Monday, January 21, 2008

Two months . . .

St. Pete Beach Classic 2008 Race Report.
In just over two months I'll be running more than twice this distance . . . I am feeling a bit daunted I must admit. I finished my first 10K this weekend and for some reason I had to fight for every step. Afterwards I felt nearly crippled for the rest of the day. Turns out that a flat course is REALLY boring and the lack of downhills was kinda soul killing in a way. It just felt so LOOOONNNG. The weather (about 68 and REALLY foggy) seemed to be dampening everyone's spirits. When I first arrived the back of the pack 5K finishers were coming in and there was a lot of cheering for them which got me all excited and choked up at the same time. They even had someone announcing people's names and their home towns as they came around the corner into the finish chute. I picked up my chip and got it attached to my shoe without difficulty. There were more than enough porta potties so I could time my last visit just like I wanted without being hampered by lines. I felt great at the start!

Once we got going though the flatness was just SO dull. Most of the folks I was pacing with were wearing headphones and the volunteer enthusiasm seemed dampened by the weather. With few exceptions there just wasn't much spectating or cheering going on. So mentally all those factors made for a very LONG race.

My chip time was 1:15:59. A few weeks ago I did 5.92 miles in 1:16. This was 6.2 miles so it was a bit faster but not by as much as I expected. I was worried about hydration because I felt so hot and there were lots of water stations. I felt compelled to take some at each station. I tried to emulate the Ironman runners I watched on TV a few weeks ago but apparently running, drinking out of a paper cup and breathing at the same time is a skill that is currently beyond my ability level. So I ended up walking through each water stop.

The course required that you run back by the finish line (which was the 5 mile mark) and then overshoot it and continue down Gulf Blvd. to a turnaround. I was actually mentally ok with the overshoot, I was just so happy to know that I only had a mile left to go! So I tried to finish with a flourish, we'll see how I did when the professional photos go up.

Chase ran in the Kids Dash and came in 3rd in his age group and got a medal. He was so thrilled. He also thought it was hilarious that he came in third and I came in 444th! (Hey, I was actually 31st out of 34 in my age group though!)

After napping on my Aunt's couch and waiting for the fog to burn off some Chase and I returned to the beach but went to my old favorite from my college days, Pass-a-Grille Beach. I indulged in some conch fritters at the Hurricane and then we played in the wet and windy sand and walked on the beach looking for stuff. Chase was in a magical place, just free and happy, literally dancing through his day. I've been so focused on the release of tension that I've felt with the separation, but on this weekend I really became aware of how much tension seems to have left Chase now as well. I haven't seen him this happy in a long time.

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