And yes, technically this was #8, but yeah yeah. Whatevs.
So. We drove up to Buena Vista, Colo., yesterday to pick up our packets for the Autumn Color Run. This was my last run of the season last year and PRed with a 26:27, still my fastest race to date. I really liked this race last year so Brandon and I decided to do it this year. It's a great course - yeah, it's at 8,000 feet, but it's a nice straight line for 3.1 miles and slowly drops a few hundred feet over the course. Awesome? Yes.
After battling our food anxiety issues for dinner and some pre-race hot tub soaking, we spent the night in Salida which is about 30 miles south of Buena. It wasn't the best night's sleep and I definitely didn't want to get out of bed, but get out of bed I did. We packed up our stuff, loaded the car and went back inside for the hot breakfast (go holiday inn express, man). Some watery yet dry (how that happens, i don't know) eggs, papery bacon, instant oatmeal (at least it was quaker), bruised banana, crappy orange juice and coffee-milk, we were on the road back to Buena.
We got to Buena, parked and walked to this one park. The park was the race end and where we warmed up.
Brandon getting his warm-up playlist going on the ol' iPod.
Us pre-warm up.
We started to think we needed to poop, but the line at the port-o-potties was RIDICULOUSLY long. Luckily, the race director told us about another bathroom in another part of the park. A permanent bathroom.
Yay for actual restrooms at a race!
Sadly, I couldn't really poo, so I decided to try and warm up some instead. After some dynamic stretching (not plyometrics ... but kind of. i forget the name of them. did them for hockey all the time), some jumping jacks and some regular stretching, I decided to try and poo again. I was only marginally successful.
Since my bowels were not going to cooperate, I said a quick prayer to the running gods and asked if they did anything for me that race, they'd let any urges to go to wait until AFTER I crossed the finish line. I said this while we were walking back to the race central part of the park ... passing the port-o-potties. We saw people getting on the bus already, but I snapped a quick shot:
Only two port-o-potties for this race. Yeah, it's a small one.
We hopped on the bus (almost late! oops) and were driven 3.1 miles away to the race start which was officially outside of the city limits in random unincorporated Chaffee County.
Getting off the buses. Yes, that's Brandon in black.
Start was at an abandoned drive-in. How cool is that?
Pretty! View from the start.
The race people who were at the start got word of the time (or something) on their walkie-talkies, some Boy Scout shouted "GO" and we were off. As everyone was on the right side of the street, I was smart and immediately headed to the LEFT side so I was running against traffic, not with it. I also made sure I was in the margin as the county road we were running down wasn't closed to cars. I almost took a few pictures of the cars, but didn't feel like taking the time to do so.
Being on that side of the road meant I could see the spray painted mile markers on the street. Because of those, I'm pretty damn convinced that NO RACE has proper mileage signs. Or at least no race in Colorado. I saw the one mile marker painted on the ground and then, at least a good five minutes later (judging by the songs on my ipod), a sandwich board saying that there was two miles to go. A tenth of a mile in five minutes? Yeah, I'm not that slow, thanks.
Regardless, I kept running. The conditions were almost ideal - high-40s, but a little sunnier than I'd like. I passed a few people along the road which is always nice, but not too many. Once I got a bit more into town, I saw the stop light that's near the park. However, I kept my pace as I know distances can be deceiving. I didn't start to get really excited until I saw my car which was parked about three blocks away. Still, I didn't start my kick until right about the turn into the park for the finish. At that point, I saw Brandon coming back toward the course to try and get a picture of me finishing, but I told him no and just sprinted onward.
My time? There's a reason I love this race - 27:45. Nine minutes faster than my first 5K this year. 15 minutes faster than the 5K portion of the tri, but I'm not counting that. :-p It's kind of upsetting because had I finished in the same time I did last year, I would have placed second in my age group. *sigh* Still, I'm proud that I pulled that time out of my ass because I haven't done under a 9:00 mile yet this year and still have issues getting under 10:00 at times.
Even though Brandon had some issues with his time (he so finished before me though the official time won't say that due to some mishap. sucks, but i guess it's an unfortunate result of it being a VERY small race), we were still both happy about our races.
Though the Autumn Color Run is tentatively our last race of the season (*tear*), we still have possibilities on the horizon. For me, the biggest thing will be keeping up with running because I kind of stopped last year (partly because of ditching the bodybugg and just eating lots of crappy food without exercising) and it's been a total bitch getting back into it. It especially sucks because it's been a year and I'm still not back to the point I once was.
Oh well, someday, right?