Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cincinnati review part 2 - Saturday

Saturday began bright and early with a 5:15 wake-up. The first race didn't start until 8:00, but I wasn't sure about how close the parking would be, how much I would have to walk to the start, etc., so I left the hotel at 6:30. It might have been a tad bit early, seeing as I reached the starting line at 7:05. Oh well, I sometimes have a tiny problem getting places on time, but not that day!!!

Saw a beautiful sunrise driving in.

Took another piggie picture for my collection. 

A friend had come with me, and since I hadn't run Cincy before, I didn't know the situation at the end, so we agreed to meet at Joey Votto if we didn't meet up after the race ended.

The 10k was first and started right next to the Great American Ballpark (tied for 1st among the stadiums I've visited). There were maybe 25 potties, which wasn't nearly enough, but I was there super early so waiting for a few minutes wasn't a problem. Something really really nice that I haven't seen before were the tables and tables of water and Gatorade before the race. Great touch for all the runners (like me) who left their Nalgene bottles in the car, but could stand to drink a little more.

I'd never run a 10k before and arbitrarily set a 60-minute goal. It would average out to slightly under 10-minute miles, which seemed appropriate, especially considering it would be my first run post-Toledo. There might have been some pre-race speeches - I don't remember. I was more focused on Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" getting me in the mood to run.

Almost immediately we ran into Kentucky. This was the Taylor-Southgate bridge, which is too perfect, considering I grew up in Southgate and student taught in Taylor :) Managed to take both bridge pics while I was running. Sweet! Picture taking wasn't going to slow down my pace!!!!

We crossed three bridges - one into Kentucky, one while in Kentucky, and one back into Ohio. The weather was partly sunny and mid 50s, but while in Kentucky, it was insanely humid. Holy humidity Batman! Somehow as soon as we crossed back into Ohio the humidity dissipated.

Ran parallel to the river, turned left, doubled back and the "Finish Swine" was in sight! I had 0.3 miles to go and my watch was still under an hour, with just enough time to break 1 hour. 

I got a massive burst of speed and I was flying!!!! Pun very much intended... By the time my friend recognized me I had run past.

My watch said 59:54. Yes!!!!! The big clock was 62:00, but I didn't start at the gun.

"Doin' it 4 ways in Cincy"
Post-race was really well organized. We finished right at one of the three stadiums, and runners passed the "Finish Swine" and picked up their medallions, space blankets and food all under the stadium overpass! We were dry and shielded from the elements. The amount of food - wow!!! Water, Gatorade, bananas, bagels, 5-6 choices of chips, cookies, Ho-hos, 4-5 types of candy, trail mix, gummy fruits, oranges. I grabbed a small handful and went off to meet "Joey Votto."
The 5K started at 10:00, so with my finishing time, I had one hour to get to the start (same location as the 10k), stretch a little, eat a little, and do it all over again!

It's been at least nine years since I've run a 5k and I remembered why. The vast majority of runners in marathons, and even in the 10k, know to line up by approximate pace, but the 5k people didn't seem to have received that memo. I spent the first mile weaving through people walking extremely slowly and 4-5 abreast, and dodging kids. Frustration!

My watch had me end at 30:18. I was thisclose!!!!! Ach!!!!! Had I been able to take one turn tighter, or had I had to weave ten fewer people I would have gotten under 30 :(

Picked up a bowl of pear pieces, another bag of SunChips and went back to Joey Votto, where my friend was waiting with the sign I saw on the 5k, but totally missed during the 10k dash to the finish. 

It was a little weird wearing 2 numbers, but it was ok. I wore my Toledo shirt and saw a man I recognized from the marathon both this year and last. He'd also been at the Martian both years.

Stopped for coffee and checked my times online. The website had my 10k time at 1:00:33. I was disappointed, but I could accept that perhaps my watch and their clock had a 39 second discrepancy, and their time is the official time.

For the 5k, however, they had me at 34:11. There was no way I ran 11-minute miles during the 5k. I'm very familiar with 11-minute miles, and they weren't happening that morning!!! I was running hard! I know the race's time is my official time, but there's no possible way we had a 4 minute discrepancy. I felt like Sheldon Cooper during the physics bowl.

"Formal protest?"
"Informal protest?"

An hour later, they adjusted the time, so it was the chip time, not the gun time. They had me finishing at 30:29. Argh!!! Sooooooo close to my goal on both races.

I wanted to stop by the expo while downtown because my marathon shirt fit, but the 5k and 10k shirts were enormous!!!!! I was able to swap both, and took a picture of a piggie I had missed on Friday.

Hal always stresses consistency and I was extremely consistent on the 10k and 5k races. The 10 I averaged a 9:46 pace and finished 89/375 in my division. For the 5, I averaged 9:50 and finished 48/385 in my division. The really crazy consistency is my placement overall. I was 432/2184 for the 10 and 427/3130 for the 5.

The Saturday races were extremely well organized. 10/10. I was bummed by my time, but that was all on me, not on the race :(

I had gotten a gift card to Skyline Chili in my marathon packet and there was one right next to the hotel, so I had dinner there and learned the etymology of the 3-way and 4-way challenge names. Skyline sponsored the 3-way and 4-way, so they can name the races anything they want. Well they serve dishes called 3-way, 4-way, and 5-way. Much less interesting than the interpretation my friends and I took haha Maybe next year Cincy can have a 5-way challenge to include the 1-mile on Friday night?

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