Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Garcon Point Bridge Run Recap

Not the best shirt ever! The color - yuck!
Once again, the Santa Rosa Education Association put on a great race.  I should point out that they use volunteers for all aspects of the race.  They do not have a race director.  Volunteers from the organizations that benefit from the race organize the whole thing from beginning to end.  And I have to say they do an awesome job!  Here is a link to their website:

This is my second time running this race and I will probably keep it as an annual event.  For one, I live in Santa Rosa County and my children go to school here and, well, like I said, it is a great race!

The temperature was just about perfect.  Probably in the high 40s or low 50s.  This is a one-way race.  You take a bus from the Lowe's parking lot in Gulf Breeze to the toll booth on the norht end of the bridge.  Then you get to run back for 4.8 miles with 3 miles over the water!  Like I said, this is a great race.  There is the usual 'hump' like you have in just about all bridges and a small, and I mean small, downhill just before the finish.  As long as you don't get a strong headwind, it's a good run.  One you can PR in if you are running good.

I got the the bus area early like I always do.  I'm not one of those runners that can show up 30 minutes or less before a race and then off we go.  No, I have to get there early so I can calm the nerves and get my warm up run and stretches done.  So, like I said, I got there early.  The start time for the race was 7:30.  I got on the bus at about 6:30.  By the time they took off, we got to the start at about 6:45.

This is where things got a bit interesting.  Like I have mentioned before, I like to get a good mile warm up before my runs.  This time was no different.  After I got done with my stretches and the usual potty stop, I headed out for my warm up run.  Now I don't know if I have mentioned this before on this blog, but I have asthma.  It is pretty much controlled and I don't have to use an inhaler often.  However, the cold is a good trigger for an attack as well as nerves.  I usually take a couple puffs of my inhaler before every race.  For those races like this one where I have to take a bus to the start, I use the inhaler before I board the bus.  Well, this time I forgot.  So, combine the nerves and the cold, and bam, asthma attack.  I probably hadn't gone a 1/4 mile when I started to wheez (sp).  Not bad mind you, but wheezing none the less.  I actually considered getting on one of the busses and going back to use my inhaler.  I didn't!

I got my warm up mile done, got back to the start and relaxed a bit before the race.  We did the anthem and then we were off.  Like I said earlier, this is a 4.8 mile race.  I didn't want to start off too fast and not be able to finish strong.  I keep my pace around 7:45.  First mile, no problems.  Was holding a steady pace.  Had a young lady about about the same pace and her and I stayed together for about a mile or so.  Right around the 2nd mile, I started to feel heavy in the chest.  I could really hear my breathing.  The wheezing was worse then it had been on the warm up.  Oh and this just happened to be a time when I was running with no music.  Perfect right?  NOT!

At around mile 3 I started to get a little worried. I mean I could still breath and all, but I keep thinking that I still had almost 2 miles to go and if it got worse, I was in trouble.  I pushed on.  I tried to keep my breathing consistent.  I couldn't really draw in a big gulp of air, so I was breathing at a more shallow level.  You know, just like you would do if you 'couldn't breath'!  LOL  I manged to get up and over the 'hump' in the bridge and that left me with just a little over a mile to the finish.  I knew then that I was going to be able to finish, I just wasn't sure how strong I could finish.  I push it as hard as I could and finished at 38.57.  Just about a minute slower then last year.  Not bad, but considering the weather conditions and the course, I really wanted to PR this race.  The asthma put an end to that.

Fatma and I
My son's best friend's mom  started running a few months ago and she was at this race also.  I got the news photographer to get this picture of us just after she finished.

The after party for this race is awesome.  Probably the only time that you will see 250 people eating huge hamburgers for breakfast (not me, I passed on the hamburgers).  I placed 2nd in my AG last year and honestly thought I had a chance of placing this year.  Alas, it was not to be.  I placed 4th.  Only 30 some seconds behind the 3rd place finisher.  I'm very competitive and this bothered me to no end.  Of the 3 people that placed in the top, I didn't recognize a single one of them.  Unusual considering I race just about every weekend.  You can be rest assured that I will pay closer attention to those around me next time.  I know I could have pushed hard enough to have caught that guy!  LMAO

Anyway, overall it was a good race.  I managed to finish without have to cross the finish line in an ambulance!

As always my friends, remember "Real athletes run, all the rest just play games"!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love reading your race reports. I always feel like I'm there with you. Was this the first time you forgot your inhaler?