Thursday, August 21, 2014

Color Me Rad

The Color Me Rad "race" series came back to Maine this year.  Last year I was unable to attend because it was the day before the Rev 3 triathlon and I needed to rack my bike, sign in, packet pick-up etc etc.  Last year a million people from our town went (slight exaggeration since there are only 2500ish people in our town, but whatever) and everyone had #allthefun and I was sad I missed it.

This year I signed up early in February to get the cheapest entry fee.  My husband said he didn't want to do it so I signed up just myself and the kids.  Note to self:  sign husband up for any untimed fun race whether he wants to do it or not.

Truth be told when the day of the race came, it felt a bit like a chore to hurry up, get it done and over with.  Oldest kid had to work later so we had to drive over and then come right back.  I didn't get a chance to pick up the shirts/bibs the day before so we were going to need to do that that morning.  And it turns out that everyone was tired from the day before so we left the house later than we should have.  Ugh.

I remember there being an issue with crazy bad traffic last year so I was worried about that but it ended up not being a problem at all.  Either there were way less people doing it this year, or the cops and volunteers had a better system of getting everyone in and out.

I wanted to get pictures but strangely enough, no one would pose with me.

 no we will not smile for the camera

I'm not sure why.....
what? grampa boxes aren't cool enough for you?

They finally relented and we got some nice before pictures.

 all smiles once we bought them tutus, and color packets...

It was really a fun atmosphere with music playing, people doing zumba and an announcer calling out everything.  We were supposed to go in the 9:00 am wave but it really didn't matter.  We ended up starting around 9:30.

I have to say, this was a pretty fun event.  Everyone there was there to have a good time.  People had costumes, tutus, crazy colored socks and a big smile!  There were moms, dads, babies in strollers, toddlers toddling, grade school kids sprinting--then walking--then sprinting again.  Big people, small people, heavy people, skinny people, fit people, unfit people.  Everyone was doing what they could and having a great time doing it.

There were three stations where you got color powder flung at you.  I was glad to have the sunglasses that they gave you with your registration and I tried not to breathe as we went through.  People were high five-ing each other and everyone was just in a great mood.  At one point we were running along a walking path that went parallel to a fairly busy road and the cars were honking and passengers were waving.  Everyone was just having a fun time with this event.

I have no idea what our pace was, but I know it was pretty slow since I was not winded at all.  It was like a faster walk for me, but that was fine because I wanted to stay with the kids.  Manimal ran with me for awhile while the girls were up ahead, then he went ahead with his big sister and I ran with Princess.  My husband did his best running and we ran across the finish line together.

They gave you a color packet to use at the finish and we got even more colorful.  My son was loving this part!  He got to make a huge mess and everyone was doing the same.

color bomb at the finish

Even the babies got some color!

random baby covered in blue.  permission to take photo granted by mom--no worries...

Grabbed some after photos,

then we had to head out so the kid could get to work.  All in all, I'm glad we did it because it was pretty fun.  It was pretty expensive to sign up the day of--$50, but I had signed the majority of us up way back in February so the fee was much better--$25.  Plus, a portion of the entry fees go back to the YMCA's in Maine (that were participating) and I think they get to split up more than $6k.  Any volunteers that the Y recruited got the Y an additional $75 per volunteer.  I wasn't able to volunteer this year, but will probably do it next year.

This is a race to do with a group of people for sure!  Everyone can do it.  So if one comes around your area, get a team from work, a family team, a bunch of friends or whoever and go do this event.  It's just fun.  You'll get people to "run" who said they never would.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bradbury Mountain Breaker 9 Mile Race Recap

Sunday was part 2 in a trail race series at Bradbury Mountain--just past Freeport, ME.  The land of LLBean and all things outlet shopping.  I had completed the 6 mile race a month before and found that to be challenging and difficult, but this 9 miler was supposed to be the most difficult and technical of the 3.  Good stuff.
challenging.  um yah.

Mile 2 and 6.5 were the ascent to the summit.  I was a little scared when I saw this elevation profile.  Nine miles is a challenging distance for me anyway, but to climb a mountain while doing it..... twice!  I was just glad my friend Danielle was going to be there.

Race time was at 9:00 a.m. which is nice because I could leave my house at 7:30 and still be there with some time to check in and meet up with any friends that might be there.  It was looking to be a gorgeous day, a bit cooler and not so humid.  Perfect running conditions.

oh I look so happy.  

Bib pick up is so so simple at small trail races.  Give your name, here's your bib, here's your shirt.  Done.  No fanfare, no hoopla, just get your bib and get out of the way.  I found Danielle and we took #alltheselfies.
Because what race would be complete without the obligatory selfie?

We found Jim and then had a real photo taken pre-race.

A quick trip to the porta-potty and it was time to start.  I don't remember too much about the miles except they were slowish and hard.  The trails were technical--meaning lots of roots and rocks to worry about tripping over.  Danielle was coming off a 20 mile run the day before so she had no plans to run this fast.  Which was great for me because that means we could stay together!

Mile 1:  11:24
Mile 2:  13:36
Mile 3:  16:29
This is the mile that included the first ascent to the summit.  There was no running.  Just walk/climbing.  And a ridiculously failed attempt at a decent selfie at the top.
 really, I'm pathetic.

At this point we had joined up with another runner who tagged along with us.  It was great to have someone to chat with.  She and Danielle would talk about marathon training and I didn't have to participate at all.  Which is perfect.  I like listening and adding a word or two here, but I'm not very good at carrying on a conversation while trying not to trip and smash my head on a rock.  So I was perfectly happy.

Mile 4:  12:12
Mile 5:  13:40
Mile 6:  14:20

I had a gummy energy chew thing that was at least a year old somewhere around Mile 4.5 (the halfway point) and it was perfect.  I chewed it for probably 1/2 a mile. (time release energy....I might be on to something)  It gave me a nice little pick-me-up and I actually felt GOOD.  Imagine that.

I wasn't winded from running so much as my legs (quads specifically) were really starting to hurt.  If we weren't climbing up, we were coming down and the constant pounding really took a toll on them.  And we still had to climb to the summit one more time.  ugh.  That just about killed me.
 this is not the trail to the summit.  that was steeper.  just to give you an idea of what kind of climbing we were talking about.  
not much running going on here.  everyone was walking.

Mile 7:  17:32  slow ass climb, almost dead at the top, ready to quit all things running here.

there's all three of us, me trying not to die.

Then it was down hill again!  WOO!  The down hill felt great and I decided not to quit running just yet.

Mile 8:  12:29

One more mile left.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus.  We were almost to the finish (maybe 1/2 mile left?) when Kathryn and I (Danielle had moved on ahead of us) went to pass a teen girl.  She was bent over clutching her knee.  I asked if she was ok and saw that she was in tears.  Kathryn and I stopped to help her.  Poor thing.  I think she was just done mentally and her shins hurt from shin splints.  We both grabbed her arms and helped her along.  She started running a bit and we told her we'd stay with her.  We were almost done and that she could do it.  I held her hand as we ran and she calmed down a bit and seemed to stop crying.  We got near the end of the woods and you could see the finish line.  We had to run across a grass field to get there.  She saw that finish and just took off!  We both yelled to her to "go girl and finish!".

Mile 9:  13:49 (forgot to turn off watch)

I think that mile could have been faster if we hadn't stopped to help her, but I'm glad I did.  Turns out she was 15 years old and I would have been so grateful if that had been my daughter and someone took time to help her along.  I wasn't winning any awards that day and 30 extra seconds didn't mean squat.

Total time 2:03:18

There were plenty of snacks at the finish line--mostly all homemade baked items that runners brought themselves.  I missed out on the watermelon this time.  Last time, I got a couple of pieces before it ran out, this time I was just slow enough that it was all gone when I got there.  That was really all I wanted at the finish.  Next race I'm bringing my own god damn watermelon!  I'll have enough watermelon for every damn runner and guest there.  I just can't eat regular food after running.  But watermelon?  Mmmmmm.  That was my only complaint about the race.  And I can't even really complain about that since someone probably brought it in and donated it.

One more race left until I'm officially a BADASS.  The last race in the series is the Bradbury Bruiser 12 mile race in September.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

the stupid bike rider

Some may think that I'm a fairly smart girl, but sometimes I am just clueless.  Take last night, for example.  My hip flexors had been sore lately (no idea why, but that's another post), so I thought I would go for a bike ride instead of a run.  That actually seems pretty smart.  Point for Michelle.

So lately I've been doing my exercise a little later in the evening because it gives me a chance to get home, see the kids, make dinner, eat a little, then head out while they are all watching Wheel of Fortune or Criminal Minds or whatever.  So it was 7:00 and it looked like it might rain, and I thought I'd better get going before it does.  Quick change into bike clothes and off I went.

Right away I noticed that my back tire looked a little low.  Shit.  Well, I thought I'd just keep going and see how it went.  If it was really hard to bike, I'd just pull over and pump it up with my handy-dandy bike pump I had bought earlier in the summer.  See this post.  The guy at the bike shop sold me this specific pump telling me it would work with my skinny little tire hose thing.  Another point for Michelle for having a bike pump.

This is part of where I'm clueless.  I never actually read the directions or tried out the pump.  I just put it on my bike and assumed that it would work fine when I needed it.  He told me it was the right one, so I believed him.  Minus 2 points for Michelle for not checking or learning how to use it.

Ok, back to last night-- I just kept riding and was probably about 10 miles from my house.  It was 7:30 and because it was overcast, and later in the summer, it was starting to be a little dark-ish.  No big deal.  I looked down and my tire looked really low and it was hard to bike up a hill so I thought I'd just pull over and fill it.

I hopped off, got the pump and tried to pump my tire.  PSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH was all I heard.  Completely flat tire now.  Womp womp.

Tried to pump again but I couldn't get the pump attached properly to the tire thing.  God damn, I'm pathetic.  I don't even know the right words to use.

Oh, guess what?  I didn't bring my phone either.  Minus 2 points to Michelle.

So I walk to the nearest house to ask to use the phone.  I go to the front door (which clearly no one uses, but I was NOT walking through their garage to knock on that door), knock and wait.  The guy looks at my like I've got six heads and I explain my predicament and ask to use the phone to call my husband to come get me.  He leaves me outside (fine with me) to get the phone, then hands it out to me (like I pose some threat to him in my bike shoes and bike helmet...... whatever) and call my house.

Of course, no one answers.  I call my husband's cell phone.  Goes to voicemail.  ugh.  Meanwhile the guy at the door clearly just wants me to leave.  He asks where I live.  I tell him.  Whoa, that's a long ways away.  Yah, dude.  Thanks.  It's really not that far if your bike doesn't have a flat tire.....  Call the house again and Princess answers.  Phew!  Help is on the way.

I thank the guy and head back to my bike as he deadbolts the door.  Jeesh.

I start walking in the direction of home just so I don't get malaria from all the friggin mosquitoes trying to suck me dry.  I'm walking my bike, carrying my bike shoes, on the side of a road almost to the end of a peninsula, and it is almost dark.  Three cars pass by me and not one single one stops to see if I need help.  That seriously surprised me.  I heard the first car coming and I was quickly in my mind trying to decide if I would accept a ride to meet my husband half way or just keep walking.  No matter.  They drove right by.

I suppose I will admit that I was not waving them down or asking for help, but seriously, I like to think that if I saw a woman at the end of the earth, alone, at dusk, walking her bike and carrying bike shoes, I would stop to see if she needed anything.

And then on top of that, my husband drove right by me as well, like he didn't see me cause the kids thought it was funny to see me waving at them as they drove by.  Nice.

Anyway, the point of this story is I am not smart.