Location: Alum Creek, Westerville, OH
Distance: 5 miles
Gimmick: It has the word dam in the title. And you run over a dam. But mostly it feels like you are cursing, which is hilarious.
I was so nervous about finding this race because it was in the same park as Conquer the Creek, which I made with 5 minutes to spare before the start. I learned my lesson and was on the highway at least an hour before the race. This race, luckily, was a bit easier to find and I left my husband at home so he talked me through getting there using a map online.
When I got to the race, a lot of my MIT pace group was already there.
It eventually got pretty warm and a little sunny yesterday, but it was muggy and cool (~50 degrees) for the race. Taking off my coat to take that picture and line up just about killed me. I tried to huddle to Amy for warmth. Hopefully she didn’t notice and think I was being a total creeper.
So we ran along the beach path (and got sand in our shoes) and then up and over the Alum Creek dam.
After the dam, we headed out on to the road, which was interesting. One lane of the road was closed off to traffic for us and I was running closest to the open lane. The passing automobiles gave me a nice breeze…of smog. Cool air felt good, lungs felt a little heavy. I really should stop working on diesel particulate matter research if I’m going to keep road running.
We reached an intense hill that went for about a quarter mile. It was just hill the whole way forward. My dear friend Whinylocks almost died when she saw the hill, but we made it up along with Julie (who has forcibly dragged me through a 9 and 10 miler. She is amazing). On the way up the hill, I realized my left hip was tight and getting sore, my knee, however, did not bother me at all. Once we were up the hill we hit the third and last hydration station.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to not choke every time I stop to drink in a race. During my first 5K I choked and spit water everywhere. I do routinely forget how to swallow (I choke on water at least 2 times a week and I accidentally dumped juice on myself on Friday), so maybe I’m just a spaz (ok, not maybe). I managed to not choke myself, but it took serious thought and conscious effort, which is annoying.
After the hydration station we hit the beach again and then took off for the finish line. David Babner of MS3 Sports was on the mic and kept telling us how many feet we had left. I actually kind of wanted to choke him a little, because it looked way further than that to me. He does a great job announcing though, I’m just a mega grump and always really struggle once I can see the end. I’m kind of worried about that last 0.1 mile of the half.
As a sidenote, I’ve done three races, all with MS3. These guys do a great job and put on a really good show. Also, there’s something magical about the inflatable start/finish line. I love that stupid thing and it always makes the race site super visible.
So, finally, we approached the finish line. Jenn(ifer) bolted past Julie and I to the finish.
As always, there were Panera bagels and other goodies at the end. We grabbed bananas, bagels, and water and then ran in the last few members of our group. I, of course, got half way through my banana before spitting out a bite due to overwhelming nausea. Yay.
After the post-race photos and hugs, 10 of us headed to Scrambler Marie’s in Powell and acted ridiculous while eating lots of delicious food. It was so much fun to get to know everyone better and relax after the race. Even if I only know Snoop Dog is the guy who was on “90210” and Vanilla Ice is that guy from “The Surreal Life.”
Thanks for a great morning, ladies! It is an honor to run with you all week after week.
One last unfortunate note, however. The pain in my left hip intensified throughout the day yesterday. I was in tears walking to the car after the hockey game and it doesn’t seem to be getting. I can’t walk correctly because the joint doesn’t seem to want to rotate and instead pops. I’m hoping my massage this afternoon will help, but otherwise it will be back to the doctor’s office with me. I’m assuming the problem was my shoes, since I noticed some hip twinges last Saturday (that I forgot about) and overpronation can cause burstitis (I switched to neutral shoes recently). For now, I’ll be alternating ice and heat and taking it easy.
Oh, and extra super special thanks to Rich, Deb, and Amy for the pictures. You guys rock my socks off.