Friday, August 17, 2012

RACE REPORT: Rockport 1/2 Marathon - brought to you by

SATURDAY: Pool Workout
500 swim
500 swim with pull buoy
500 swim with pull buoy and paddles
500 swim

Webb: Yep, the return of one of our favorite workouts. I added on the warm-up we've been doing lately that includes a kicking drill and buoy. For the warm-up sets I've been placing the buoy between my ankles. It forces me to use my adductor muscles more and it helps me to swim less like a fish (side-to-side) and more like a mammal (up-and-down). When I swim the main 500 sets I move the buoy up to the more traditional spot. There is no way I could swim another 1km with the buoy at my ankles. At least not yet.

Elle: You all know I like this swim workout. It helps me with my confidence in the water, doing the long sets. Slowly, ever so slowly, my swimming is getting better. I think.

SUNDAY: Rockport YuKanRun 1/2 Marathon
1-mile Race
5k Race
1/2 Marathon
Representing Team

  We ran this race as members of Team We joined the Team some months back after meeting they guys at the Multisport Expo in March. As endurance athletes we do not take water for granted. We know how important proper hydration is to performance and recovery. What we may have taken for granted was how easy it is for us to access clean water. Not only is the water from our tap perfectly acceptable but we can also purchase bottled water in many different varieties. Compare that to the nearly 900,000,000 people who do not have access to clean water. That is ridiculous.

What we definitely took for granted was indoor plumbing. I'm not talking about the pipes that bring water to the tap; I'm talking about the toilet that flushes away the waste. About 1,200,000,000 people do not have adequate sanitation facilities to remove human waste. That is abominable.

We joined the team because these facts are startling and yet the solutions are straightforward and sustainable. The plans are in place. We just need to do our part. I implore you - yes, implore - to check out their website and consider joining Team

Elle: I found a great little B&B 0.5 miles from the race start. And I have to say, The Yuletide Inn is fantastic. Marie, the owner, is wonderfully East Coast eccentric, with the hair to match. When you enter the inn, you're welcomed by Marie's two, adorable little dogs. The Inn is quaint and cute. So we unpacked, and sat in the common room while we petted the dogs and chatted with Marie about the Olympics. We were getting a little hungry, so we walked to downtown Rockport (about 1/4 mile away) to have dinner. One thing about Rockport, though, too many people, not enough restaurants!

Webb: Most of the restaurants were busy and had long waits. So we finally settled on a place that could seat us right away and had an acceptable menu. By acceptable I mean there were non-meat dishes. Even before I stopped eating meat (fish excluded) I was not a fan of eating it the night before a race (fish included). I had identified at least three items that I could order. At the top of my wish list was Mac n' Cheese. The only potential problem was that it was actually Mac n' Cheese with Lobster. I don't eat lobster. Like ever. I've tried it. It is foul to me. So here's the dialog that ensued:

           Webb- Excuse me. Is it possible to get the mac n' cheese without lobster?
           Over-worked Waitress- I don't know, it's not on the menu that way.

I didn't know if I should admire her or be furious. I ordered the veggie pasta.

Elle: We finished our mediocre meals and walked back to the Inn to rest up for the next morning. Luckily the Olympics were on - both entertaining and inspiring!
Cut to morning time - part of the deal of staying at the Yuletide Inn is the wonderful breakfast, cooked by Marie. I enjoyed some fresh berries, a bit of quiche, and some breakfast potatoes. Yum!

Webb: Getting up was hard to do. I don't mean waking up, I mean getting up. The mattress was so soft. I think my feet were actually higher than my head. Once I was able to extract myself from the pillowy bed, I hurried downstairs to enjoy the promised blueberry pancakes. They were delightful. I could have sat there all morning eating them if it weren't for that meddling half-marathon.

Danielle wins the 1-miler!
Elle: Race day consisted of 3 races: the 1-miler, the 5k, and the 1/2 marathon. If you do all 3, it's called the Triple Threat, and you get a mug. We decided that since we had our A-race in 2 weeks, it would be wise just to do the 13.1 miles. But we had told our friends at SEAC running club about the race, and convinced some of them to show up. We actually saw our friend Mimi, from our old Niketown Running club days, finish the 5k. And then ran into the SEAC crew: Jason and Danielle (who were both doing the Triple Threat), and Albert and his friend Basil. And lo and behold, Danielle won the 1-miler, and came in 2nd for the 5k!

my new 'b positive' gear
I saw that b positive had a table set up, but the thing that made me take a closer look was that they had posted that you could pay with your race number. I thought that was really cool, and so were their yoga pants and long sleeved t-shirts, so I bought them. They were really nice, and said they could hold my stuff there until after the race, and even let us keep our other bag with it, so we didn't have to use the bag check. (Hey Kyle Damon, Steve Martin says 'hi').

Webb: We found ourselves hanging out with Albert, Basil and new Ironman Greg (IM Lake Placid!) near the finish area as Danielle and Jason finished. At some point we were thinking the half-marathon should be starting. But where? There were no signs. I heard someone talking louder than others as a herd of people made their way in one direction. We followed along.  It was apparent no one really knew where the start line was. Then all of sudden people started running, so we did too.

Runnin' for Team Water
Elle: The course was pretty scenic - a lot of it right along the water as we ran into Gloucester. It was a really hot day, and, in my opinion, they didn't have enough water stops for such hot weather. The ones they did have were staffed by, what seemed like, inexperienced race volunteers and they didn't know what they were doing, or maybe they just didn't have enough volunteers. I took 2 cups of water at each stop, one to drink, and one to pour over my head.

Webb: It was a beautiful course with some challenging sections. Our focus was to take it easy. We weren't racing after any PRs that day. That was the plan, even before we encountered the heat and hills. Around mile 10 we decided to stop and walk because Elle was having some cramping. Up to this point I felt pretty good. We were cruising without pushing it. Mile 10 prove to be a reversal of fortune for both of us. It was also where Albert caught up with us. He was also out to run an easy race. Once we began running again, Elle slowly started to separate from me and Albert. Meanwhile, I began to struggle. I think I failed to drink enough water or my nutrition was off, or both. With each 1/4 mile I continued to feel worse. The heat was really kicking my arse. With about a mile to go Elle let us catch her. I think this is where we saw the first of two men being treated by EMTs. Both looked ok and were probably just beaten down by the high temperatures. The last half-mile or so was nearly all uphill. It was awful in my state. Still I dug deep and the finish line couldn't have come any sooner.
Jason stretches, Webb rests, Albert goes shirtless
SEAC representing!

After the race we hung out with the SEAC crew, near the kitty pools with ice in the shade. I immediately drank three bottles of ice-cold water and then held one to my neck. Don't think such easy access to ice-cold water didn't escape me as I wore my shirt. We really have it easy. In a few minutes, I was as good as new. Heat is definitely my demon. I must find a way to vanquish it.

My favorite part of the race had to be when we were running along a string of cars, bumper-to-bumper, queued up to enter the beach parking lot. One particular guy had his windows down blasting the theme to Chariots of Fire. Elle was wearing her headphones, so she totally missed it.

Elle: Next year - the triple threat!

Post-race, sitting in the shade

Webb & Albert running into the finish

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