Cloudy with a chance of SEVERE head winds

Apr 2, 2014

After taper week is -- RACE day!

The realization is always met with mixed emotions. "Did I train/hydrate/fuel enough?" 

Carb loading? Nailed it. 

Especially considering I hit up a Chinese buffet for lunch the day before (race day) and proceeded to eat all the food, and all the soy sauce. By this point my pants didn't fit, even a smidgen, so I rocked leggings like they were the finest of cashmere. 

My friend A and I carpooled so I woke before sunrise to get on the road, which, was fantastic. We live about 40 minutes apart (an the race was 40 minutes farther) so I was able to have my coffee, a little something to eat, and start fueling on the way. Something I never do -- leisure time, on race day, unheard of.

Neither of us had ever raced this race, so we got there with plenty of time to potty/stretch.

The race was a 5k + Half marathon, and was very small. We lined up with no issues and we off. The race went down the main road (blocked from traffic) and across this bridge. It's worth mentioning it was about 35 degrees out with a 20-30 mph head wind. Yep. 

After crossing the bridge (back into MO) we headed down the access road to a turn around point. It must be mentioned that the bike pacers were super attentive  with checking in to each racer through the whole race and handed out Twizzlers each time they passed. Doing an out and back course wasn't as tough as I thought (sans head winds).

When we crossed the bridge again (into IL) we hit our first of three water stations. Super nice people braving those winds. After that we did a long stretch on the road again, leading to the entrance for the levee, which, must to my legs dismay, we climbed (still heads winds). 

At some point my right hand went totally numb and I made the mental note to keep checking it and if it turned blue I'd flag a pacer down and tap out. But it didn't so I keep pushing. <--- I fully understand how insane that sounded.

I started out the race steady, not too fast, but at a comfortable hard pace. The head winds were brutal. Running into the was miserable and discouraging, but pressing on, no matter how slow was more important than giving up because the race day conditions weren't "ideal". A and I paced one another at varying points which was great, and through the rest I focused on the basics: thanking volunteers, mental body check ins ("am I hurt", "can I push harder"), taking gels at each station (except the last one -- I always skip it), and rocking out to my race playlist. 

That was until mile 11 when my iPod crapped out and I panicked. At this point I had just surpassed any semblance of a PR so I put my head into the wind, sang to myself, and pressed forward. I learned many a race ago to empty my gas tank, and finish spent and feeling accomplished, even if there is no PR, but the sheer fact of persevering (great feeling btw). No regrets.

Saw the finish, dug deep and pushed as hard as I could against the wind, and crossed the finish line, proud of myself, the training I put in, and the effort I put forth.

Official time: 2:27:47 (results and photos -- here)

Bib: 995
Time: 2:27:47; age 21/24; gender 88/122

Grabbed my medal and H20, turning around to get a shot of A crossing the finish line. 

First race of 2014, done. 

Please excuse my haggard expression and man shoulders...

Checked my phone and saw this (and this) -- gah I love her...

Once in the car (heat on HIGH) I saw my hand. Twice its size and numb.  Awesome.  Took a full hour to regain full range of motion. But I attest to my stupidity in not bringing gloves because it was 35 at the start. Plus I still have my hand. Everybody wins.

After a shower M, a friend and I headed here for brunch. With cocktails. Mimosa first (always), followed by a Parisian. Which was a delightful detour from my wine/champagne norm. Even though it was made with champagne :)

I had the brioche french toast with a side of  "all the bacon", and we split the beignets. Look familiar? #iknowhatIlike

Overall thoughts:

Race was small (202 in the half), so the tiny details (address to start for out of towners), course map (only available by request), water stations only had water -- left a bit to be desired. Having said that, race support was friendly, packet pick was beyond a breeze, traffic was averted so I felt safe running, and it was (despite the severe headwinds -- which they warned us about) a race I'm glad to have the chance to run. 

Next up: ORFB2 and RNR Nashville!

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  1. Congrats on your first race of 2014, Marcia!

  2. Yay! Someday I'll be ready to run with you again :). I'm back up to a whopping 2 miles. Getting back in the groove though

    1. Absolutely! Hey, two miles is better than nothing -- you'll be back in no time.


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