Actually, we're really just back from North Carolina, which incidentally, is a really long way from Maine. Holy crap. 17+ hours in the car yesterday was not good times. We survived, though, with only one blow up from me based on the confusing, wrong, utterly-baffling signs posted by the MA-DOT. The Mass Pike is off this exit? Oh really? Screw you, MA-DOT. Screw you.
We had a great trip to North Carolina to visit D's parents. I got to play golf on Thanksgiving in 75 degree weather. Not your usual holiday. I also got to shut my brain off for a couple days, except for the NY Times crosswords. Yes, my life is akin to that of Motley Crue circa 1985.
The athletic highlight of the trip was the Wilmington Road Runners Turkey Trot at Carolina Beach State park. I was not in good spirits going into the race. As I mentioned before, I took 6 days off last week due to a cold, then I rolled my ankle. I followed this up with the drive to NC and two walks on the golf course. Don't get me wrong, golf isn't really taxing, but it did make me tired and my calves really tight. All that walking and driving, contributed to more tightness, which really started to bother my knee. I have an impinged infrapatella fat pad in my right knee that acts up from time to time. Well, it was acting up. Between all those things, I felt terrible warming up for this race. Really terrible. The upside was that it was under 40 degrees at the start of the race, which made it quite pleasant for running. It was a good turnout of about 230 people, as I thought all the southerners would stay inside on such a cool day.
The race started, and I felt really weird. After about 100 yards, I looked up and there were only about 20 people in front of me. Huh? I wasn't really busting it, so I just rolled with it. The really good news was that after after 1/4 mile we left pavement for good. The remaining 3.75 miles were all on trails, which was awesome. What was less awesome was the fact that a fair of amount of these trails were loose sand. Not the fastest, but way better than pavement. As soon as we hit the trails people started slowing down. I passed a few people and found myself in a comfortable place...then a lonely place. I was behind one guy and the first woman for a while, then they pulled away a bit. Then another guy passed me. I thought about going with him, but I had no idea in where I was. Oh yeah, I forgot to start my watch at the start and there were no mile markers...just endless twists and turns, through the sand and scrub pines. So, he got away, and I continued on. I ran by myself for most of the race. It was a little weird because I was totally lost. I just kept following the orange flagging, which was very well done. Suddenly, I heard a few cheers and rounded the turn to the finish. I picked it up a touch, so the chicks would be impressed. Overall, it was a good race. I felt pretty strong. Nothing hurt, which was a huge surprise/blessing. I just wished that it was either A.) two miles longer because I probably could have held that pace or B.) there were mile markers so I could have gaged my effort a little better. But, really no complaints. I was pretty happy, especially for taking so much time off and doing absolutely no speed work.
I ended up 14th overall in 27:07 (6:47 pace) and 4th in my division. Top three got prizes: cool hats. Bummer. The top 3 in my division were 2, 3 and 4 overall. UGH. But the good news is: D won her division! Cool hat for me! What? She'll never wear it.
Thanks to the Wilmington Road Runners for putting on a solid event complete with ayce breakfast and free massage following the race. Oh yeah, the breakfast was complete with grits. Ah, the South. (And, no, I didn't eat any. Grits are just not good.)
(Due to a data entry error, the results have us listed as being from Eggleston, VA. Hopefully, we don't have to move there.)
Here we are post-race, but pre-ayce breakfast:
Special thanks to D's parents for taking photos, driving us around and getting up early!