I was very on the fence about doing this race. I wasn't going to be a scoring member of the team like I could have been for the 10 miler that Raea and I got sick for, and 13 miles is feeling annoyingly long these days... BUT after quite a bit of snow, if I didn't go, I'm not sure what I would have done. New Bedford got significantly less snow than we did. It was actually mostly melted... and this is a rare race where they actually shut down all the roads completely to traffic. My big concern was that the forecast called for freezing rain and I didn't want to be caught in the ice where I might be subject to falling or something worse.... The last place I ran pain free pre-surgery was New Bedford. I was doing a course review and slipped on ice at the waterfront... SO, I was a little overly concerned about falling. As the week leading up to the race went on the forecast changed from snow, to freezing rain, to rain, to just wind. It's always windy at Bedford, so I took the "just wind" as "just a usual day in New Bedford." My sister agreed to babysit for Raea at my house, so I was all set!
My initial plan of running slow in my jacket changed as my adrenaline increased from just being in the race environment. "F*( |< it, I'm just going to wear my singlet and use this as a progression run." and that changed into "Maybe I'll beat my progression run time from last year" and then that became my goal. I tried to remember what I did before and emulate that. I ran with a group of teammates last year through the first half at roughly 8 minute pace and then I cranked as best I could. So, I tried to do that. Here is the mile to mile break down.
Mile 1: Already looking for a bathroom. The line for the bathroom was too long and I figured since I wasn't racing too hard, especially in the beginning, I could hit up the first bathroom on the course. I figured there must be one in the first two miles. I feel like I see bathroom stops everywhere every year.
Mile 2: Still looking for a bathroom. Taking note of the unusual amount of wind in the beginning. In all the years I've run this race I've never noticed wind at this point in the course. It was a very strong wind. I'm not sure how the flag hung at the fire station (which was actually at Mile 1) stayed up there.
Mile 3: Some climbing, but I had bumped into Mel at this point (@fruitfulrunner) so it went by fast. Still need that bathroom but at this point I"m thinking it's at the 4 mile turn. There must be one in the first 4.
Mile 4: Last major climb until Mile 12, so I'm hoping to see a bathroom so that I can go before I plan to increase pace. Maybe it's all in my head and I don't need to go? .... No, I'm pregnant, I could go 3 times in 13.1 miles. I have to go. Gas stations everywhere... I'm seriously contemplating this... but they all look super sketchy. My ankle/arches are also starting to hurt. WTF.
Mile 5: This is the easiest section of the course, but having to go to the bathroom so badly at this point is not helping me out much. All I"m thinking about is where I can run off and relieve myself. Just at the end of this mile I tuck over to a gas station to go, They say there's no bathroom. SERIOUSLY I don't believe you. I plead that I'm pregnant, she points me to Subway across the street in the opposite direction of the course. NO. JUST NO. Lots of expletives. Police officer laughing at me but informs me there is one just a little down the road.
7:28 (not including failed bathroom break)
Mile 6: BATHROOM! This is a big cheer section of the course, it's also the tail wind, and a slight decline. Easy section . I took note of all the people around me to make sure I caught up to them later. I 'm pretty sure I was first to use the bathroom. I'm not gonna lie, I took my time in there. I had cold hands and had to tighten my laces or I was going to have some serious problems with my right foot by the end. As any pregnant person knows, bending down to tie shoes is hard. I had a seat, I was keeping it until my shoes were tightened, no matter how unsanitary, I've been in worse. Judge away.
7:10 (but lost about a minute and a half in bathroom so closer to 8:40)
Mile 7: Finally feeling better after the bathroom, taking full advantage of the downhill before the waterfront. I was sad when I blew right past the fuel station without being on the correct side of the road... I probably need the fuel more than most, but foolishly didn't plan ahead since I wasn't even sure if I'd race or run at all. Not fueling for a half wont kill me, though.
Mile 8: This section is normally a beastly winding section. The wind was whipping in all directions but sometimes even got a slight tail wind. It was manageable. Similar to previous years I've run if not a tad easier... But still hard, as expected.
Mile 9: I start to feel like "hey, almost half way through the water front and the wind is not so bad!" I can definitely beat last years time ... I later wanted to kill myself for that statement.
Sorry Global Photography
This isn't worth the purchase anyway....
Mile 10: This mile. HOLY HELL. THIS MILE! The worst. ABSOLUTE WORST wind I've ever run through in my life.... and I've run through some hellish wind (usually in New Bedford... so that hasn't changed)... Looking at other people's splits, I actually held pretty well- most likely because I sandbagged the first half to ensure a strong second half.
Mile 11: Why are tall men following me? Why am I the one blocking the wind? Why did I decide to do this? I could have just done a long run spectating and avoided this. Why, Why, Why, Why, Why, Why, Why?!?!??! This mile took every ounce of strength to not walk and drop out. If there was a shortcut back, I would have taken it. I'm pregnant, I don't need this wind.
Mile 12: Shocking. Wind. At least only for about 3/4 of it. Then the final turn towards the final hill. Not much to say except I was super happy to be out of the wind and almost done.
Mile 13: The biggest climb of the course felt easy after all that wind. It seemed the hill was literally blocking the wind because as soon as you reached the top the wind was full force again. I checked my watch just at the start of this mile and realized if I pushed it a bit, I could break 1:40 (watch time- not including bathroom stops)... So I pressed hard for no reason other than pride. Nothing to prove, no PR on the line...
13.1: Tail wind for the last .1 just to get me to my goal. 1:39:57 watch time. I'll take it.
Welcome to my blog! I've been blogging for a long time on various platforms. My intention has never been to reach the masses, but rather to give myself a chance to reflect and journal. I feel it at least challenges me to be somewhat coherent, however you can expect ramblings and grammatical incorrectness here!
I've recently been diagnosed with CECS and fPAES and had it treated with BOTOX of all things... So I suspect to see more and more people looking for answers with that in the future and hope to continue blogging so there will be easy to access follow-ups as that was helpful for me.
NOTE: Apologies that some of the pictures incorrectly load sometimes. I try to keep up with the glitches, but can't always! Hope it doesn't impact the blog experience for all the PAES visitors.