Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Le Tour de Carrboro Four on the Fourth Race Recap!

Instead of a race t-shirt, we got a jar of Norm's Farms elderberry jam!  

Last Friday, Jeff and I ran the Four on the Fourth race in Carrboro, NC.  This was the first of three races in the Le Tour de Carrboro race series, put on by the Cardinal Track Club. We ran it because, well, why not?  Seemed like a fun thing to do on the Fourth of July, right?  Carrboro is an eclectic, hippieish town right next to Chapel Hill, which is home to the University of North Carolina.

We lucked out with the weather for this race - hurricane Arthur had hit the North Carolina coast the previous day and at first it looked like the outer bands of the storm might bring some rain, but except for a little bit overnight, we were sunny and dry - plus the humidity was only 61%, which was so nice!  Compare that to the 91% humidity with pretty much the same temperature (around 74 degrees) in College Station, where my running peeps were participating in a Firecracker 5K, and I'd say we got the better deal...although, Carrboro is full of hills, so maybe it was a draw.
Pre-race...all smiles.  Please note the man in the yellow tank behind me - you'll be seeing him again later.
Watching the group warm up.

The race was fine, except that I had a massive case of race anxiety and a slight panic attack when it began.  I was a little nervous beforehand - why, I don't know.  But I had butterflies in my stomach as we were driving to Carrboro, and although we had plenty of time to do a nice warm up walk, chat with a few people, and watch the yoga stretch warm up from afar, once the race began, my heart started racing, my chest felt tight, and I could not get a handle on my breathing.  We ran the first minute, walked the second...and then walked the third minute while I tried to get control over this.  Not the way I thought the race would go, that's for sure.  I was able to do my 1:1 intervals after that extra walking break, but it took me about a half mile to feel like I had control over the situation.
Just before the starting gun went off...looking calm, cool and collected??  OK, there might be a little trepidation showing on my face.

Even with the anxiety at the start, mile one was my best pace, coming in at 13:48.  And this was with hills! You all know I'm not a hill-loving runner, but if I lived here, I'd have no choice but to embrace them because they really are unavoidable.  We settled into a good running/walking pace, and ended up staying near a big group of runners who train with the local Fleet Feet. They were all so nice - honestly, this was one of the friendliest races I've ever done, from the volunteers all throughout the course, to the spectators who came to the edge of their driveways and cheered us on as we ran through their neighborhood, to the man with a banjo who serenaded us - this was the 10th year for this race, and it showed in how well everything went.
Another race where my mileage was spot on!

We finished in 58:06 - seriously, I was shocked considering all the hills.  Average pace was 14:31...while I don't run races to hit a certain pace or finish time, I will say that seeing these numbers on my Garmin was especially nice considering the way I felt during the first part of the race.
Finished!  Sweaty, yes, but not nearly as bad if we'd raced in Texas!

There were some interesting people at the race.  I first noticed this man before the race and he ended up being in the background of our pre-race picture.  I call him Skinny Hulk Hogen:
You see it too, right? 
And this girl in her patriotic bikini - how did she run four miles in this outfit?  Didn't she chafe??

After the race we had some watermelon:
Best way to rehydrate after four miles!

And then we zipped back to Sam's place, where he had hot coffee and patriotic donuts waiting for us (no picture, because HUNGRY).  Even with the unpleasantness at the beginning of the race, I'm glad we ran it.

22 comments:

  1. AHHH MY FAVE SMALL APARTMENT WAS THERE.
    I love me carrboro.

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    1. It was a really charming town - we got to explore it the day before the race, when we picked up our race bibs.

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  2. Looks like you had a great time together and it must have so nice for you to run with less humidity. And your son is the best: having coffee and donutes ready. What more can a mother wish for right?

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    1. Less humidity is something I could gladly get used to! :)

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  3. I think I'd be worried about the bounce factor as well as chafing in that tiny bikini! Still it must be nice to have that sort of body confidence.

    Anxiety like that usually means you're putting some undue pressure on yourself because you certainly are not running new distances at this point. I read something in Runner's World recently along the lines of we run each distance the first time to finish. Forever after, we are trying to best that distance in some way. Maybe you're doing that mentally even if you don't realize it.

    In any case, I'm glad you calmed down and were able to enjoy that race, since that was the point, right?

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    1. I wondered about the bounce factor as well...let's face it, there was no support with that bikini top. But yeah, talk about having body confidence!!

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  4. glad you were able to "walk it off" and have an overall good time :)

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  5. LOL @ skinny Hulk Hogan! And I like the idea of getting a little gift instead of another t-shirt. Or do you racers like having the shirts as mementos?

    Your time seems excellent, especially considering the hill factor!

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    1. I would have actually liked a shirt for this race since we don't have any from NC, but usually you end up with an abundance of cotton race shirts that don't get worn very often.

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  6. Yay, way to go, sounds like a tough one with all those hills! And watermelon, coffee and donuts sounds like a pretty awesome post-race reward. :)

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  7. It's always fun to run in new places out of our comfort zone. But I'm like you, I get so nervous and anxious before every race I run even a 5K. I'm not sure why this happens because I really don't care about times anymore. Glad you were able to be with your son over the holiday. Sounds like you had a lot of fun after you got the nerves under control.

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    1. All I wanted to do was run and finish, so why the nerves, I don't know. Irritating, to say the least.

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  8. Great job! I've sadly had to get used to hills where I live now. At our old house, it was so flat, not a hill in sight! I walked 35 minutes before work this morning around my neighborhood, and the 328 squats I did made it a bit painful to walk up the hills this morning, but like you said, there is no choice if the hills are there!

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  9. Glad you had a nice race day! I think food instead of cotton t-shirt would be fun!

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  10. Hi Shelley
    Looks like you had a fun-filled day. Congrats on completing your race, especially with the hills. I like the idea of watermelon as a post-race treat! Running in a bikini? Really?

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  11. Go bikini lady, but I would have some serious black eyes if I tried to run in that top :D

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