Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bridge to Brews 10k Race Report

If you read through my posts leading up to this event you'll know that I was not in the best physical/mental state possible for a 10k. I did wake up and finish the race and as you'll read below, it was not a terrible day at all.

Race Morning:

I woke up to a pretty much gorgeous day in Portland. High temps and sunshine were forecast and the 7:30 wake up call did not disappoint.

The night before the race I was whining about not being able to make it. I ended up getting to bed at a respectable hour, but had stress dreams all night. I dreamt that (go figure) I was late and unprepared for a race. There were guest visitors in my dream of bloggers that I've never met. I forgot my sports bra and was lent the most hideous hot pink halter top to wear. The car we needed to use to get to the start was stuck in a construction site (hmm, my job is in construction, think this is a coincidence?). I woke up soaked in sweat a couple of times. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and realized I never set a damn alarm for the race. What? So I did that and went back into my delirious REM cycles.

Despite feeling good about the weather my entire race morning was spent at home feeling shaky and not good. I drank coffee and couldn't even stomach a dry piece of bread. I drove over with my sig-O to the start and he dropped me off near the front. I posed in a halfhearted "making myself vomit on the curb" photo. So cute!

Race Site Prep:

The portajohn lines were HUGE at the start and I was pissed in more ways than one. I finally got into one and decided no more water after that. I ran past the start to an empty street and did some drills to get me in the mood. This sorta worked. I took a disgusting apple pie Gu that I almost threw up for reals. Isn't this fun?

Race Strategy:

I had a very slim strategy... I put less thought into this race than the others this year. One reason is because I've never done a 10k before and didn't know how it would feel or how to pace myself compared to 5ks. I also am kind of burned out on the racing thing. I mean, its fun, but week after week? Come on. I wanted to run a pace under 7:20 and my coach said 7:15. Based off of my shittay run last weekend I decided 7:20 was more realistic. (Especially being hungover.)

At the Start:

The chute start was pretty tight but I tried to get in near the front. I hadn't seen anyone I knew yet but had a feeling I could find them. Immediately I see Jen and Zach and they're all super pumped - it made me feel a little more excited. My adrenaline was going and I think my HR just standing there was over 100. The sooner we could start the sooner we could finish and put this whole thing past us. Let's go!

Mark Set Go!

I set my Garmin late - the 1st pad must have been where the chips were activated (as I'd find out later when comparing my time to the race time - I was off by about 4 seconds). Everyone took off in a flurry and it was quite packed for a while. Of course I shimmied my way around as many people as I could. I knew there were plenty of 8k'ers in there too and I just wanted some damn space. I got into a groove pretty quickly and realized that I didn't feel completely horrible. It was going fine, just fine.

Before mile 1 I saw my personal photographer/hottie and he snapped some shots. I'm annoyed cause he didn't get the one where I stealthily flipped him the bird.

Then we got up a sharp curve onto the bridge. The bridge itself wasn't too bad elevation-wise but it was looong. I was a little disappointed that we weren't on the upper deck but it was fine, nice views of the city but a little weird that cars were ZOOMing past pretty close to us. I leapt over several grates on the left side. I feel like this race was tighter than others I've done. I passed a lot of people and some passed me. I was right behind this tiny little girl w/a perfect runners body and thought if I could just keep up w/her I'd be all right. (I later found out she was running the 8k and not even going really fast.)

Mile 1 = 7:27
Mile 2 = 7:10

Then we got off the bridge and into the Pearl I guess? I don't remember. It was confusing with some of the runners being in the 8k and some in the 10k. I didn't know who to try to pace off of. At mile 3 some woman passed me and asked what the time was and I was like "what?? from the start?" I mean, come on, please leave me alone and if you care so much why didn't you wear your own timepiece. Get it together people! I told her 22:00 and that was just past the 3 mile mark. Then a guy pushing his friggin child in a stroller ran past me. Can you please make me feel worse? He was running the 8k but still. As I realized we were at the 5k mark I was pissed because I knew I was only halfway through. I had been getting used to these 5ks and being done lightening-quick! I started to feel a bit sluggish and bored and tired and ready to be done.

Mile 3 = 7:15
Mile 4 = 7:27

The 8k'ers split off at some point here which really thinned things out. The route went through a bunch of twists and turns along barren industrial landscape. People were more spread out here, but luckily there was always someone in front of me so I knew where to turn. I started thinking about the Amtrak that almost stopped me a few weeks back in the Race for the Roses. About right then I heard the horn and knew it was nearby. I got a little panicked about having it stop me but decided I'd just wait for it this time. A volunteer shouted to us "whoo hoo! you all beat the train!" so I knew I was safe.

After that there was some more running and then some more running. As I mentioned I was kind of bored and pretty tired. Then the course rejoined the 8k route and things got really crowded. Its hard to tell if passing those people make it better or worse.

Mile 5 = 7:34

Mile 6 is where you get back uphill onto the Broadway bridge. Overall, I tried to make the most of the downslopes and just stay strong on the inclines. If anything I'm a strong runner and should be able to crush those people with tiny little sticks for legs on the hills. It was this ramp onto the bridge that a tiny little thing with an ass you could bounce quarters off of started sparring with me. This continued through the rest of the race. I only passed her when I got sick of looking at her junk. Back to the onramp - so many people stopped at the top of this! Not good to see fit-looking people hunched over and inevitably vomiting. Eew. I powered through and figured we must be close to the finish. Back over the bridge there is another really sharp hill right before the finish. I was in kick-mode at this point and my legs were burning up this hill. Right around the corner was the best thing I've ever seen - the finish!!

Mile 6 = 7:30

Finish time = 45:21/45:25 (garmin/official - hey 4 seconds count!)
Avg pace = 7:19
Avg HR = 176

Post race was pretty fun - I saw Zach right away, then Justin, met up with Josh, managed to watch Jen, Sarah and Amy finish. We got into the herd/line to get our free beer, slammed a couple and headed home.

I've never been so happy to have something over with. I feel like a dick for my piss poor attitude pre-race and all weekend. But I had fun and it was worth it. I ended up placing 8/179 in my age group and 16th of all women. I can't wait to check out the official photos.

Putting this in retrospect - when I did my 2 mile time trial back in November I ran a pace almost 20 seconds slower per mile than this and puked in the grass. This race I completed on a weary hangover and slammed a beer at the finish.

Oh yeah - then went for a 12 mile hike and trail run in the gorge. I feel good - Booyah!


Alisa said...

You did fantastically well for being hungover.

It was such a nice day out.

I was so happy I got to see all of you finish!

Amy - the gazelle said...

Awesome race report! I'm glad neither of us had to race the train this year. Thanks again for that awesome finish shot of me. I hope that the officials are fun, too!

Sarah said...

"After that there was some more running and then some more running. As I mentioned I was kind of bored and pretty tired."

You crack me up! Race reports are so funny. . .

J said...

Congrats on a great race! You are super speedy with those mile times!

jen said...

Congrats! You are definitely getting way faster. Well done on the race. :)

Susan said...

Haha how do you run marathons if you get bored during a 10k?? Too funny. Great race despite the not-so-fun prerace feelings!

Justin said...

Ha, I think I remember that guy pushing the stroller. The kid was telling the guy to run faster. Have you ever pushed your coach around in a stroller? You should try it some time.

Denise said...

Wow, you did great!! I wish I could compete like you...when I'm sober, let alone mildly hung over!

Aron said...

CONGRATS Emily! You did amazing as usual :) love all your pics!

Marathon Maritza said...

Congrats Em! Great race and report!!! You did awesome.

Also, this is why I love you: "I'm annoyed cause he didn't get the one where I stealthily flipped him the bird."


KK said...

Congrats! Awesome time and even more impressive post race festivities.