Monday, May 18, 2009

Humble Pie and Black Cherry Soda

Last year I read about the Titus van Rijn on Greg Crowther's blog. I thought it sounded like fun, but his post fell after the TVR deadline so I was out of luck. I pretty much forgot all about the whole thing until Greg posted about his TVR experience again this year. This time, however, he was kind enough to post way in advance of the cutoff, so I had plenty of time to participate in the fun.
So Monday after getting off work at noon, I headed over to Charles Bowles track at Willamette University. My goal was at least 13,600m (8.5 mi); I thought that would be a piece of cake.

Things started on a bad note because I forgot my sunscreen and I am militant about sunscreen. Not good since I only had a singlet bra to run in.

I ran my first mile in 6:36 - just like me to go out too fast in a race! By the second mile I was sweating like a pig and I knew I would have to back it off. It was sweltering out there! The temp on the way home said 78, but it felt more like 98 - this Oregonian is not trained to run in the sun!

I shared the track with a few midday walkers for the first five miles or so, but then it was only me and the guy on the lawn tractor.I kept a good pace through four miles but then just started slipping, little by little, lap by lap. Man, was I sweating!

With about 12 minutes to go, my friend Gabriel shows up to run a set of bleacher steps. I practically begged him to run with me as I came by, but he just shrugs and says,"I am done." When I come back around he apparently has some sympathy for me and he falls in beside me.

"What are you doing? Mile repeats?" Gabe asks me.

"Ummm, no. I am running on the track for an hour," I clarify.

"Doing what?" Gabe is clearly still confused.

"Just trying to go as far as I can. I only have seven minutes left." I try to explain about the TVR. I think Gabe respects the idea, but I am also pretty sure he thinks I am nuts running laps by myself for an hour in the noon day sun. After our third lap together, we hit the starting line with 1:35 to go and he is encouraging me to push the last lap. The one hour alarm goes off right as I step on the blue triangle marking the end of the last relay zone and I just stop. Gabe gives me a funny look and I am left to explain why I stopped 90 meters shy of completing the lap: "You have to stop when the hour is up."The stopping point, 90m shy of the start and 90m shy of 8.5 miles.

8.5 miles was not the piece of cake I expected, more like a slice of humble pie! Fortunately, I had a cooler full of black cherry soda to wash it down and I had plenty to share. Gabe and I each took a big swig before heading off for a (slow) mile cool down (after I had put my T-shirt back on to cover up from the sun, but I still came home with toasty red shoulders). Then we plunked down on the bench and just enjoyed the TVR celebratory beverage. I even washed mine down with a second, but Gabe declined.
The Stats: The Garmin measurement was short a couple meters per mile. Hmmm - The Willamette track is known for being too long, maybe I hit my 8.5 miles after all. j/k! And yes, I stopped at exactly one hour, it just took me a couple seconds to stop the watch!

Total distance: 13,510 meters

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