After taking a semi-large (for me) break from racing, I decided to jump back in with a Friday evening race. Up until about 5 minutes prior to the race start, I was unaware of the race distance. Thank goodness a fellow runner clarified otherwise I may have kicked a bit too soon; whoopsie!
The Shearer’s Chip Chase is a 4 year old race in the Ohio Challenge Series that has undergone many course changes. It has progressed from a 5K to a 3.5 mile course. It has gone from being a point-to-point race to now being an out-and-back style course that coincides with the Brewster Fireman’s Festival. The main sponsor: Shearer’s. Which is the main reason I consistently come back for the race (because I WANT CHIPS!) Lord knows I don’t come back due to the superb traffic control (which is neglible). I really am out there hoping that I can at minimum, place in my age group so I can stock my cabinets with a week’s worth of Shearer’s products.
Anyways, I spent Friday doing the following prior to the race:
1) Working till 4PM
2) Driving 1.6 hours to get to my parents
3) Performing a race clothes change that would rival Superman’s
4) Driving 30 minutes to Brewster
I totally set myself up for a superb 7:30 PM race start. With all the being on my feet, sitting a ton, and being rushed. Real smart, Eli, real smart.
The race start was nipple freezing, cold. And the race started about 5 minutes late. In that time, I am sure my leg and arm hair grew at least a quarter inch. By the time the race started, I was more than happy to start running just to warm back up.
The whole beginning of the race started uphill (thanks Shearer’s). And my legs were already regretting the Tuesday speed work-out I put them through. But I trucked on, pushing as hard as I could. Since I have no picture of me at this point, how about a lovely picture of my mother?
The beginning of Mile 2 shifted back into the wind, which conveniently timed up well with every uphill. And by convenient I mean I cursed the wind every hill. Did I mention this course was hilly? No? For the record: It had some real d-bag hills.
Mile 3 began with a very long, slow uphill that was directly into the wind. I seriously felt like I wanted to walk. I have not had that feeling for a long time in a race. Especially one this short. I needed some serious mental self-talk. Self: “Eli, quit being a giant baby and man up. The race is almost over. You can catch your breath soon. That impending feeling of vomiting? Yeah, just keep swallowing that thing down.” That hill totally killed my pace. As in, worst 3rd mile of my life.
Oh wait, the last .5 miles is downhill? Way to go Shearer’s. Failed to mention that if you are going downhill at the end, you had to being going uphill the rest of the time. Cruise control locked in: Just finish this thing. Note to self: Never get “little kidded” at the end of a race. I realize I am coining a new race term. “Chicked” is now “little kidded”. How embarrassing. No way did this kid run the whole race. I swear he miraculously appeared and just ran down the hill only. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.
Final Finish Time: 26:12
Average Pace: 7:30
7/86 Overall Women
1/9 Age Group
Also…I now have a new 3.5 Mile PR! (I realize this is an odd distance but my previous best was 28:50)
Freaking right doggie, I got my bag of chips after all! And since there is no proof of my sweet age group win, how about another picture of my mother picking up her major award. Isn’t she awesome?