I got lei'ed last night at the Fila Relays!! WOO HOO!!! (Thanks Jill!) And it had nothing to do with me being on a team of hotties!!!
Oh dear God...So, I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that I suck at the short sprint races! Now, my time wasn't bad or anything. A 6:42 pace for 2.5 miles is nothing to be disappointed about. It's my race strategy that could use a little reworking!
Being stuffed up, ill and pretty much listless all week, I was not all that thrilled about running in the race. Part of me just wanted to jog the whole thing for fun, but I didn't want to disappoint our team captain, Thon. After a few team trades and dropouts, our relay team consisted of myself, Thon, Amy's husband Perry and my husband Shawn. Me and three dudes...sweet.
It doesn't take long for the race adrenaline to kick in once you find yourself amongst the crowds of other runners that overwhelmingly consisted of Gazelle relay teams. We joked that this wasn't so much a race as a typical Gazelle tempo workout, but on a Friday night--with tacos and beer. It's always awesome to catch up with everyone that I don't see or that I only see in the dark of the morning--so many great athletes out there!
So I was the third leg: Perry, Shawn, Carrie, Thon (oh my god--it rhymes)
It was frightening to watch people finish their 2.5 mile sprint...gasping, choking, short of breath, sweaty. I mean, I like to run, but I hate pain. These people looked like they were in pain. I knew it wouldn't be pretty. It felt like no time at all that Perry finished and Shawn took the "baton." I lined up knowing it would be about 16-17minutes. When I finally saw Shawn coming down the finish shoot, I jumped up and down so that he could see me. When he passed the bracelet, I started running like a bat outta hell. About 20 yards into it, I dropped the baton bracelet. "Shit!" I thought about just leaving it, but I took the couple of seconds to pick it up. Once that was done, I just started running as fast as I could (mistake #1). Ahead, I saw my buddy James Booher and started to get a little cocky knowing that I wanted to pass him. I started talking to him. (mistake #2) "Is that you James in front of me?" I passed him briefly, but it didn't take long for him to pass me right back up. I spent the next two miles staring at his back as it got smaller, and smaller and smaller. Heading towards the .5 mile marker, I looked down at my watch to see how I was pacing. In the excitement of grabbing and dropping the bracelet, I had forgotten to start my watch (mistake #3). I started it right then and I was running between a 6:20 and 6:30 pace. yikes...(mistake #4) I passed Waterstop #1 which was the Dick Beardsley Foundation stop. Jill and her girls were decked out in hula gear. Prior to the race, Jill had said that she had a gift for me. She saw me coming in just enough time to slap a lei over my shoulder at the waterstop! Seriously, that small gesture gave me a much-needed boost as I was fading quickly and I hadn't even hit the 1.5 mile mark yet! James was gaining distance and I could see Rachel at the turnaround point. Could I catch them?? Um...no. We entered the Nature Conservatory and I seriously could feel my lungs burning. I knew part of it was the fact that I had felt like crap all week. I could not catch a full breath to save my life. I even thought about walking the hill, but I didn't. Raul was close behind and I didn't want him to pass me! I headed past the 2nd waterstop and saw Cindy passing out water. She acted like she was going to throw it on me then--SHE DID! So, I had been lei'ed and sprayed at the two waterstops!! I bet no one else can say that :-)
The last hill was tough, but I knew it "was all downhill" after the last gradual climb. In any normal runs, that last hill would've just been a bump in the road. However, when the lactic acid is practically coming out of your ears, it's tough to climb anything. I got over it and just tried to run the last .5 miles as fast as I could, even though I knew I was slowing down with every step. I finally made it to the chute and across the finish line where I handed the bracelet off to our anchor Thon. Immediately, I was dizzy, lightheaded, snotty, nauseous and just plain spent. I just leaned against the fence and wheezed until I could catch my breath. I felt exactly how those other runners were feeling during the first leg and it's confirmed. I HATE PAIN!! I'll take an Ironman distance over this short sprint stuff anyday!
Since I didn't start my watch on time, I really had no idea how I had done. I just knew that I had NOT done a negative split because I had started way too fast!! Oh well--it's all fun right?? Ha Ha. Of course I can say that now that my lungs have made their way back into my chest and I no longer feel my heart beating in my hair.
Overall, an awesome race for all of us: Perry 16:21 (6:42 pace) Shawn 17:15 (7:04 pace) woo hoo--coming on in a big way!! Carrie 16:22 (6:42 pace) Thon 15:59 (6:33 pace)--PR BABY!!
Fortunately, we got out of there before the storn blew in and headed straight to Mangia for some pizza and vino! Austin Tri is this Monday...Here we go again :-)