Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Race Recap: Bloodgusher HM

3/31/12 - Race Day - The first race of my first double (Sat/Sun races back to back)

After a 4 hour or so drive to Midland, TX yesterday I wasn't able to sleep as per my norm. I've feasted on pasta the past few days and have the location of the local Fazoli's memorized by now. I picked up my race packet at the stadium where the starting line would be and checked into the hotel. As I prepared my gear for the race I came to realize that I had packed my Nathan hydration belt but failed to grab the flasks (both liquid and gel) from the dishwasher. DOH! Luckily I had arrived early enough that the one running store was still open for an hour or so, so a quick run over there and about $45 later I walked out with a SPIbelt and a 20oz. Amphipod hand carried bottle. Now I am ready. It was time for yet another trip to Fazoli's and then bed. I wasn't happy that the race day temps would start in the mid-60°F and top out in the mid-80°F range...

First race with any Half Fanatics gear (visor).
First use of my handheld Amphipod bottle and SPIbelt.
Didn't care for either one!
I arrived at the venue fairly early having followed my GPS' long way directions. Am I the only one that the GPS on an Android phone gives you the longest way to get to a place when you're inside the city? It does fine (most times) when I'm on the highway, but in the city it seems to give me the run around. But I digress. As promised it was about 65°F at the start. This was a smaller race than I had imagined just a few hundred people for all events (half, 10K, 5K, kids run). Things started out okay...I stayed towards the back of the pack and ended up starting out faster than I should have. I seem to do that a lot. This course is FLAT...no kind of incline really. It does snake through a local neighborhood in the middle portion of the race and it's not the most scenic route either but it was something I thought I could deal with even with the heat. Boy, was I wrong.

Pre-race, waiting for the start.

Already at the back of the pack
less than a mile into the race!
As the race went on and the temp started to creep into the mid-70°s and above I found myself to be sweating heavily...no, not ladylike perspiration...just straight out sweating! I had beads of sweat dripping off my arms, face and rolling down my chest and legs! Thankfully the race director (RD) had arranged for some of the volunteers to hand out the heavy paper shop cloths doused in ice cold water at regular intervals throughout the middle of the race. By mile nine I was not only soaked from head to toe from pouring water all over myself, a la Flashdance...without the dance, and using the ice cold cloths to keep me cool. It was also at this point that I began experiencing cramping in my calves. Not sharp "you are going to stop if you know what's good for you" cramps but more like "if you know what's good for you, you'll start walking" type cramps. G2 didn't help at all with the cramping, just walking. I ended up walking most of the last miles with the occasional attempt at running only to start walking within a few steps...much like my experience at the Arizona Distance Classic. No matter what, I knew I was going to finish even if it was in last place. I kept moving, slowly at times and eventually finished 138/149 overall and 12/12 in my age group! lol!

By the time I crossed the finish line I headed to the food had the typical banana, grabbed a bottled sports drink, drank my chocolate milk and a cola (something I don't usually have right after a race). I didn't even stay for the awards ceremony since it was highly likely I didn't get anything so I went straight back to the hotel for an ice bath. I ended up making multiple trips to the ice machine and determined that if I had to take an ice bath in a hotel again (the next day) I'd just splurge and stop at a c-store to buy a few bags of ice. Thankfully I had arranged a 2pm check out so I was able to do everything I needed to at a relatively leisurely pace before heading out for my 6+ hour drive to Ardmore, OK for my next race.

Things I liked about this race: Flat course, smaller event (both a pro/con), good access to parking, good volunteerism.

Things I didn't like about this race: Heat (I know I can't hold the the RD at fault for that, especially since I had heard that the previous year involved some snow or rain), I think I'd still prefer an earlier start time (started at 9am) even if the weather was cold, I wish the course wasn't so winding through the neighborhood but it is was what it was, small bling (looks like it's the same year to year with the ribbon changed to express the date).

Would I do it again? Yes, but I'll run other races with better bling first, before repeating this race.

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