Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kemah Toughest 10K: Rocked it!

1:42:59 That is my official time. Not counting the virtual 10K I did in 2009, this is the first officially timed 10K that  I have completed. If you are not familiar with the Kemah Toughest 10K, then you may not know why it is called the toughest.  Almost three quarters of the course is up a steep, high bridge.  I have to admit, the idea that my first 10K would consist of lots of hill work from a gal that lives on the flattest place on earth, pretty much terrified me.

It is worth repeating:  If you don't have a running group that you regularly run with, get one. It makes all the difference in the world.  If it had not been for them, I would not have been as prepared as I was for this race. OK, I call it a race but for me...really not a race.  I don't expect to win.  My only two goals are to finish and not be last.  Mission accomplished but not without obstacles.

Weather:  You know it is going to be a bad rain when the news spends most of it's newscast discussing all the flooding they are expecting.  At the time that I fell asleep, they predicted the worst part of the storms and flash flooding to happen about 30 minutes after start time or as I thought of first part of my run.  Luckily, the weatherman was more into drama than accuracy because it didn't start to rain until mile 3. And it was pouring.  The rain felt like small pellets hitting my face. Beyond that  discomfort, I loved the rain falling down on me.  I was worried about getting blisters but it didn't happen.

However the wind was with us from the beginning.  It was a stiff head wind that really made that first cross of the bridge almost impossible.  Well, not impossible, but as I was climbing the bridge, all I could think was, "Oh my, I still have three of these to do and the first one is really tough."

Time Management:    I have no idea what happened but I didn't hear my alarm go off and I overslept.  This race was less than two miles from my house so I didn't really prepare my belongings the night before. I expected to get up at a decent time, get dressed and pack up.  However, I woke up an hour later than expected and had to be at the race in 13 minutes.  So I rushed to get my clothes on and pack my belongings. So I forgot my wireless headset (if you remember, I forgot my phone holder for my last race), my trashbag to wear in case it rains, my bottle of race fuel and my extra bottle of water. Not to mention I wasn't able to properly eat before the race. I shoved a piece of bread with peanut butter on it in my mouth.  But I survived.

Wardrobe malfunctions:   As it started to rain, I noticed my left bubby was jiggling more than usual.  I looked down and noticed that my bra strap was undone and my bra was falling down.  (Remember, at this point, I have a very wet clingy shirt).  So I tried my best to lock and load my rogue bubby, while I ran.  After two failed attempts of strapping it correctly, I finally just pulled to the side and did it correctly.  A bit further down, my running buddy, Heidi, was having problems with her pancho and we stopped to try to put it on her.  It just tore so we decided to continue.

Potty break:  There is something about running water that makes me need a potty break.  So as it started to pour we pulled off for a potty break.  You try pulling off wet running capris. Better yet, you try pulling up wet running capris...not an easy task.

Crowd management:  When you are one of the last ones to come in, you can expect some of the early finishers to leave before your during your run.  However, the only exit out of the race area was on the exact streets that we were running. So when we made our way off the bridge and back onto the streets that lead back to the Kemah Boardwalk, we found ourselves weaving in and out of traffic or watching for cars that were trying to reverse.  The course is still closed to traffic but the cross roads aren't so people would block the runner's path.  BOOOOO!

But with all these distractions we did an amazing job.  It felt amazing.  When we turned the corner and weaved pass the last set of cars blocking our way, all I could see was the finish line.  I hoped to finish under 2 hours. I wasn't sure if I could with all the bridge work and weather but we did it.  1:42:59 is my official time and that's not too shabby.

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