Around the Bay 30K – an unexpected race recap

I remember finishing the Midsummer Night Run 30K last August, and swearing up and down that I would NEVER do another 30K. The distance just seems so pointless to me. Almost 19 miles for a distance that gives you no bragging rights, and a PR (if you get it) that you probably won’t challenge for another few years.

Enter my buddy Deb, who loves the Around the Bay race with an intense fondness. For months she kept telling me I was going to run the bay. “For the grim reaper! For the midget! For the finish inside Copps Coliseum! For the medal!” Boy did she have a ton of reasons for it. But I just couldn’t do it. I mean, why would I run the 19 or so miles just to say I ran a 30K? I’d rather run the extra 7 and just call it a freakin’ marathon! Honestly, you have done most of the work already so just tack on the extra 7 miles and give me the big girl title of multi-marathoner.

Anyway, what got me finally to sign up were the fateful words, “You have to do a 18 mile training run that day anyway”. Damn you….I hate it when thats true. A training run where people hand you cups of water. Very nice. So I signed up……and it wasn’t bad. I’m glad I can say I did it since it is pretty historical. The back of the shirts sport the words “Older than Boston” and the medals proclaim the 118th running. The course itself wasn’t bad except for the excruciating hills towards the end. You climb back up out of the gorge at an angle that is painful on the legs and back. Don’t believe me? Here is the elevation chart!

I started the race with Deb and Jo (another runner buddy from north of the border). Jo and I quickly decided that we would stick with the Run/Walk pace bunny wearing a 3:30 hat. Since my last 30K time was over 4 hours, my only goal was to finish under that. I figured if they were run/walking how hard could it be. Jo and I chatted and agreed to run the Beast of Burden 50miler next January. Oh the crazy things I agree to while running! I had been thinking about it since volunteering  back in January and now that I have a partner in crime who has done ultras before, I feel more confident and have hope that I will actually be able to accomplish it. After a couple run/walk cycles (they were 10:1 intervals) Jo had to take a step back and I kept with the pace bunny. I was still feeling pretty good and vowed to stay with him til at least the 15K point. Then I could drop back if I needed to. Well 15K came and went and so did 20K. The bunny admitted to never running the race before and didn’t know about the hills about to take apart his pace. I didn’t want to be left behind so I started

leading off the pack with a woman who turned out to be from the Tri training group at Fleet Feet. Small world. After a couple more miles, we couldn’t see the bunny, and then I couldn’t see her! I kept pushing because I figured the bunny was going to catch up shortly and I suddenly wanted that sub 3:30 with a desperation similar to me chasing a sub 2:30 half marathon. Well, breaking into a dead sprint for the last mile was probably not the smartest idea, but I did it all the same. I came flying down the ramp and across the mats in the stadium at what I consider to be breakneck speed. I looked down at my watch as I crossed and say 3:26! I was so happy! Later, I checked my official time and was jumping for joy all over again.

03:24:53!!!! Official Chip Time

For a race I really didn’t want to do, I’m highly impressed. I kept a sub 11 minute mile for over 18 miles. Average pace was 10:57/m which is huge for me. I use to be lucky to get sub 12s. Not only that, but I ran negative splits the whole way!

My 10K marker put me at an 11:45/m, 15K was 11:27/m, and 20K was 11:24/m. And to the second this was exactly 36 minutes faster than my previous 30K!

Celebration is cause for victory pictures. So here is Deb and Jo with me after the finish!

 

Oh, and in other news I am once again on the team for Snickers Marathon Bars! HECK YEAH! Hence the awesome team apparel I get to rock for another whole year!

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