Finished with another Robie Creek, my 6th one to be exact, and Alyssa's 2nd one. It was a gorgeous day with temps in the upper 50s when we started out at high noon. There are a lot of tricky things about this race, but the start time is probably the trickiest part for me. I'm used to running at a very early part of the day, then coming home to my bowl of oatmeal, honey, and walnuts. But on Robie race day, I have to change my schedule all up. Eat my oatmeal first thing, so it has a chance to digest and give me the needed energy to power up the hills. Drink water but only up until 2 hours before the race - you don't want to spend any unnecessary time at the portapotties on your climb up. Then drink about 2-3 8 oz cups of water 15 minutes before start time.
Um, the water thing didn't happen.
I couldn't stomach drinking that much water and risking my bladder turning on me at mile 7... I needed to focus on other things like what cool Robie tattoos I could put on my body before the start. I needed to focus on taking a good picture for posterity. I needed to warm up with the girls before the start, and I definitely needed to shield Joni from any oncoming runners when she needed to go to the bathroom behind a car 'cuz the line was too long... 5 minutes before the start.
There are a lot of tricky things about that race! Here they are from my perspective mostly in the order of which they happened:-Sunscreening up before the race and forgetting to do your shoulders and arms.
-2,400 other runners' breathing patterns
-Losing Alyssa at the start line
-Finding Alyssa at about mile 2
-Getting sunscreen in my eyes for about 5 miles 'cuz I.Am.A.Sweathog.
-Deciding that Banana Boat Sunscreen makers are liars. Their sunscreen is not sweatproof!
-Seeing older women and men pass you without breaking a sweat
-Figuring out when to take your gu before it gives you a rash between your boobs 'cuz that's where you had to stash it...
-Deciding to say good bye to Joni 'cuz she was just too fast for me!
-Somewhere losing Alyssa
-Choking on water as I gulped it greedily from a cup and sniffed it up my nose
-Being sticky between the boobs 'cuz my gu was REALLY warm after I took half of it at mile 5.
-Listening to my FM radio/MP3 player on a classic rock station because I'm too lazy to download songs and getting BAD reception with every swing of my arm 'cuz we're up so high in the mountains
-Wondering if the Red Bull they gave me at the summit would actually give me wings like the commercial said it would (it didn't)
-Deciding how fast I'll have to run down the backside if I want to cross the finish line at 2 hours
-Deciding I can't calculate anything in my head when I'm running pell mell down the mountain
-Screaming at myself in my head to KEEP RUNNING! DON'T WALK! for the last 2 miles
-Trying to envision what a mile really is compared to what the Robie organizers say it is - I swear the last mile is 2 miles. Seriously, people.
- Crossing the finish line without running into someone as they make us STOP and give them our timing chip
-Wishing that we had a camera in our stash bag at the end so we could take a picture of how dirty, salty, sweaty, tired, and happy we were!
The Race to Robie Creek really rocks no matter how tricky it is. In fact, that's why I love it so much. The challenge. The training. The craziness. The competition. The after party. The t-shirt (even if it is ugly and white). The friends you make while standing in the portapotty line and bus line. The delicious cookies, bread, macaroni and cheese, potatoes, chili, and diet pepsi. The gnarly sunburn I got on my arms, neck, and the back of my calves. The 3 toenails I'll definitely lose. Alyssa getting an award for finishing 2nd in her age group. The cheering for the winners as they accept their eccentric prizes. It's all worth it. It's the experience!
Thanks Rocky Mountain Sailtoads! You guys are awesome! See you next year, hopefully 7 minutes faster.