» Conquer the Bridge – Conquer your Fears
Conquer the Bridge – Conquer your Fears
|September 4, 2012
Posted by Carrie
I shared a bit of my fear in cyberspace on Sunday about yesterday morning’s race. Conquer the Bridge – with my personal subtitle of Conquer your Fears.
I’m really really really afraid of heights. I hate open stairs, I get paralyzed when I’m near ledges. It’s even worse when I see my kids near ledges. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and was able to handle that and I also climbed the Arc de Triomphe last summer and survived.
So, I know I can do it. I signed up to run a 5 mile race over this:
Late Sunday night I found out that my running friend was sick, so I was going at this bridge alone. Eeek! I was nervous.
The set up at the race was great, except for the port-o-potty situation. There were 2500 runners expected and there were a total of 16 potties! Not enough. I warmed up, then got in line. I was still in line when they started getting ready for the race. I was in the stall during the National Anthem (my apologies for not pausing ). Luckily it was a crowded race and the potties were close, I made it to the start after the race started, but not before the crowd cleared. And, there were tons of people in line for the potties behind me.
The first 3/4 of a mile of the race was a flat street leading up to the bridge. Then we headed on to the onramp.
Here we go! At least this direction is free (well, the whole bridge is free, there used to be a toll coming into San Pedro).
The first up and over was amazing. Once I got started, I realized that the height wasn’t going to be a big deal. As I got near the top, I pulled over to take a picture. My stomach did a little flip as I got close to the edge, but as you can see, we were pretty well protected.
Going over the first time, I managed to only stop once (and it was for a quick picture). It was mentally challenging to keep running up the whole thing. I walked at the top for a few seconds and drank some of my Nuun that I brought. (tip: read race organizer’s page – they made sure to announce that there were no water stops on the bridge per Caltrans regulations – but I overheard complaints, so I know that everyone didn’t know it).
The first downhill didn’t seem to bad. I tried to relax and not abuse my legs. When I got to the bottom, I realized that it was about 1/2 mile to the turnaround and it looked like a slope uphill (to me it looked like another huge hill). For some reason, that slope up mentally wiped me out. I focused and made it to the turnaround without stopping to walk.
It was a pretty hot day and the sun on the asphalt was rather brutal. Or maybe I was just exhausted by the 3 mile mark and everything seemed extra hard.
I did a lot of walking up and over the bridge for the 2nd time. Partly because I could already feel my legs screaming at me (despite my trying to go easy on the downhill), partly because I got really hot and was feeling a bit queasy and mostly because I got to see a girl barfing in the gutter and I didn’t want to be her.
But, I took some pictures coming back over since I was walking anyway.
The bridge and the clouds were rather pretty.
When I got to the top, I made a goal of running the whole way to the finish. I almost made it except for the random moment right at the very end where I walked for a few seconds (I think my brain turned off).
When I got home and looked at my splits, I was shocked. I didn’t realize that I managed to get in that last mile at a 9:59! I didn’t know I had it in me.
I would definitely do this race again. When do you get the chance to run on over a bridge that doesn’t usually allow pedestrian access?
And, if you haven’t heard of this bridge, it was infamously in the news recently as it was the unfortunate location of this.
I also put these 5.3 miles towards Laura’s Labor Day Virtual Race. Go check out her blog for lots of fun recaps. Thank you Laura for hosting!