Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rio Grand Half Marathon, Race report.

So, this week's training went like this:

Tuesday: 4.2 miles
Wednesday: 10.3 miles
Thursday: 6.2 miles (slowly, painfully)
Saturday: 19 miles.  19 hot, sweaty miles, at the end of which I thought I was hallucinating when I looked up and saw this:

Yeah.  that is EXACTLY what it looks like.  Behind horse fencing, in north valley Albuquerque.

So anyway, two weeks ago Courtney asked me if I wanted to do this one.  At the time I was stinging from my dismal performance at the Chili Harvest Triathlon (riding my brakes on, yo) and uttered my famous line of stupidity, sure, why not?

So, this morning Sweet Baboo, who is tapering and not allowed to run, drove me down to the Hispanic Cultural Center in south valley. I wore my cuteness outfit, which I have discovered by accident is an M.  And M. Not an L, or and XL.  An M.

The first part of the half mary was okay.  It doesn't get any flatter than this!  It was cool out, starting at 7 am, and a nice paved trail.  I had planned to trying to keep my pace at a steady 12 minute mile but heading out, I felt pretty good.  Courtney had told me to just take off when I wanted, and she would keep up with me as long as she could, so I finally pulled ahead around mile 3.

I circled up and around, crossed over the Rio Grand on central, ran down a side street and then was out on Bridge street, crossing the Rio Grand again, and then I reached the 7-mile out and back at mile 6, with an 11 minute pace.  As I headed into the out-and-back,  Sweet Baboo was waiting for me, looking dry and fresh, sitting with a book and a Starbucks.  Damn it.  I was happy to see him, but did he have to look so relaxed?

I held my 11 minute pace as I headed down, down, further south of town to the turnaround, but I was starting to struggle.  The only thing that kept me going to picking out various people to try and pass, and certain songs on my iPod that were engergizing.

By 8:00, the temperature had started climbing into the upper eighties.  This out-and-back was bounded on one side by thick trees and brush and an acequia, and on the other side with fencing.  We passed the chile factory, and then a few junkyards, and headed further south, running by fields.

We also passed a few rude cyclists.  Occasionally a run in Albuquerque goes up onto the paved multiuse recreation trail, whitch a few local roadies feel they own.  Oh, yes.  They ride on by, yelling and refusing to yield, even though cyclists are supposed to yield to everyone on the trail.  Most cyclists are pretty cool, and are there to have a good time on a nice day.  However, there's handful that think that the Bosque Trail is a good place to timetrial, and they get all bitchy if you're using it, too.  But anyway.  

There was no breeze that could reach us, and in New Mexico, once that sun is up and on you, it's ON YOU.  And you know I loves me some hot.
Since we were running down by the river, there was a pocket of high humidity right where we were running.  So it was hot and humid, and I was tired from a week where I'd put in 40 miles already.

By mile 9, my pace had started climbing, and I was struggling to hold it down.  Sheryl Crow on the ipod helped. My cuteness clothes probably had about 2 pounds of sweat in them, further weighing me down.  My legs, surprisingly, didn't feel too bad, but like with run every I've done in the heat, I could feel my heart-rate climbing, and I was starting to get breathless.  Each aid station I passed through, about every 1.5 miles, I grabbed cold water and dumped it down my back.  I had a pack on, so I drank from that. 

I was determined to do a personal best.  I wanted to know if it was possible.I came out of the out-and-back with less than one mile to go, and  Sweet Baboo was waiting for me, still looking fresh.  He started trotting across the parking lot to the finish line, and then rounded the last turn.  Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealin'" was playing on my iPod.  PERFECT finishing song.  I sped up, and I finished up.  Total miles, according to Garmin, 13.2, average 11:13 minute pace.

They had free burritos, but ran out just after I finished.  I had no idea.  That means the last finishers didn't get any.   I think that sucks.  Courtney didn't get one.  She had a personal best, too.  If I'd known, I'd have saved part of mine.

This pool, at left, was a cruel enticement.  It was not accessible.  It was sharply steep with slippery looking stuff in it.  No standing in it for me.

I went home and ate. And napped.  And ate some more. 
Next up: Um.  Mostly training.  I'm thinking of the Chips and Salsa half mary, since they've canceled the New Mexico Marathon this year. 


  1. Way to get a PR! Great race!

  2. PR -- cool! And, I'm sure you looked cute in your cuteness clothes (size M!!!) That reminded me of a compliment (really???) one of my much faster running partners said about me recently -- that "at least you look stylish when you run". Thank goodness for those cute running clothes -- they are most likely my only redemption :)

  3. Props on the PR. As for looking fabulous on course, I always say: If you can't dazzle 'em with speed, stun 'em with style.

    You've worked hard for the "M" on athletic apparel. Let it remind you of your muscles, your motivation and your moxy. You go girl!

  4. That is so funny about the camel! We were riding on day in Colorado and we ran across the same thing. Totally took us all by surprise!

    Great job on the training this week and the new cuteness clothing size! That is all awesome!

  5. Yay PR and M :) :)


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