Race InfoLocation: Goodale Park, Columbus, Ohio
Date: Friday June 17, 2016
I had my eye on this race for several months but never signed up because the date was questionable. It was close to when I would be traveling for work and I hadn’t yet been told exactly where I would be going or when I would be back in Columbus. I forgot about the race until I saw a post on facebook a few weeks before. After checking the travel itinerary I decided to forego this race because I would be coming home from Dallas at 6pm and the race started at 7pm.
“Oh well, there will always be more races.”
Come race week and I was running on the hotel treadmill and losing motivation. I was in an area of downtown that didn’t seem to be the nicest, and despite scouring Strava to find segments or parks nearby my hotel I wasn’t finding much. I was getting antsy. So I sat in my hotel every night stuffing my face with food and watching bad TV.
Finally, Wednesday rolls around and I start running the math. “Ok, so I didn’t check a bag and the weather for Friday is clear from Dallas to Columbus. According to Google maps, the drive from the airport to the start takes 17 minutes. If I can get a friend to pick me up from the airport and drop me off at the start I will be there at 6:25, maybe 6:30 at the latest after factoring in the time it will take to deboard the plane. That’s about the time I would get to the race anyways if I drove myself, so that should work out fine. Then I’ll just run home, it’s only a 5k and I could use the mileage.”
And in 5 short minutes, I talked myself out of the clearly planned decision to NOT sign up, and paid the registration fee.
This turned out to be an insanely stressful and stupid decision on my part.
Cue Friday, when I show up to the Dallas airport. The time we were supposed to board came and went without notification. I waited, and waited, and waited, convincing myself that if the flight wasn’t officially delayed that meant I should still land in Columbus on time.
Eventually the plane arrived and we were off. I kept looking at my watch waiting for an announcement that we were going to start our descent at 5:30. It didn’t happen until 6:05. “Ok folks we are now going to make our final descent and should land around 6:25pm…..” WHAT. I started doing math in my head. Would I even be able to make it there on time? I was at the back of the plane and figured I would make it off the plane by 6:35 at best. If I called my ride the second we landed and had them wait at the arrivals gate I figured I could run to the car with my luggage in another 3-5 minutes. Then it would be 6:40 and with a 17 minute drive I might be able to collect my bib in time for the start, assuming it was late. I realized that it was highly unlikely that I’d make this one.
The car ride was going well until the High Street Traffic Jam. I thanked my ride and got out of the car prematurely to start running. At the next light there was a welcome surprise, the start arch dead ahead. The traffic was due to the closed off road. I crossed the street to pick up my bib which was somewhat hidden due to the sheer number of people at the race and festival. The national anthem started immediately after I put on my bib. To say I was lucky would be a massive understatement.
The race was hot, and I was stiff. My watch only registered 3.0 instead of the full 3.1. Part of the course was on brick roads which I always enjoy just to mix up the usual monotony of the road. The course was a steady downhill to the turn around point. From there you came right back up the way you came up the hill. With the Pride Festival going on, there were a lot of bystanders cheering at the start/finish area which was much needed since the course finished uphill.
I came in 3rd female with a final time of 20:34! Although I’m still struggling if it truly counts as a new PR or not since my watch came up short. On one hand, my watch could have been wrong. However, on the other hand, this was a 3 second PR for me so running 0.1 more would have put me over my previous PR. EITHER WAY, the only logical way I can think of to solve this dilemma is to just get a new PR…
I hung out around the food and grabbed a banana and other goodies and tried to take a short break before I ran 6 miles home. Right when I decided to get going a massive cramp hit my right calf. I’m talking the worst sudden onset of a cramp I’ve experienced to date. I started to panic as I was limping and trying to massage it away with no success. My phone was still in the luggage, so the only way I was getting home was by running (or walking, limping, crawling, sobbing, etc.)
The good news was that I made it home, albeit at a very slow pace. I took a scenic route home to try to keep my mind off of the cramp. Plus, I didn’t want anyone to see my half run/limp which I’m sure looked concerning. I had lingering issues with it the rest of the weekend but nothing as painful as what I experienced on Friday.
I believe the takeaway here would be that if you just got off a 3+ hour flight to either NOT do speed work immediately after the flight or actually stretch before hand.
Read the Race Report from 2017 Here