Birch Bay International Road Race
Birch Bay, Washington
United States
42F / 6C

Run - 30k
Total Time = 3h 17m 31s
Overall Rank = 40/52
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 4/4

Pre-race routine:

Breakfast was a Baker's Breakfast Cookie and hot mint tea. This was just going to be a training run, so I was mainly concerned with feeling good and having a good time. I was TIRED this morning because I chaperoned a 3:00-midnight LAN party for my students on Friday night. I don't really sleep well before big races, and I'm a 5-6 hour a night girl anyhow, so I wasn't too concerned. Unfortunately one of the parents was (RUDELY) over half an hour late, so I raced on 4.5 hours of sleep. Oh well!

Arrived at 7:30 for an 8:00 race and found it cold, windy, and cold and windy and a little wet. Unfortunately I'd forgotten my gloves. Went and grabbed my number and chip and sat in the car as they'd announced a late start of 8:20.

Event warmup:

Goodie bags were given out. Nothing to write home about; just a bunch of flyers for other races. But that's okay, it's only in its second year. Instead of a shirt we got race socks. Nice! I already have a shirt from last year, and who needs one more shirt?

The race was held up a little longer because the port-a-potty line was long. I found this irritating as it was freezing and really windy. It had already been delayed and if people didn't take care of that before now, then too bad! I'm sorry, but seriously. I think it's disrespectful to the rest of the racers to hold up the race for a few who have to pee.



The run didn't go as fast as I'd like. I lost 3 minutes over last year, but overall I think I did okay. I was really disappointed with a few of my splits. Even with run/walk intervals I rarely have 11 min miles! I attribute it to two poor decisions I made last week. One was to host a late night LAN before the race. The other was that I really overdid it on speed work on Wednesday. I did speedwork out four miles, which left four miles to run back. My toes started cramping with two miles to go and to compensate I was running on the side of my foot, and bruised it. Oh well! Live and learn!

I'm sure the wind was a factor as well, but I did do better last year.

What would you do differently?:

Go to bed earlier and not do the heavy speedwork on Wednesday. It was only a training run, though. Oh, and I should have brought gloves!

Post race

Warm down:

Walked around and talked to Chris who came in 2 min before me, then waited for Theresa who came in about 2 min after me. Stretched my very cold muscles and ate part of a PB&J sandwich. My complaint about the post race is that they had unplugged the hot water and the photographer was gone. I know I was in the second half of the runners of the 30k, but how disappointing not to have someone to take a picture. Plus the people who ARE out there longer are probably colder than the hard competitors. How hard would it have been to have kept the water and coffee hot (since the plug was actually right there, just laying on the ground).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My poor decisions the week before and, once again, the fact that I'm not very fast!

Event comments:

This is still a "new" race and I really applaud their efforts. Improvements this year included more water stations, gel at every station, and LOTS of volunteers. I would like events to start on time. I also really wish that they'd make an effort to make sure that post-race food was available to ALL racers. There was food, but they advertised warm food (nothing there), and hot coffee/cocoa was cold.

Last updated: 2007-03-31 10:00 PM
03:17:31 | 18.639 miles | 10m 36s min/mile
Age Group: 4/4
Overall: 41/52
Performance: Good
Slowest lap: 11:51 running IN to the cold wind up a hill. That's still a REALLY slow lap for me. Fastest: 9:03 HR Avg: 140 Max HR: 173
Course: The course is just beautiful, which is why I returned this year. Last year this race happened to fall in my training for the SLC Marathon, and this year it was really close in my training Rock and Roll, so I signed up. The first part runs right along the bay and it's just beautiful watching the birds swoop and dive into the water. Since the course is open, no headphones are allowed. I had my iPod and my Nike+, but only turned it on to record my race and didn't listen. (It didn't record my race. This thing is a piece of junk.) Who needed music in such a gorgeous area! The run goes into Birch Bay Park, a forested camping area. The nice thing was not only did you get a nice change of scenery (not that the waterfront gets old, but a change is nice too), but the wind dies WAY down! The wind was WICKED today! I mean just monster wicked! There was a strong crosswind that just sucked the energy out of you. As we exited the park I watched as some kite boarders took off. Whoa that looks like FUN! Back onto the waterfront for the next 3-4 miles. It's a light grade and the wind had picked up even more. At one point my brain formulated the words "This really sucks" so I had to tell it to shut up. "What is your alternative? Quitting? I don't think so, so shut up!" It did just that and I concentrated on what I thought might be whales way out in the water, the beautiful mountain range in the distance, and the young eagle who flew overhead. I can't say I was able to completely ignore the wind because my hands were totally frozen, but I was at least able to relax and enjoy myself. One of the best sites was this man who followed me throughout the race! Roy came up with me and every 3 miles he'd be stopped at the side of the road and take my picture and wave at me. What a welcome sight on a really small field! He had the car stocked with extra gu and water, which I didn't end up needing because this year they had water stops ever 2-3km and gel at every table! Very nice!! The course hit Birch Bay Point, which is dotted with amazing houses. Let's just say this...they are beautiful to look at, although they did block my view, but I'm glad I don't have to pay their property taxes! I'd be just as happy living in a trailer with that view (and I saw a few of those further down the beach, which made me smile). At this point the waterfront was further off and there was a lot more woods, so we ended up with a lot less wind. Thank heavens! As we turned into the Semiahmoo area I heard a voice behind me calling out. It was a lady named Theresa who had been pacing behind me. "I've been pacing you! I saw you earlier and thought 'she has a good pace and great calves, I'll see if I can pace with her." So we ran together and talked for about three miles. Nice to have someone to talk to for awhile! She's from Arlington and I enjoyed getting to know her, even if it was just for about half an hour. One nice thing is, she pushed me so my splits started picking up. I dropped my run/walk at that point. When she stopped for a potty break, I kept on going. Wished a good morning to some locals and a few fellow runners, and then heard another voice. "Do you mind if I pace with you for awhile?" It was a man named Chris from Canada. He was out on a training run as well. We talked for quite awhile. He was interesting and we had something in common...we both lost over 100 pounds and had used running as a way to get, and stay fit! How ironic! With only 2k to go he decided to sprint in, so I bid him a farewell and decided that it was okay to listen so some music. I popped in one ear bud (so that one ear was still open) and what did I hear? The theme from Rocky! Oh yes! Perfect!!!! By now the sun was out, the wind was gone, and the race was almost over! My legs were feeling great and I felt strong enough to run it in. The final km brings one really awful, but blessedly short hill. At the top of the hill sat one of the race directors. I joked as I struggled up the hill, "I thought last year I told you to do something about this hill! Shenanigans!" He just laughed, and told me I looked good. As I ran in there was my personal photographer for two more pictures.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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