So it was not my best race, by a long shot, but I learned a few things, about myself, anyway, if  not about running. 🙂

I  knew it was not a good sign when about a mile after the start, I find myself looking at the sides of the road for the “porta potties that would be all over the course” as was announced at the start line.  I finally see people running off to the bushes to do their business, and I think “that looks like a plan.”  Only one tissue in my bag and I don’t want to take the time to get it out, already losing precious time, so I say to myself “this isn’t good.” Keep running.

First mile was probably my best, about 9:15.  All downhill, pace-wise from there. This was just one of those days where I could not focus, could not push myself to keep going no matter how hard I tried. Or didn’t try, I’m not sure what was going on.  But the crowd support was really good and there were tons of volunteers.  And a fly-over by military jets at 10:30 this morning, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I do like shorter distance races the best, I think. 10K and 5K and flat courses, especially. This was not a flat course, I’ve shown you the elevation chart before.  The Beast, or that huge incline between miles 3 and 4 was really not the worst.  It was the inclines around the 10K mark, and the other inclines that just seemed to go on and on forever.  I did find myself walking a lot. I just had that “empty tank” feeling that we all know of, literally the entire way.  Couldn’t get rid of it to save my life. Not gatorade, water, gels, or enfuralytes could really help banish it today.

Things I did see that I really liked:

  • A guy dressed up as an F.X. Matt beer can.  That’s the kind of beer they used to have at the finish party. Now it’s Saranac.  I’ve discovered I don’t really like it, but it was still alright to drink after so many weeks of being good.
  • A guy carrying a full-sized flag passed me just as we started to go up the Beast, holding out in front of what looked to be a quite heavy, full-length flag with the enblem of “Don’t Tread on Me” and the rattlesnake symbol.  He definitely got some cheers.
  • Passed some wheelchair racers, who had only started about 15 minutes before us. (They definitely should get more of a headstart because when it came to the downhill right after mile 4, this one poor lady had to put on the brakes. After doing that huge hill, she should definitely have been allowed to take more advantage of the hard work she’d put in getting up there.)
  • A spectator holding a sign that said “thank you, Dr. Braker, for saving my life.”  I was like, “can you imagine being that guy/girl out there on the course, who sees that and how good it’ll make him feel?”  It made me feel good to see it!
  • Lots and lots of family spectators. My sister and her family saw us off at the start. I understand my nephew, Jack, who’s 5, was crying because he wasn’t able to see his actual “Aunt TT” run past him, I feel so badly for the little guy.
  • So many kids and adults were out there with their hands out to “slap five.”  I made sure to hit many of them on my way.   

I have some pictures below from the beginning starting line area – the sign with “Good luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie” was done by my nephew, Sean, who’s 8.  He came up with the motto all on his own. 🙂  He even drew us both in on the sign, and then added a bubble after I took the picture, in which he is saying “get going, you lazy bums.” 🙂 The other one is being held by my nephew, Jack, the 5 year old. For privacy reasons, I can’t show their faces on here, but take it from me, they’re quite adorable.

Our stats are below – my brother ran on his own, and I think he did amazingly well. He said his quads were definitely burning afterward, and I feel badly that he had to wait so long for me at the finish line.  We then waited for at least a half hour until my mom could make her way to us from the finish line, so unfortunately we lost out on our “ultimate carbo-reloading, glycogen replacement time window” so we’re taking it easy today and heading down to my mom’s seasonal campsite near  Cooperstown, NY. It’s really beautiful down there, for those of you who have never been.

Brother, Jamie (“Jim”):

  • Chip time: 1:05:05 (average pace of 6:59)
  • Place overall: 796 (of 10,582 finishers, although we’d heard 10,877 were signed up)
  • Division: 64/675 (Men, 35-39)
  • Men overall: 710/6018

Me: (don’t look, it’s really awful, honestly):

  • Chip time: 1:36:47 (average pace of 10:23, although my Garmin said I ran 9.42, for 10:17 average pace)
  • Place overall: 8339 (UGH)
  • Division: 404/581
  • Women overall: 3124/4564

The weather was nice, a bit sunny for my taste (I’m so used to running so early in the morning when it’s overcast, I’ve grown to like it.)  I wish I could figure out why I did so badly, I’ll just have to think about it some more.   I’m refusing to get down over it,  I’m planning on trying to run a 5 mile race in Weston next week if  I can leave work early enough to get there (think it starts at 6 p.m.) and I really am beginning to think that a 10K or shorter is my distance.  Five miles is what I run in the mornings and it’s my perfect distance for not needing extra water.  I think I carried too much extra weight today on my back, maybe that contributed to the slow pace. Not sure.

Anyway, there’s a 10K coming up in Gloucester that I am now going to turn my sights to. It was written up as one of the fastest 10Ks in the country, and it’s known as the Lone Gull 10K, held in September.  It’s flat and there are ocean breezes. If you ask me, that’s a really great combo. Maybe I can hit one of my goals for the year by doing it, to run a 10K in the 54 or 55 range.

Thanks to everyone for all of the support and good luck wishes. I’ve not been able to get on the computer as much as I would like, so I’ve been trying to respond to messages via my new iPhone and I’m not the best thumb typist as many  of you have probably already discovered. 🙂

My nephew Jack's sign "good luck Uncle Terri and Aunt Jamie"

My nephew Jack's sign "good luck Uncle Terri and Aunt Jamie"

Good Luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie

Good Luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie

Jamie and I at the staging area, taken by my sister

Jamie and I at the staging area, taken by my sister