Friday, August 7, 2015

The Scream Half Marathon July 18, 2015

I was told that my last blog post was "as long as war and peace".  Well, the relay was 3 days long..... so the report was long...  I will keep this one short and sweet...  

So I have this habit of hanging out with people who run. a lot.  and sign up for a lot of races.  and in the process I get roped into running some of them....  completely under-trained of course....  but I always end up having a lot of fun... :)

So I took a half day off work Friday and headed west with Paula. 

Met up with Helen Bac and Da Man Strongbad Dawg and carpooled to the mountains.  

We stayed at Brown Mountain Beach resort.  Had several cabins there and was very nice.  There was a river where you could tube and a rope swing...   I will get to that later...

There was a big group of us that were staying there and they arrived throughout the evening.  Had a great pre-race meal, great conversation, a few drinks and met new friends.  

early mornin bus ride! 
Woke up early the next morning and got on the shuttle bus to the start.  It was a long ride out there!  Talked and laughed the whole way.  Got dropped off at this gas station where packet pickup was.  Took a lot of pictures and eventually made our way to the start which was about a quarter mile away. Big showing by the nOg run club!

The weather was beautiful.  Sunny and not too hot - yeah it was warm but hey, its summer, right?

The 'plan' was for Holly, Ana and I to kinda stick together and push each other to do our best.  And we did.... for a few miles....  Those first 2 miles were a slow grind uphill.  It was not fun :/  Then the downhill started.  Ana took off and I tried to keep with her but ended up letting her go...  I hadn't run anything farther than 5 miles in months and was not sure how I would be towards the end so I didn't want to have the wheels come off early on...  Somewhere in that time Holly fell back some so I was "alone" on a new course.  

It didn't take long for the field to string out.  I had a few people withing a quarter mile of me but it was pretty quiet.  Ran with a couple folks for a while but for the most part was on my own.  So I ran with music.

Miles 2-6.5 were a downhill on dirt road.  I was keepin the pace sub 8.  Then there was an uphill at mile 6.5 for about a mile or so then it was back downhill from 7-11.  It was painful. There was a point where I wanted it to flatten out some so I could back off the pace and the effort it was taking to "hold back".  It was killin my legs and lower back...

The course was beautiful.  Just country dirt road but I liked it.  Pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and it was great.  Glad it wasn't on a paved road. 

I saw the 11 mile sign at this bridge and a turn to the right.  And it was all uphill from there on out...  I was warned about it at the beginning but still was not looking forward to it...  

top 2 masters - yeah!!  :D
But I also saw Ana.  She wasn't too far ahead of me.....  so it was 'game on' in my head...  but first I had to power walk that hill....  and the next steeper part.  are you kidding me?  I was spent, but my goal was to reel her in...  

And I did... somewhat...  By the time I saw the finish she was 30 seconds ahead of me.  I managed to close the gap some but not all the way.

I finished strong - took about 10 min to gather my thoughts, quit sweating, and catch my breath.  That was one tough race!!  

Come to find out that Ana was looking over her shoulder those last 2 miles as well and was trying to keep me in her rearview.  That is awesome.  Love how we push each other on like that!  Great competition between good friends!

coolin off in the creek
Went over to the scoring tent to look at the results - to my surprise, I was second masters, second only to Ana!  So proud of her and her finish - our "triangle screamers" group had an impressive amount of podium finishers.  Not only do we have fun but can run pretty good too ;)

We hung around at the finish in the cool water of the creek with good friends.   Had another bus ride back to the cabins.  

very tired Paula...  hot day...
Heard this rumor that Paula is going to be the first one to sign up for this race again next year.  How bout that!  yeah!!

That afternoon we had a great time in the company of new and old friends.  Good food, spirits and shenanigans.  I even went on the rope swing.  Man that was scary, but at the same time I am glad I did it.  Had to climb up this tall ladder that was tied to a tree, while holding to the rope, then jump out and hang on!  Something about doing stuff like that makes me feel alive. 

After a decent nights sleep we headed back Sunday.  It took nearly a week to recover.  Stairs hurt.  Sitting and standing was incredibly painful - yes, I used the handicapped restroom at work because it had handles for assistance.  lol!  not ashamed ;)

lots of age group winners from the triangle screamers group! 
I would like to run this event again, but go into it better trained.  I would like to try to PR it.  I was 7 min off my PR from 3 years ago at Myrtle Beach, but I was in much better shape then....  

til the next run.... cheers!