45 or under finish.

The start kind of snuck up on me.  I went out and kept my music and micoach low, since the roads were partially open.  I started talking to my phone, asking why I couldn't hear MiCoach Man talking to me.  Turns out, I had already hit my pace.  Ok, good.  Then the road starting turning and tipping left.  I chat during races, so I asked to no one in particular "Anyone else sliding left", and Michelle replied with a "Yes" that was obvious she wasn't thrilled about it.  Then we saw the Fast Girls coming back. Man, that was a motivating site!  We hit the turn around and then ran past the entrance to the hotel. I got a high five from Brian (and his juice box) and kept going.  Saw Dimity taking pictures around mile 2ish, fell in with 2 women who were calling me "Cute Skirt" thanks to my Hot Chocolate Happy Girl (thanks Dana for my early birthday present!) then noticed I was keeping pace with Erica and Danielle.  They were at the top end of my range, the end I didn't expect to see.  Things were going well until 3 miles.

We were running along the water, with houses on our left and BAM, shooting pain in my left knee.  My normal response to pain during a run is 5 more steps then react.  I slowed to a walk for a few steps, it went away immediately, so I started running again. This time I grunted and knew the pain showed on my face. I pulled over and did my IT band stretches (hey, I couldn't think of anything else to do!) then started back up again. It was lessening at this point and I was able to keep going.  Within a few minutes, it was gone.  Then we found the hills...

The first hill, we didn't have a lot of room, we were running on the shoulder.  We came around the corner and it was staring at us. But, there was a dad and 2 boys on the side of the road cheering. Turns out they were Michelle the Race Ambassador's family.  It was great, I was within a couple of minutes of her for the whole race (except the finish, she beat 2:30!!!!) and I got all of her overflow cheers!

I did pass her up that first hill! It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I just aimed for the street sign near the crest and ran.  After that, I was emotionally flying high!  I didn't stop to walk as often as during my training/regular runs.  I actually had to slow down to keep my pace in a good zone.  I kept hydrated and fed, but still, mile 12 sucked.  The hills, they looked a lot scarier on paper than they did in person.  The kids at the rest stops were wonderful, except for the cheerleaders at mile 8.5 yelling "You're almost there!"  I gave them the polite version of the response from "Train Like a Mother".  It went something like "Nononononono, there's 4.5 miles left. that is NOT almost there".  See, polite. No swearing :)

Mile 12 is always hard, the finish is so close, yet so far away.  Then it's up hill (ugh, I was done with hills) and in the middle, there was a detour down a side street.  It sapped so much emotional momentum from everyone, even those of us who looked at the updated map and saw it coming. (yep, that's complaint #2).  It reminded me of a side road on my regular long run route. The one that I'll skip about once a month and coming in 0.2 miles short that day but call it close enough.  I think that's why I walked back up the side road.  Then, I got a text from Todd. He'd been tracking me on "Find my iPhone" and thought I took a wrong turn.  Honestly!

Then the finish line was in sight.  The road was partially closed, so I was running on the right shoulder and had to take a left into the hotel.  As I coming up on the turn, a car starts coming up behind me.  There was NO way I was letting the car go, so the New Yorker in me came out and I stuck my hand out and cut the car off to take the turn.  As I did, I yelled to the cop and volunteers "What's the time?"  The cop replied "2:33" and I took off as fast as I could.  I crossed the line at a gun time of 2:34:06 which is still a PR. My chip time came in at 2:33:23! over a minute and a half faster than the glass like Princess Half!

I was (still am!) thrilled.  I hit the expo, but we couldn't stay long, since Pete was home sick. I shot off my "runner's high" tweet of "Hills? What Hills? I PR'd. Only 365 days to Zooma Cape Cod 2013" and I won! Of course, I don't know what I won, because I had to go to the finish line. And we were already home with Pete, who was feeling much better by then (complaint 2.5).  I'm going to assume it was another water bottle, since I just got one the day before.  If it's a free entry to next year's Zooma, that can be emailed, right? :)


  1. That side street got me mentally too! Great recap and congrats on your PR!

  2. Great recap! (I was so not a fan of that side street either!)

    It was great running with you - congrats again on your PR!!