Sunday, September 9, 2012

"But It's Just a Tiny Island"

A few months back a girlfriend and I had this awesome idea for her to join me on Block Island for the Race Around the Block 15K race.

I rented a room in a B&B on the water and we took the ferry over to the island.  I could tell something was amiss when both me and my bestie were hungry, over heated, and didn't remember me as being insane.

We arrived on the Island on Friday (9/7), the race was on Saturday (9/8).

I had this bright idea to walk the route, well only one loop of the route, it was a loop and a half route to make up the 15K which is 9.3 miles.  The fact that a loop would be 6 miles did not really register with me.  It registered with my husband and my mother who said, "are you sure this is something she would want to do?"  I thought, well yeah, we did the Cliff Walk in Newport 18 months ago and that was like 9 miles....

"But it's just a tiny island" were my famous words, or my famous last words when I was met with.  "Ah we have to walk TO the route, and BACK from the route, and OH YEAH, the route."  The look on my face was as incredulous as hers.  We both had no clue what the other was talking about or thinking, or which orifice the others head was in.

My bestie being logical methodical well grounded person she is, suggested I rethink this plan.  About this time I was beginning to see the massive flaws in my logic.  Firstly, we have no way to get to the start, about 3 miles inland.  Secondly, the last time I took a long walk before a run I was in incredible pain.  Thirdly, well we really don't need a thirdly at this point, do we?

Once we were on the same page and had a uninspired lobster roll, we took a stroll to see some yarn, and this calmed us down. Yarn has that affect on us.  Pshew.

So race day comes and it is hot and humid and still.  As the school bus to us to the starting line, we climbed this HUGE hill.  All I could think was, "Oh this would not have been fun to walk up, in the heat and sun".  Little did I know my bestie was thinking "She is effing insane, we have to take a BUS to the starting point?".

The clouds that were promised disappeared and the sun came out in full force as the gun went off at 1:30 p.m.

As I ran the route I was reminded of this conversation we had and couldn't help but notice the route itself was a nice route to run, hilly and windy, however rather not so scenic in all but a few places.  Compared to the Cliff Walk with a surprise view around ever turn, I was even more sure that yes, indeed, my bestie had a point and I am effing insane.

So on the race recap.  It was a nice race, there was little shade, and a bit of a breeze.  Four water stops, one with a man with a hose spraying the runners.  I may have proposed to him the second time I saw him, I'm not sure, it was H.O.T.  I was delirious.  Of the nearly 350 people who started the race, just under 300 finished, the weather was brutal.

Pace and Elevation:

You can clearly see the water stops, yes I did walk three of them!

Right before the second water stop I looked and saw my bestie with her camera.  OMG that was the best part seeing her in the middle of the race.  I've never actually had someone cheer me on during a race.  This was so freaking cool!!!  So if anyone thinks that maybe they would like to cheer on a friend, DO IT.  It really is a lift for the runner.

6 miles!  Wiggling it for the camera!

As I approached the finish line I was greeted with, a hill.  Lovely.  Well Marine Corps Marathon ends on a hill at 26.2 miles, this was 9.3 miles I do need to get used to this last and final hill business.  Plus, reality, I live on a hill and have to run up one to get home anyhow.  Suck it up sister and RUN.

At the finish, in the chute

I finished at 1:40:38, my goal was 100 minutes.  I think I did pretty good and my bestie was very proud of me and gave wet sweaty me a hug after the finish line.  This is a very brave thing to do.  And then she had to sit with me on the bus ride back to the ferry dock.  She had a Jack and Coke to prepare for being on a bus full of stinky runner, smart girl.

On the bus!

I didn't stop my watch until nearly a minute after I finished, I was just glad to be done.  I am getting a teensy bit more consistent with pacing.  I'm still going out of the chute too fast.

Beth, who has no concept of reality at times.

P.S.  But doesn't it LOOK like a tiny island?

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