Monday, April 16, 2012

Race Recap: Bridge to Brews 10k

As those of you who follow me on Twitter or are lucky enough to know me on Facebook know yesterday was my first ever 10k.

I went back and forth between nervous and excited in the days leading up to the race. Some days I felt confident and ready, and others I felt like I would die before the finish line.  Many of these feelings came when I looked at my running log and noticed that I had only actually run the 10k distance once prior, with several runs just below that distance.  And then all my runs in the week prior were hard on me physically even though they were small distances. 

Packet pick up was on Friday.  I love it when races have free beer at these events!

I love that this was my number. 53 is my fave number and 68 is my lucky number!
 This race had the option of not getting a shirt with registration which is what I signed up for. I kind of regret that decision now. I will be looking into trying to buy one if they have any left.

Fast forward to race day.  I got about 5 hours of sleep. I made a smoothie out of leftover coffee, milk, ice , and a Weight Watchers Chocolate Smoothie mix for my breakfast. I would have liked a banana, but I was all out. While I was getting dressed I kept going outside after each layer until I had enough clothes on to not be cold before the run or too warm during the run. The Man got quite a good laugh out of it.

I got to the Max station just as the train I wanted was pulling away which meant I had to wait a half hour before the next train came. I used that time to pace the platform and stretch. I also took my traditional "look how silly I look" picture.

 While pacing the platform I was people watching and noticed that I was the only person dressed for the race that was alone. Everyone else was in groups of 2 or more.  I suddenly got super sad and lonely. I had told the Man to stay home because I was worried he would be bored waiting around for me.  I tried to self talk myself into not feeling sad, but it only got worse as the morning progressed.

I got to the race just a few minutes before the start time. Rushed to bag check where I found a friend who I knew was also racing.  I lost him in the crowd while I was heading to the Honey Buckets but we agreed to meet after the run so I didn't mind.

By the time I made it out of the potty lines the race had already started. The race was starting in waves and I knew I needed to be in the back of the line since I am slow so it didn't bother me.  I have to say, it was really well organized for such a large race in a small space!  According to my timing chip I crossed the start line about 8 minutes after the official gun. 

If you look closely you can see runners on the middle bridge!
After the first corner was the biggest steepest hill I had ever seen. It was not a good sign for me and I got winded really quickly trying to get up it at a good pace.

After that hill was the first of 2 bridges we crossed.
This is the view from ON the bridge you could see in the above picture

I love running on Portland's bridges. We have so many of them and the views are amazing. I wish I had gotten more pictures, but I needed to focus on what I was doing unfortunately.

This is another view of the 1st bridge

It was right around this area (mile 3ish) that I started to see people along side of the road waiting for their friends/family to pass buy. I saw one guy actually stop to hug and kiss his wife before moving on. It almost made me tear up.

I had over planned my wardrobe and was SUPER hot. I wanted to take off my long-sleeve shirt, but didn't want to stop even more. I ended up folding the bottom edge of my shirt up so my stomach was exposed (but still covered by my light jacket so no one would die from the sight of my floppy skin), and pushing down my knee socks to let my calves breathe. Just about everyone passing me was in tank tops. It was in the low 60's and I would have tripped one of those bitches to steal one of their tanks if I could. (Note to self: Invest in a few of those tanks before your next race!)

When we got into the downtown area, I started to struggle both mentally and physically. I wanted to barf and my head was going into places that I didn't want to be. I needed a cheerleader, and I didn't have one. So I stopped, and sent out a text to Twitter: "2.4 miles to go and I may die..." I was hoping that my Twitter friends would come to my rescue and give me the pick-me-up I needed to carry on. And they did. Almost instantly I could feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. I didn't even need to stop and check what they said...just knowing they were there was all I needed.

The last mile and a half was a lot easier, especially when the 2nd bridge came into sight.

The 2nd bridge - saw a guy puking off the edge of this one...into the river.
Following that bridge was another hill from hell, but I knew that the finish was just around the bend so I pushed thru it.

I crossed the finish line in 1:07:46.  I had hoped to finish in 1:06 but I will gladly take 1:07!

My friend who I met up with earlier was waiting for me at the finish line and it warmed my heart enough to forget about all the faces who I didn't see at the finish line but wanted to. We went off to bag check to retrieve my ID, then jumped into the beer line!

2 free beers!  Yes, please!

We finished those beers, then had 2 more beers show up, then decided that being drunk at 10:30 on a Sunday morning wasn't a good idea so we headed out for some food (and another beer).

I got home to find the Man working hard in the back yard. He didn't care at all that I was stinky and gave me the big "well done" hug that I needed. He followed that by telling me he was sad he missed the race. If I wasn't completely dehydrated, I would have started crying. That man knows just what to say to me sometimes. I love him so freaking much.

My heart was still hurt from the feelings I stirred up while running, so I thanked all my Twitter friends for their support then poured out a rant on how lonely my race was. I got a lot of feedback from everyone that made me feel a lot better (not completely better tho).

I need to remember that I race for me, and not for glory. I also need to remember that some people are just assholes.

After a long shower, fresh change of clothes and about 80 glasses of water I got a text from the friend I saw at the race asking me to be his "race buddy". I guess he is tired of racing alone too! He has already emailed me several races to sign up for that he is doing and told me to send him any I wanted to do for him to sign up for.  I am SO excited for all of these races now, knowing I don't have to do them alone!

Stay tuned....lots more race recaps will be coming in the next few months as my racing schedule is now FULL!  :)


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