Monday, February 3, 2014

Mid Winter Classic 10 Miler Race Report

Who runs 10 miles, outside, in the middle of winter?  A bunch of crazy Maine people, that's who.  This is one of the bigger races in Maine and certainly the biggest one that happens in the dead of winter.  It was capped at 1000 runners this year and that is quite a few people in one spot in our tiny little Maine towns.  All the fast folks in Maine and New England seem to come out for this one, so there is not a snowballs chance in hell that I could get an age group award here.

But that's ok.  That's not why I wanted to do this race.  Last year, I had a not so good race that included misery, lots of walking, some swearing and freezing my ass off.  I knew I had it in me to run a faster, better race.  Not to mention all the cool kids were going to be there.  My buddies Danielle, Kristal and new friend IRL Sarah and her exclusive dating parter and fiancé Eric were all going to be running it this year.  Also all the Running with the Girls girls--Jen, Carrie and Jill were going too.  My friend from high school Todd and now new IRL friend Jamie and Andy were also coming.  So fun!!

So basically, I couldn't wait for this race!  Now all of these people are WAY faster than me so I had a feeling I was going to be running alone because everyone was going for a PR today.  Well, except super-speedy-even-when-not-racing-Sarah.  bitch.  j/k love you sarah.  She is just plain fast even when she's slow.

Per usual, I got there super early because I was driving from far away and they wanted you to carpool because of the limited parking.  But I had no one to carpool with so I needed to bring my 8 passenger van with one person in it there early to make sure I had a place to park.  Phew.  I went in and got my race shirt and bib.  Number 85!  My favorite number is 5 and my second favorite number is 3, but 8 is like two 3's together so it's like having my two favorite numbers.  Anyway, I liked my number.

The shirt is pretty sweet too.  I like orange.

I sat around a little waiting for everyone to show up.  Danielle was being super-over-achiever-girl and running 2 miles before the race and 3 after.  She asked if I wanted to join, but I politely declined.  After a trip to the potty I found this group and manage to get a pre-race photo.   Courtesy of one of the volunteer race photographers David Colby.

Sarah, me, Eric, Jen, Carrie, Jill and Stacy
aka Middleaged runner, average girl doing average things, exclusive dating parter to middle-aged runner, running with the girls and maine mom on the run.  If you do the blog thing.  

Danielle arrived and we chatted a bit before the race started.  Just like at the Maine Half Marathon, Kristal was no where to be found.  Seriously, girl, why can't we ever find you earlier than 3 minutes before the race??  We managed to locate her via some texts because her phone wasn't working.  I called her twice and for some reason she couldn't hear me.  Turns out it was because her headphone were plugged in….   Um.  yah.  No, she isn't blonde.  lol

A little pre race photo in which everyone looks great but me, and we were off!

I clearly, have not mastered the taking of the selfie.

They warned us of a cannon going off and said it was going to be really loud but all I hear was GO!  So, we went.  Why in the world was I standing near the front of the pack is beyond me.  I was clearly not where I should have been.  I tried to get out of everyone's way as they passed by me.  Danielle and Kristal were gone.  I did my own thing and somehow found Sarah who was supposedly "running slow" today.  I managed to keep up with her   Read: slow her down  for about a mile and then I just dropped back so she could go on ahead.  She's too friggin fast.

I think around Mile 1 or 2?  Just before or after Sarah.
Anyone care to analyze that crazy ass foot strike?  what the.

I fumbled with my music and got that going and just tried to get in a zone.  Miles 3 then 4 went by pretty easily.  There were hills early on, but honestly, they weren't that bad.  I was planning on taking a gel at Mile 5 and wanted to wait until the water station since I didn't bring water with me.  I have never used Gu but I got some in a secret santa pack and didn't have anything else so it was going to have to work.

Mile 5 water station was right at the top of a little crest so I quickly ripped open my Gu and started to eat? suck?  whatever you do with Gu.  Let me tell you, Salted Caramel Gu is the shit!  That stuff is so tasty.  I would put it on ice cream.  Or waffles.  Maybe even dip my Oreos in it.  It was that good.  I was so happy that it didn't make me gag cause I didn't know what I would do for fuel then.  I did walk through the water station so I could get the Gu and water down without drowning.

I was beginning to feel a little tired but the Gu seemed to perk me up a bit.  Strangely enough, the song Wagon Wheel got me going too.  Not a very inspiring song but the tempo was just right for me and I may have played it more than once.  I kept thinking of myself like a wheel and just rolling along.  So stupid.  But it worked.

I was so thankful to see Mile Marker 8.  Only two more to go.  And I remembered this spot as the place where I needed to stop and walk last year.  Not happening this year.   I ran right past that stupid ice cream shop.  My phone dings and to tell me I have a text message.  I'm hoping it's Danielle telling me she got her PR or my kids saying "go mom!  You rock!".  This is what I got.

at least she has manners

I totally inspire my kids.

Mile 9.  One more to go.  I was tired but I knew my legs could go faster and now was the time.  I picked up speed and passed a few people.  I knew I was going to beat my time from last year and I wanted to run fast to the finish.

this is my 'hurry up you're almost done' face
a little more normal foot strike too.

I turned to corner in to the school and its all down hill from there.  It's a longer than you think it's going to be because they have you run out back behind the school, but there were lots of people cheering as you went by and I knew I was going to be done soon.  I saw the time 1:31:xx and was pretty happy.  I managed to cut 5 minutes off my time from last year.  No walking.  No swearing.  No freezing.

Because all my friends are way faster than me, they were all in the cafeteria having snacks and changing.  Danielle, Kristal and I all had PRs!  Yay us.

A great day was had by all.

Me and all the fast girls.

Not sure if this is before or after, but my friends and the best photo bomb ever!  Look carefully…..  creepy man, Andy, in the back!!  lol

Final time for me 1:31:58.  Woot!  Last year was 1:37:xx so I took 5+ minutes off my time.  Very happy with myself.  And if don't think that this blog name is appropriate for me, well let me show you how true that is.

Average, average, average.  Middle, middle, middle.  483 out of 780 or right in the middle.  206 female out of 414 again, middle.  39 out of 68 in age group, still in the damn middle.

Not slow, not fast.  Just average.

An average girl doing average things.

Thank you to the volunteers at the Mid Winter Classic who make the race possible.  Thank you to my faster friends who inspire me to be better and let me run with their speedy selves.  Thank you to Mother Nature for a perfect day for running and no precipitation.  All hail the mighty Mother Nature who rules our running lives.


..:danielle:.. said...

best day ever! and yes, salted caramel gu is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Danielle, best day ever, for winter running.
also I must try this salted caramel gu you all speak of.

Lisa said...

Fantastic run there sister! We MassHoles are also equally crazy...with a few of us heading to Martha's Vineyard next weekend to run 20 miles on the island. In the winter. In probably a blizzard.

But it's :)

congrats on your PR - YEAH!!!!

Blaine Moore said...

Great job!