Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mapimi Puente de Ojuela 10k Recap

I wasn't sure I wanted to write a recap for this race, since it was my slowest 10k ever and probably one of the most awful races I've ever run. There was also an embarrassing incident where I thought I received 3rd place in my Age Group, but was mistaken. (The award was for "Sharon Lee", not "Taryn Lee." What are the chances?) 

In hindsight, this was not the smartest choice of race for someone nursing an injury, but at least the view was gorgeous.  

The days leading up to the race I was thinking, oh, it's "just" a 10k, but I didn't factor in that we would park outside of Mapimi, the little pueblo where the race started, and then run almost 2 miles to the start. We got there with about 25 minutes until the race began, and my coworkers, one who is an elite marathoner, and the other who is training for his first ultra, raced ahead of me.  When I finally got to the start, I had about 5 minutes to drop my bag off and head to the bathroom (I had downed water and coffee during the 45 minute drive to the race) 

In the bathroom I lathered my hands up with soap only to find that water wasn't coming out of the sink. So I grabbed a bunch of paper towels from the bathroom attendant, tried to smear off as much as I could, and ran over to the start, just as the gun was going off, sticky soap hands and all. 

Despite the hectic start, I enjoyed the first half of the race. The scenery was beautiful and I was snapping lots of pictures and enjoying the company. Several runners were dressed in costume (including a pink fairy and lucha libre guy) which always makes me chuckle. 

When we got to about mile 4, the pavement started getting worse (lots of holes and rocks) and the gradual incline began. It was also getting really hot. (Whoever decided that black, long sleeve T-shirts were a good idea for this race made a poor decision.) I was roasting. However, I was still enjoying the scenery and the fact that I was running somewhere other than loops in my neighborhood. 

Then we got to the REAL uphill portion of the race that was on this horrible concrete/rock combination of ground. I would have had to stop and walk anyway because of how steep the hill was, but I walked more than I normally would have because of that blasted concrete. It had to be pretty much the worst scenario possible for an injured runner trying to take it easy.

I also was grossly unprepared, as I haven't done ANY hill training since the doc told me to stay on flat ground in early November. I also have been logging only 12 mile weeks, 2 runs per week. I want to be able to run the Rock 'n' Roll half, but I don't want to do further damage to my tendon/shin/ankle/whatever it is, so I've been doing very minimal running and trying to cross train instead. 

So I walked probably the last 2 miles of the race with some intermittent jogging when I felt up to it, the whole time thinking "this is the worst possible race I could have chosen to start out with this year." 

After an hour and 22 minutes (also known as my slowest 10k ever) the torture was over, and they handed out free gorditas at the finish - score! I found Roger, Tim and Javi, wolfed down 4 gorditas, snapped some pics and waited until it was time for the awards, as Tim, not surprisingly, took 1st place. (He's wicked fast)

Free Gorditas! 

Javi, Roger, me & Tim

At one point during the age group awards, I swear I heard the announcer call my name. "Taryn Lee, Estados Unidos." No one came up to the podium, so I went up there, and just when I was about to ask to see the paper she was holding to make sure, she grabbed my arm and hoisted me up with the other age group winners. There weren't a lot of female runners, so I figured there must not have been many people in my age group. It seemed probable. They handed me an envelope with 500 pesos, and suddenly I was in a much better mood. 

Tim won first place overall (for reals) 

We drove home to Torreon, everyone sharing a good laugh over the look of shock on my face when I received what I thought was my Age Group award. When the race results were posted, I was curious to see just how many runners were in my age group. (I figured three) It turns out there was a "Sharon Lee" who got 3rd in our age group, not me. I had actually gotten 10th. 

I felt like a complete idiot. I was fully prepared to accept that there were only 3 women in my age group, I was not prepared to hear that I mistakenly took someone else's prize money. So Sharon Lee, wherever you are, I'm sorry I accidentally took your money. I plan on donating it to charity. 

Many lessons were learned at this race. First of all, don't sign up for a hilly race when you're injured. Secondly, check to make sure it's actually YOU when receiving an Age Group award. 

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