Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Charlottesville 10-miler, yay! Snowy Sunday, boo!

Fast feet or slow shutter speed?
I am not sure if I can say the Charlottesville 10-miler is a bit of a family tradition but since my brother once lived in Charlottesville he has run it at least 6 times. I ran it last year. It was my first experience being a bandit in an organized race. I needed an 10 mile run so rather than map out a course for me to get lost on I opted to "borrow" the marked course. Not this year! Completely legal, I was given an entry into the 10 mile race for my birthday.  My brother and his wife also received entries as presents. I am not sure what it says about your family's values when the presents you receive include an entry into a 10 mile running race?

The race went well for me despite a rough start. I woke up Saturday morning and I could not physically get out of the bed. I don't know if it was a dizzy light-headedness or vertigo but every time I tried to stand up the room would start spinning. I was able to make it to the floor where I laid as long as I could. I was starting to think everyone was going to leave for the race and I would be stuck on the ground! Not a great start to a race day! Eventually I was able to make it up and I fought through my morning routine. Once I was up and upstairs my equilibrium seemed to balance out a bit more but I still felt queasy. I ended up feeling queasy all day but didn't have another bout with the dizziness until I was taking a post-race shower. I am not sure exactly what caused the spell but I will definitely look into it if the problem persists.

The fleet and yes I was cold.
Last year, the weather for the 10-miler was perfect. It was a perfect mildly warm spring day and all the plants were blooming. Not this year! It was down-right cold. With my niece in tow it took us a little bit longer to get to the race start but I think that was a good thing. We had just enough time to go to the bathroom, warm up a bit, and head for the start line. The temperature was in the mid to low thirties so I had to laugh to myself (and out load a little bit) when as I am standing there some guy runs into the crowd wearing his USAT Worlds tank-top onesie. I am adding that one to my "Top Ten ways to spot a triathlete at a non-triathlon event" list. Geez. I think I am going to take a page out of Angelia Jolie's book and start getting tatoos of the latitude and longitude for each unique race I compete in. What do you think ?
I was kidding. I digress . . . so back to the run. The race started on an uphill and ended downhill. I was amazed at how many people were huffing and puffing after that very first hill. I took it easy and actually my first mile turned out to me my slowest. I say I had a perfect start. Sadly I did not have a strategy for this race. I always like to have a strategy or a plan or a target pace, something. This time I just wanted to run and have fun and make my family proud. I did get caught up in the competitive aspect of racing. You know when you have been running close to someone and you guys just flip-flop back and forth while you both pretend it is not happening you are both wondering when the other person is finally going to break? I got caught up in that a couple of times and by mile 5 of the race I concluded women might just be more competitive than men. At one point I was running along and missed a water station because it was in a corner and only two people were there to hand out waters. The guy in front of me grabbed the last cup of water so when I ran by the volunteer was restocking. No biggie. Luckily there was another water stop around the corner maybe .25 miles away. I went to finally get my water, slowing down slightly for the approach, seamlessly grabbing the cup without getting me or volunteer wet. I was so pleased with myself (yay for small victories!) until a girl right behind me, right on my heels, let out this guttural "AWW SHIT!" Apparently I grabbed "her" water. Ooops. Take it easy . . . . Well that must have pissed her off enough that after we finished running through the "mall" she just took off. Well at least I could do something to motivate her . . . .

Unfortunately there were not a lot of spectators out this year but everyone out there was super enthusiastic. It was so cold I have to applaud everyone out there. Like last year there was a group of students dressed in tuxedos and black cocktail dresses on the road that runs behind the lawn. Now when have you seen that? When we came back through the mall the second time we were greeted by two bluegrass bands (I wanted to linger but pressed on). In the neighborhoods anything from classical music to country was blaring from the homes and some of the older residents were cheering, laughing, having a great time . . . and downing what had to be Irish coffees.

Great race. Great course. Fast runners. I highly recommend it.
Charlottesville 10 miler

Then came Sunday. I woke up Sunday morning to find snow on the the ground. And then it snowed some more, big fluffy snowflakes. Really? It is the end of March.  I guess you have to endure the fluctuations in the spring weather to get to enjoy all of spring's gifts. I am just glad I was not racing Cool Breeze . . .