Saturday, September 26, 2009

Race #6 of the Season: Autumn Color Run

This recap is a week late, but for good reasons:

1. I hadn't uploaded pictures yet.
2. I've worked a whole ton.
3. It's been emotionally stressful (pretty much lost a long-time friend this week ... no, she's not dead ... she just apparently did a 180 in personality. yeah.).
4. The crappy, dreary, rainy, cold, gloomy weather hasn't helped either.

In any case, I finally uploaded pictures and the sun's FINALLY come out again, so yay, race update.

Anyway, this year's recap is somewhat similar to last year's recap ... right down to the crappy breakfast. We managed a better meal the night before (and our pre-race sushi for lunch instead!), though.

So, last Saturday morning, we woke up, I tossed on my winner underoos, got dressed and headed the 30 miles down the road from our hotel to the race site. Circumstances this year prevented us from pre-registering, so we got there with plenty of time to go do that.

After registering, we wandered over to the perma-restrooms (not the porta-potties), did our pre-race business and then warmed up, finding a sunny spot to stretch in.

Autumn Color Run
Brandonpants ... chilling prior to the race.

Autumn Color Run
Trying to stay warm!

Soon enough, it was time to hop the bus to take us 5K down the road to the abandoned drive-in race start. We got off the buses, looked over at the turkeys at nearby house that were gobbling away and then lined up ... about 100 feet back from where we normally start. We waited for the Boy Scouts to drop the flag and tell us we were off ... I love this start. Really.

Autumn Color Run
See all the guys setting their watches? The green stomach you see ended up winning the race in 14:40.8. Yeah.

The usually-not-very-organized start was even less organized this year as we were to soon find out. Anyway, this race didn't feel that good. It's a small race that's been getting bigger and bigger every year and becoming not as fun, honestly.

In terms of pain, this race also didn't feel that good. I hadn't had a chance to get in much in terms of a halfway decent run (or two) the week prior and the ones I did get in sucked. I just kept watching people pass me and pass me and pass me ... and I had no hope at all for a decent time.

Still, I kept plodding along, passing a few people along the way. I never felt like I settled into a groove, however, and my sports asthma and crappy breathing kicked in near the end of the race. Since I parked right near the course this year, I was hoping to pick it up once I saw my car, but I couldn't manage a sprint until I was already in the "chute" (i use the term lightly).

I was crying as I finished, due to my breathing issues and just the overall crappiness that I felt. I waited for my breathing to subside and then walked to the car to change into flip-flops, stopping for a few pictures first.

Autumn Color Run
The race fairy!

Autumn Color Run
Me with said race fairy.

After changing shirts and shoes, we headed back to the park for some post-race snacks, grabbing a silly picture in the process.

Autumn Color Run
We like oranges!

After food, we waited around the park a long time for our results, neither of us having any clue of what we finished in. Brandon had heard a time close to his, but also the news that they were having timing issues (... which was probably why our start was even less organized this year). After a while, we said, ah, screw it and went to the car to go home ... and realized the battery was dead. I remember my purse handle getting caught on one of my light steering wheel lever thingys and I thought I had put everything back to normal ... but apparently not.

So, we walked back to the park to find someone with jumper cables. In the process, we found out our times - I finished in 27:35.5 - 8:52.85/mi ... my second time under 9:00/mi this year.

I didn't believe it. Add the 50 seconds of wonkiness the race people were talking about? Yeah, I'd believe that. But, what the race people say goes, so I'll take it.

After finding out our results, we also found some nice EMTs who had jumper cables in their ambulance, so we bugged them to help jump me and send us on our way home.

As Brandon said, the race was our last official one of the season, even though we're planning to do some sort of Turkey Trot-type race on Thanksgiving. We'll see how that goes, though, as this week has been a struggle in terms of working out. Damn stress.


Sagan said...


That's fantastic that you managed such an awesome time. I'm sorry the run was so hard for you, though. And I'm REALLY sorry about your friend- it's so sad and disappointing when close friends suddenly have a personality change and go off the radar.

Charlotte said...

Sounds like a great race to end your season on! You get exercise-induced asthma too?? SUCH a pain. And bummer about your friend - although the good news is that since she's not dead, perhaps her personality will do another 180 in the near future?

Dr. J said...

Way to go, T!! I guess now it's time for you and Brandon to strap on the X-country skies and keep on training :-)

One of the "good" things about Florida, is the season never ends :-)

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

ha, great pictures! thanks for sharing!