Monday, June 17, 2013

Towpath 10-10

I was oddly calm about yesterday's race, the Towpath 10-10, the 2nd part of the Towpath Trilogy.

Other than freaking out about whether or not it would be cancelled due to lightning, my usual butterflies only came on race day, not days before like normal. This really freaked me out because I was afraid I wouldn't run as hard. Thank goodness that wasn't the case!

So, here's the rundown:

The Turtle & I had a wedding reception to attend the night before the race, which made hydrating interesting (I made those hall attendants earn their pay refilling our table's water pitcher!)

I knew I should have brought water bottles in my purse!

My 4:45am wakeup dawned without a drop of rain, so I was very optimistic that the weathermen were wrong.

Teddy did NOT approve of the hour

And the wishful thinking ended as mom and I pulled into the parking lot of Quaker Steak & Lube when the rain began.

About 30 minutes before the race start, I left mom in the car to join the porta-potty line. 10 minutes later, my clothes were completely soaked and I headed off for the 1 mile walk to the start line with the other runners, all of us looking like a line of glazed-eye refugees fleeing a zombie apocalypse (sorry, just started Walking Dead and I have zombie on the brain. I may never sleep again).

Once at the start, the rain came down harder and my teeth started to chatter. I scoped out the crowd and picked out a few girls who looked quick, as well as last year's female winner overall. How do I know which girl won last year? Because the dear old people who put the race together emailed her picture to everyone to let us know that last year's champ was returning. Way to put a target on her back! (Naturally, I checked out her time last year, a 7:06 pace, and immediately lost all hope in coming in 1st overall)

They informed us that the start would be 5 minutes late because 10k and 10mile runners had gone to the wrong race starts. Arrrrgh! But, just when the 30 second countdown began for the bell (yes, they started the race with an old school hand bell), the rain stopped....after all, we wouldn't want to actually benefit from the rain cooling us down during the race! Nay nay.

Mile 1: Feeling good, all the racers are getting into their groove and jockeying for their spot in the lineup to sit at for the rest of the race. And there's mom! Though I hate a lot of back-and-forthing in races, it gave my mom the opportunity to see me 2x before the finish, which was awesome! I pretty much never have supporters out throughout the course, as mom likes to see me at the finish, so this was a really nice bonus! It's amazing how excited you get just to run past someone you know!

Mile 2: FINISH??? What kind of crazy race has you run under the Finish line banner before its over!?!?! And where the heck is mile marker 2? Wait a sec, let's check my Garmin....2.59 mile?! What the..!?! This would be the first of many missing mile markers. 2, 4, 6 and 8 are on a date! (Don't you roll your eyes). Ooh, there's mom again!

Weeeeeeeeee! I hope I can keep this wicked pace up for 8 more miles!
Mile 3-4: I conquered the first pass over the 2 bridges without too much trouble. It didn't sap my energy as I feared it would, so I was pretty relieved. I got into a groove, following the guy in the white tank from the picture above.

Mile 5: As we approach the beginning of the loop that will take us back toward the finish, I look behind me and one. Not a soul. Just like every other race, I always end up running in a little bubble all by myself (which I prefer, so I don't have to hear footsteps of someone dogging me from behind!). Well, minus White Tank Guy (WTG), who I am now pulling ahead of. He looks over at me and grunts out, "I'm dyyyying, have a good run."  

Mile 6-8: I hear grunting approaching. I look to my left and its WTG. "HEY!", I say accusatorily. He looks sheepish as he pulls up next to me and says hi. For about 1/2 a mile we run side by side until he finally asks if I mind him running with me. No prob, I say. And then begin chatting intermittently with him, as he grunts responses...and probably cursing me in his head to just shut the hell up. :-) 

Mile 8: Before we approach the bridges for the 2nd pass, I notice I'm catching up to last year's Top Female winner. I've had her in my sights for the entire race, and I can't believe I am actually going to have to pass her. As I do, I feel like I just stepped into a trap and fear the sprint she may do when we get to the finish. After doing some foggy race math (1+1 is what again?), I figure out that I'm in 5th place for females. But just knowing I was able to overtake last year's champ gives me a boost!

Mile 9: After following WTG's lead and grunting my way up the 2 bridges (it helped! I think he's on to something), I go in for the long home stretch. Where the hell is that finish line!? I notice I'm catching up to another girl and try to decide if I should pick up the pace and try to overtake her. We've still got a ways to get to the finish, and I really don't feel like passing her to just be repassed. Plllleeeease pick up the pace girl, so I don't have to consider this! Damn it, you just slowed down more! Fine, you want me to pass you, you got it!

.25 miles before the finish I'm about to overtake the girl when she looks over, sees me, and takes off like a shot. "F you" I say outloud. Hmph.

Finish Line, I think we've met before

I finish in 1:11:38, only 10 seconds behind the wench who just couldn't let me pass. BUT, that also got me in 4 WHOLE MINUTES sooner than last year's champ! She never did pick it up to beat me! YAY!

Though the race time says I had a 7:10 pace, my Garmin said 7:06 and I'm sticking with that! I had such a great race! I felt good the entire time, I never hit a wall and am so happy! When I had looked up last year's female winner's time and saw that 7:06 pace, I immediately threw out any ideas of coming in top 3 overall...and while I still didn't place in the overall, I did run that pace, which I had no idea I could do for a 10 mile race. I've never run that fast for that long before! I'm ecstatic!

With my award and goosebumps

I ended up placing 2nd in my division, (1st place going to that wench), 5th female overall (257 female runners) and 37th place overall (533 total runners). YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!


  1. YEAH! Way to go!!!

    I am also cracking up that you "eff you!"'ed that chick. She probably kept the pace going for fear you'd kick her ass!

    1. hehe... I went up to her after the race and told her I hated her :-) But we laughed about it!

  2. Hey, I'm the wench :) I googled and found your blog, I love reading what other runners have to say! Congrats though, you really pushed me at the end. You finished just ahead of me at the Fall Half so I definitely knew you could kick my ass if I let you!! Hope to see you again at a race -Marisa

    1. OMG! That's hilarious! I thought your name sounded familiar when they called it out. Are we going to be having another death match in the fall ;-) You ran really hard, great job!

  3. You are such a star! Congrats! And it looks like 'the wench' is now one of your readers. I love runners!

  4. Awesome run! I love how you push yourself!

  5. Wow! I'm incredibly impressed with your stamina (and a little jelous haha). Way to go!

  6. Congrats on placing in your age division! Way to go!! :0)

  7. Aww did she throw a wench in your plans??

  8. That is awesome! Congratulations! Sorry the wench took first place in your division from you, ha ha. You will get her next time!