run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Race Report: Tin Cup Challenge Marathon

The race started at 6:30, so, after an early wake up call, we walked over to the start line. It was a beautiful morning with overcast skies. The race was small, so there were only a few of us runners milling around and waiting in line for the porta johns. Let it be noted that even though he was getting ready to run a freaking marathon, KoB was helping the race crew set up the finish line. Seriously. While the rest of us were just standing around watching.

With little fanfare, the race started at exactly 6:30. I have few memories of the first 6 miles except that I felt like absolute dog shit. I blamed the altitude, I blamed the slight uphill that we were battling for those first 6 miles, and I blamed the two dudes behind me carrying on a sad conversation. It sucked. I had a slight headache and I felt super fatigued.

Spoiler alert: Pretty much all those bitches behind me ended up schooling me.

For comparison, it looks like KoB was having a good first 6 miles:
Please note that KoB is not even glancing in the direction of the hot chick.

Around the 6 mile marker we turned off the main road and it was like someone flipped a switch. We started to hit some rolling hills and countryside, and I started to feel better and better. It was at this point that I started thinking... hmmm... maybe I have it in me to PR today. (Nevermind the fact that I hadn't trained to PR, that I was running at about 6,000 ft higher elevation that I'm used to, or that the course was pretty grueling).
Now, I interrupt this race report for a little heart-to-heart, dear readers. I read a LOT of running blogs. Some really good ones that I actually enjoy and respect and then some that I kinda "hate read". And the blogs that I "hate read" fall into two categories:

1. Bitches who are apparently just naturally talented at running and who just fucking love running and never have anything bad to say about it, because running is awesome and they are awesome and so they come up with these amazing PRs at like every freaking race. They eat and drink like shit, run all their training runs at race pace and never struggle during races.

2. Bitches who barely train for shit and somehow magically PR at every freaking race.

WTF? I am so insanely jealous of both of these types of bloggers/runners. Who are these people and how do they do it? I can honestly say I have never gone to a race and just "magically PRed," and I've never been able to PR at a race where I didn't have to train hard beforehand and then struggle my ass off during the race. Yet, for whatever reason, I still read these goddamn blogs and I still think during races... ohhhhh.. maybe I'll PR, too! Maybe I'll be just like those runners and just magically bust out a PR or some shit. 

REALITY CHECK: It's not going to happen. Whatever PRs I get, I'm going to have to train and struggle for. Ugh.

Regardless of my PR delusions, I was feeling really good for miles 6-11ish. The course was beautiful and full of lots of little out-n-backs, so I got to see the same damn people every 10 minutes or so. It was looking like I was going to be at the half-way point at around 2:05-7ish. This seemed perfect. I knew that the last 6 miles of the race were a gradual downhill and I knew that I had taken it easy enough so far and had a good enough base, that I should have been able to pick it up and take advantage of those last miles. I was pretty confident that I could break 4:12.

But around mile 12, my stomach started to feel weird. Lucky for me, one of only 2 porta johns on the course was stationed right around mile 12/13. And TMI alert: it was at that porta john that I discovered another reason why I felt like shit for those first 6 miles. I had started my freaking period. DURING the race. This has never, ever happened to me. I've never even started my period during a run before. So then I had a mini-freakout session in the porta john. I mean, obviously, it's not that big of a deal, except that I was uhhh.. a little unprepared for this during a race. But, there wasn't anything I could do about it, so, I just started running again.

Mentally, this whole Period thing kinda fucked with my head a little. I wish I just hadn't realized it, because for the next 3-4 miles all I could think about was... Oh shit. I started my period. Oh shit. Are those cramps? Oh shit. My legs ache. Oh shit. My head hurts. Finally, I just let the whole thing go and stopped worrying about it. 

It was around mile 15 that I got to see KoB on an out and back part of the course. Right around here:
Best Race Pic EVER.

As he got closer, we exchanged pleasantries and I made no mention to him that the 3rd place dude (the bearded, lumberjack fella in the group pic with the hot chick above) was pretty far ahead of him. 
Yaaaaaay Marathons!

While KoB stalked down the number 3 guy, I started taking walk breaks and feeling shitty. I kept watching my time and I was getting frustrated that my miles were getting slower and slower. My PR dreams were slowly fading.

For once in a race pic, I actually look like I'm running.
Courtesy of a sweet downhill.

It was also getting quite sunny and the water stations seemed to be further and further apart. 

Even though my dreams of a PR were LONG gone, I still wanted to try and take advantage of the gradual downhill for the last 6 miles, so I started to pick it up. I took shorter walk breaks and ran faster. I was starting to get really, really thirsty. But, I was feeling much better.

Until mile 24ish, when my stomach started acting up again. At first this was terrible timing, because we were on a main road with NO trees. And then... like a mirage... I saw the only other porta john on the entire course!!!! After a few minutes in there, I popped out feeling like a brand new woman.

The last two miles I ran my ass off. I pushed and ran hard and was feeling decent. And before I knew it, I saw the finish line.

I'm certain I would have PRed had I had #22.

After getting my picture taken, I saw KoB standing there with a cup of water for me. I had a slow ass finish time. But, I didn't give a shit. I had finished a marathon in 2012.

And... guess what? KoB came in 3rd overall!!!
(Maybe the overall winner can now afford clothes that actually fit an adult).

First race of the weekend down. Time to pack up and head to Montana...


Carina said...

Nice job on getting it done despite ... everything. I don't ever buy race pics, but you should consider that one of you alone with the mountains. That's totally awesome!

Melanie said...

How exciting to be running out there! It looks so beautiful! Congrats on getting to that finish line!

Don Mouledoux said...

Great race recap. I just discovered your running blog and love your direct style of story telling. Keep you the good job and good luck.

LAPT said...

Of course I read this whole report with SO MUCH TO SAY to you (including hate-reading and those annoying runner people) and then... you wrote this:
"(Maybe the overall winner can now afford clothes that actually fit an adult)."

And I laughed my fucking ass off.
Congrats on another marathon!

Meredith said...

Oh no....I probably fit into that first category of bitches you hate. :)

Great job on another race Amy. Hopefully this cleared your head and helped you gain confidence and now you can attack another marathon with training and possibilities of a new PR.

chacha said...

Bah! I also have to bust my ass for PRs. The only time is sort of came out of the blue was a half marathon in Dec '11. And I think it was because I was marathon training so it really wasn't some magical genetic fairy dust.

Oh, and period during race? Yeah, so, that happened in my 50K. Except that I never stopped to go, so I realized it after the race and was like "Glad I wore black shorts!"

Jason said...

Great job finishing the race, despite the issues. They say you truly have to expect the unexpected during a marathon.