Distance: 10.29km Time: 1:15 Pace: 7’22 kCal: 1187 Heart: 148/176 RPE: 7 Type: 10k Race
Okay okay – so this race report is over a week late!
Last week was a hectic week and it took everything I got just to stay on top of my work.
Honestly, I don’t know how all you bloggers and twitter gurus have time to run, read, write and tweet!
But don’t you just love WordPress?
I can simply change the date, back and everything is perfect… or am I supposed to do that?
Yeah – I know…
I’m supposed to write ahead of time and that way, everything is automatically posted.
One day… one day…
It’s like when I used to have the lab report already written up before going into the biochem lab and just fill in the numbers.
But I digress.
This is about running, not my previous years at University.
So where was I?
Oh yes, a race report about the cool run I had in the wine fields. Read on…
First off, I was both excited and scared. I read that it was a challenging race AFTER I signed up. It was also my first trail race and I kept reading about sprained ankles and popped knees (little did I know I wouldn’t sprain my ankle, only to do it a week later getting into a taxi cab).
Nonetheless, I was determined to see it through. This was to be my second of four 10k races in May.
When we got there, I was greeted with clouds and a cool 57°F temperature. I thought it was going to be hot and sunny, but the marine layer was still hanging out in the Temecula Valley (I later found out that this is why the area is perfect to grow and harvest wine). Yeah – The first good sign.
I seemed well organized and there not to many people, and the potties were all empty, but I didn’t have to go.
Another good sign.
Next we lined up at the start and I could see the first hill.
It was gradual and looked inviting as it turned right at the top and then made its way into the vineyard.
The start whistle sounded and we were off. I was in the middle of the pack I realized my first mistake – I felt like Charlie Brown being around Pig Pen. We were on very dry dirt and I was immediately immersed into a fog of swirling dusty brown stuff. I was so glad that we were going up the hill instead of down.
I almost smashed head first into the water tableNear the top and only 7 minutes into the race, I heard the person next to me saying that they could already feel the burn in their butt. I was feeling great, so I decided to take the turn fast and speed up.
At a little over 1k, it was down hill time. I lengthened my stride, only to quickly realize that my knee was not too happy. So I simply sped up my cadence and let gravity move me forward. Just before the water station at the top of the hill, the ground leveled out and I stepped into a ground hog hole.
Ouch! I tumbled forward and almost ended up smashing head first into the water table.
Whew… that was close.
I didn’t need any water, but I felt guilty at scaring the volunteers, so I grabbed a glass with as much dignity I could, said thanks all the while trying to show complete control (and I really meant to stumble towards them in the first place). But I survived that little incident and headed on out.
Then I saw it.
The winding line of runners like a snake going way up into the horizon… wow, that’s… high!
But I mentally buried that thought and went forward like a bull ready to step on the snake tail and to eventually get to his head.
Up and up I went. So did my heart rate! So did my level of breathing!
Then the stars started appearing in my eyes. Oh, no! Time to slow down. And with just the last 100 feet to go, I had to walk it. I didn’t feel too bad, because almost everyone else was walking, too (I guess all the die-hard runners were long gone by now). At the top you could see everything. I could see the entire course and every runner. Yeah, I made it. I remember someone saying that the first 3km was all up hill and all the rest down or flat.
Then, I turned around, saw the sign, and my heart dropped!
It said 3k/8k!
That meat that we had to go around again? And what’s this 3k thingy? It felt like I already ran 5k!?!
They’re cheating !!!
Well I didn’t let that worry me now. Time to go on. But, I just wasn’t ready for the next surprise – A steep downhill!
Wow, that really stressed the knees, but at least I was getting good at avoiding the gopher holes (unlike other runners).
A little dip and then thick soft sand going up another little hill – good thing I did a lot of beach running! After that, another water station, and straight level running back the starting gate. 5k was down and my time was 35 minutes. Not too shabby, based on what I had already been though.
But it started all over again. Going up suicide hill (as everyone ended up calling it after the race) the second time, I lost all motivation. All thoughts of positive thinking were flying away on little butterfly wings along with the black spots in my vision. It was hard. Huffing and Puffing like a locomotive, I finally made it up the hill. It took forever!
No one passed me, so that was one small accomplishment. And then the race continued, I knew that hard part was done. But 5 minutes of walking… yesh… I had to make up time. But there just wasn’t any more energy left in me. Where’s the gu when you need it!
The next 1.5k were good (for my energy deprived body) and I paced (or crawled?) with some others. They switched us to a slightly different route and when my watch said another 1/2 click to go I quickened my pace. No finish line in sight, but I saw people going up yet another hill. I was morally devastated and started to slow down until I realized they were just spectators. Silly little mind!
suicide hill was a distant memoryThe finish line was down and to the left. I ran it in with a sense of relieve and joy. The gopher holes were gone and suicide hill was a distant memory as I passed the finish line.
With 8 minutes of walking up suicide hill, it wasn’t my fastest race, but from now on when I drive by a runner running up a hill, I will tip my hat and give my humblest of respect!