Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning to love the handheld water bottle - Rim Rock Marathon Race Report

Yesterday was my first solo marathon adventure and by solo I mean: no Cynther Funderson, no Shamus hugs at the end and in general no one I knew was there...I know big kid pants! The marathon was in Fruita, Colorado through the Colorado National Monument. I had a bit of a squirrely drive over Kebler Pass to Fruita on Friday thinking I had plenty of time and I had heard that it had been plowed after our most recent snow...welll it hadn't been plowed at the top. So, my little Honda was machine-gunning through ~6 inches in spots with one lane of tracks through. As I came down from the top of the pass, there was a fellow pulled over in a big Ford truck putting chains on and fully about dropped his chin on the ground as I bee-bopped by in my little beast. Any who, made it there and checked in Friday scoped out breakie and where to go for the shuttles in the morning and I was ready. The shuttles took us up in the morning, which was an interesting dynamic instead of just going somewhere and starting the race because you had all sorts of runners packed on school buses two to a seat and the nervous energy was wicked high. I love to people watch so it was great fun watching folks messing with all of their running gadgets/chatchkie and listening to what was being said. We got there and it was bloody well cold; in fact my bum and feet did not warm up until about mile 3. They got us staged and I cruised to the back. We all started with cheers and headed for the switchbacks. This race was pretty much 13.1 miles of uphill, 2000 ft elevation gain and 13.1 miles of rolling downhill. As we climbed, the view behind us was absolutely brilliant with the sun rising and the Grand Valley laid out before us. Once the sun rose, the temperature was perfect ~ 45 with a slight breeze. I decided to carry my handheld water bottle and it was a good decision. Until this point, I've gotten to the point in a run where I felt like chucking it at someone's head, but it was great to have and be able to drink when I was thirsty...so in turn I have embraced the handheld water bottle, or at least today. The road switch backed up until about mile 5 and then became a much more gradual uphill as I said until mile 13 and then started rolling down. I cruised through the uphill and felt great. My muscles didn't get tired and I didn't once feel out of breath. The one thing that I didn't anticipate was that due to the switch backs up and down most of the road was banked and they kept us in the right lane to keep traffic running through the left. Hence, I started noticing at about mile 9 a little bite in my knee and tried to find the flattest parts of the road to keep on trucking. I met a lovely fellow from Missouri and ran with him mile 11, forgot about the knee for a moment. We got to the aid station right before mile 13 and one of the volunteers said, "Keep it up, you look great." I laughed and said, "No, no I don't, but you are nice." Then, we came up the last big hill and as I crested there were a group of bikers sitting there getting ready to roll down and they said, "Great job, no sweat now it's all downhill from here." Yes, yes it was, butttt I didn't have a bicycle now did I? We continued to run just skirting the edge (hence, Rim Rock) of the mesa, which the colors were just exploding in the light, and started down. I met a nice gal from Grand Junction at about mile 19 before the downhill kicked into high gear. It's amazing the people that you meet while running and the little snippets of your lives that you share in those moments. I feel lucky to experience that closeness. We left each other and from mile 20 on it was me, myself and I again. My knee was screaming bloody murder for these final 6 and it was the first race that I have actually had it go through my head what would happen if I didn't finish, but I put a heavy foot down on that crap and kept on going. I've been dealing with some family drama-rama this past week and a half and really needed this time to sort through it. At times, I was fighting back tears, but I beat them back with a stick. Running is also amazing for that sense of clarity that it can help bestow. So, rolling down the road and I had just passed mile 25 when it was move it or lose it I had to duck in the bushes and as Cynther's, WB would say "sacrifice a sock." In this case, it was a glove. Good as new, well sort of, and less than a mile and I heard the load speaker saying my name as I crossed that line at 5 hours 24 minutes, yea baby! What a wonderful experience, great people, scenery and self-motivation. Although I needed this alone time, I do have to say it makes me so appreciate my running buddy and the special bond we have. Words can't express how lucky that I am, thanks young lady!
Peace...

4 comments:

Pam said...

Great job, JP!

I had to LOL at the "sacrificing a glove" bit. A few days ago a friend of mine posted on facebook that when she was walking into work that morning from the back of the building, she noticed where someone had ummm... sacrificed a T-shirt. She was all, "Who would do that?! It had to be a pissed off customer."

She's not a runner. She wouldn't understand.

Congrats again!

JessiePants said...

Thanks Pam!
That's hilarious about the t-shirt, which is even more hilarious because my main squeeze has a story about a friend in college sacrificing a "Hey, It's My Birthday" t-shirt as well...HA! He wasn't pissed off as much as he was pissed drunk though, as the story goes.
Looking forward to reading your report in just a bit!

funderson said...

I'm still in awe of your water bottle carrying skills...wow...just wow. I love this race report and I'm just so dingly-danged impressed that you knocked this baby out of the park. I hope you ran out some of your demons...have you called Patti yet?

JessiePants said...

Oooo, I almost forgot, how exciting and relaxing...