Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 199 - Awesome 80's Run and Running Downhill

August 24, 2013          243 lbs

Today I did the Awesome 80's Run at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. I was assigned a four hour Z2 ride with a thirty minute run off the bike.

I had signed up for this event several months ago and almost forgot about it. I figured I would do the 5k, head home, change then head out for the ride.  .  .well, that was the plan anyways!

I had worked until 2:00 am and by the time I could get to bed it was 3:30 am. I woke at 7:00 am with the weird upset stomach feeling I always get when I only sleep a couple hours. I walked the puppy, made a half size morning smoothie, put it into a couple water bottles and headed for Pasadena. Why half size? I'm learning that you are really burning your glycogen from the day/night before when you start a race. The morning of, you only need to "top off" that stored fuel, not completely try to load up. Chrissie Wellington, used to eat a small bowl of oatmeal with a little almond butter and a banana. On the course she would constantly eat, refueling every hour and staying hydrated.

I was running late so I drank my morning smoothie as I drove to Pasadena, which only took a few minutes.

By the time I was at the starting by 8:30 am I needed to pee. There was an ocean of neon and headbands. Oh and torn t-shirts. I don't remember there being that much neon in the eighties but whatever. There was also a lot of different costumes of various characters, games and films from the decade.

Go! I started off lightly jogging but quickly sped up. Before I had gone a quarter mile, my heart rate was too high and I felt bloated and nauseous.  At about the half mile mark, a scantily clad female crashed into me. "Sorry!" She said as she hurried on. I realized that she was dressed as Sexy Princess Leia from Return of the Jedi.

The first half of the Rose Bowl loop is up hill. I noticed my "heart rate too high" alarm going off and looked to see I was running at at halfway through Zone four of my heart rate about one hundred and seventy bpm and had been the entire time.

Out on the course there were a couple of live bands. It was hot out there so I give them props. I was steadily moving forward, frankly surprised I was able to maintain that heart rate for any length of time beyond a couple minutes. Then someone shorter or heavier or older or goofier would blow past me. Instantly humbling me and frankly depressing me. "Jeez, when am I going to ever get better at running?" I thought. But, I reminded myself that I was able to hold that elevated heart rate.

At about 1.8 miles, the course goes downhill. Believe it or not, running down hill has it's own challenges. I still felt nauseous and was struggling to take deeper breaths to help slow down my heart rate. I was seriously concerned by then that I might vomit when I crossed the finish line.

I noticed a curious thing during the race and as I got closer to the finish. Certain people had a serious problem with me passing them! It was like they would look over and see me huffing along and say, "Oh, no you don't fat boy!" and speed up a bit.
The last hundred yards, I locked in with another runner and sprinted. Crossing the finish line at 34:34.

My heart was pounding but within just a few yards, I had caught my breath and my pulse was recovering.  A sure sign of improved fitness. The only time I didn't feel nauseous during the run was at the end! I was handed my medal instead of having it placed around my neck, something I prefer. But hey, it is an awesome medal!

There were some great costumes as well. This one had me cracking up.  There was some after run partying and aerobicizing.

 Some Ghostbusters.

And an actual DeLorean.

I found this to be both interesting and a little bothersome.

And look who I bumped into on the way out. Princess Leia!

Even though I felt like crap during the run, I felt great at the end. Looking at my stats from the Garmin, I ran my fastest mile yet at 10:32! I came in 85th out of 181 in my age group 40-50 years old. And 779 out of 2450 overall.

At these races, the only thing faster than the runners are the people that put running event adverts on your car window the second you leave it.

Until tomorrow my friends.

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