Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Firecracker 4 Mile Race Report

I can't believe that I am posting such an unflattering picture of myself for all to see, but there you have it. Me ~ post 4th of July Firecracker 4 Mile Race.

This morning my boyfriend and I got up at the crack of dawn, to drive across town to run the most horrible treacherous course ever invented.

The first and last .25 mile are flat stretches of pavement, along with a short stretch in the middle. The rest of the race is on grass or very rocky trails, with constant inclines and declines of the entirely too steep variety!

The last time I did this race was in 2001, in the pouring rain, where I watched more than one person twist an ankle on the steepest hill and have to get carried off the course.

Somehow, I had conveniently forgotten just how hard the course was and just how steep the hills were. So, I decided to do it again this year!

I had 4 miles on the schedule for today, and also had a rare day off of work to actually be able to do the run. So, I thought to myself, "Hey, why not run the race? It'll be fun."

I was wrong.

So, very very wrong.

There was nothing fun about it.

We started off and I knew from the first instant that I was taking off too fast, but somehow couldn't seem to make myself slow down. I was feeling out of breath pretty quickly into the race, and knew I was in trouble.

About .3 mile into the race we hit the grass and my calves instantly started tightening up and my shins started hurting, and I started wondering just why I had gotten up at 5:45 on a holiday to torture myself.

I managed to make it through the first mile, barely. And then we came to this huge hill. It completely stopped me in my tracks.

I didn't even make an attempt to run up it. Did I mention how huge that hill is? And the worst part is that it is very tall weeds that you are running through. They had mowed it recently, but all the cut weeds were just a tangled mess, and I really didn't want to trip and fall.

Once I got to the top of the hill, I started running again, and went barreling down the back side of the hill.

But I didn't keep running for very long. I was quickly out of breath again and my calves were killing me, so I ended up walking again.

The race kicked my butt, to say the least. To be quite honest, I walked the majority of the middle two miles.

At the tail end of mile 2, I had given up. I was just slowly walking along, cursing myself out for being so out of shape. Pissed at myself for not training harder. Pissed at the hills for being so hard. Pissed at the world. Pissed at the faster runners who didn't seem to be struggling.

"Screw it!," I thought to myself, "I quit."

"I am walking the rest of this !*&%# race, and going home and running my 4 miles on today's schedule on the nice flat pavement."

A little old man, probably in his 70's, ran by me, and said, "Come on! Get those legs moving. You can do it."

"Screw you," I thought, "I can't do it. I'm not running another *^%! step."

I passed a water stop near the middle of mile 3, and grabbed a cup. I was literally walking along at a leisurely pace sipping the water.

I was done.

The course was an out and back, and I came back to that huge hill, and was facing the other side of it.

I was looking at it and felt so defeated.

I wanted to cry.

But, then I realized that wasn't going to do any good. So, I started getting pissed at myself for being such a quitter. Such a whiner.

I tossed down the cup. Furious with myself for giving up.

I am not a quitter!

I stomped up the hill.

I stomped down the hill.

And I took off running.

I knew I had just one more mile to go. I ran with every once of energy I could come up with, and flew for the next half a mile. My shins and calves were still killing me, and I took a short walk break.

I took off again, and gave it everything I had left.

I think my official time was something like 48:13, I'm not quite sure. I was in a daze as I crossed the line. I did hear them call out that I was finisher #200.

Garmin time: 47:28

Mile 1 11:11
Mile 2 13:30
Mile 3 12:40
Mile 4 10:05

I finished the race and tried to shake off the bad mood.

Because I was in a bad mood.

I was down right pissed.

But, it was my boyfriend's first race, EVER. And I didn't want to rain too hard on his parade of completing his first race. So, I tried to just let it go, and congratulate him on his huge accomplishment. I am very proud of him!

His time was 43:07.

Yeah, and he doesn't really run much.

I'm such a loser.

Oh well.

I'll redeem myself on Saturday. 5K. Nice happy, flat, paved course.

NO possible way it could be worse!


  1. ooooooh...SUCKY!!! Sounds like a super nasty course...one that I'd rather not do.

    But kudos to you for finishing strong!!! :) Next year, when you forget about how miserable the course is...you can attempt it again and beat your time! Keep it up!

  2. You are NOT a failure. You sucked it up and finished the race! That's really all that matters.

    When you start to beat yourself up, remember....

    Just by getting out the door, running the race AND finishing, you did more than most people EVER do.

  3. I refuse to run on anything that resembles a trail course cuase I'm afriad i'd break my ankle, so good on you for doing so. And remember, you have a big race, The Big Race, to prepare for. (I've had my ass kicked by 70+ year olds...)

  4. OH NO!! I am glad that you finished because that's the important thing. It's better than being getting into one of the ambulance because your asthma acts up and you DNF (Oh...that's what happened to me..oops!)

    Chin up! It will get better. It just sucks that your boyfriend did better than you.

  5. Those hills will kill you every time. You did the distance and didn't let it beat you. I think it was a job well done.

  6. Yikes...doesn't sound like something I would be able to finish with a positive attitude. But, you got up, and you did it! Way to go!

  7. Sorry to hear about the race experience.

    I noticed you have a bunch of 5k races on your schedule. Keep in mind that we really only have 3 months left of training before Chicago. I hope you're still going to get in some long runs.

  8. What a difficult race! Gotta wonder what sadistic RD thinks up these things. I've had the same thing where I've forgotten how hard/horrible a course was and thought it would be fun to do again. Good luck with the 5K!

  9. you are NOT a loser. I think all of our partners run faster than us no matter who much longer we've been running - I think is just one of life's cruel jokes.
    Good job for making it through.

  10. I'm convinced that anyone who designs a course has never actually run a race before.

    Way to kick some ass!!!

  11. Ahh...you did great. ONLY positive thoughts.

    Unflattering? Uh...NO! You're a runner...no pic could be unflattering. :-)

  12. Great job, despite everything! You kept on going even when the odds were against you, and that makes you a real trooper.

    I think it's a rule or something that the bf always beats you, no matter how much harder you train. My ex always kicks my ass, even when he hasn't run in months. Grrr. Boys. But at least they give us some motivation :)