Sunday, April 27, 2014

Race Report - Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Weather: ~50 - 52F, sunny, breeze ranging from light to in-your-face gusts

The Way-Before:  woke up at 6, had breakfast (Cream of Wheat, banana, tea), hung out and watched the weather report for the next hour.  Decided on tights and long sleeve tech shirt on this basis.  Weather was completely overcast and predicted to be so for the next couple of hours.  Left at 7:15 to head to Edgewater Park.  Wanted to park near finish line (Lower Edgewater).

The Right-Before:  pulled into the drive to Edgewater at 7:40, following a long slow line of cars into the parking lot.  Glad I didn't get here any later!  Parking lot about 80% full. Rearranged the assorted stuff in my race bag, and headed up the sidewalk to Upper Edgewater, where the starting line was.  Waited in a VERY slow line for the toilet.  Only one working toilet in the race registration area.  Actually, only 2 in the building.  Seems very light for such a large park!  Should have bailed and gone over to the port-o-pots, but didn't really believe it would take so long!  In the "it's a small world" category, started chatting with the lady behind me and found out she runs a stand at the Farmer's Market - I've been buying her fruits and veggies for years, and a few people behind her, one of the other moms from Audrey's skating team!  Did my business, exited the bathroom and low!  The sun is shining.  Changed to sunglasses, and headed over to the bag check van.  It's still pretty chilly.  Checked bag (another line, but much faster), and now it's time to line up.

The During:  we're off!  Can't believe some people are wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Aren't they freezing?  And the people wearing more layers than me - well, clearly they are overdressed.

Race heads off through some beautiful streets in Lakewood on a cliff overlooking Lake Erie.  As soon as I win the lottery, I'm moving here.  Winding through some more neighborhoods on the way to Lake Ave, feeling pretty good.  1st mile marker - 9:20.  That's about where I want to be right now - I didn't have any time to warm up, so the first couple miles will be my warmup.  I decided to run without my watch; I want to try this race completely by feel.  Without experience at this distance, I don't want to start obsessing about splits.  Miles 2, 3, 4 - keeping a steady  pace, still feeling good.  Tons of people, constantly passing and being passed.  Mile 4 I hear someone behind me tell his buddy they are on an 8:30 pace.  Cool!  That's just my plan - I'm hoping for 85:00.  Feeling pretty warm.  Those t-shirts and shorts look really good now.  Mile 5 - eat 3 Clif bloks.  Chew, chew, chew.  Wish they didn't stick to my teeth so much.  Man, I'm really warm now.  Mile 6 - drink some water.  Okay, this is unbearable.  Strip off my shirt and tie it around my waist - ahhhh.  Mile 7 - start picking up the pace just a little.  Starting to get pretty tired.  Switched from 51/52 breathing to 31/32.   Mile 8 marker - back in the park (upper level) - girl at the water table wearing a McQuaid XC Invitational sweatshirt.  McQuaid!  Haven't thought about that race in ages.  Got my XC PR there - 20:04.  Heading through the tunnel under Route 2(?)  again - not familiar with the roads here.  Is that a toe-cramp?  No!  Cannot be.  Will not be.  Soldier on, the cramp fades.  Come through Battery Park, into a strong head wind (ugh).  Back through two tunnels - toes are acting up again.  Keep going.  Mile 9 - no timer, but a guy playing electric guitar on his lawn.  Wave to Guitar Guy!  Back into the park, heading straight to the lake.  Much windier now - whitecapped waves all the way to the horizon.  Really kind of cold now!  Finish line in site - wave to photographer (yeah, can't wait to see that photo).  Hear them announcing times - 83:00!  OMG I can totally finish under 85:00 if I sprint the rest of the way!  Kick, kick, kick, turn shirt around so number is in front of me instead of on my butt in case my chip fails and I need photo proof of finish.  Done!  Totally forgot to look at clock on my way over the timing pads.  Oops.  Really hope that chip is working.

The After: Collect my finisher's medal and bottle of water, stagger over to side to stretch out.  Freezing cold wind.  Put shirt back on.  Still freezing - head over to tent.  It's really dark in here - wish I had my regular glasses!  Need to find the bag check - it's at the back of the tent.  Sit, eat a banana, drink my water and try to un-knot my toes.  There's bagel bites and some kind of egg casserole too (declined).  After stretching out for a while, head back to the car and home.  By the time I get home and shower, my time is up on the race website.  Chip time 1:22:45.17!!!!  Second 5 mile split average 8:10 pace, overall pace 8:16.  12/162 F40-44 - top 10% of my age group - super happy and a great start to the racing season.

Overall thoughts about the race - nice course, well organized.  I'll run this again for sure.