I had been leading a sedentary lifestyle for nearly a week. I was resting my leg in hopes the pain that surrounded my entire right hip would go away or at least subside to a manageable level. I had managed some strengthening/stretching exercises and cycling, but that was about it. Saturday, however was time to get back on the wagon.
I dragged my butt out of bed and headed downtown to the Galleria to run yet another race through the streets of Cleveland. I had glanced at the course map and like so many downtown races included the down and up of W. 3rd street and the always windy Marginal road.
I met up with Bambi and her latest flame at registration, chatted for a bit and then went out for a 10 minute warm-up where I ran into BB from SERC. BB had a windbreaker on and I laughed as I had opted for my tank and shorts only. I was probably going to freeze my tookas!! I did accessorize though with my Nike gloves and new shoes. I had never run in them before and wanted to test them out. They were about .5 ounces heavier than my racing flats, but had the much needed support I would need for a marathon.
The race included a 5k, so all the runners started together. The 5ker's were to turn around at the 1.55 mile marker and the 5 milers were to continue down Marginal to the 2.5 mile turnaround. This meant I would not know who was in what race until the half way point.
I saw BB starting over to my left and the plan was to try and keep her in sight as long as possible. I was about 3 rows back. I was hoping to be as close to 35 min as possible. I knew the start would be fast as it was downhill and the end would be rough, which doesn't really suit me as I am better at starting easy and picking it up, but it is what it is.
I got out to a good start and saw BB had immediately pulled ahead about 10 yards. I noticed how high her stride frequency was and I was in awe. We made the turn to go down the hill and there was a fairly decent sized pack with me and ahead. WOW, fast race. I saw the first mile marker and heard... :21, :22 :23 and I thought 7:20's not really where I wanted to be as it would be even harder coming back! Then I heard my time 6:25!!! Oh for the love of God, what the hell was I doing up at that pace?
We made the turn to run down around the Brown's stadium and out to Marginal. I was feeling fine, but new I would not be at sub-13 when I got to 2. I was hoping for 7:00-7:10. I got 7:33. Hmmm, that was weird. I know my pace had not slowed like that. I knew at that point 1 was short and 2 was long. The 5ker's had also broken off and were on there way back at this point so the race got thin at this point. There was a girl though that just didn't look like a runner (but then again I don't look like a runner...haha) that was hanging right with me and I couldn't believe I hadn't shaken her yet!!
I saw the first woman and began counting women ahead. I was sitting tied for 6/7 overall with BB in 5th, just ahead. Just before the turnaround I saw BB grabbing her side. She had a side stitch from hell, but she was forging on.
The wind was now completely in our faces and flashbacks to the Cleveland marathon were running rampant through my mind. I was in a pack with 2 guys and that same girl at this point. I tucked in behind one of the guys wearing a Towpath marathon shirt and ran right on his ass. I felt shady, but there is no drafting penalties in road racing so screw it. I lost the girl at this point and managed to conserve a little energy. Got to the 3rd mile in 7:37.
I was at this point hoping the race would be over. I ran up the little incline at 9th and Marginal behind the guy until the water station when I had planned to breakaway. I focused on BB just ahead. I was comfortably sitting in 6th and clossing the gap. I pushed on the little downhill knowing the big hill was literally just around the corner. I came upon the first mile marker again, but the 4 mile was farther ahead...ha I knew they were wrong!!! Mile 4 was a blisteringly slow 7:54. At this point I caught BB, who was still fighting the cramp. I yelled at her to tuck in behind me and I would break the wind up the hill for her.
Surprisingly, I trudged up the hill in a fairly decent time and with of all things, good form. My hill running was still paying dividends to my races. I turned onto Lakeside and the wheezing began. Whoops, here we go. I surged from one block to the next with little recoveries through intersections the rest of the way. I knew BB was coming or was already right there and I just couldn't hear her. We made the turn onto the last road and then turned down a cobblestone sidewalk. I could see the clock 36:40 :41, :42. No way was I going 37+ today. BB came up on me right then and yelled "C'mon!" I put it down and took off and so did she. :55, :56, :57..come on get in there ... RUN!!!. :58, :59...TIME!! Last mile 7:28 and total time 36:59. A new PR by 1:19.
I did a 10 minute cooldown, changed shoes and got warm clothes before heading into the Galleria for the awards. They started with the best costumes as it was a Halloween run, took a long break, then the 5k, and then another long break and then finally the 5 mile. But they only did the men's stating for the third time they had would be taking another break before finishing. It was getting near 11:00am. It had been and hour and a half since I had run. I was getting impatient as I had to cook and get ready for a Halloween party.
They finally started calling the winners. I knew I was the 5th woman overall, so I figured I won something. The first woman was 35:25. They made it to my age group and called out the winners starting with 3rd, 2nd and then 1st. My name was NOT called! Had 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall been 30-34? What were the chances? They also stopped calling women's winners after age 49. What had happened to BB? No way she didn't win an award. She was 6th overall and none of those girls were her age. We approached the announcer and looked at the results. First in my age goup was 38:15. WTF!! (I have to put one of these in every race report) They didn't even have BB listed. We told the announcer our discovery and she replied, "Does it really matter? It is for charity." BB and I looked at each other and immediately bee-lined it for the Hermes people. As we walked over to her BB said exactly what I was thinking "F*ck her!!" We had run hard and wanted the correct results posted. Hermes found the error. We were both in the 5k. Man was I having some mishaps at these races lately. Luckily, Hermes is very thorough and competent and fixed our results. I also received an email asking for my address to mail me an award. I responded stating I just wanted my results right (which they are) and I know they had already given my award to another woman, so I appreciated the follow-up, but not to worry about sending me one.
The leg is definitely not right, but I have no choice but to fight through it for the next month. So wish me luck :)