A Stupid Hot Hilly Little Run in the Park
The RD says, “I guarantee suck ass conditions and a fun time.” What more do you want?
It was hot.
It was hilly.
It was awesome.
LET ME GO ON….
August 3, 2014
I’m a huge fan of a race that requires entrants to write a paragraph explaining why they’re dumb enough to want to run a race. My reason? WALDO WAS GOING KILL ME SO I NEED TO PRACTICE NOT DYING! Seriously. I was beyond scared. But that’s for another blog that I probably wont write. (Surprise! I did)
Anyway, I needed a training suckfest and Blister sounded perfect. Plus there’s really cool swag and even cooler maniacs…all for less than the price of a Color/Electric/Zombie 5k! The run takes place in Cookeville, TN, which is pretty much smack in the middle of Nashville and Knoxville. I opted to drive to Charlotte to hang out with friends on Friday and finished the trip Saturday in time for the Maniac dinner. The race is pretty much all maniacs, which is always a sign of a fabulous race. It was fun seeing old friends and making new ones.
Probably the best selling point of the race is the personalized bibs. The RD’s wife is super talented and hand draws them all (She and Mo Sheppo should form a union for overworked artist wives of hubbies with crazy race ideas). Mine was framable:
The 8am start was more like 9 am, since we were barely in the Central Time Zone. Luckily temps weren’t as bad as they could have been (the Sadistic RD was a bit disappointed) but the sunny day and unshaded course would combine to make it feel much hotter as the day went on. It’s probably a bad sign when we haven’t even started running yet and everyone was already naked.
The race was 5 loops of a figure 8. The first half of the loop was through a park with plenty of hills and the only shaded section of the course (10% shaded according to the site). Although the temps weren’t bad yet the humidity was noticeable and upon hitting the exposed section of the park I was already wondering WTF was I doing. Ugh!
Start temp and Humidity. It got worse.
See that sun with no clouds? Yeah, that mother effer was beating down on us making that 70 at the start feel more like 1,000. I was already drenched in sweat when I got to the first aid station so I grabbed a cup of water and a cup of gatorade and kept going. The second half of the loop was more of an out and back. While this section was longer and offered zero shade, I liked it better than the first part because seeing people is where all the fun is. I cheered for people and it was fun to see where I was in the pack.
Starting the 2nd loop I started feeling really woozy. The hills sucked the life out of me and I was getting passed by people. Not cool! I realized I probably should have ate a gel when I finished the first 5.25 mile loop and I didn’t have any on me (DOH!) so I did my best to keep running convinced that sugar would fix everything.
I was right.
I felt stronger and stronger as the race went on. Happy even. The temps climbed and the sun beat down and my whole body was sweating like Niagara Falls, but as long as I grabbed a gel and some water in the middle of every loop all was good in the world. I almost felt bad most people seemed to be suffering a lot more than me. For a suckfest, life was pretty grand.
Told you the RD is a Sadist
Long story short, I passed a lot of people on the last 2 laps. I even managed to lap some people, including some early starters. I finished in 4:52:20 (28/87 Overall, 11/45 F, which for me is great placement). Not bad for a hilly marathon in freakin August.
Finisher Beer was tasty, though I had to wait to drink it. The jerk RD gave us warm beer!!
My goal for the race was to be consistent. With Waldo on my mind, I needed to practice fighting the temptation to linger at aid stations and ignoring the little voice that tells me to walk when I get hot and tired. I’m happy with how even my pace was, even as temps climbed.
Fabulous race. I’ll be back for sure.
Gotta at least come back for the bibs!!!