Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Moonlight Margarita Run

Last Thursday was the Moonlight Margarita Run benefiting The Trail Foundation. Lauren, one of the members of my running group, managed to land 8 passes to the gala for our group. So, after a little pleading on her part, several of us decided that we would go ahead and do the run; and of course the margaritas at the end. Our coach, Panther, was going to be doing the race with us and thought that it would be a great idea for us to do this as a costume run.

I am a fan of dressing ridiculously (life is too short to be serious all of the time) so costume to me means just looking like an idiot. In February a friend and I were planning on doing a Valentine’s Day themed pajama run only to have it canceled due to weather the day of. Sadly, I had already purchased my “pajamas” for this great event and have not had any opportunities arise in which to wear them. This seemed like the perfect occasion to break them out! So my pink night gown with orange hearts and orange frilly collar was called to duty! Along with some orange and white tie-dye knee high socks and my incredibly short race shorts.

Panther showed up decked out as Elvis, JJ came in a coconut bra and grass skirt, Lauren as an island girl, and Fitty in his fat Hawaiian tourist getup. A running group has never looked to distinguished. So after a few pictures with strangers we started to work our way to the start line. For whatever reason, I had decided that I wanted to try to actually race this thing. It was still 98* and I had done 8.5 miles in the Barton Creek hills that morning; obviously everything was setting up for a great race. So I amble up to the front of the starting line and get a lot of weird looks from the other runners. All of their eyes were saying the same thing, “Great, someone that I will have to try to dodge because they want to get right up to the front of the line to run 15 minute miles.” Oh well.

The air horn sounded and off we went. It was certainly warm, and my incredibly tight cotton gown was not as breathable as my typical no shirt running style, but for the most part I was feeling OK. That feeling quickly disappeared, my mouth got dry and I started to think that I might have started out a tad too fast. As I approached the Mile 1 marker I looked at my watch and confirmed my thoughts; 5:35, fastest mile ever. Gulp! I refused to be the idiot in the costume that took off like a bat out of hell only to finish it off at a crawl. Too make matters worse, the first water stop was unmanned so I had to forgo it. OK, I run in the heat all the time and cut-down workouts are painful, but I can do those. Let’s rock this!

I made the turn and started to head back down Cesar Chavez and took advantage of the downhill to just pull me down without pushing too hard. Mile 2 at 11:32. OK, I have slowed down, but still sub 6. This last mile is going to suck! And my downhill was gone, but there was water. Oh thank you merciful volunteers and your sweet elixir! By this point in the race I was starting to see some of my friends going the other way and really owe them a lot for the cheers they gave me. The cat calls from strangers helped too. ;) By the time we made the turn to Austin High I was completely spent, but I had been going back and forth with this one kid for most of the race and had just pulled ahead of him and was not wanting to give that up. (This guy is actually Taylor that I had met a few days prior at Jack’s Generic Tri where he got 2nd in our age group.) Gut check time.

As we made the curve around the football field I tried to start kicking with everything I had knowing that I had about a quarter mile left. Finally the finish line was in sight and never, with the possible exception of the Austin Marathon, has a finish line looked so welcoming. As I came down the stretch I heard Evil say, “Nice top!” which brought a smile to my nearly permanently grimaced face. As I looked down at my watch I saw that I had crossed in 18:17. Nearly a 3 minute PR and the first time I had managed to average a sub 6 minute pace for a race! Oh my 3 miles can be painful!

As I was chugging my water and enjoying my ice towel I saw Elvis (Panther) cross the finish line in a sub-20 minute time. Pretty damn impressive for someone wearing polyester long sleeves and pants. Plus a black wig! We watched and cheered in the rest of Riff Raff and even gave an interview for some UT student. Once everyone was accounted for we started making our way to the gala for margaritas and Mexican food. Great race and even better times!

(I will try to put more pictures up as I get them.)

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