seventhe: (FFEX: Doink!)
[personal profile] seventhe
Well, the J-Squad has successfully completed the Akron Marathon.

Myself? I ran my 7.9 mile leg in 80:33. That's a 10:12 mile pace, held for 8 miles. For me, that's unbelievably fast. The best I think I've run 8 miles before was at a 10:30 pace if not even slower than that.

I've officially run 323.25 miles in 2010.

[ profile] jennyclarinet (JennyJen), [ profile] hilldo (Hilldo), me (ManJeans*), and Jeff (BeerMe). Kurt (PoolBoy) should also be honored, but had to leave early.

*ManJeans having been my jersey name because Mutant Fug Man Jeans, Hilldo's "pet name" for me, totally didn't fit. He is so sweet btw. <3

So running and I, in 2010, have had the kind of hate-hate relationship people might interpret as chemistry and write porn about (seriously, Harry/Draco or Seifer/Squall, except with way more passive-aggressive loathing and less redeeming social value): I run and hate it because it gives me pain and also asthma attacks, and it seems to hate me back given the way I hurt and/or can't breathe and never seem to get that damned "runner's high" everybody talks about - all I get is wheezing and exquisitely painful lung-death and an inhaler and the fun new ability to actually crack my hips almost on demand as if I've skipped right from 30 to 65. And yet, hilariously, I still run. And, worse, I've discovered why people enjoy running, and especially why people enjoy racing, and that is because: IT IS PRETTY COOL.

Running the race was a lot of fun. No lie: it was also hard as hell and apparently that's because I was not only trucking along at a super fast pace but according to my own mile-by-mile mental calculations I squeezed out about a 9-minute mile somewhere around my 6th mile AFTER A GIGANTIC HILL and I don't know how I did not die, but you know what? The race was fun.

We woke up at 4:30, James showed up at like 5, and we were in downtown Akron parked and ready to go by 6. That part sucked, I won't make it sound cool because it was not. It was also fucking freezing. That's all you need to know about that.

We stuck around to watch the start, although we couldn't specifically see our first runner (Kurt, 3.5mi) - then Jeff (2nd, 5.7mi) and Jenny (3rd, 6.3mi) went off to their Relay Points. James and I knew we had some time, so we headed down to the 2nd relay point to watch Kurt hand off to Jeff, and then we hung around to watch runners for a bit and then took the shuttle buses to our particular relay points. Somehow the fact that I had to get on a bus that went on the highway to take me to my start point really made it sink in, that this was a pretty long distance I was running here.

I started out at about Mile 18 of the marathon course. [ profile] hilldo (4th, 2.8 mi) handed off to me - the relay teams had slap bracelets (yay the 90s!!) that were passed from runner to runner - and the announcer actually said "187, Hilldo" which was kind of cool.

The first 3 miles or so of my run were fairly easy -- it was all street running, all pavement, and a very gradual uphill. I remember checking the clocks and my watch and I was running at about a 10:30-10:45 mile pace at that point (which is good, because I didn't have much of a place to warm up, but it just shows you how fast I was going later). The run was mostly through neighborhoods, and there were people out in their yards on chairs watching the race and cheering everyone on. At some point we ran past a group of somewhat older ladies, drinking wine out of fabulous goblets at 10:30am and having a wonderful time encouraging all the runners; that cheered me up!

Somewhere about mile 4 we hit the first really big hill. The first 3 miles had been a gradual incline but this hill? Well, there was a sign calling it "Heartrate Hill" and let me tell you, it was bad. It was a disaster hill. I heard later that a lot of people threw up on it, or after it. I can tell you I saw a lot of people walking it or taking breaks afterwards. I did not walk it, but maybe I should have; instead I took it at a slow pace and made myself run a slow jog for the next half-a-mile or so afterwards. I'll admit I almost lost it here. Ugh.

From there, luckily, there was a long flat break up at the Stan Hywet house (a famous home-location-thing in Akron), and the route was decorated with pumpkins and hay bales for fall and very scenic. It was a nice break to catch our breath, and this was about the 4-mile marker -- the race volunteers were all cheering us on: "Only 4 miles left!" and "You're halfway!" and "it's all downhill from here!" (although once one person told me "It's mostly downhill from here" I started to get suspicious). One of the volunteers looked like Dumbledore and was giving everyone high fives.

From there I caught my breath and got back up to normal pace, and true to their word, at about mile 5 of the run (mile 23 of the marathon) the course started to slope into a nice long downhill. People were cheering, and knowing there were only 3 miles left to run was a real incentive. This is where I picked it up and somewhere in here - although this whole part of the race is kind of hazy - I pulled close to a 9-minute mile (probably like 9:10 or 9:20). It was mostly downhill, with one surprise incline that almost killed me bcause I was going so fast already.

At mile 24 (my 6th mile) I dumped water on my head. It was right after the surprise hill, and I'd been running pretty fast, and my legs and lungs were thinking of having a little mutiny and walking for a bit. No! I thought. I am not walking in this race. They weren't listening, so the next water stand I ran past, I picked up a cup of water and poured it directly on my brain. The shock of that actually helped, kind of like a liquid slap to the face: you have 2 miles left, jackass, don't stop now.

The last two miles were a nice long downhill leading into the city - you could see it coming and man, was that motivating, being able to finally see the end of it. We came down there, went up into the city (fucking hills again), and then I sprinted the last 0.5 miles. With what energy, I have no effing clue, but I did.

The end of the route was in the baseball stadium; they'd made a nice little lane for the runners with a big finish line and a clock at the end of it blinking seconds away at you and you could see it as you turned the corner into the stadium, and the stands were full of people, other runners and spectators and everyone cheering as you came around the corner, and if you didn't get a burst of energy just seeing that stadium full of awesomeness you are a dead person because it was incredible. I crossed the line - and apparently shook the hand of the race director, although I was too busy trying not to DIE at that point - and as I was walking around, I spotted the rest of the team up in the stands waving at me and cheering.


In 2010, I have run 323.25 miles. I've been training for this race since February, which seems like one hell of a long time to be working on it. Hilariously, you can see my mileage build very steadily in the beginning, and then you can see me start to crap out about May, when lots of shit started to happen. I've marked some bad periods that weren't my fault (work traveling and funerals), mainly because while I consider myself responsible for the weeks I slacked because I was off drinking with the Walking Ruckus, I didn't really have a lot of control over the timing of those two particular periods. I've also marked the major illnesses and injuries I fought off just for fun.

I would like to point out that since February, I have run every single week. Even if it was only 3 miles or whatever. I have no zeroes in my chart.

That's pretty amazing. I calculated it out, and I've spent something over 55 hours in 2010 running.

I think in the end it comes back to my life's-motto: You can't do everything, but you can do anything. I gave up a lot of other things to run: it takes up a lot of time and energy and spoons, and requires a lot of planning and dedication and time carved out from your week, but in the end I pulled my best time ever and really close to my goals at a 10:12 mile pace and if my asthmatic, flu-beaten, ultimately lazy ass can do this, I can do freaking anything. So there, Heartrate Hill and Towpath Trail. So there.

♥ Congrats to us!

Date: 2010-09-27 02:47 pm (UTC)
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (ringworm)
From: [personal profile] crankyoldman
Oh charts!

Also, I mentioned this on twitter, so it prolly got lost: but hash running. It is you. It's like urban running with a group involving checkpoints to drink beer. I kid you not. Like half my office does it. I only don't partake because I am runned out after having spent the majority of my youth being an uber runner (three seasons competitive! ONE SEASON DOING A LOT OF WEIGHTS).

I would not be surprised that there would be a group in Akron, just saying. Especially if "I am le tired" Bloomington has one.

Date: 2010-09-27 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You friggin' rock.

*shakes up a bottle of champagne and sprays it everywhere*

Date: 2010-09-27 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-09-27 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In the immortal words of a certain hearing disabled jungle cat:


Date: 2010-09-27 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]



Date: 2010-09-27 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


Date: 2010-09-27 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eeee! Here's a strange thing: I actually feel kind of down today because it's over. Am I crazy?

Date: 2010-09-27 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We were already talking yesterday about how strange it was that it was over! Like... what do we train for now!

I think we should look into some 5Ks. I really enjoyed the racing aspect!

Date: 2010-09-27 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This one on the towpath looks interesting; Maybe for next year. It's probably sold out for October. It's also kind of expensive. And on Sunday, when I work.

Ooh, and here's one in Munroe Falls that gets you a free beer glass! It might be too cold by then though:

Date: 2010-09-27 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That Towpath one actually looks like it would be really awesome - let's keep it in mind for next year, mainly because I love running the Towpath XD

It does kind of suck to be starting to get excited about racing right as winter hits! :P

Date: 2010-09-27 02:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-09-27 02:55 pm (UTC)
ifotismeni: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ifotismeni
that is super awesome!

Date: 2010-09-27 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! I am so effing pissed that I got so fucking sick on Saturday and I couldn't go out and congratulate you guys in person because YOU GUYS DID SO AMAZING. And you are such an inspiration to me running-wise, I think I said this on my last post where I ran 6 miles, haha, but you are one of the REASONS that I keep running because having someone else there who understands is so amazing and you can't put a value on something like that. ♥ And I know exactly what you mean, sometimes I hate doing it and I get so frustrated and tired but then I hit a time where I do something amazing and I run a great time or I run further and I just think- THIS IS WHY I DO THIS!! ♥ Nothing can be that feeling, seriously, it's why I will keep doing this forever.

2010 has been amazing for us!! I think we really leveled up in the running department, Jessy. :Db

(I am still fucking dying, wtf is this shit, I HAVE TO STUDY FOR THIS QUIZ :( :( :( waaaaaah)

Date: 2010-09-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
WE SERIOUSLY DID LEVEL UP!!! ♥ I'm so glad to have more running friends and I think we should look into doing a 5K race now that you're in the area! XD

Date: 2010-09-27 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL I would totally be up for it but I am still REALLY SLOW. Even with running a 5k I am like 11:00 minute mile LOL oh yeah.

Date: 2010-09-27 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's okay to be slow! Even with our team losing 5 minutes when I couldn't find my partner to pass off to, there were still relay teams coming in long after we'd finished.

Date: 2010-09-27 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First of all, that's not that slow. And second, it really doesn't matter once you get into the race. We came into the 5th leg at a pretty good time, but most of the other teams had saved their fastest person for the anchor leg, whereas we had saved the slowest, lol. I got passed by probably like 5 dozen people in the first two minutes. But it seriously doesn't matter when you get out there racing! Everyone's cheering you on, whether they pass you or you pass them. It is pretty awesome. XD

Date: 2010-09-27 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay well I FEEL like it would be slow compared to people who are much better runners than me, but of course I would totally be up for this because 3 miles isn't that bad for me anymore (when did that happen?!). ♥ I'd like to be able to say that I did it!

Date: 2010-09-28 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am SO proud of all of you!!

Date: 2010-11-13 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Holy crap, all of you are AWESOME! Congratulations on the race, and woooooooooooooooooooooooooo! :D :D :D

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