City Park RMRR Race – 4 miles … ‘cept if you’re me!

7 04 2008

Ah … it’s Monday … light is starting to stream through the window and it’s a bit nippy here in Casa de Bailey.  I’m still typing while sitting on a very hard ottoman and the piles of stuff are threatening to take over the apartment … and my research is still calling me to plant and read … so, what does your intrepid racewalker-ette do … She pops off to walk the Rocky Mountain Road Runner Trophy Series race and then hangs out with speedy friends!

I didn’t feel like getting out of bed … just one of those mornings … and also realizing that it’s in-between in temperatures so I didn’t know (hear goofy girl voice) what to wear to this event.  I decided basic black is always good and hoped that my yoga pants would stay on. I’ve been having a bit of an issue with once I get going my longer pants starting to drift southward. I opted for the capris (because they were the first I grabbed) and a long sleeved shirt and out the door … to pick up coffee.

Last year, I put in a lot of hours volunteering for the RMRR. I kind of feel guilty right now that I’ve not put in more – helping to clean up etc – on the races I’ve been a party to (ok so two races).  The club has actually been pretty good to me … accepting my frenetic, nervous, and reasonably harmless personality. I’ll put in more time during the summer or something.

The City Park race was an opportunity to see some of the work they’ve been doing at this park nearby the Denver Museum of Nature and Science … and a little kick in the butt to get me moving.  I wasn’t a’tall happy about my performance at the Trippin’ of the Green.  The funny thing is that I kind of feel a little *more* pressure when it’s one of the RMRR events because I’ve got … friends … friends who are racewalkers … friends who are runners … friends whom I truly believe have wings on their ankles (they just hide them so I’ll keep coming out and not be too nervous)!  The neat thing is that they’re starting to *get* racewalking and they *all* are really supportive when I feel like I’m the slowest turtle on the course.  I know my closer runner friends are gaining in respect for how … complicated? … racewalking is AND since they’re working to get better at what they love, they’re seeing how I’m trying to get better at what I do.  Nice symbiotic relationship because I’ve been watching them for a couple of years!  In an extended dance mix conversation with Q (a serious speedy sneaker and charter member of the Team Shep Cheering Squad) he reminded me that although I might double their time and they might be waiting for me to finish … I’m having to touch every part of the course where they get to hop over it!  Most of my cheering squad have echoed the same, but I kind of needed the reminder.

SO – enough!  Time for Race Report:

Really lovely chilly day.  I didn’t expect to see most folks because it was the same day as the Platte River 1/2 Merrython.  Sheila and Val were going to be maybe not burning up the track, but out there working on things.  Alicia was going to be at the race and it was anyone’s guess on Eagle and Q.  I kinda thought that Eagle would be there but Q … he would probably show us all, roll out of bed, yawn and decide to zip through the 1/2.  Gotta hate your speedy sneaker well trained friends … no ya don’t!

Toting 2 travellers of coffee, I showed up at the Pavilion thinking “Damn, what am I doing?”  I didn’t really *feel* like racing.  Dashed off an oatmeal,  downed a couple of bottles of water driving over and snacked on a Clif bar … but just didn’t feel like I was going to do well.  Then I saw some friends … Alicia gave me a hug … Betsy told me John L. was going to be at Dave’s course … Blanchard started telling me about the 20 K out of town race he was doing after he finished some 1/2 marathon someplace … and John L. said “You ready to go?”  He’s so much like a Dad/Uncle/Guardian Angel …

How things work at this club is once you’ve done a race or two, they have stickers that are placed on tags to be pinned to the participant.  John L. was punching holes next to me when he reminded me that I should have a tag “Where’s your tag … I’ll explain it…” He knows that I just don’t have a head for this stuff.  Turns out I didn’t have one and Blanchard helped me out on this.

Chilly but beautiful really.  I probalby should have had my gloves on, but oh well.  I had to listen to Deb describe the course …  Speedy Sneaker Eagle was standing next to me and I was slightly confused with the path of the race (which when I downloaded my Garmin looks suspiciously like an ameoba!).  I looked up at him and asked him to just drop breadcrumbs along the way to make sure I don’t get lost!  He laughed and then I, very seriously, looked up and quirried “However, I’m not exactly sure I know just where you’re going to place the bag in your running shorts!”  Not sure HOW much he heard, but it was time to go get myself in the pack behind John and Ed. 

Deb counted us down and we were off.  First corner and the conversation was “Well if the racewalkers would slow down …” My retort “Oh pfleeze!  We’re just walking …” Good laugh then everyone kind of spaced for 4 miles.  I never did catch up with the front of the 0.0.  The course was a smidge different for each lap with the first holding the longer leg.  It was directly into the wind and that was simply no fun.  I turned the corner which doubled back slightly where I could see John L.  I cheered him on and then got to the business of checking my form and feet.

I’ve been having a little problem with not using my whole flopping foot.  I think I need to work on ankle flexibilty more and such.  As I came around the corner where the second lap would intersect the first, I caught one of the guys out of the corner of my eye.  Not expecting anyone, it kind of surprised me.  He is a guy who has an injury, so he starts out ahead of everyone so nobody is waiting at the end. More power to him for getting out! 

Blanchard came flying up behind me before I got to mile 1.  He flies — but he should!   He knows I’ve got a target on his butt … and it might take me a couple of years … but there will come a day when my speedy sneaker friends are going to be seeing me giving Blanchard a good walk for his money … and I know they’ll be cheering me on! (they do anyway, but when it’s apples to apples … they’ll keep pushing me to do better!)  My biggest goal was to NOT have Blanchard lap me 2x!  I believed my Speedy Boys: Q, David, John B, and Eagle would fly by probably 2x, but I’m prepped to be lapped by them! 

Just after I was blown by, I got a cheer from Eagle and Q who were trying to stretch their legs a little before they got their starts.  They were up on an embankment looking down on me from their high vantage point, but they’re pals!  It’s getting to be funny that as I’m coming in to my mile 1, I’ve been seeing them … however they’re usually on their way to finishing … but that’s not the point! I tossed my shirt to Betsy at the mile 1 & 3 water stop and trundled along through the back part of the course.

The back part was kind of a series of serpentines – curves which were not really in much sequence.  I’ve *GOT* to work on cutting tangents and have asked for some help on this. My watch was bleeping the miles, and I knew that dippy here was adding *something* because I felt like my lines were a little long. 

Coming around the last statue and up toward the finish area to complete lap one, I was passed by Alicia.  Carmin had passed me earlier and given me a good boost of confidence … which was good because I didn’t see the mile 2 marker.  Alicia is such a wonderful friend and looked good, but slightly off her game.  Turns out she didn’t feel like she had a terrific run, but she gave me another boost.  The strange thing was hearing a car behind me!  The road was supposed to be closed.  “CAR!!!” I wanted to make sure that those in front of me didn’t get plowed by the cop nor Joint Juice van. They didn’t get up that far, but it was kind of strange.  Now that I’ve had a cop literally on my tush – I don’t want that EVER again.  Since the Denver Marathon is going to really push me to stay ahead of the sag wagon, I now know the feeling and don’t want the cop’s pusher bars ever lifting up my skirt!

Up a slight hill to complete lap one.  Doug gave me some encouragement and I headded toward lap two.  Here comes the Lady in Black ...

Everyone had already started, so I wondered if I had crawled so deeply into my head that I’d not seen the Speedy Boys pass.  I should have known better because just a little past where lap two rejoined lap one’s path … and a smidge from mile 1 & 3 … I heard a tap-tap-tap … It was Q flying past making a fun comment as he did as such.  He knows that I’ve been having a problem with my pants falling off so I called after him with “I need a skirt!”  which I know in his race entrenched mind he laughed anyway because I use a skirt to hold up my long skinnies.  He said that the guy he was passing was a bit confused with my comment …. Hey – anything that helps disorientate friends’ competiton is fine with me!  What is faster than a speeding Q ... who feels slow?As David and Eagle passed, I said “GO GET HIM!!!!” Meaning: Q’s ahead of you guys …. catch him!  Both gave a “ERF! I know!”  Good laughs for me!  John B. gave me another great comment and off they flew.  I figured I’d see them again.

John B.’s got to be one of my favorite folks and he gave me the last giggle before I got to my mile 3.  Hereeerrreeeeee Coommmmmesssss JOOOHHHNNNNN!!!  He’s definitely on the Board of Directors for Team Shep as he’s really made me feel so welcome from the day we met.  Plying me with Girl Scout Cookies when his daugher is selling them is *always* a good thing!  We both have the same favorites.

Another water from Betsy and it was into the back 40.  I felt reasonably good, but I don’t think I’m using my feet to their advantage right now.  That’s got to change!  I felt slow and legs a bit heavy.  I make it a point to not look much at my watch so I’m not hyper obcessing.  I’ve got it set between a 13 and 11 minute mile to give me a large place to plop myself.  I had started out too fast (screaming watch beeps) but I kept plodding through.  Quite honestly, I thought I’d be lapped again by at least Blanchard.

I looked over my shoulder and saw a few stragglers still a curve or two behind me.  Ok – I had enough left for a punch up the tinsy hill to the finish. I got up there with Carmin cheering me on, my buds at the chutes cheering and me wanting to die just about the time I got to Ray at the back!  WOW – I’d used everything.  Alicia keeps wanting to see me coming in, but she was in the Ladies, and I couldn’t find the Boys.  I figured, as usual, they were minutes ahead of me and I’d just not seen them blow by.  I saw Blanchard and he told me that has he crossed the line he looked back and saw me only a couple curves back.  Hum … ok … closing in … SMILE …

But where were the Boys?  It turns out that most of my friends weren’t exactly happy with their performance … me I was tired, happy and reasonably proud of myself.  I simply wanted to see by just how much they’d spanked me by. They were no where to be found.  When I finally did see them, Scott was saying “you were ahead of us …” and Q teased “yeah … hey where’s the water?” I thought they were kidding me … I mean – when your friends are so fast, you’re never quite sure if they’re kidding or not … and this was the first race we were all in together.  At breakfast, I finally *got it* … I *was* finishing ahead of them and I *was* my duty to cheer them in … I smiled at Scott saying “Well, at least I didn’t get lost … Did you find the gumdrops I left for you to follow?”  Knowing I’m nuts, he laughed. I get breadcrumbs from them and they get gumdrops – it’s a metabolism thing! All the photos are from the RMRR website, but out of the three, Scott’s is my favorite … the look on his face is: “But Lizzy promised she’d put out gumdrops … where are the gumdrops…” Where are the gumdrops ... oy! Sun in my Eyes! 

All in all it was good for my head.  I wasn’t distracted … but I still ended up doing 4.14 miles.  Okey Dokey.  Overall time 0:49:18 which blew the Trippin’ of the Green out of the water … of course this course was relatively flat … and when you’re being chased by at least three runners like the ones you see in this post … you’re going to keep on moving!  But then again – married or not – being followed by such a good looking group does a girl’s ego some good!

It’s starting to snow and I’ve got a lot of homework to do.  Someday I’ll do a normal race report … but this time it is more about the fun!

Yawn – Dizzy




2 responses

9 04 2008

Hey Liz, if I plug in your Garmin distance for the “4” miler I actually am pleased with my time. 🙂 Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do… thanks for measuring it for us!

9 04 2008

Glad to have been of assistance … but you *are* a runner and we racewalkers have to touch every bit of every course! You might have hopped over that 0.14 extra bit!


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