Race: This was my first time running Declan’s Dash, though I’ve been aware of the race for several years. It’s in downtown Kernersville, not far from home which is great! However, there are usually many other races on this weekend to choose from, such as the Brewsfest races (ran in 2016, 2018, and considered doing the new 15K this year)
Goal: Once again, this was a hard race report to write because I felt like I fell short of my goal. I’ve been chasing a sub-23 min 5K since last year’s Turkey Trot (where I went under 23 minutes finally, but the race course was 0.1 miles long, per my Garmin). I’ve been racing about once a month, and that still seems like the right frequency, but I am tired from work and LIFE in general and I think that may be messing up my energy when it comes to running fast. In any case, I wanted a PR, or as close as I could get on a warm, humid day. And looking at past year’s times, I also thought I could place top 3.
Gear: I wore my new Oiselle Long Flyte shorts (love them!) and last year’s team singlet, plus bird flight socks, Ballard bra, and Altra Kayenta shoes. And the Garmin 🙂
Gut: Writing this nearly a month later, I cannot remember what I ate before the race. I DO remember Luna’s second dead baby bunny this year (YUCK and sadness!!) At least she didn’t eat it…. As for me, I have been doing fine (no GI distress) since March. For me, the biggest piece is giving myself more than 2-3 hours to digest anything, and making sure that I’m properly hydrated. My Nuun electrolytes help soooo much with the hydration portion. This race was at 9, so I didn’t have to wake up super early to eat. Just early enough to see the Baby Bunny, ugh!
Weather: 72* and cloudy/sprinkling, but felt hotter at the end when the sun was beating down.
Pre-Race: I arrived plenty early, and the venue was quite small so I got good parking, saw some friends, and began my warm-up. Ran 20 minutes (2 miles) and felt pretty hot. My Garmin told me I needed to rest for 20 hours after that warm-up, which didn’t make me feel great since I was taking it nice and easy on the warm-up. I was able to scope out the course (Route Recon!) so I felt decent about knowing where the turns and hills were.
Race: I lined up close to the front. Most people went out too fast, including me, as per usual. I tried to settle into a 7:30-ish pace, without looking at my watch. I did sneak a peak when it chimed 1 mile, and it said 7:25. I felt that my effort was very high, and knew the next 2 miles would be tough to hold that pace. I was leap-frogging with another woman, and figured I would try to stay with her since we were the same pace. Mile 2 saw a nice downhill… where I surged and passed her… followed by an uphill where I began to overheat and my heart rate surged up past 180 beats per minute ☹ The not only did my leap-frog buddy pass me, but two other ladies passed me too. The race became a “just hang in there, just get to the finish” because I was hot, and somewhat disheartened. I kept the ladies in my sights, and did my very best to pep talk myself into finishing strong. A big part of me wanted to stop and walk. Finally, we made the final turn, and I knew I was still within striking distance to get at least 1 of the 3 ladies in front of me. In the last 50-100 meters, I laid it all out there, and narrowly nabbed second place overall, as I passed all 3 of them at the finish line. My pace at the very end? 3:30/mile. An all-out sprint. My heart rate came in at a whopping 203 bpm at the end. I was absolutely spent. But also overjoyed, that I somehow came from 5th place to get 2nd place overall!
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Race pics from #declansdash that I’m just finally getting to, seemed appropriate for Global Running Day 🏃🏻♀️ (also really cool that today is day 300 of my #runstreak !) . In these pics—the home stretch of a 5K—I went from 5th place to 2nd place overall. Never would have had the confidence to go for such a bold move like that years ago. . I am who I am today because I run. I’ve made so many wonderful running friends that I’m forever grateful for 💜💜💜 . Running rejuvenates my spirit, clears my mind, strengthens my body, and gets my dog (and me!) tired so she (we) will sleep through the night 😆 . “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~John Bingham . #runnersofinstagram #globalrunningday #womensrunningcommunity #oisellevolée #oiselleteamnc #nuunlife #nuunbassador #motherrunner #nevergiveup #flystyle #gofarfeelgood #rwrunstreak #runhappy #runlove #runningmom #altrarunning #confidence #motivation #runnershigh #rbf #runningbitchface 😂 #headupwingsout #womanup #runlikeagirl
Results: 24:39, 2nd place overall, 1 second in front of 3rd place and 1 minute behind first. Both of those ladies are older than me, which gives me hope for the future (and also a huge amount of respect for them as athletes!) Official results here.
Recommend: YES! This race has a lot going for it—enough athletes to make it competitive, yet a small enough field to earn some prizes. The out-and-back course has more turns and hills than I would like, but the location in downtown Kernersville made it easy to get to, easy to park, and gave it a nice homey, neighborhood atmosphere (especially since I ran into several friends there too!) The prizes were awesome, as I ended up winning this beautiful painting, plus a $50 gift card to Fleet Feet and $25 gift card to GNC in Kernersville. I also love the race T-shirts! This was well-supported with water and post-race snacks. The best part is that it’s for a great cause, remembering a little boy named Declan, which nearly made me start crying each time I saw his parents. From the race website:
The Declan Donoghue Foundation was started in memory of Declan Nicholas Donoghue, who passed away on September 2, 2010 at the age of two of a rare immune genetic disorder, which was not diagnosed until after his death. The foundation’s mission is to celebrate the memory and spirit of Declan, by funding and creating places for children to play. To date, the Declan Donoghue Foundation has built five, commercial grade playgrounds at Harmon Park and Ivy M Redmon Sports Complex, both located in Kernersville, and Marylene F. Griffin Recreation Center and Lindley Park both located in Greensboro and Johnson Street Sports Complex in High Point. The goal of this years race is to raise funds to build a six playground in honor of Declan. The location is undetermined at this time. In addition, the foundation supports the Kernersville Parks and Recreation department with our Spirit of Play Scholarship to offer camp tuition to those who would otherwise not be able to attend camps. To date, over 100 families have received scholarship dollars to attend camp at no cost or reduced cost to them.
Next on deck: Ultimate Runner on 6/29. I’m nervous already, as it’s highly competitive and very challenging, but going to give it my best!