This is one incredibly overdue recap. I don’t know why I have been sitting on it for so long. I think maybe this run, the 15th annual St. Charles Children’s Home 5K “Run With the Cause”, was just too fabulous for words.
Labor Day jaunt.
We hadn’t planned on doing a Labor Day run, seeing as we’d both done the torturous NH 10 Miler on Saturday and Hubby had finished the Applecrest Half Marathon the following day (because he is that
crazy devoted). But when we were informed there was a 5K in which we could run with nuns, we couldn’t resist. Running. With nuns.
All jokes aside though, this was a race with a great cause. The St. Charles Children’s Home is a safe haven for children. The nuns run with the kids to give them healthy ways to channel intense anger and frustration and to enhance their self-esteem. These running nuns are amazing, and a little bit famous.
Don’t you just love the brilliant expression on this sister’s face?
They are also fast!
In our 2011/12 running tour of New England, we had somehow managed to overlook Maine. Nothing against that fine state, of course. Its tree-to-person ratio alone is enough to recommend it. And even though Crabapple Cove doesn’t really exist (that’s for the two M*A*S*H fans reading this), I don’t hold it against the Pine Tree State.
Anyway, we were excited to make the trek north for the Shipyard Old Port Half-Marathon and 5K in Portland, which, given its port-like qualities, promised a pretty backdrop to our respective runs (me, 5K; hubby, half).
Starting scenery. The Casco Bay.
It was another hot weekend for a race (oh, for the day when I don’t have to write that). I was particularly excited when I was informed that this 5K would start on a steep uphill, and continue in that fashion for the first few minutes. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot. The rest of the run was a downhill grade. Allegedly.
The half-marathoners started first (on higher ground, mind you), leaving the rest of us to hang around for a while and get nicely crisped in the sun. My favorite moment was the start sign being shifted for the 5K – down the very same hill we were about to run up. Couldn’t they have just left it at the top? I’m sure no one would have minded.
The beginning met all my expectations in its level of suckery. I couldn’t run to the top. That’s right, I walked in the first three minutes. Never done that before. (OK, apart from the time I walked an entire half-marathon, but that was different.)
Stairs and poop
Just after the first mile, we had to descend a hazardous flight of granite stairs that took us through the woods and down on to the promenade below. (Guess that’s what makes it downhill.) Fearing for my bones, I took these at what some runners behind me might have considered an unnecessarily slow clip. I wasn’t breaking an ankle for anyone.
After my comically crap showing at the Squantum 5 last week, I was ready to redeem myself. (Funny, I think I may have written that line before.) I figured a nice, easy 4K ought to do the trick. I’ve got this 5K thing down (sort of), so a 4K should be a piece of cake. Right?
In the words of the running gods: HA!
Best race sign ever.
I’m never getting up.
The occasion of my latest display of badness was the 4K on the 4th (which confused me by not actually being on the fourth) in Concord, NH. With the eastern states in the grip of a heatwave, it was a helluva hot morning for a run. Whipping up some pre-race bacon and eggs on the hood of our car wouldn’t have been out of the question.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a terrible runner in hot weather (to the point where you’re all probably wishing I would shut the hell up about it and go bloviate about Lululemon or something). I know I am not alone in this affliction. But looking around after this weekend’s 4K was over, I couldn’t see anyone else who had been reduced to a pathetic, quivering, jelly-legged wreck (see photo).
Maybe they were just able to hide it much better than me … Continue reading
Apologies for the extended absence. Can someone please invent a time machine? …
I had really been looking forward to writing this post. Last week, I officially hit the halfway point in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. Hooray! I figured I would spend the next 300 words excitedly recounting my experiences and proclaiming how far I had come. (Nothing like a little proclaiming between friends.) But instead, on the illustrious occasion of my halfaversary, any excitement I may have had gave way to a feeling that I am Right. Back. Where. I. Started.
Lest you think I am a total drama queen, allow me to explain. I ran the five-mile Squantum 5 on Thursday night. It was very, very hot and there were hills. I was suffering from horrible jet lag, having flown in from Australia a couple of nights before and gone straight back to work. I had done very little exercise the previous two weeks thanks to travel and family obligations. (I squeezed in five miles, but they weren’t quality miles.)
Best start sign ever.
You know what happens when you combine jet lag, heat, hills, and a lack of preparation?
You come fourth last.
As in only three people are slower than you.
As in almost everyone is already on their second beer at the party tent before you’ve even managed to put a toenail across the finish line.
I’m the shadowy figure taking a photo. I thought I’d have no trouble keeping up with the woman in front with the knee brace, who looked to be pretty hobbled as she started running. But nooooo.
It was tough for me to get my head around this turn of events. I’m not fast by any means, but I’m usually somewhere about three-quarters into the pack; I have even been known to be in the middle on a good day.