Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Pwned the Bridge Race Report

I Pwned the Bridge Race Report

beat the bridge Ran the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge for Diabetes today for the fourth time. I’ve only beaten that bridge once before in three attempts, two years ago. The idea is that 20 minutes after the start of the last, slowest wave (my wave), the drawbridge two miles into the run opens up. I learned this the hard way the first time I ran it. First of all, it’s not two miles. It’s more like 2.12. Secondly, it takes a while to get through the starting mat. So really, I have less than 20 minutes to go more than two miles.

The second year I ran it, somehow I beat it. I don’t have that race report handy anymore, but I remember a ridiculously fast first mile, like nine minutes flat. Last year I struggled all year with injuries, and came up about ten seconds short. The line was right in front of me when they closed the bridge. I didn’t care that much because I was pretty much dying at that point from being out of shape.

Fast forward a year. My injuries are at bay (for now, knock knock), and I’m turning times faster than ever at this point of the season. It took me about 15 seconds to cross the mat, so I pretty much knew I had to book it to make the bridge this year. The first mile went okay. My Garmin registered a 9:09 mile. Subtracting the 15, that makes it really a 8:54 mile, one of my fastest ever. It seemed mostly downhill although the Garmin measured it as only –4. That’s when things got dicey. I felt fine, but my heart rate kept climbing. Usually when I hit 180, that’s when I get out of breath. But it was up around 187 to 190. I had to force myself to slow down, but the heart rate wouldn’t. I don’t know what that means. It could just be a malfunction, like reading another person’s strap or something. I didn’t feel out of breath, my legs weren’t tired, but the heart rate was unusually high. Last time something like this happened was my first race after recovering from the flu a couple years back. I hope it ain’t Swine coming…

Anyways, with about five minutes before the opening, I realized I would probably beat the bridge. I think I could have kept up the 8:54 pace but I slowed it down to finish mile two in 9:32, total elapsed time since the gun: 18:42. I had a whole minute and 17 seconds to beat the bridge. I crossed the line right at 19:30, with 30 seconds to spare. I walked the rest of the bridge, and was rewarded with the sound of the horn and the groans of the people who were caught. I definitely had a huge grin for at least a half a mile. I didn’t break my personal record for the whole course but I didn’t have that nice rest period I’ve had stuck behind the bridge (when I pause my watch).

In other racing news, I finally got my wet suit and headed out for a swim in the lake. The hardest part (well next to stuffing my 42-yo flabby ass into a wetsuit) was getting my face into the water. Every time I did it, I got a reaction like I was being waterboarded. Once I got in, I swam around the shore of the lake for almost ten minutes. It really wasn’t bad at all. The lake water actually tastes better than pool water (imagine that) and the wet suit adds a bit of buoyancy. This week it’s “peak week” when I run/ride my highest mileage before the actually race. I may try to get in the lake one more time. Next week is a taper week. Getting very nervous. I hope I find out why people put themselves through these things.

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