8th of 14 races in the 2016 Elliot Millennium Series and Points Chase
Around Massabesic Lake, Auburn. Great & helpful course preview here
A couple weeks ago I injured my right hip flexor and even walking was uncomfortable… ugh. Road biking fortunately does not hurt… at least I feel like I am doing something athletic. PT was helping, but I was really concerned if I could cover the race distance. Hmmm, call a cab at 5 miles? The day prior to the race, my PT at Apple Therapy Services opted for dry needling. Crazy, but it helped significantly! It was wild to see how my muscle bent the needle when it twitched. Apparently, that’s a good thing! I hopped off the table and my hip felt as loose as soggy spaghetti. Thrilled after successful PT, I went to early number pickup at Millennium Running store and used a gift certificate from RibFest 5 mile race towards some Tifosi sunglasses!
I was looking forward to seeing my USATF friends and Whirlaway teammates who I haven’t raced with in a while. From 2000 through 2014 I competed in every USATF NE Grand Prix Championship race (105 consecutive) and feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be a Whirlaway runner. Since then though, I’ve dialed down running and enjoy being an athlete more for fun now… a new “balance” with life and running. I felt apprehension. Would I be judged for not being as fast as I used to be?
The weather predicted a 89 degree high, so started drinking water as soon as I woke up. The “other injured SP” (Sal) picked me up at 7:15. We arrived at 7:45, found a good parking spot and checked out the area. Warmed up a bit on rail trail, a few bathroom stops, some banana and lined up near friends. I started out very conservatively, seeing how hip would react. Pat Bourgault said, “just treating it like 10 mile run” and I kept that thought in my head. I also drew on having run the course 3 weeks ago and seeing USATF friends around me – Lisa Doucett, Stephen Peckiconis, Whirlaway teammates Lisa Z and John Gorman – many others from a decade and a half of Championship races.
I walked through 2 water stops to make sure I got enough water, checked in with my body, didn’t look at splits. Poignantly chasing Pat Bourgault and Lisa Doucett on one of the toughest inclines – and having the grit to pass them. Pat got back by me, but she didn’t realize it until after we finished. (The following day, Pat & I went to Greg Audet & Lisa Comire Kaim’s “After the Wedding Celebration” – amusing to talk about what we had forgotten during the race!)
The final right into the parking lot – don’t gauge it wrong – and then the fabulous sight of the finish line. WMUR sports director Jamie Staton gave me a tremendous shout out, yay, and crossed the line, overjoyed that my body let me get this done. Singlet and shorts were sopping, sunglasses so coated with dried sweat I could hardly see through them.
I was so grateful and fortunate to be able to get through. When I saw my PT last night, she’d been worried how it would go. As I told her that not only did I get through, I was 6th in NE Age Group, she got chills. 6th in NE age group was totally unreal, competing with runners like Mimi Fallon (3 Olympic Marathon trials and one world marathon team) and Whirlaway teammate/Olympian Maria Servin… absolutely an out-and-out gift.
As always, John Mortimer and Millennium provided an exceptional event. Pre-race information emailed, early number pick-up, free photos and results emailed, medals and womens size shirts, results trailer, lots of post race snacks, Andy Schachat announcing on the course and Jamie Staton at finish – always lots of extras and professionalism. Super all around!
1:21:19 (1:21:35) 8:08 6th in USATF NE AG (10 of 115 50-59 )
2016 Elliot Millennium Series / Points Chase – Still 1st in AG