Monday, September 19, 2011

Die Salzburger Businesslauf 2011 6k

Several months ago, some people at Jason's office were talking about the business run that his company competes in every year--Die Salzburger Businesslauf . It consists of about 1000 teams of 3 (for those that can't do math, 3000 runners total). When we first heard about it, we decided that we both wanted to run. Jason had even made a bet with one of the guys, as to who could run faster. The winner would win a keg of beer. Typical Austria for ya!

Fast forward to two months before the race. As usual, something came up and Jason couldn't make the business run after all, since he would be traveling in Asia for work. Since I don't know the people in his company all that well and hadn't really trained, I told him to cancel for me as well.

Fast forward to the day before the race. I receive a phone call from Barbara, from his office. She asked what time I would be at the office before the race and asked me if I wanted to ride with her. Obviously since they didn't cancel me, I sucked it up and told her I would be there around 3:30pm. Mind you, I hadn't been running in a very long time and was super nervous.

The following day was race day. After the initial shock, anger and anxiety, I decided that I had to go through with the race because I didn't want Jason or I to look bad. A commitment is a commitment, right? Plus, the other two people on my team were counting on me (3 people to each team) and would have to forfeit without me. I arrived at the office on time and Barbara and I rode together to the race.

We arrived a bit early so we could get lockers for the girls running (4 girls and 11 guys). This is when I found out how highly competitive this race is. It's not a "fun" race like the Peachtree. They actually care about their times, places and such. Go figure! Everyone was decked out in crazy race gear and I definitely felt out of place (and out of shape).

Lo and behold it was finally race time. As we stood in place, waiting for the count down for our section to start all of the announcements were in German. Before the race began, a mental coach came over the loud speaker and told people to meditate and think of their inner feelings and such. All I kept thinking was "Is this for real? Let's get on with it already!" Before I knew it, they were counting "drei, zwei, eins..." and it was go time!

Now I realize that I didn't train and that I have plantar fasciitis in my feet but I was still very disappointed in my time. I was the last one in for the company. My goal was under 40 minutes (which I thought I could totally beat) and I came in at 40:20. Total disappointment. Now, the only reason I am telling you this is because by publicly announcing this, it will embarrass me and therefore will make me start running again.

My only complaint during the race was that there were no water stations. None. I think this is another reason why I did so poorly. I am one of those people who always runs with a water bottle but figured they would have water stations along the way. No cigar!

After the race, we had to shower and get to dinner and the awards ceremony. This is where Austrians and Americans are very different...

In the locker room there was just one very big shower area (separate locker rooms for men and women, by the way). No one is modest at all and everyone showers right next to someone else. No bathing suit of course (but I totally thought about it!). I guess it wouldn't have been so bad if I knew I wouldn't be seeing them again but I was with some of Jason's female co-workers, which just made it awkward. Needless to say, I've never showered or changed so fast in my life.

After we were finished getting ready, we headed to dinner where the food was plentiful and the beers were flowing. Did I mention how much these people can drink? If races in Atlanta ended like this, I bet I would run more races... just sayin'!

Overall, I had a good time and I am really glad that I ran. You better believe though, that next year I am going to train my hiney off and be well under 40 minutes! :)

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