Sunday, February 7, 2010

it wasn't so much the cold, but the hills and the frozen snot

Cape Elizabeth 10-mile Mid-Winter Classic!

With Stephani, about to line up for the start:

I noticed during the pre-race hang-out that everyone there was one of those ultra running people. This isn't an event that brings out very many casual racers. You can just tell by looking around at all the long legs and all the running gear. When I lined up with the other 800 runners, it was cold with a whipping wind.

In a last-ditch attempt to intimidate my competition, I said out loud:

"I'm cold and I want to go home now."

I'm in there somewhere.

At this point I was thinking: "Only 9.9 miles to go!"

I had run this 10 mile loop before, on a 60 degree misty day in the summer and my memory had completely tricked me into thinking there were like 3 hills. There were not 3 hills. There were 103 hills. Every time I crested a hill, I was rewarded with the view of the next hill. It was up-and-over, up-and-over the whole frickin' way.

I will say that I was actually dressed well. After a mile and half, let's say, I was comfy and warm (sweaty) and was pleased with my carefully crafted 5 layer system and a windproof hat that had a funny chin strap/draw string thing. I needed it to keep my hat from blowing off.

My one wardrobe malfunction is that I put toe warmers in the bottom of my shoes and it made the balls of my feet feel like they were resting on a frying pan. Never do that.

I was holding a 10-minute/mile pace for the first half. At mile 5 I was feeling great and passed a lot of people over the next 2 miles. Mile 7 was a continual climb, and when I got to 8, I was DONE. I was TOAST. I had waited too long to re-fuel and I really hit the wall. I had nothing left. I never walked, so I'm proud of myself for that, but man. I wanted to walk so badly. It sucked. When I saw the mile 9 mile marker, I just bore down and got it done, but I was pretty miserable. I mean, I don't know why that would have been hard on a girl who has spent the last 3 months running on a flat treadmill in a warm gym.

I finished in 1:45 (10:30 avg. pace) which, considering those hills, I'm pretty darn happy with.

I thanked God for the finish line, and that this race wasn't a half marathon, and I cried a little bit for the hills, my burning feet, and my drippy, frozen nose (which didn't help matters) and got myself inside for some bagels and water. Pat, pat on my back.

Then Meredith and I changed gears and got right to the good stuff... drove up to the Mediterranean Grill in Freeport where we shared some stuffed grape leaves,

many, many cups of hot tea,

and each had these yummy chicken kebab sandwhiches. On homemade Turkish bread with lots of their yummy garlicky yogurt sauce. And roasted potatoes.

And then we coffeed up, and I hit paydirt at the Horny Toad 50% off sale. In this picture I feel like a million bucks whereas at mile 8 of the race I did not feel like a million bucks.

In conclusion, I had a fantastic day. And I have to go to bed now because tomorrow I'll be 36.


Amy said...

I think this might qualify you as one of those "ultra running people" :) Amazing run - great job! And happy birthday too :)

Nancy said...

Amy's right: you are definitely one of those "ultra running people". I'm very happy that you aren't one of the ones crazy enough to wear shorts, though. You amaze and inspire as usual, so, Good for You! [read: you can keep those gruelling winter races for yourself, honey!] and Happy Birthday!!

Sandi said...

Happy Birthday, Em!!! Very nice job on the run... sounds like an impressive fight through the end. Good for you! Way to stay young!

Carver Fam said...

Good job Manhart. You ARE hardcore. I remember you inviting me to this run a month or so ago and saying, "I'm hoping for something dramatic to run in. Like a snowstorm or something."

Well, hows about scorched feet and excessive elevation changes??

I'm incredibly, salivatingly jealous about the horny toad sale. But not so sad to have missed the run.

Oh, and, btw, the treadmill from Planet Fitness called to say it missed you...

Happy Birthday!

Lisa said...

NICE!! but it sounds a bit miserable...spring will be all that more welcomed, I guess. Happy Birthday, you youngin' ...still hanging out in the 30's.

Baute Family said...

i hope you got my birthday email wishing I was there with you to celebrate! I love you em.... hope you had a great birthday!