Saturday, June 26, 2010

another Rock and Roll race!

I'm not sure if it was just darker out this year... or if I got up earlier, or what. But I set my alarm for 4, got up, slathered Body Glide all over, got dressed, had some breakfast, and was on the road by 4:30. Tried to park in the same lot as last year, but something had gone wrong with their timing system, so I gave up and parked in a lot one more block away.

Last year Wil and I joined a line that rapidly grew... this year, I basically walked up and got on a bus... though it seemed like they had a few different pickup points, which sped things up. The shuttles also used a different route than cars would have, which meant we didn't have that same backup. So clearly they learned from last year.

Grabbed some water and a banana and sat down to stay off my feet. I had learned a lot from last year, too -- no need to get into the corrals until they start moving... which gives you a lot of time to use the porta potties. :) I asked the "solutions" folks which corral I should actually start in, and they recommended #23. I waited until #22 moved forward and #23 started to shift before slipping in to the corral through a gap in the barrier. Perfect! A little fiddling with electronics, some nervous banter with strangers, and we were off.

I actually think there may have been more music along the course this year -- and only one of the stages was quiet when I ran by. I loved "Matt", the giant Brooks arch at mile 1 (though, as I have said a million times, I'd rather have an additional water stop between miles 10 and 12 than a stop at mile 1!), the totally rocking band playing at mile 3, the gang dressed as various rock legends (including a "Like a Virgin"-era Madonna in white), the very chipper cheerleaders, and the stretch along the lake -- oh, especially the rockin family, who again were out on the course making music. A little kid pounding on two drums? THAT'S rock and roll.

The race went by pretty well... I just tracked my time at each mile marker and -- after going out too fast -- tried to slow myself down a little. I also tried to keep a steady 5:1 schedule, but often I would miss the beeps and just keep running. Oh well! I liked that the race felt "busy" (but not packed or crowded) throughout the race -- I never felt alone. That probably means I started in the right corral after all. :)

I had carried powerade with me this year so I wouldn't get so thirsty at the end of the race, and I think that really helped. I also really figured out my 'fuel' needs -- never felt too low on energy until the very end. I even was prepared to go through my usual mile 12 "Man, I am so DONE" rant.

What helped, of course, was that sweet Wil came out to cheer me on. :) See, ever since we started racing, I have wanted to see a sign with my name on it... with bonus points if someone clanged a cowbell as well. So Wil made my dream come true by 1. holding a sign, 2. clanging a cowbell. (Yes, he ordered it online from cowbell.com. Honest.) I saw him at about mile 11.5, so I pretty much coasted to the finish after that. Half marathon #8!

Other random thoughts: ran with a female Elvis (Elvette?) for a mile or so, and it was like running with... well, like running with Elvis. The fans went wild. Apparently someone ran in a full polar bear suit to raise awareness of their dwindling habitat. Wil said he saw him running... and post-race with his "head" off. The tunnel is still my least favorite part of the course. Competitor have a great thing going -- I saw loads of people racing in the tech shirts from other Rock and Roll races.

Lindsay and I both got caught up in the moment at expo and registered for 2011. Guess that's one race on the books!

For archival purposes, here's a link to the course map.

1 comment:

Lindsay Jane said...

Congrats! I saw Wil too! Such a great partner you have. Thanks again for always being my running inspiration.