"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Race Report: Fall Showdown Trail 1/2 Marathon - September 25, 2010

Ron (PunkRockRunner) asked me if I was interested in this race last week and I thought 1. it would be nice to see him again and 2. a flat 1/2 marathon would be a nice recovery long run after beating the shit out of myself at Rio del Lago and Mt. Diablo.

Well, I was half right. It was nice to see Ron.


Elevation profile for the Fall Showdown

It was no Mt. Diablo, but flat it was not. Plus the 90 degree heat added a level of difficulty that I could have done without.

Details

Total distance: 13.35 miles (I took a slight detour, but it was NOT my fault this time!)
Total Time: 2:52:34
Total climb: 1520'
Total Number of Bloggy Buddies that dropped my ass AGAIN: 1 (Oh, we will get to that!)

Pre-race

I snookered LA Run Buddy into going with me. She was going to run the 5K and then work on some stuff for school while she waited (and waited, and waited, as it would turn out) for me to finish the half marathon.

Ron's picture of us from after the race. Mental note: Always have pictures taken by people freakishly taller than you. Very slimming. Me likey!

We met up with Ron. He was easy to find in his signature crazy ass hair. LA Run Buddy asked, "Do you see your friend?" and I said "Yeah, he's the dude with the crazy hair over at registration."



Race

There were like 20 people doing the half marathon and frankly not a regular sized person in the bunch (i.e. all skinny ass runner types).

Great, I get be last. Again.

I can not tell you how many people say to me that they would never do a race because they are worried they will be last. Or tell me as we are waiting at the start line, all nervous and jittery, "I just don't want to be LAST. God, that would be AWFUL."

Meh. It is not so bad.

Especially after the 15th or 16th time, you barely notice anymore. Plus the people at the finish line are usually REALLY nice to you. Probably because they finally get to go home, but whatever.

Anyhoo, back to the race...

When we met up with Ron that morning, he immediately tells me that he is going to run this with me.

[Pause for collective "Riiiiiiiiiiiight" from the audience]

Yeah, that was my response too.

Start of the race. It is so blurry because he was running away from me so fast.

I hate to be a total bitch (ok, no I don't...), but to draw a little comparison, Willie lasted 4 miles with me at SF Marathon, and this is Ron's and my second encounter of less than 20 yards. The first time can be written off as "this never happens to me," but two times? I am just saying...

Ok, ok. I will give the guy a break. He did say he thought LA Run Buddy was running with me and he did seem pretty sorry when I gave him hell about it when I saw him at mile 6 (his mile 8, whatever) , and then again at the finish line, and then again in the parking lot. Ok, and once more via text message. I am just sweetness and light, aren't I? Can't imagine why he keeps dropping me. *shrugs*

Prettiness from the trail to break up text block. ADHD Blogger

The course ran along the San Pablo Reservoir and it was part paved and part trail. It was a really pretty course and not a super tough run, but my legs were just tired. I suffered for the first three miles before my legs finally warmed up. I always love the internal dialogue that goes on when I am suffering early on in a run:

RBR: My shins hurt. I think it is shin splints. I should stop so as to not risk further injury.

Rational RBR: You are not even at one mile yet. You will warm out of it.

RBR: My ankle hurts. I think it is my Achilles. I better stop now before I really injure myself.

Rational RBR: Mile 1.1. You are fine. Suck it up.

RBR: I feel a twinge on the outside of my knee. Clearly, this is IT Band Syndrome. I better walk now.

Rational RBR: Mile 2, Drama Llama. How did you EVER run even one marathon, much less 11, being this much of a whiny bitch? Just run, for god's sake!

And finally my legs warmed out of it and I started to enjoy the run. Just in time to get lost.

Now, before you roll your eyes and say "Christ, they mark these courses. What is your malfunction?" I was lead astray! I was happily running down the trail when two gals came running back toward me saying that we missed a turn and that the trail dead ends ahead. Hmmm... I really thought there was only one way to go, but since I do not have a great track record for staying on course during runs, I listened to them and headed back the way we came. I was right, there was only one way to go.

The pretty bridge we had to return to see that yes, in fact we had gone the right way the first time

Apparently in the 20 minute diatribe that the race director was giving us before the race, he mentioned that we would have to go through a gate at about mile 4. Why exactly do race directors do this? They gather the crowd for a pre-race talk that invariably goes through an exhaustive turn by turn of the entire course that sounds like this:

"At about mile 6.743 you will come to a four way intersection, veer slightly to the left, not to the left, mind you, just slightly to the left and follow the trail to the point where you find a fallen log. DO NOT turn there. Wait until you see the fourth fallen log and then go right....."

Seriously? Does anyone remember what they say?

I always feel as if I should have brought a note pad and a pen. I suppose it is so when you come back broken and bloody from falling off a cliff because the trail abruptly ended, they can shrug at you and say condescendingly, "We told you to go right at the fourth fallen log."

Whatever. It was a relatively short diversion and as I previously went over, I was not winning this thing, so I was not too worried about it.

The rest of the run was beautiful. It got hot and I was tired, but all in all I had a great time, met some really nice folks, and when I finally dragged my big ass to the finish line I was shocked to find out I won second place in my age group.

Bling Shot: LA Run Buddy won her age group in the 5K, Ron won his age group in the 1/2 marathon, and little Ms RBR got second in her age group in the 1/2 marathon. (Photo by Captivating Sports Photos, some of the nicest guys in the business!)

Ok, there were only 3 in my age group and the only gal I beat was injured and had to walk the last 3 miles, but whatever, I WON something!

I love this guy. Thanks, man, for always making me smile. Next time I know you can go the distance ;)



Wolf Pack Events

This was my first race with this group and they were some seriously nice people and put on a really nice event. I know, I always say that, but in general, if I did not like something or someone, or did not have an opinion towards them either way, I will not mention them here. (Not by name at least ;) Unless they piss me off, then all bets are off )

Pros

1. Well marked course
2. Plenty of aid stations with teenagers running the stations, but adults about to keep them on task. (Always a good idea, in my opinion)
3. Cold water at aid stations
4. Really sweet and enthusiastic volunteers
5. Still had food left after the last runner came in, and no, not just rat ass watermelon rinds.

Cons

1. Cotton t-shirt (honestly, would have preferred a tech shirt over a medal or lower price option to opt out of the t-shirt all together.)
2.Small bottled waters seemed like a waste.
3. Not enough slow runners.... ok, can't really blame them for that one

16 comments:

SteveQ said...

I recently told someone who complained on their blog about finishing last that, when I've won a race, I always go back and run with the last place runner, because I've been there (okay, twice in 35 years) and know the last place runner works a LOT harder than the winner.

Thanks for proving me wrong.

Still, you're doing a whole lot more running and racing than I am! Nicely done...

SteveQ said...

...and, of course, if we ever do run together, you know I'll take off like a frightened rabbit, but I'll be back.

Formulaic said...

You keep setting em up and knocking em down!

Yo are rocking lately. I want to see you mileage totals!

Are you even training any more or do you use your races as training time!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Nice Report!You always make me laugh. You are a cranking out the runs. I am with on being at the end - that is me! Congrats on the age group win! Love small races. I got that experience this week too. Getting ready to write my report.

Kate said...

I used to worry about being the last or the fattest or whatever. I'm "fast" enough to finish middle of an average pack with no realistic chance of ever placing in my age group, and I try to remember that even if I'm not one of the cute, skinny, fast girls out there, I AM out there and that beats sitting on my couch by a longshot.

Yay for the 2nd place finish! And once again I'm sitting here surrounded by corn fields and envying your beautiful scenery!

PunkRockRunner said...

Not nice to talk about my crazy ass hair. And when did you see my ass hair anyway? I thought I was well hidden behind that tree.

Just so you know, I actually took 2nd in my age group (not first). The guy who was first out kicked me at the end and beat me by 45-minutes…

I promise to run with you the ENTIRE race next time. I’ve been going to yoga so I think, with my improved balance, I can run that slowly without falling over (it’s all about balance).

GREAT seeing you again!!

All the best,

Ron

Lincsmomruns said...

Nice! Love the post. Remember me I'm the injured runner. Ron gave me your blog! Yipee I can follow you weither you like it or not! lol It was great talking with you for a few miles. You are an An-I-MAL!

Slomohusky said...

whenever you and I run a race together - you can kick my ass. honestly not much effort will be needed. just save a donut for me at the finish.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Woo-hoo! You're number two! You're number two!

Hahahahaha! If Ian were here, he'd tell you I just called you poop - TWICE!

But congratulations on eventually making it to the finish line yet again, Wrong-Way Tranny! Against all odds, I might add, and also most evens. And assuredly ALL rational numbers.

But congrats anyway.

I prefer cotton shirts to tech shirts. Tech shirts rub my nips the wrong way. Seriously, I have the sensitive nips of a CHICK.

All this talk of nips has my nips FULLY ERECT, which is embarrassing because I'm on the desk tonight and both of my nips are 9" long.

Jo Lynn said...

So you *did* decide to do this run. ;)
You look SO GOOD in all the pictures. Honestly, you do!
Congrats on the AG place. Nice to see Dynelle out there with you.

Amy said...

Congratulation, you are doing good, nice run there. I love the post so cool, it detailed every moment of the run. Nice!!!



zbsports

trailturtle said...

Hi Stacey,
Thanks for the ever entertaining race reports! That "bling" photo by CSP is really nice...they need to do more events; there is at least one other not to be named photo company that does some of the bigger events and whose picture quality sucks, not to mention that they charge a fortune for their stuff.
You've been racking up a lot of difficult events these recent months!! Kudos to you....Hope to run into you in Oct when I am out your way again :) Ann

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

Never, ever, ever give a hint of an apology when you're one of a very small group of people who had the balls to show up and do something rather than sit on the big complacent butts (unless that person is me, in which case, I'm resting or recovering, not being lazy). Good job!! Bling is awesome. We decorate our tree with ours, and had a bling party with our friends. Everyone had to come wearing their bling.

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

UM, P.S: the tree in question is 4' tall, not a full size tree. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

Katie A. said...

Whoo hoo! An AG win! You're such a rockstar!

I can't believe Ron left you in the dust! Doesn't he know a race with RBR is the best!!! I wish I could have joined you! And by join you, I mean I would have ran with you ;)

Miss you tons. Hope all is well. We need to get a run in!

Jill said...

As always, you have me rolling. Congrats on that great shiny swag - all well worth the last place finish....and no one really cares about that! I need to come to Cali again and run some of those great trail races with ya. Next summer! :)