Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blessing of the Fleet - Recap

Sigh...  who doesn't love a race on a Friday night in the throws of the heat and humidity of July?  

I have no idea why I subjected myself to this 10 mile race.  My longest run in the last month has been a whopping 6 miles.  I'm barely breaking 10 miles a week, ok maybe not THAT bad...  It was a long shot to have a successful race, and I knew that.  Still I set my goals high  A - 1:40  B - 1:45 C- don't die.  Yeah, C was probably a sure thing.  

I was feeling very confident and good about the 1:45 for the first 5 miles then I'm not sure what happened in my mind.  I walked at mile 4, and again and again.  Even the caffeine loaded GU at mile 5 didn't help much.  To little to late. 

Ah lets rewind a bit and revel in the camaraderie of the middle of the packers who aren't trying to beat the crap out of their frenimies.

Met up with quite a few people I wanted to see pre-race.  Sorry Mike B, Muddy said you and Gazelle were off warming up.  Looked for Seth, Chris, and Johnny (can't wait to read about your 1/2 marathon wedding run and then the Blessing).  

The gun went off and I couldn't remember if this was chip timed from the start or not, so I started my watch.  Then the rush and the stop and the mat, ah.  Maybe I'll remember that for next year.  I was consistently 1/10th of a mile over, but then I noted in the Strava feeds most people had that same extra 1/10th  of a mile.

I remembered to just go slow, and not get caught up in the down hill or the crowds, I was successful.  The last two times were some pretty fast starts for me and that didn't help in the middle few miles.

About mile 2 I saw a gal who was running her first 10 miler and her first Blessing.  I cheered her on and she actually recognized me from our interaction on Facebook.   Kudos to Michelle for giving her some props on this race.  Plus her skirt was freaking adorable and hard to miss!!  Great job Emily!

It was the normal slog up Ocean road, is this ever going to end?  A headwind was actually nice, yeah, I just said that, kick me, please!

Rounding the corner on Knowlesway, into the sun, and a little hill, ok a speed bump.  I walked.  Pretty much sealed the deal I better just enjoy this as a long run and not get all bitchy and pissy, what is the point in that, right?

Point Judith road, another one of those is this ever going to end?

Finally in to the nice shady curvy Kinney Ave.  Then the left turn back on Pier Road to run past the start and down Avice.  I was dreading this.  Until...

Right there on the corner, at mile 7.7  a Marine Corps flag and an adorable pup.  Oh this must be Ed!  I finally got to meet Ed and his pup Everett.  After months of stalking each other (Ed and I, Everett doesn't have his own FB page , yet) on FB, it was nice to put a name and a live person together, plus seriously Everett, is freaking adorable and was happy to let me pet him and hopefully pull out some puppy power. Ed let me know Jennifer was a few minutes ahead of me.  Oh good!  She is in the throws of Marine Corps Marathon training and this is a good long run to complement her training.  Ed is dealing with PF right now, and hopefully with a little break will be back to training for MCM.

I stumbled through the next couple miles and then noticed a couple I recognized on the corner of Robinson and Kingstown Road.  Dave's Uncle Billy and his Aunt Susan!!  Needing moral support (yes, with like 1/2 mile to go) I ran over there, they looked at this sweaty disgusting runner and I said, "Hi, it's Beth"  they had a glimmer of recognition (so funny when you run into someone out of context) and a big AH HA and gave me a hug.   Hey I'll take any support I can get.   Their granddaughter Skye was there and she was a little leery of all of this and did recognize me but was good with just saying Hi.  She is a cutie.  We chatted and I said "Oh I probably should finish this race."  Billy and Susan agreed that would be a good idea.  

I had a little push of power for the last 1/10th of a mile.  Happy to cross the finish line.

Was this a success?  Not really, did it go better than it could have? Most definitely.  I have been biking more than running and then there was that lost week of training I spent drinking...  I didn't die and could navigate the 1.5 miles back to Mary's with little pain, other than stepping off and on curbs, while passing pedestrians, at just a bit slower than my normal walking pace.

It was a mental battle for me after mile 5.  Walking did me in and gave me the licence to walk more.  I wonder if there is any runner therapists out there, how does one get out of their own head?  

Beth, overall happy with the end result of the race, I didn't die.  HA!


  1. As a fellow head case, if you come across any words of wisdom in your travels, let me know! I'm still kicking myself for missing this race, but I'll try for some redemption at Kerri next week :), and great job beating Plan C!!!

  2. The more races I do, the more I realize that we can never escape our thoughts. They are there no matter what tricks we try to play on ourselves. Our only hope is to use them for good rather than evil. One tactic that seems to work well is to find a mantra and then play it on repeat during particularly tough stretches. This helps to block out competing (usually negative) thoughts. Another is to "run dumb." Pretend you're a horse or a dog and just run. (This still requires thinking, it's just a more vacant kind of thinking than usual. You should ask your dogs for advice.)

    Also, keep in mind that getting out there and doing a race like this in the first place requires more mental discipline than most people have. We just need to keep that discipline flowing right through the finish line.

    Keep up the good work, Beth!

    1. I attempted to discuss the topic of vacant thinking with Gizmo on our walk last night. He gave me many blank stares (and I think one "what are you going on about woman, just shut up') and went back to sniffing things, pondering them for a moment before he pissed on them or sauntered to the next thing. I suppose that is it, one telephone pole, fire hydrant, sign post, tree, porch, Harley at a time, reach the goal, pass the goal and on to the next.

      You did spur a memory of a mantra I had during a couple tough stretches of the IAT50K - a song, or rather the only line I could remember, "Light it up up up up" and that cadence kept me going and going.

      Thanks Chris, very helpful!

  3. Loved the recap, Beth! It was a fun and challenging race for sure. I was happy to see you and have you recognize me (such a cute and loud skirt!)
    My fingers are crossed we get great weather again next year...yes, I am SOOOO doing it again! :)