Tuesday, August 2, 2016

That time I ran Mount Washington

Wait!  What?  I haven't done my Mt. Washington Road Race recap?  I'm seriously slacking.  BIG TIME!   It's not that I am avoiding the race recap.  Not at all.  Life has been crazy!  

photo credit Stephanie Lull, fellow Maine Track Club rockstar

Way back in February, I did it.  I put my name in the lottery again for the Mt. Washington Road Race.  I survived the first year, so I thought I would put in more training this time and perform way better.  Makes sense, right?   Last year I was in the midst of marathon training and only did a few weeks of hill work... but I had the endurance piece going for me.  This year, I pushed the incline training but wasn't training for a marathon, so my furthest distance was about 13 miles this time around.  Sadly, I didn't get selected in the regular lottery.  BUT, I'm a Maine Track Club member, and Maine Track Club gets a few bibs to lottery off.  Which the Maine Track Club deal, if I get selected, I have to provide a volunteer.... insert Ward.  The best husband around.  



My last day of school was Friday, the 17th of June and race day was Saturday, the 18th! (and I had been sick all week... like gross green phlegm cold ickiness) It's frowned upon to miss the last day of school, but let's be honest, there wasn't a whole lot going on that day anyway.  Finishing up grading, staff meeting, clean up my room..... then at 2:00 pm I was free!  Well, free to go home, finish packing and head out to Mt. Washington.   But it wasn't that simple.  I had received news that day that if I didn't pass my Praxis, I was going to be unemployed.  Insert tears.  Uncontrollable tears.  I was in the midst of a meltdown and considered not even going to the race.  Why should I?  I came home and seriously fell into Ward's arms and cried a big ugly cry.  It was awful.  I was a mess.  Ward reminded me how strong I was and how certain he was that I would pass that test and assured me that he supported me 100%.  No matter what.  I'm a lucky lady.  That's for sure.  So, I hugged the kids and sent them to my inlaws house... and off we went.  



Ward and I headed off to the White Mountains.  We checked in at the base of Mt. Washington, where I scored big time with a fabulous race shirt and a cozy hoodie (which I did purchase... I couldn't resist!).     Then we headed off to Mr. Pizza, where we ate last year.   



This year, I absolutely fell in love with the homemade chips.  AMAZING!  They almost made me forget that my career was falling apart.  Almost.  Then I met up with my ride down the mountain, Amanda and Ted.  I met Amanda on the Facebook page that arranges rides down... and she a rockstar!  Totally crushed her race!  

After dinner, Ward and I headed toward our motel.  Which wasn't the best place ever... but at least we had a place to sleep.  I kinda slacked in the department of finding a room... so we ended up at a place where I hopefully will never sleep again.  


After an okay night of sleep, Ward and I made out oatmeal and headed off to the base of Mt. Washington.  Way earlier this year.  (we learned our lesson last year!)


This line seriously took no time to get through... the volunteers organizing the drivers up the mountain and those who were parking were freaking rockstars.  I don't know how they do it, but they are amazing!  


Yup.....  running all the way up there.  Ward convinced me to sit (and relax) in the car for a half hour.  It drove me insane.  I wanted so badly to get out and walk around and to visit with Kelley and Sarah at the Spandits tent.  But I sat and tried to relax.  Didn't happen.  Finally, I got out (peed in the woods... because those freaking potty lines were so long!)... and walked around a bit. We made our way to the Spandits tent and I checked out the new Vinyasa dress (yes.... I have to own that one!) and a hot looking orange tiger print the ladies had in a headband (now I own it in the boardie!).  And just chit-chatted with the ladies.  I love them.  

With 5 minutes to start, I had to pee again (so I ducked in the woods again) and then made a beeline to the starting line.  I looked down at the best Momentum bracelet for the day "You Got This".  Yup, I sure do!   



Then the "cannon" went off and the runners were off.  For the only downhill part of the entire race.  Yep.  There's a slight downhill.  Don't get too excited.  It's only a couple of minutes of that... and then it's 100% uphill.  





The race was going well until about mile 3.  That's when I hit the wall.  I was having a hard time breathing.  I kept spitting up green stuff... and I drank my entire water bottle.  I filled that sucker up at the water stop... and slogged my way through the rest of the mountain.  It was hot.  I was overdressed.   There was a ton of walking.... and some running.... lots of swearing at myself.  More coughing up and spitting out green stuff.... and just praying to get to the top. 




By mile 6 I knew I wasn't going to PR, so I stopped for a selfie with the sign.  Because why not?   But then I made it.  I made it to the top of Mount Washington in 1:59:59.  Barely squeeked in under the 2 hour mark.  Just a tad slower than last year.  I was disappointed in my performance big time.  


Last year I conquered my fear of heights by running Mount Washington.  This time, I actually stopped to take in the beauty of that mountain.  It is amazing and gorgeous.   I seriously need to get the kids there. 



I didn't have Ward up there to take a pic of me, so it was selfie timer time!  And after that, I looked for my ride down.  It took a bit... but finally I found her.  We chilled for a bit and then headed down the mountain when they opened up the auto-road again.  It was quite warm... and we had to pull over a few times to cool off the brakes.  Lots of people did as well.  I don't remember anyone pulling over last year to cool off brakes.  That's just an indication that it was a tad bit warmer than last year as well.  


When we got to the bottom, I climbed into the car and used a Shower Pill to freshen up... and changed into some better smelling clothes... like race shirt!



PS.... I'm not naked here.  Just my foot is.  Just my pile of gross sweaty clothing.  Full of the Guns 'N Roses shirt, Altra One 2.5's, Spandits, ProCompression lows, and Headsweats sparkly black headband.  All of my faves.  


I ran the Rockpile.  I love it!  Cool shirt.  I love that it's cotton.  I feel like I can wear it all of the time and it is so comfy!  And I knew to size up this year!  Last years never fit right, which is sad.  


And then I spotted my favorite volunteer.  The best turkey carcass handler ever.  That was his "job" at the race.  He would take the turkey carcasses back to the truck when they were done and then bring out a full turkey to the carver.  I'm so proud of him.  




Last year we didn't stick around for the meal.  We totally missed out.  The meal it amazing.  This year it was a turkey dinner, rolls, cranberry sauce, squash.  Delicious.  

Would I do this race again?  I would love to.  Even if your performance stinks, the race crew do an amazing job.  The medals, the fleece blanket, the meal.... and the views.  It's all pretty awesome.  Who knows, maybe next year Ward will decide he wants to do it and I'll be his volunteer.   If you've ever considered doing the Mount Washington Road Race, I suggest you do it.  It's a race to remember for sure.  












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