Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The New Haven Labor Day Race 2011

I did the New Haven Road Race again, nope, not the 20k just a measly little 5k.  I have a Half coming up in 2 weeks and I don’t want to be the mess that I usually am after a super long race.  Yes super long is a Half I cannot even imagine doing a Full.  I got to the New Haven Green way early, walked all over watched them set up astuff and saw some friends.  I got free bread did some running to warm up once they closed the streets.  It is so interesting to see people drive and then they cant go where they want so they just stop and ask the policemen for help.   I never knew cops were part GPS.  
Okay it’s getting close to gun time soon,  I’m at the start and I start chocking up cause that is what I do every race.  I have no idea when that started,  I think after returning from an over use injury when I could not run for months and was in rehab  at least 2 years ago.  Since then every race since my return I cry.  I am a sap.  The mayor talks, there is the national anthem and we are off.    Mile one was okay I did it and felt fine.   We pass the water stop there is no water just empty cups all over the ground.  I remember when I did the 20k last year they ran out of water at the end and I needed it some sooooo bad.  I could not believe there was no water again.  We run.  We come to a spot there was oil over the road.  It was insane.  Now everyone is complaining and slipping and I just try to run over dirt or leaves to get that junk off my shoes.  Water station  coming up!  Horary!  They have water after all!  I have no idea what that first water stop was I do know sometimes the locals hand it out so maybe that was not an official stop.   I guzzle and run some more.   Humidity kills me.  It’s humid, it’s killing me.  I am pushing it so hard.  I think I am doing 10 min miles if I am lucky.  At the start  40 seconds passed before I crossed the starting line so I really don’t know what I am officially doing,  later I learn the Garmin showed a  10:19 pace with 40 seconds of walking to cross the start so really I did a  9:40 mile and that is amazing for me.   I couldn’t hold that pace,  the next one was 10:46 which is much more my style.   Last mile was 10:29 not horrible.  So I didn’t beat my best  race time ever but I am only 10 seconds off from my best time there ever.  I kinda think if I only pushed it harder a little more I could have done better but all went well.   I didn’t puke so that is a bonus.  Great friends,  great weather, great day, great race.     Running is cool

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stratford Summer Series 2011

At the height of the summer about 20 runners will meet every Wednesday at 6pm. The cost is stupid cheap, 20 bucks for 4 races or 7 bucks a piece. It “runs” 4 weeks in a row and on the last week we have a picnic. Over the three years I’ve been doing it I have established tighter relationships with other people who have the same addiction. Bad name girl that I am actually can remember certain names now. Funny thing I noticed and it’s the same everywhere, it’s kinda interesting when you see guys hitting on girls who fit their “I want you” format. I myself have a few guys in that criteria but sophisticated people such as myself never admit to liking anyone. Perhaps because once the prey catches on to those human motives you usually never see them again. Running scared? Perhaps. Where the heck is this going? I was talking about summer races wasn't I? Ok back to that. 3 years ago I won a trophy for 'back of the pack' and I was crazy happy. I WON A TROPHY! It didnt matter why, I think I blocked that part out. I called my runner boyfriend and rambled on and on about the awesomeness of the day. Mister Marathon didn’t get it at all. I did the series last year and nearly puked at least two weeks in a row in the same spot on the course; runners probably understand that. This year was pretty special for me. I won a first place female trophy..yes from last to first, and ten months ago the cops thought I was dead, the doctors told my family to make preparations, it was really bad. The fact that I am back doing anything is very cool. I love running. I love the Summer Series. I love the fellow runners there (not in that way, I am not a slut). Heck I love being alive. Next race is in 3 days, blog? Maybe. Crash on the couch afterwards? Definitely.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Running On Faith. The Fairfield Half Marathon 2011

I ran another one. This race was harder than the last one for several reasons. It was mostly hills; I hate hills, it was June 26th; much hotter than the October 9 race, and oh yeah I went through that pesky coma, brain trauma, broken jaw, broken wrist, titanium face implants, right homonymous hemianopsialegally, (which in English means blindness that is caused by brain damage) and optic nerve damage, the day after the last race. Okay sure maybe I am being a wimp but all those little things combined makes for one tougher Half Marathon. So how does a suppose-to-be-dead girl get conned into running the hardest Half in Connecticut you ask? I think that brain damage part had something to do with it. I was not making sense a lot of times, and many missing memories, when a friend suggested we do the race together AND she would drive me there, I was very agreeable, probably even enthusiastic. The missing memory part was the culprit, forgetting how hard the last one was, plus now I had something to prove.

The day after my first and only Half a reporter told me the accident I was involved in was heard over the police scanner as a fatality. Cops aren’t right all the time. I was taken to a hospital and the doctors told my family I was not likely to live. Doctors aren’t right all the time either. Plus I am not very fond of a big time specialty doc at Yale who said I would not get any better. I have. Hey I ain’t no slacker Buck-O but back to the race, this is not a blog on coming back from the dead, that will be another blog. I start training, my friend Kelly and I plan to run 8 miles of the hardest part of the course. We go to a place with a parking lot and crazy enough it’s where my pediatrician office was. He has long since relocated to doctor heaven. When I was a kid going there was a big deal. We get out of the car, Kelly pees in the parking lot so she won’t have to do that on someone lawn later. Over an hour and a Gu later we finish, it was tough. 5 weeks to go, no problem.

The next week it’s her, me and Elizabeth, a super fast runner friend of Kelly’s. Park in the same spot and their off, they run so far ahead of me I occasionally see them in the distance. Being slow and mostly blind stinks more than usual today. Midpoint Kelly pees at a secluded side of the road near a bridge, I caught up to her but she gone again, next I see super fast Elizabeth find a porta potty, I keep running as hard and as fast as I can and pass the WC. Run, run, run, it was probably only a minute but I was ahead of Elizabeth. Then I hear the tap tap of running shoes on the pavement, tap, tap, so much faster than my thud thuds. She passes me. I look at her she is focused, got her running face on and that is the last I will see of her until I make it back to the car to find them both stretching and waiting for me. 4 weeks to go.

The next week a benefit concert is thrown for me so I can pay some hospital bills. I can’t run with them. Elizabeth is now out of the race do to a running injury! What? She’s the best one. Then another one of Kelly’s friends is out due to injury. I was in a coma, in critical condition just several months prior and I am more healthier than them?? Impossible.

I check the race website, it’s sold out but I am not listed as a runner. Oh no this is not happening! I send an email; no reply. I contacted my bank, the check was cashed so I should be fine but I had major brain trauma and this is causing more trauma for me. It took some time and more e-mails but I got my conformation. I would be bib number 700, my friend Kelly who registered way before me was 2792. It makes no sense I know.

Kelly and I do another run of a different part of the course, this time she parked at the library because although we wanted to park at the beach where it would start the beach wanted 20 bucks. We said we were runners doing a practice run, hint hint, there were only two cars in a lot that would hold hundreds of others, but who’s counting, nudge nudge. Nothing. I woulda paid a couple bucks, no way would we will pay 20. Kelly peed at the library. I use to pee a lot more but I cut back on my water intake since I did some research and learned I was drinking too much. However I sometimes get the pre-run poo, that’s so lovely. I now down a half bottle of Kaopectate and so far it works. Our run was tough, I pushed it at the end since I knew where the end would be. We only did 8 miles instead of the 9 we set out to do, it should have been much easier than it was. 2 weeks til race day. That was our last run together. I did a few 5 milers and gym workouts but no more long runs. We both had a good attitude, we would finish even if we had to walk to the end.

Race Day:

Elizabeth drove, she couldn’t run but she wanted to support our efforts. We got off the exit an hour and a half before the race and traffic was at a stand still. Everyone was going. Slowly we made it to the lot. Now onto bib search and vender booths for free stuff. Alone Elizabeth and I talked about running the Chicago Marathon and we would convince Kelly to do it also. It's pre-race line up so Kelly returned and we made our way over. Girls start one place guys another, then we all join up after a mile or so. There’s the gun and we’re off.

Mile One. Too fast! We wanted to do a 12 min mile pace but did a 10:30 pace. It is too easy and awesome, plus live music from different bands played. It’s a great day.

Mile Two: Guys joined girls, still running awesome-ish

Miles Three: I slow down just a tad, still a nice pace.

Mile Four: First hill, it’s long but I can do it. I slow down even more

Mile Five: Oh crap, nothing but hills. Kelly and I hook up, she said she was with me the whole time I had no clue.

Miles Six and Seven: I think all I am doing is taking walk breaks up these stupid hills, aren’t they suppose to go down too? How come I don’t notice the down just the up? I must need a Gu to think clearer.

Mile Eight: People are packing up their lawn chairs and heading to their cars. The roads are half open and cars are driving too fast near us. Apparently all the fast runners have finished, most people do not like the slower ones

Mile Nine: Crappy guitar player doing an awful solo, I play guitar so I know he stinks. I run as fast as I can to get out of listening range…maybe that was his intent, or maybe he’s fine and I just need more Gu

Mile Ten: DJ and people hold up funny signs cheer us on, Kelly and I dance our way past the music. We have lost out minds and we swear we will never ever do this again. What were we thinking signing up?! This is so hard we vow only to do 5k's from now on.

Mile Eleven: Oh crap. I finally feel the hill going down, muscle spasm big time. How the heck am I going to finish in this much pain? My thigh totally spasms up but I still ran. That has never happened before and I have been through so many different aliments over the years.

Mile Twelve. Kelly says she has to slow down, I tell her no, run on your ego, she repeats she has to slow down, I tell her no, run on my ego. We pick it up our pace we must be lunatics.

Mile 13.1 I literally sprinted to the finish and pass two people. I cross the finish line and an EMT worker seeing me hang on to the edge of something, I have no clue what, asks if I need medical attention I say no, I move down and lean over something else. Another worker comes over and says they have oxygen and I can get looked at in the ambulance. No, I am fine just give me pizza.

Kelly and I grab some watermelon and lemonade, I down 3 slices of pizza way too fast. It was a very cool race once it was over. In the middle of the race I couldn’t believe how hard it was but it’s over so I am okay with it. As the days go by the race seems more fun. More days pass and I am signing up for another one Sept 17th. Yeah I do forget how hard they are and how much I don’t want to do them when I am in the middle of doing them. It wasn’t the brain damage, missing memories at all, it’s just my personal craziness.