While Brad is at the controls on the wild side, I’m trying my best to get caught up on the race posts for the ’22 season. This was a relatively light year for official races with only three. Linda had a number of out of state agility shows which conflicted with some of the local races and, to be honest, most of my focus was on the 100K ultra race (link here). Road races have lost their luster with me now that the call of the trail has taken hold. For nostalgia purposes I still like competing in the Bix 7 race as that was the first race that kicked off my running career (link here). The plan was just two races, but then Linda noticed the Screaming Pumpkin had come back for the first time since 2014. After years and years of practically begging, one of my favorite races themed in my favorite holiday was once again open for business.
Hit the jump to read more about this haunted cemetery run
Greetings all! I bet the doubters out there were all a buzz about it being soooo late in the month and the post count was stuck at FIVE. No worries although for the record the amount of pictures and text in those five easily exceeded a standard month’s output. I even told you the theme of this offering during the last. Of course, those long time followers assuredly know that the end of October typically brings with it the last official race of the year. Once again, I was able to field a team to compete in the Screaming Pumpkin Half Marathon Relay (link here).
Hit the jump to see more pictures and reveal how this race went for us!
Tomorrow is Halloween which makes tonight’s post a perfect fit. Add to that the extra bonus of having the fourth phase of Project Auuuunoooold completed today taking a load of worry off leading to a relaxing night of watching the Cardinals… you have an ideal situation to get the last post of the month knocked out an entire day early (crowd goes wild, ticker tape flies, women tak…err better reel it in). Just wanted to build up a little bit of excitement since this post actually has an element of disappointment to it. Regulars to this site know that October usually brings the final running event of the year and this year was no different. Last Friday the Screaming Pumpkin Marathon Relay took place and our team from last year – Zombies after Rhonda (link here) was in it to win it. A quick summary for those that are not familiar with the particular nuances of this race. It is a prediction race which means you have to determine the time it will take for each of your team’s four loops through the course. That time is then subtracted from midnight to determine when you start the race. Watches and other timing devices are not allowed while running and the first team finishing closest to midnight without going over is declared the winner. Sounds simple right? hope you responded with a resounding NO because that is the only acceptable answer to that question.
Most runners worry about their splits A LOT during a race… and some like myself even fret about it during every training run. There is one big advantage … we are usually wearing watches and/or other timing devices so if one split it slow or fast, you can immediately correct it on the next. Without a watch you feel naked and vulnerable to bonks and over exertion. Zombies after Rhonda is a three person team consisting of Rhonda, Ryan and Myself. Thanks to the R’s, I get to close out my racing season with a half marathon to complete my now standard goal of two a year. Did I mention it was a costume encouraged event?
Last year I went as a runner but Rhonda and Ryan went the extra mile and shamed me. This year I “tried” to go in costume but had some difficulties at the start. I did get my shirt made in time – I took the lead from Rhonda’s outfit “Zombies Don’t Like Fast Food” but added “Unless It’s Rhonda” to keep with our team’s theme. Ryan showed up in a new costume this year – a head to toe skeleton which was just plain awesome!
This year we decided to start at 8:05pm based on the splits from Rhonda, Ryan and my plan to run a 56 minute loop followed by a 60 minute loop. From the IVS Half Marathon Race earlier in the Season (link here), I knew there would be a drop off and based on the cold from last year assumed a about a 4 minute impact. I added around a 3 minute pad due to the number of variables on the course (it is a tough hilly course and the actual surface is very choppy and potholed – difficult during light much less in the dead of night).
ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR… just lost signal due to the rain on my satellite UNBELIEVABLE
I must admit, this was one of the scariest Octobers I have experienced in a long time. If you recall from the last post (link here) , every day this month was packed with task after task trying to get everything done for the big party. If you recall from that post (or looked at the comments) you might remember that there was a quick mention of an “event” I was training for. That was a tad understated since the event was actually a half marathon… and it was scheduled for the DAY BEFORE THE PARTY. Actually, check that… it was literally the NIGHT BEFORE THE PARTY. I am not exactly sure what came over me when I decided to enter this race, but I had a Life List entry for this year to make it through 2 halfs sometime during the year. As you know, I made it through the first one back in September (link here). That didn’t leave a whole lot of time to get the second one in before the end of the year. Originally the thought was to hit the Vegas Rock and Roll 1/2 in December, but then I stumbled on the Screaming Pumpkin Race. First of all, it was at night which is my favorite time to race. Second it was a course I was familiar with and the cherry .. it was Halloween themed. You can’t go wrong with that can you? ummm, actually you can if you forget about all the other things that had to get done around that time.
The main issue was getting time to keep the maintenance runs up. I was already trained up for the half in September so it was really a matter of keeping the legs fresh and the endurance up. My runs were cut down to three a week – if I could even get that many in – and the miles were backed down into the 7 to 9 range which made it sliiiightly easier to get in between tasks. Unfortunately, sometime at the beginning of the month something bad happened … to the point I would have argued with any doctor that tried to convince me I didn’t give myself a hernia. That was the last thing I needed. I did make the training runs, but found myself going slower and slower at the splits. CRAP! The interesting thing is there was no visible sign so there was some optimism that it was just a nasty muscle pull. As race day approached, I became so busy that I actually forgot about it and somehow it ended up feeling pretty good – nothing like mind over matter – if someone could bottle that the medical industry would be devastated.