Monday, July 25, 2011
A Shot in the Dark - Race Report
Ok. I know I kind of left everyone hanging at the end of last week's race report, but I have been crazy busy. Plus, I'm always distracted this time of year watching the Tour De France.
I think a quick recap is in order for what had happened so far this day. I had just completed a 64 mile bike tour called the Ice Cream Odyssey and was about to run A Shot in the Dark. A 4 mile road race in downtown Cleveland. My time for the 64 miler was 3:29 and the bulk of it was into a 10 mph head wind. The heat was almost unbearable and the Garmin was reading temps on the road of 105.6. I had done a good job of keeping hydrated through out the morning. My main issue at this point was lack of time.
When I came up with the idea of doing these two events in one day. I thought there would be plenty of time in between to relax and rehydrate. Unfortunately, that wasn't so. I spent a bit too much time at the rest stops waiting on friends. To be in Cleveland, I needed to leave my place in Stow around 3:30. By the time I had wrapped up the ride. It was 1:45 and I was still in Medina, which is about a 40 minute drive from where I live. I hadn't planned on being this time crunched. By the time I had grabbed a bite and made it home. It was 2:45. That gave me 45 minutes to eat, get cleaned up, and hydrate as much as possible.
I was able to get all of it done, but only took in a couple glasses of water and grabbed a powerade on the way out the door. I made my way up to Cleveland and quickly chose a parking lot by the race. How do you know you picked the wrong lot? When you give the attendant your money and he says to hide all your valuables. Nice. I quickly hid everything, grabbed my powerade and headed to the race.
Out of the 2,000 plus runners that were competing in this event. I was fortunate enough to run into fellow run buds @CleCraftBeerRun and @Mojamala2. We posed for a quick picture and made our way to the start. I ended up starting towards the back as I really didn't know what to expect. Shortly, the race began and the sea of people moved forward. This race was in Cleveland, so of course walkers and slow runners lined up front. It was a controlled chaos along Progressive field as people were not trying to trip over each other. I established a nice pace at 9:00 per mile and was politely weaving amongst the people. Everything was going well initially and the legs were feeling surprisingly decent. The race began at 5:00 and the temps at this point were still above 90. We made a right hand turn and began one of two climbs on the route, which was a bridge. I started off well, but was zapped by the time I crested the bridge. This climb took a lot more out of me than I had expected and the heat was already taking a toll. I began to labor a bit and was thirsty. The good news was that a water stop was only a half mile away. I took my time threw it, taking in a lot of water and set back out on the course. By this time, the pace was fluctuating between 9-9:30 per mile. This portion of the route was flat and was similar to portions of the Cleveland Marathon route. It was nice to see some of the route again and reflect back on the day.
The next water stop was just before mile 3 and things were going pretty well at this point. When I did reach mile 3. Things began to unravel. I began to cramp bad in my right quad. I stopped and tried to stretch. Immediately, I cramped in my hamstring. The next few minutes was spent walking it off and resumed running again. About 30 seconds later, the cramp returned. This cycle repeated several times and the cramps began to get worse. It was beginning to feel like I had pulled a muscle. At this point, my race was done. Instead of quitting and achieving my first DNF. I walked it in the rest of the way. finishing with a blistering time of 44:56 for 4 miles. The worst part was hearing the announcer state the final runner was a minute away as I crossed the finish line. I was pretty embarrassed.
** Thank you Brightroom for catching this moment of me fight leg cramps.
The best part of this race was the block party afterwards. It was a really nice atmosphere with a live band, beer gardens, and food. It was great to spend some time with run buds and make new friends. The best news is that it was cramps and not a pulled muscle. I took the next day off to rest and have been training pain free since. Hopefully both these events are on different days next year. As I will have to think twice about doing a metric century and a 4 mile road race in the same day. If you do live in the area. Definitely do this race next year. Probably the most festive race in the area and was a blast.