One should never write a recap after a tough race. Too much of the frustration will bleed through the recap.
Admitting this up front will let you know what type of post this will be.
Got to Salem Lake early this morning so I could pick up my race packet. Also I was picking up Nathan, Mike, and Megan's race packets. They had made the decision for one reason or another not to run today. Maybe I should have taken their decisions as my que to do the same thing. But I digress.
Charlotte Running community was out in force with Carolyn, Michelle, Chris, Butch, Allen, Kevin, and Adam. Patrick also showed the colors for the Gaston County Running club. He said something about a bet with Heather and Brian. I hope he won. Kent, Billy and Chris's girl friend Karen were providing the cheering section for us.
Just before the race started, thunder was rumbling across the landscape. Rain arrived just behind the thunder. Luckily, I had a plastic poncho in the back of my car to pull over my racing outfit. Heading for the start, I had more than a few jealous looks.
I gave the poncho to Karen. At least someone could stay dry.
We got a few last minute instructions and updates that the course had been changed. Due to the rain over the last few days, the part of the course on the greenway was flooded. The 30k would still happen but we would be making loops around the lake. The race director told us that once we hit a certain water stop that we would reverse the direction.
We took off from the start Carolyn and Michelle plus a bunch of others were out front of me. My hamstring was hurting really bad and I was trying to get it to relax. Good luck making it happen in a cold pouring rain.
The first few miles passed uneventfully. I was running with Adam who is headed for Steam Boat marathon in a few weeks. We hit the back side of the lake and it was a mess. I was slipping and sliding. Adam slowly pulled away as I tried to just stay up right.
Let it be said that my Brooks Green Silence go well on the road but not in the slick mud.
We came through the start finish point at 7 miles and I have never wished more that I would have signed up for the shorter race. I was about as miserable as a runner can be. I had no motivation at all. In fact at the start, Adam said something to me about what I wanted to do. My reply was "finish and get back to my car". Clearly, my tone was I would rather be somewhere else. Like I said, I had no motivation to run.
The 2nd time around the lake was worse. Having several hundred runners cut up of the trail there was no place to find any good footing.
Somewhere around 13 miles Carolyn went by me along with another runner from Charlotte. However, his name escapes me at moment. She looked like she was handling the adverse conditions rather well.
About this time, I was starting to wonder where we were turning around. I had expected to see Adam coming back to meet me. No one had past me running in the opposite direction so I thought maybe I miss understood how we were running the course.
Okay, I little side bar here to share some in-race fireworks. This guy, honestly I don't know him, starts going off because we missed the turn around. I mean really going off. He was using a number of cuss words. Carolyn says something to him about shutting up. There were a few exchange and then quiet. Now, I don't know Carolyn all that well but I was a little taken back. I was not expecting that type of response from her. Honestly, I understood the guy's frustration about the course, but I choose to not express my frustration in the same matter. To his credit, he did come back by me and apologize. I hope he did the same to Carolyn.
So coming around for the 2nd lap and knowing the distance was going to be off, quitting was at the top of my mind. My hamstring was just stinging.
But as we past the start/finish again, the race director says do "two down and two back". I took a deep breath and thought "I can do two down and two back". During those 4 miles my mind drifted as the miles churned by and probably would stayed in the distance if Chris hadn't come by me. Just have seeing him going by pulled me back to reality and slowly I started picking up the pace again.
My goal going into this race was to run under 2 hours and 10 minutes. I slipped in with a 2 hours and 9 minute time. I have to give Chris credit for my finishing effort. Thanks Chris. –Btw, I cannot believe you didn't introduce me to Karen.
After the race, the back side of my TrySports Jersey was covered in mud. Taking my shoes, my feet were a tint of orange from the mud. Peeling down my calf sleeves, finally allowed the mud, grit, and/or dirt to fall from my calves. This is probably the dirtiest that I have ever been after a race.
I walked back to my car, changed clothes, and headed home. I was already trying to put this effort behind me.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner