Sunday, July 10, 2011

Whiz Bang Days 10K

4220 W301026 (that's me)1:04:5410:27

Lots of family and friends ran the race, too!
Very strong finish!
My new iFitness race belt worked great!
No rain!
Small t-shirt fits again!
I only walked for about 30 seconds at mile 5!

Detailed recap:
Yesterday, I joined my family and a few friends for the 27th Annual Whiz Bang Days race in Robbinsdale. No, we haven't been doing it for that long; it was our first year ever. We all signed up for the 10K. It had been years since I have run that far. Well, years I think that any of us had run that far.

I thought I was mentally and physically prepared for this race, but in reality, I really wasn't so much. The week leading up to it, I logged more than 65 miles of biking and running. The previous week I'd only done 45. I think I may have pushed myself a little too much. It also didn't help that I did this workout on Thursday, and my glutes were pretty much killing me. Note to self: do NOT try incorporating a new weight training routine in my workout schedule just two days before a race!

My last race I biked 8 miles to the race, ran the 5K, and then biked back home. I had every intention of making this race a duathlon as well, but the weather was forecasted for thunderstorms all morning. I didn't want to ride and run and ride again in a downpour, so I reserved the HourCar and got to leave an hour later.

It only ended up sprinkling. A. Very. Little. What a waste of $45. Lame.

Here's me and my family right before the race started. Don't we look all happy and ready to go?
Marna, Dad, Treva, Selena, Me
I mentioned running with some friends, too.
Dave and his nephew Spencer
When we were lining up to go, my family started very near to the end of the pack. We all knew we wanted to start off slow, but I think this was a huge mistake for me. Next time, I'm definitely starting more in the middle or even the front. That way I won't feel quite so defeated right from the get go.

My first mile was 11:30. Yikes! I tried to increase my pace a bit at each mile marker, but I don't think I increased as much as I wanted. This is where the mental preparation wasn't quite with me. When I thought about picking it up a tad, I would say to myself, "No, just wait until the next mile marker. Keep it steady right now." OR "No way will you be able to keep that faster pace for another X miles. Better keep it a bit more gradual." Not sure if it would have made a difference.

Selena, Dad and I started off together. Selena is 15, and while naturally pretty athletic, she hadn't really done any running to prepare for the race. She made it with us just over a mile before she had to stop and walk. My dad stopped at the same time to do a little stretching. I kept on trekking along.

My dad did catch up to me just after the first turn around and ran with me for a short while until he needed to stop and stretch his hammies. Again. Poor guy.

Needless to say, I ran most of this race by myself, which is actually great for me. That's mostly how I train, and when I'm running side-by-side with someone, I'm generally too tempted to talk, and that just takes too much energy. :)

Despite my slow pace (or perhaps because of it), I didn't stop to walk at all until mile 5. I walked briskly for maybe 30 seconds. I probably didn't really need to physically. It was more of a mental breather, I think. Shortly after that, I knew the end was in sight, and I really picked up my pace. The last bend was probably the only time in the race that I was actually running closer to my normal pace.

This is where it became fun!

I started passing runners ahead of me.

I passed the two ladies pushing jogging strollers.
I passed the woman finishing the 5K with her young (my guess was 4yo) daughter.
I passed a woman with hot pink shorts on.

I could feel those jogging strollers catching up with me again, and I just couldn't allow that, so I kicked it up again.

I was running STRONG!

And there was my dailymile friend (who'd finished well before me) near the end encouraging me to run hard and give it my all.

I pushed it and I pushed it.

There was a woman in a neon green top ahead of me. I tried my damnedest to pull ahead of her, but the finishing corral beat me to it. As we were walking to get our tags pulled, I thanked her for setting a pace and helping me to finish hard. I think she thought I was a little nuts.

Even though, I think my overall performance for this race was a little dismal (missing my goal time by nearly 3 min), I love how I was able to really kick it out in the end and finish as strong as I did. That felt incredible.

My dad had to walk the last little bit. Something happened to his calf around mile 5.

Treva passed Selena along the way somewhere near the end, but as the finish line approached, Selena was not about to let her mom win.

The orange speck in the foreground was the finish line. The little weasel, Selena, totally budged in front of her mom just steps before entering the corral.

A couple things I really loved about this race.

The route (see below).
With two turn around points, and everyone I knew running at such different paces, it was fun to see other runners I knew running in the opposite direction. All in all, there were 8 other runners that I could high five and exchange encouraging words with as I ran the race. It was a great boost to me to be able to see such support out on the race.

View Whiz Bang Days 10K in a larger map

My new iFitness Ultimate Race Belt.
This worked just great. (Full review is forthcoming, I promise). It was nice to have my phone with me. It's what provided the above map. I also love the race toggles. No need to worry about getting my race number pinned just right.

A couple things I really did not love about this race.

There was only ONE water stop, and it was somewhat early on in the race. There was nothing in the 2nd half. The half with all the hills.

The gnats. I didn't really notice them much while I was running, but they must have noticed me. Their bites drew blood, as I finished with blood streaking down one arm. They wouldn't stop biting me as I ate my banana and bread and drank my bottle of water. I finally had to go to the restroom and wash off my salty sweat. That seemed to help quite a bit.

Next race: Wednesday, July 20th - Torchlight 5K in downtown Mpls

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  1. Congratulations! Even if the time wasnt' just what you wanted, a strong finish and a good attitude after the race make it all that much more fun.

    We all have to figure out our race strategy. Running with others can be a motivator, but we also feel guilty when we have to leave them behind to run our own race. Pacing is such and individual thing and it changes with every race, so it's hard to commit to run "with" someone. Just wish each other luck, give them a big hug, and tell them that you'll meet them at the end. I love seeing my faster friends cheering me on as I approach the finish.

    And yes, my silly friend, a new weight routine 2 days before the race is silly. But we all have to learn that lesson as well.

    Good work!!!

  2. Congrats! I'm too scared to even run a 5K, much less a 10 K.

  3. Way to go! What a great write-up of your experiences.

  4. Nice finish! That is a bummer about the water stops. And the gnats! Ack! I don't really like bugs that bite so much ;)

  5. @A54, I tend to agree that how you feel at the end makes all the difference. I, too, love it when faster friends are cheering me on at the finish. That's the best! Hopefully I did learn my lesson about the weight training. Time will tell.

    @REBrown, Don't be scared of a 5K. I think just about anyone can run/walk 3.1 miles. You should try it; it's fun!

    @Lara, Thanks! I know I find it fun to read back over my race experiences.

    @TNM, I'm pretty much not a fan of any bugs, but yeah, the ones that bite are the worst!