Another race already?! You better believe I’ll sign up for anything J&A Racing throws at me. Those folks are amazing. They know how to organize a race, keep the participants happy (and safe after this weekend), and throw a fabulous finish party! I’m really bummed I’m leaving the state sooner than I thought and won’t be able to run their Surf-n-Santa race, but I might just make Shamrock a destination race, they’re that good.
Wicked 10k is a costume-themed race (unless you’re in corral 1 it seemed), that runs from the VB Convention Center, along the boardwalk and back. The finish line party was supposed to be on the beach, but with Hurricane Sandy letting us know she was on her way, they knew it just wouldn’t be safe and didn’t want to take any chances. After already putting up the finish line party tents, they made the executive decision to move the party to the Convention Center. Did you know those tents take 12-14 hours to put up and break down? They worked tirelessly through the day and part of the night to take them down. Having a party on the beach sounds like fun, but not when the winds are crazy, and it’s not safe for participants, staff or volunteers. Great call J&A!
I had run Crawlin Crab a few weeks ago and was ready for another race. I had PR’d my 1/2 time and I really wanted to PR my 10k time. Mostly because I feel like I’m in a bit of a running run right now. And because I’m competitive, whatever. And I obviously had to dress up, it’s a Halloween race! You can’t be wicked without a costume! Thanks to Team Sparkle, I had the first part of whatever my costume would be, a turquoise sparkle skirt.Now what to pair with it… I decided on the Little Mermaid. My favorite Disney movie from when I was a kid. I had the sheets, pillows, comforter, wall hangings, you name it. I still have the Little Mermaid blanket my nana made me when I was 6. And I wasn’t even a girly girl! Right now I’d like to think I loved it because she was a strong, independent woman who did whatever it took to get what she wanted, and wasn’t afraid of eels. Except I wouldn’t be caught dead with slithery creatures like that, blech. But at 6, I’m pretty sure it was because of her seashell bra and catchy songs. I gathered the rest of the costume, and made the top, just in time for the race (literally the night before and the fabric glue said to let dry for 24 hours, so my fingers were crossed it wouldn’t rain)
I left extra early for the race, to get parking at the Convention Center = won’t have to walk to the start or from the finish party = YAHTZEE! It was dark, I was tired and hungry. Not a good combination. But the costumes were enough to keep my spirits high while warming up/waiting in line for the bathrooms.
I started in corral 5, based on my projected finish time. I had only run one 10k previous to this (in San Diego), so I took a minute or 2 off of that time and hoped I could run it faster than before. Again, they had a fabulous MC for the race (was the crab from Crawlin Crab the same Dracula from this race? If so, kudos to J&A for finding an awesome MC!)
I wanted to start and finish strong, but I know my body and my legs feel like they’re burning for the first couple miles. Literally burning off. It’s not a pleasant feeling, so the first few miles are more mental than anything. I was running this one by myself, so I tried to keep my breathing steady and pick people off one by one (also, refrain from yelling BAM! every time I do so). It’s a flat race, which is great, and the run down Atlantic wasn’t too bad while warming up the body. Once we turned around, ran a bit on the boardwalk and then back onto Atlantic in the opposite direction, it was HELL. Headwinds galore. I was leaning forward trying to keep steady, was being blown all around, and every time I lifted my left leg to run, the wind would slam it into my right leg, making me trip at least 5 times. Hurricane Sandy was letting us know she was on her way, and that she was angry. This 2-mile stretch was one of the hardest I’ve done in a race, because I felt like I had no control over my body, I was fighting the elements, and they were winning. But I didn’t walk, and I didn’t give up. I wanted to run a strong race, even if that meant arguing with the wind the entire time.
I listened to my body and was able to run a little faster than I had expected. If that wind hadn’t been there, I was almost on course to finish in under an hour. If I had somehow managed to do that, I probably would have passed out (while peeing my pants from excitement), as soon as I crossed the finish line. When I finished, I knew I had PR’d bigtime. It was a great feeling. Then I walked from the finish line, through the crowds of friends and family and walked back to the convention center alone. Great feeling was gone, alone feelings were back. Luckily the finish party was great and lifted my spirits.
The finish party was great. Good food, drinks, live music and the results of the costume party. Prepare to be amazed.
Overall? Despite the hard winds, I loved every second of this race. I can’t praise J&A enough for their great races, and wish race companies/directors were this involved in not only their events, but the people running them as well.
Final time: 1:01:09 – I beat my previous 10k time by over 9.5 minutes. ShaBooya ShaBooya Sha Sha Sha Booya ROLL CALL!
Mile 1- 9:53
Mile 2- 9:59
Mile 3- 10:01 (start of the headwinds, feeling skeptical)
Mile 4- 9:47 (still in the headwinds and not letting them defeat me!)
Mile 5- 9:44 (start of the run on the boardwalk, listening to live music and enjoying the view of insane swells)
Mile 6- 9:35 (this was me still thinking I had a chance of under an hour so I was pushing it. Then I realized I wouldn’t make it, didn’t care and kept pushing it)
Final .26- 2:12
And even though Sandy is here, rearing her ugly head, the stores and schools are closed, it sounds like our windows are going to come flying through the house, and everything is flooded, something amazing happened last night: