Monday, December 13, 2010

Deja Vu: Pete McArdle 15K

I didn't know that the second weekend in December was scheduled to be rainy and messy every year until I started running the Pete McArdle XC Classic 15K. Just like last year I woke up to pouring rain, mild-ish temps and wind. This year was a bit warmer but the wind was atrocious. The rain was about the same, on and off but never a heavy downpour except for 2 minutes before the starting gun.

For some reason, NYRR made the very odd decision to start us ON the grass for a very small 0.3 loop before beginning our 3 big loops of the 5K path. I can't imagine the parks dept was happy having all 165 runners thrashing across the very wet field they've spent months tending. It was a gross way to start because it meant our shoes were soaked right away. Or in some peoples cases, their socks. I was running alongside Bridges Runner when suddenly she disappeared. I looked back to see her hopping with one stocking foot held high in the air while TE, a fellow Inwood runner, rescued Elyssa's right shoe from the mud puddle where it had gotten stuck. I looked on in disbelief, then doubled over in laughter. We were a mere 0.2 miles into the race. We carried on, laughing as we pushed against a strong headwind from the south. There would be no advantage on the flats today.

The first loop went by pretty quickly and I felt really good. We were passing folks going up and down the hills and the wind was not a factor in the woods. The path was very muddy, but fun. We hit the windy flats and really dug in with our heads down. Wow, there would be no PR with this wind, I felt like we were standing still with sheets of rain stinging my face and legs. As we reached the southern tip of the flats and started to make the turn around the Tortise and Hare pole, E somehow lost control of her hat and it flew off into the mud. More laughing. We trudged through the muddy hills a second time and somewhere on the back hills E told me to go on without her. I wasn't going to leave her, but she slowed way down and waved me on. I carried on at a good pace with a few targets to pass ahead of me. I was feeling good and so was my knee. I hit the wall of wind again on the flats and really pushed to get south to the turnaround, I was definitely using a lot of energy just to make forward progress. The volunteers cheered me on and we laughed at my attempt as forward progress. The third lap came with an untied shoe just before hitting the woods again. 2 people passed me, but I managed to catch and pass them both. Whew. I ran a solid final lap, urging myself on with thoughts of finishing strong and getting in the warm car. I tried to sprint to the finish, but the wind was so strong that I could hardly run. I felt like I finished strong, but it may not be reflected in my time.

In the end I didn't beat my time, there was no way. I did finish 5th in my AG, 10th for women and 68th overall out of 168.

Final time: 1:22
Avg pace: 8:53 (ouch)

The splits were pretty even for each loop which made me happy.
I felt fantastic, had fun and I'm sore today so I can say I'm completely happy with the effort and the results. I know it may sound awful, cold, wet and mind numbing, but I really enjoy that race. I'm already looking forward to my next VCP race.

I've always enjoyed the neatness of the elevation profile for this race.

Enjoying post-race pancakes and hot beverages thanks to my wonderful hubby

My clothes and shoes are still drying

1 comment:

  1. congratulations on your achievements and posting your efforts to inspire us all… you are doing such great things for yourself and others! hopefully I can start running marathons soon because my elliptical trainer has not only allowed me to running longer distances, I have lost 30 pounds!!!!!