Goal: I didn’t have specific time goals going into the race—perhaps I should have? I wanted to beat my 2016 times, but knew this training cycle was not ideal in the least. I followed the same plan as in 2016, but ended up 1) freakin’ exhausted from kids and/or dog waking me up nearly every night, 2) stressed about my new job, 3) not going to yoga since April because of new job, and 4) over-reliance on Luna. She is fast (my own personal sled dog… but I am the sled!), and sort of drags me, so I don’t run as fast/hard as I would if I didn’t have a dog pulling me along. And I forget to do strides pretty much every week. In addition to not doing yoga, I also didn’t do strength or plyometrics. Just totally focused on running [see also: my run streak post]. So at least I know what I SHOULD have done (slept more, stretched more, strength, yoga, etc), and can correct—hopefully!—for next time.
Gear: With temps in the 90’s (Ughhhhhh!) I wanted to wear as little as possible. I went with my Oiselle blackbird crop (I love this piece SO much!), Roga shorts, Oiselle x Goodr shades, Volee tattoo, Smartwool socks, and Altra Kayenta shoes. Plus Garmin, Whoop band, and Saucony spikes for the 100 meter sprint.
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Not my most inspiring layout for the #flatrunner but the great news is I’m feeling (mostly) ready to run 🏃🏻♀️ #ultimaterunner this evening 😎 Big thanks to all my “sponsors” @oiselle @smartwool @altrarunning @nuunhydration ☀️💦 . #oisellevolée #headupwingsout #womanup #nevergiveup #nuunlife #nuunbassador #motherrunner #zerolimits #altrarunning
Gut: My poor tummy encountered plenty of trouble this year—notably the Northern Trails 10 miler—so to be ultra-safe, I consumed potatoes as my carbs, and little to no fats/fiber in the 24 hours prior to the race. With a 4:30 PM start time, I ate my last meal, my signature PB&J on plain bread, at 2 PM. I hydrated EXTRA well with Nuun hydration, and had no tummy troubles at all, thankfully!
Weather: As mentioned, it was above 90* and so, so hot & humid. I really didn’t want to run, to be honest. I had to give myself a big pep talk to just show up. I wore sunscreen, brought ice, and hoped for the best.
Pre-Race: I showed up before 3:30 to get my bib and a shady spot under a tree. I set up my chair and just chilled. Lots of people were warming up but I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I ended up doing a 400 meter warm-up prior to the mile. I was sweating just sitting there, so I really didn’t want to expend any extra energy on anything but racing.
Race: Broken down by event…
The Mile: I was in heat 5 of 8, with bib #62. I felt so completely BLAH that I knew I wasn’t gonna have a good mile. I told myself to just use this race as a warm-up, so I did. I was solidly in last place in my heat, and I didn’t care. I could have gone faster, but wanted to save it for the shorter events. Time of 7:16, overall place of 79th of 102 runners. Did not feel great about that. The entire next heat beat my time, which was further demoralizing. Family was watching too!
400 meters: OK, here we go, I told myself, as I lined up behind the first person on the inside of the track, to try to get a decent position. On the backstretch, the young girl in our heat cut me off, and I tripped her by accident, and she nearly fell. I said sorry (even though it wasn’t my fault). She and another runner passed me, only for me to immediately pass them back, as we were at the 200 meter mark–that’s my cue to sprint! I gave it all I had, and ended up with a decent 1:12 for 400 meters, earning 50th place. Whew, that was a relief! My legs were already feeling it though, and my heart rate wouldn’t come down ☹
800 meters: I just wanted to get through this one. I had to save some energy for the 100 meters, so I was dogging it a little in the 800. I wasn’t last in the heat, but 2nd to last. Ran 3:12, earning 71st place.
100 meters: Finally—my event! I did the best I could to stretch and warm-up properly, by doing a few strides on the back stretch of the track. My spikes didn’t feel comfy, I was hot & tired, but I wanted to run a fast time. My only error was starting out standing instead of crouching. Also, I most DEFINITELY should have practiced more sprints on the track wearing spikes. Next time I know! Ran 14.64, earning 34th overall and 3rd place among women (with 2nd place woman a mere 0.01 in front of me, and 1st place ran a 14.25 and she placed 2nd overall for women). I know I can do better, but was very encouraged that my speed is still there despite my training being focused on the mile. I think my love for sprinting just came back, full-force!
5K: With 4 events down, I just wanted this to be over. My legs were shot! I had consumed about ½ Honey Stinger packet between events, so I did have some energy left. I could tell I was not going to be able to run anywhere near an 8-min-mile pace for the 5K, so my plan was to just do the best I could without hurting myself. I enjoyed the course a lot, with the bridge crossings and tunnels (of trees) and the crowd support). I rounded the final turn on the track in a group of about 5, and an older guy just blew past me. I ended up running a 27:50, very similar to my 2015 time of 27:37. I was just so relieved to be DONE!
Also, broke my Goodr sunglasses right before the 100m:
Results: Afterwards, I rested for a bit in my chair, then slowly packed up and headed to the car. The sun was setting a gorgeous dusty purple:
I drove the quarter mile to Joymonger’s for the afterparty, instead of walking, cuz my legs were that destroyed. I think I came close to straining my hamstring (or maybe I strained it a tiny bit?) because 5 days later it was still sore! Anyway, I knew I didn’t win my age group, so I ate my pizza with my new friend Melissa, and she and I waited for the presentation of the shirts. They started with the highest bib numbers first, which was nice since I was #62, but it still took so long to get to me.
I finally got my shirt and my 4.91 sticker, gave M a ride to her car, and headed back home at 10 PM. I ended up 2nd in my age group of 4 (the 1st place woman is on the right in the above pic), and 13th of 30 women. Overall, I came in 63rd of 102. Nearly in the top half! It’s hard too because so many very good runners show up, and most of them are men. So I feel pretty good about my results. I had told myself “Never again!” but of course afterwards, I’m like “I should do this again!” and train better this time 🙂 Full results here.
Recommend: Yes—this one is a lot of fun, yet pretty serious too. The swag is kinda meh (just a T-shirt and a sticker, unless you win an age group or overall award, then it’s a mug), but the real excitement is the atmosphere. Running with young and old, men and women… it’s pretty special. I doubt many other events like this one exist, so I’m thankful to have taken part for a third time. The post-race beers and pizza are great too! Though I didn’t partake in the beers since I needed to drive home.
Results on Strava.
Up next? The Moonlight Bootlegger 5K this Friday 🙂