Taking an 8 day cruise is not the ideal way to prepare for a race. At least not if you want to have your best effort. I only ran 3 times in the 8 days on the ship. I admit that I ate too much. I did not stretch enough of do my exercises…..
Cheryl an I got off the ship on Friday and drove right to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We spent the afternoon touring the visitor center and the battlefields, but more on that later. In the evening we went to the YWCA and found the race location. We were able to check in for the race. I checked out the race map and saw that I had driven through the area earlier in the day. This course was hilly. Also, since we got off the ship the weather had been in the 90s with humidity much higher than this California Desert boy is used too.
On Saturday I got to the race nice and early. I got warmed up. The race had well over 1000 entrants. Cheryl heard that the numbers stopped at 1500. As feared the weather was already into the 70s by race time and it was humid. Now, the locals, were raving about how cool and dry the day was, but well it did not feel dry to me. And it only felt cool if you were in the shade. Even so, when the race started I took off at race effort. The course was pretty flat for a quarter, then it went down for a quarter and then it began a long steady incline. Mile 1 = 6:50. Most of the course was out in wide open fields with no shade at all. Heading up the hill there was also a light headwind, which helped with cooling. Unfortunately, when we turned to run back and down the other side of the loop, the wind was probably going about the same speed I was. This, has a very detrimental effect on your ability to cool. When the air is moving in the same direction as you at the same speed as you, the air your body heats justs stays right with you. Your body depends on the movement of the air to carry excess body heat away. Mile 2 = 6:58. When we turned the corner, the wind was at our side and was again helpful for cooling, but now we were running up the hill we had gone down in mile 1. A final right turn, and a quick dash to the finish and it was done. Mile 3 + .1 = 7:49.
My final time was 21:37. I placed 7th out of 47 in my division and 93rd place out of 1500 entrants.
I did manage to come very close to an award, however….
I got up close to the whole table full of them. They gave out some nice crocks! I almost wished I had one one. But then, if I did, I would be worried about fitting it into my luggage and getting it safely home in the plane.
Here is a slide show of some pics Cheryl took at the race: