I did it. I ran the 35th(?) annual Stockade-athon in Schenectady, NY yesterday. This is a 15K road race. I know that I did a marathon about a month ago, but this 15K is a pretty big deal for me. Why you might ask…… and I’ll tell you! I ran it solo. This was my longest run sans running peeps. They are all either still out injured or on the mend from said marathon, so I was going it alone.
The night before the race as I sat on my couch cringing at the thought of all of those hills (yes Stockade is a hilly 9.3 miles), I realized that I would need to make a new playlist for my iPod if I was going to get through all of those miles without quitting. I have to admit that it’s been so long since I’ve made a playlist that it took me a few minutes to remember exactly how. While I love running with music, I love running with my peeps more so I haven’t brought my iPod on a long run since the Lake Placid half marathon in June. About 30 minutes later I had a great playlist about 3 hours long (just in case) that hit on everything from one of my new favorite running tunes Love the way you lie by Eminem to Gold Digger by Kanye West. I will admit out loud that my running playlists are sporadic, all over the place and sometimes strange. But along with that they are loud, upbeat and keep my butt moving. I run to rap, rock, country and whatever keeps me going…. it gets the job done.
And never did it more so than yesterday! Back to the race. We got there around 8:15 AM for a 9:00 AM start. It was freezing, freezing, freezing. I believe that it was actually about 34 degrees which felt freezing because there was a breeze as well. We hung out, hit up the port-a-potties and waiting for the greatest photographer in the Capital District to arrive. If you haven’t followed all of the previous race posts you wouldn’t know about her! But….. one of my great Rockin’ Mama friends, Chris Davis accompanies us for many of our races to document the experience. She takes fantastic pictures so it’s incredible for us that she loves to spectate. Any who!
The race went off without a hitch. My iPod was up and running and so was I. We looped around Central Park before we really got going, providing an opportunity for an unexpected photo op.
The run went well. The hill near Proctor’s Theatre was killer. It’s not all that steep, but it’s super long. I eventually resigned myself to it, put my head down and just put one foot in front of the other. In doing so I made it to the top. Before I knew it we were running through Vale cemetary and I knew that I’d make it and I was extremely proud of myself.
As we were running our way through the cemetery, I realized that I had not yet taken my delicious chocolate gu. Being fall/early winter, I had not brought my hand-held water bottle on the run with me. I began to desperately wonder when the next water stop was coming. I wasn’t thirsty, just needed to deal with the gu situation. The water stop was finally there as we crested the last big hill. I took a decent walk break….. enough to down the gu and two cups of water and then I was off.
I was off and on my way but depressed that I could see the finish line buuuuuuuut knowing that I still had over a mile left to run before I would be there too. I quit worrying about and decided that I was running it in. Unfortunately I also had to ditch my ear buds at this point as well. I’m not sure whether they shorted out or what happened but the volume started spazzing out. I was going from barely being able to hear the music to literally jumping out of my skin, across the road and in front of other runners as the volume became deafening. I figured that for the safety of myself and all of the other runners that I would opt out of them for the last mile.
The last mile was calm, serene and uneventful. I saw A-sizzle and family, taking photos and spectating as I approached the finish line. And then I heard C-dizzle yelling out as I ran it in to the finish. I love running. I love running the fall and I love having some of the best spectators, fans and supporters going. I’m amazed at how great it all is and how I went so long in my life without finding this kind of satisfaction from something so simple. I finished the 15K in 1:34:50. I have a quicker time via my Garmin as there were no chip mats at the start of the race. But I can say that I am so pleased with my time. This was definitely my fastest distance race. I’ll be there next year…. will you?
(all photos courtesy of cmdphoto.com)