It’s Gate River Run week, and the expo opens tomorrow. In case you didn’t know, The GATE River Run is the largest 15K race in the United States and will once again serve as the USA 15K Championship with America’s top Olympic athletes competing for $85,000 in prize money. Last year over 23,000 runners and walkers participated in one of our featured events including the 15K, The Florida Times-Union 5K for Charity, the adidas Junior River Run, and the Brooks Rehabilitation Challenge Mile.
In other words, it’s HUGE. And it’s right here in Jacksonville. The route is pretty spectacular. It goes over the Main Street Bridge and the Hart Bridge, also known as the “Green Monster.” The Hart Bridge really is a PITA. It has two rises and is very steep. It’s also mile 7.5 – 9 – meaning it’s at the end of the race. Last year I wanted to run up the entire thing and wasn’t able to. This year, however, I am going to. I don’t care how slow I’m going, I’m making it up that bridge.
http://www.gate-riverrun.com/images/course13.pdf <– here is the route for the race.
They cap the 15k at 20,000 and for the past two years, I was 10 minutes behind the start line. Yep, 10 minutes. I’m not kidding when I say that this race is huge.
They have new corrals this year! Before they would just have it set up so that you would line up by time, but now it looks like they are going to line people up by their race number. I’m in the Grey Zone – Wave 2 (my number is 9688). My sister (11877) and Dreamboat (11897) are in the Grey zone as well. The grey zone is for 10 – 11 minute milers. The purple zone (wave 2) are 12000 – 180000 numbers, or those running 12 – 14 minute miles. The last zone is Wave 4, pink zone which is basically the walkers. They have it set up this year so that you are separated by color and able to not have to be stuck walking through most of the start like we usually are. The start isn’t narrow, but it does narrow up some and a lot of people always ends up being a game of frogger to get around everyone.
The 5k starts at the same spot we do, but turn before going over the bridge I think. I do think it’s weird that the post race celebration starts at 9:15am when the race itself starts at 8:24 (elite women start time) but some people can actually finish faster than ever. One of the guys I know from Mayo Clinic wants to finish the entire 9.3 miles in 60 minutes or less. I just want to finish in 1:45!! Crazy!
And when we finish? We get THIS:
If you follow me on Facebook, you already know this one. Costumes are chosen! Sibber and I are going as Rainbow Brite – but modified. We are going to wear our multi-colored tutus with blue tanks. I want to find rainbow socks but Heather said she wouldn’t wear them. She has arm-warmers and ribbon for our hair, and I think I am going to try and find a way to make rainbows for our costumes.
My nerves are kicking in. I’m scared that I won’t be able to keep up the pace I want to finish in the time that I want because I haven’t been training as hard as I had been. BUT – in the same breath, the past two years I’d either been sick or injured. This year, I’m not. (Well, right now I’m fighting what I think is food poisoning, but other than that I’m fine) I’m also stressing running with Dreamboat and Heather. Sometimes motivating each other comes out harsh and I don’t want to fight with them on the race. I want it to be fun most of all.
I’m probably over-thinking it. I can almost hear all my running friends here at the station telling me to STFU. That I ran 15 miles the other day, 9.3 is easy. But it’s not the distance that has me stressing. It’s that damn goal time.
I set myself up for disaster sometimes.
In completely unrelated news: I weighed in today at 177. Literally no weight change still. Frustrated, yes, but my clothes fit a little looser so I’m going to just deal with it. Maybe this is what my body feels good at and I just need to suck it up. I’m between sizes right now and that’s fine (Okay, no it’s not but really, what can I do about it that I’m not already doing!?) A little bit more effort and I know I will drop the weight. I’m working on it. I haven’t weighed in at all since January so being stable is actually a good thing. It beats going up.
What helps you stay focused when it comes to races? What keeps you from losing it and mentally going off the deep end?