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Beer Bottle Open race report 3-10-07 (Read 829 times)


Lazy idiot

    Hello everyone! I've been a member here at RA for a few months now, and I've been lurking here in the forums enjoying the hilarity. I finally have something to add to the mix, as I completed my first 4-mile run this past weekend. I posted this race report at my blog, Trials and Trails (http://trialsntrails.wordpress.com Sorry, I can't figure out the link stuff!), and I'm sorry it's so long but I was excited about this race. I'm pretty sure it took me longer to write the report than to run the race! Thanks to Eric for providing this great site, and to all the people that contribute to these forums! Even though you don't know me, the fact that others are going through the same things I do is encouraging. Without further delay, the race report: It was finally here, the famed Beer Bottle Open. Held in my original hometown of Columbus Grove, OH, this four mile race would be my longest run to date. In my training leading up to the event, I hadn’t quite made it to a four mile total, topping out at 3.7 miles the weekend before. As noted previously noted, I was conservatively shooting for a sub-45:00 finish and cautiously optimistic that I’d be able to do a sub-40:00. This was based on my training runs, which all consisted of run/walk intervals. The longest run interval I’d done in over a month was no more than eight minutes, so I figured those estimates would be pretty close to the overall finish time. The forecast called for showers and low to mid 50 degree temperatures. Fifty degrees isn’t bad, but I wasn’t looking forward to running in the rain. I packed gear for all types of weather as we headed up to Findlay to stay with my dad (who would be cheering at the finish line with my wife) and WSM/SBG (Wicked Step Mother, aka Sassy B!tch Grandma... all terms of endearment, believe me!). Before we got out of bed on Saturday morning, I could hear the raindrops hitting the window. I wasn’t looking forward to a soaked race. Luckily, by the time 10 AM rolled around (the race wasn’t until 2 PM) the skies were clear and the sun was shining. It was shaping up to be a perfect day for racing. Going into the weekend, my brain was going overtime with the excitement. I ran my first race last spring, but this would be the first time I had trained somewhat seriously for an event. It was also an opportunity to run with WSM/SBG, who I would consider to be a much more seasoned runner than I (and no, that’s not an age crack!). She has done quite a few more races than I have, including the Indianapolis Half-Marathon a few years back. Until Saturday I’d never run a step with her, but it was certainly encouraging and inspiring to have a family member who has “been there and done that” and knowing that you weren’t alone. I know I’m a competitive person, and I think she is, too. We joked in the weeks leading up to the race that we would be trash talking each other at the start line. While that didn’t happen, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there was a small part of me that wanted to perform well and at least compete for the “family title” (if not win). It wasn’t my main focus of the race (that would be to finish), but it was an ever-present thought bubble in my head. Driving from the house to the race took about 30 minutes or so, during which I tried my hardest to relax. My mind was racing with it’s pre-race instructions and questions: - “Don’t start too fast” - “Did you make sure to drink enough water this morning?” - “Are you going to run with your iPod?” - “When are you going to take your first walk break?” - “What pace are you thinking of running?” - “Have fun” It was a good, nervous energy. I felt prepared, but until I actually got going I didn’t know what to expect (both from the course, competition, and my body). We registered, stretched (only a little for me), and made our way to the starting line. A friend of WSM asked me if I was nervous. I lied and said no. They said afterwards that there were 418 (or so) entrants, which was quite a different experience from the 25,000+ I ran with last year. WSM and I had our picture taken standing next to the ambulance (thankfully the closest we’d get to being in one), and walked to the back of the pack to wait for the gun. At that point in time, the nerves I’d been fighting/encouraging all day completely disappeared. I. just. wanted. to. run. The starter’s pistol rang out, and the crowd surged forward. We were off. At the main town intersection a hundred or so yards into the race, we turned left and headed out into the country. The town that seemed so big as a child was gone within minutes. WSM and I stuck together, bound by an unspoken pact. The pace those first few minutes felt comfortable to me, and we were able to exchange snippets of conversation for the time being. We passed the first mile marker, and I’ll have to clarify with WSM on the exact time as I forgot to click my lap timer, at about 8:30. The official time was 8:45, but it took us approximately 0:15 to cross the start line after the gun. I know that “official rules” state that gun time is the official time as opposed to start-line time. But until I start competing for medals, I’m going with the actual time I spent on the course itself, not getting there. 8:30/mile is right about at my training pace, so this felt pretty good. My legs were getting into the “running rhythm”, and my breathing was great. At about this time, we lost the cover of the trees and the wind (from the west at about 15 mph) could be felt at our backs. As our minds began to realize that there were three more miles left, the conversation dried up. At the first water station (about 1.2 miles or so), they didn’t have any ready for me so I kept going. WSM managed to grab a cup but fumbled it and it splashed to the ground. Undaunted, or at least wishing to appear so, we both kept on. Until the race, I’d been doing mostly run/walk interval training. I had tentatively planned (in my mind) on taking a 1:30 or 2:00 walk period after 10:00 or so. I checked my watch at about 12:00, and noticed that WSM showed no signs of slowing and hadn’t mentioned a walk break out loud, either. So I kept on going. I remember thinking to myself, “I may not win this ‘family race’ we’ve got going here, but I’m sure as hell not walking if she doesn’t.” I didn’t feel like I needed to walk, but I didn’t want to wait until it was too late. I decided I’d think about it again at about 20:00. At about 1.6 miles or so, the course doubles back on itself before taking a right turn. This put us running right into the wind. Whatever sweating I had been doing was promptly done. The winds made quick work of dehydrating me, and I was ready for a little H2O coming back on that water station. We passed the 2-mile marker at 17:01, nearly maintaining the 8:30/mile pace of mile one. I figured I’d lose a few seconds, but this was turning out pretty well. The water station ahead, I pulled a little in front of WSM (how non-chivalrous of me) and picked up my cup of water. I heard some trouble behind me and from the muted vocal disgust I could tell that WSM was taking a few more seconds than planned trying to get her water. At that very moment, the competitive part of my brain (some, including my wife at times, might be more inclined to call this the “Asshole Lobe”) made a decision: I was “breaking from the pack.” Of course, if things had actually gone bad (broken leg, etc.) I certainly would have sacrificed the race for the good of the family. But seeing as how it was water, and I was feeling ’so far, so good’: I kept going. I clocked mile 3 in 9:05, up to 26:06 total. I was starting to get a side stitch in my right side, but it didn’t progress beyond mildly painful. I wanted to finish strong, so I slightly increased my stride length and picked up the pace. As I rounded the final bend into town, I could see a small crowd of people around what I hoped was the finish line. The end in sight, I kicked it up a little more. Instead of thinking about the pain in my side or breathing difficulty, I took in the scenery. On my right I passed the house where Dad grew up (I knew because he told us about an hour and a half earlier) and the church where my Grandma and Grandpa had their wedding anniversary party, and before I knew it I was across the finish line. I had forgotten to stop my watch as I finished, so after I caught my breath I headed back to ask what my time was. My cheering squad of wife and Dad told me the clock said 34:25. So when I took off the 15 seconds from the beginning, it was 34:10 (unofficial, of course). WSM finished just after 36:00, coming very close to her pre-race prediction. We headed back to the school gym for the awards, and relaxed for a few minutes as a parade of very fit people received their beer steins (winning time of under 20:00, ridiculous). The presentation over, we collected our things and headed back to Findlay for our post-race dinner. Overall, this was a great race to run. Not only was the weather great and the course nice, but it was a good race for me to be in personally. It was neat to be in the town you grew up in (even if it was only for four or five years) and see things through an adult’s eye as opposed to those of a young child. My mom also told me a few weeks before the race that she’d run in the Beer Bottle Open many years before, so that was fun to run a race that actually means something to someone other than me. And finally, the opportunity to run with WSM (I hope she doesn’t mind that I’ve used this moniker for her over ten times, I’m trying to preserve anonymity here!) was a blast. Competitiveness aside, it’s fun to spend a few miles suffering with family. I look forward to the next opportunity. What’s up next on the race calendar? Officially, it’s the Susan Komen Breast Cancer 5k in May. But I may stash another race between now and then. Who knows? Thanks for reading.

    Tick tock

      Good job Drew. Is the upcoming 5K round 2 of the family bragging rights contest?
      http://distance-runner.blogspot.com


      Needs more cowbell!

        AWESOME race report! Sounds like you've got the racing bug, too! Big grin k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


        Lazy idiot

          Good job Drew. Is the upcoming 5K round 2 of the family bragging rights contest?
          I haven't been able to talk her into any further races just yet. It would be fun, and we seem to be fairly evenly matched. Kirsten - I do have the racing bug. Now if I just had deeper pockets to fund more races!

          Tick tock

          Scout7


          CPT Curmudgeon

            Hey, I got a question that I know is just burning on everyone's mind after reading your report. Where the heck's the beer?!?! How do you have a race called the Beer Bottle Open, and not have beer??? Fals advertising, I say! Seriously, good job, and congrats! You fit in well, what with your seeming desire to beat little old ladies into submission and all.


            Lazy idiot

              Hey, I got a question that I know is just burning on everyone's mind after reading your report. Where the heck's the beer?!?! How do you have a race called the Beer Bottle Open, and not have beer??? Fals advertising, I say! Seriously, good job, and congrats! You fit in well, what with your seeming desire to beat little old ladies into submission and all.
              The race ended at Miller's, which is the bar that sponsors the race. I had my beer later that day, but afterwards was only thinking of water and Gatorade. What is wrong with me?!? (And that little old lady would have kicked my butt just the same if given the opportunity!)

              Tick tock

                Great report - I felt like I was there! I was wondering about the beer thing too. At the last race I did I had plans on getting a beer or two afterwards but the only thing I wanted was water - oh, and a cookie. Roll eyes I can relate to your worry list - mine started the same, but I think I had about thirty more things on my list. I'm a bit of a worrier. I think it's cool that you were able to make this a family event. I would love to have family members who were into running, maybe then they wouldn't say things like "what are you worried about? It's just a race" or "so what if you can't run today". Congratulations! Can't wait to hear another race report.

                Michelle



                  Great job! Big grin
                  2009: BQ?


                  Lazy idiot

                    The results were put up today. Turns out I didn't cross the finish line at 34:25, but 34:42. So my time on the course was 34:27. I still feel pretty darn good about that.

                    Tick tock