Tuesday, May 3, 2016

4 mile event at THE DOME

Back at the beginning of April I registered for the Fools 5K and registered for this 4mile event at the same time, figuring that having an event will be motivation to get on the treadmill when I can't run. That last part hasn't been all that true, though I have gotten on a couple times a week.  I use to do some of my longer runs over through campus in the early morning in the summer. It is a fairly quiet area that time of day and year---and I could run inclines in the parking garage!

As the weekend loomed closer, the weathermen said the phrase we rarely hear, "100% chance of rain on Saturday".  Oh happy happy, joy joy!   Walking in the rain.  Then I remembered Guitar Ted's (mountain bike writer) who says, "once you're wet, you're wet, you can't get any wetter" and I have always agreed with that.  

I had to dig out my winter running clothes (having put them all away in vacuum bags after the Fools race--apparently *I'm* the fool for doing that).  I felt like I was the only one in layers, but I did see a few others in long running pants as well (I had the winter pants over capris with knee hi socks).  I was quite surprised to see people in flappy shorts, as the temp was 43ºF at the start!   These last four/five years I am *always* cold and my docs can't figure it out, so I have to figure out clothing that will keep me warm, but not make me overheat once I'm ten or twenty minutes into running, which I figure is thirty minutes into walking. Being able to open up the bottom of the rain jacket while walking is good for two reasons: 1. to let air circulate; and 2. I'm short, so it wants to either ride up above the hips, or needs to be open a couple inches to allow for the hips.  #ShortPeopleProblems  

Packet pick up was Friday night or Saturday morning. I chose to go Friday night and got a bib for the event. There were only so many of these style ordered. Those who picked up late got plain white bibs.  I'm putting my back to the test, I want that special bib :-D   A local insurance agent also provided each participant with a purple cowbell for the event. Mine stayed home with The Mike who was content to sleep in.   I was back again at The Dome early the next morning for race (walk) day. 

Finish chute and finish line on the 50 yard line! 

Since I attended this University, I have some great memories in the Dome. They're not of games (I don't care to be in the midst of a lot of people like that). Rather, the memories are of being in Military Science classes/ROTC. Our PT was in the gym, with a two mile run (out/back) to a brown house that was on the edge of town at that time--and is not longer 'on the edge', and we rappelled off the north wall.  Due to my pre-existing condition, two weeks before boot camp I was told I couldn't go/join.  Plus, when I attended the State Regents said everyone had to take a 'gym' class. Mine was weight lifting in the center attached to the Dome. I learned a lot then, and still use that information.

We walked over to the chilly start to line up and of course we're all looking around to see who is there. A fabulous thing about this school is that our coaches are AWESOME.  They're nice on the field/court and off, on the trail system if you meet them, and they participate in events like this one.

We all stood (fairly) silently for the National Anthem. We waited.
and waited. 
and waited.
Someone at the front said, "Do we have to sing it?" being a smarty pants.
Then the race promoter said, "The iPod won't work, we'll have to sing the National Anthem", and so we did. 300+ folks singing the National Anthem at the start of a 4 mile event. It was cool. The campanile was chiming the hour just before we sang.   

Campus artwork
The route was a bit hilly at times and brisk wind at other times. I started out walking and paused to take the above photo. At that time, a couple walkers came up with me and I moved faster than I normally do in order to keep up with them and not be dropped/finish in last.  They were kind to let me tag along. We walked down and around and up to a roundabout that use to be my professors' office building, then down campus to the environmental studies. Then we hiked UP UP UP the incline/hill to the very official name of R.O.T.H. . . . Residence On The Hill.  This was mile 2 and while my legs were feeling good, my low back was furious with me.  It was screaming as much as it could and I wanted to hurl from the pain.   At this point I was like, "well, I can finish in two miles, or I can DNF at 2 miles and walk back to the start. Oh, wait, I am walking to the finish/start". Thankfully we didn't have a lot of hills to go and not anything like that one had been.  It started sprinkling on us around this point as well. We got across campus and it started picking up. By the time we got to the Dome it was a nice drizzle.  

We finished inside the Dome and entered the way the players do...from the NW corner of the floor across the VERY soft/squishy artificial turf to the 50 yard line.  It was awesome!  
My almost finish photo with walking/jostling hand.
photo of other people, not me
As folks crossed the finish, the picture was put up on the display, along with the leader board.

After walking around a bit, the fire in my back went down a couple notches and I had some milk  and a banana, watched the awards, and then had to walk up the stairs to get out to the parking lot.  It was frustrating that I had to stop and move to the side on the stairs, but I was also happy that I did the 4 mile event.

This was a wonderfully organized event, set on a beautiful campus, with some challenge to the course (hills and wind).  I would love to do this event again, and hopefully be able to run it.  My back hated me during the race, and for the rest of the weekend. I'm not sure the pain was worth it, but the legs and mind loved getting back out there.