Monday, October 22, 2012

Race Weekend Recap

I didn't get time to post this weekend as I had hoped. I had some free time (and my ipad) on Saturday evening but I was just too worn out to sit and blog.  Relaxing after dinner sounded like a better plan. Sometimes when I'm tired my writing isn't that great, and I did not want to write a poorly written post.

I have an appointment (chiropractor....I think my back needs it today!) and a football game to watch (GO BEARS!) so this will probably just be a quick recap of the races.

Saturday: Hope's Harvest 5K Walk/Run.  This was to benefit a food bank.

Saturday morning was a bit chilly! I was a little concerned about running because my toes were so cold. I'd say "freezing" but we all know that's an exaggeration. I think that the wind is what really made it seem cold (for me anyway). It was warm in the sun though. By the time the race started I had warmed up a bit, plus I was also wearing lots of layers. I was wearing running tights, shorts, a t-shirt, a zip up running hoodie, and gloves. Oh and hot pink knee socks. :)

I actually warmed up enough during the run that I took my gloves off. I'm not sure why but as my hands warmed, the gloves were annoying. I stashed them in my hoodie along the way.  Other than that, I stayed pretty warm. 

I started out running and after a few minutes I got a side stitch.  I go in streaks with getting them, and Saturday was one of those days. I thought I was well hydrated and I had a breakfast bar in the morning, so who knows. I'm thinking I was running too hard at first.  I decided I'd make it a run/walk combo and slowed down to walk when I needed to. When I say walk you should know that my walking pace is pretty fast.  One girl who did it was jogging and thought she'd catch me because I was walking. She did not. My walk was faster than her jog.  I suppose it is more like speed walking when I walk during a race, which I think is good.

The race was on a course that was partly paved and partly a dirt type of trail. I do not run outside often but when I do it's on the pavement.  The only time I've done any trail running was during the mud run I did in August. This was different for me! I could definitely feel the difference in my body when I finished. 

The one negative thing about the race was that it wasn't all that well organized and the event was in an area full of hills.  I didn't mind running up and down them. It was when I was passing walkers on my second lap (they started after the runners) that was a problem. There seemed to be more walkers than runners and some of the walkers were not all that courteous of the runners. Some of them spanned the trails in masses so I had to do a lot of passing, which isn't typically a problem. It is when you're working with limited space though. I almost tanked it down a hill (that would've been nice and embarrassing!) at one point when I tried to pass someone.  I was actually running kind of on the side of the hill rather than the top because of that particular group of walkers was taking up the trail and didn't hear me say "excuse me," "passing on the left" or chose to ignore me. I didn't fall though, and that's what's important.

Other than the side stitches and the annoyance of passing people in limited space, the race went well. Oh, except my shoes didn't want to stay tied and I had to stop to tie them four times. UGH!  Despite the all of that, I managed to get a new PR for my 5K time. YAY! I actually shaved two minutes off of my previous 5K (that I ran, not walked or not an adventure race) in June. I was not in as good of condition at that time (due to it being one month after surgery and not training for long) but I had beaten the previous year's time by like 20 seconds.  I'm pleased with my faster time. I definitely run faster outside than on the treadmill, which is good to know!  I can't help but wonder how fast I'd have gone if not for the shoe tying and the people to pass.  I decided that it was okay that a few seconds were added for the tying and such. Although, with all of the tying and trying to pass/getting caught up in groups of people, I may have been 30 seconds faster.  That's okay though... I'm not going to worry about it because I set a PR and that will make the next one even easier to achieve!!

I did feel a little ill after the race. I think it was due to the time and not having had enough to eat.  I passed on the post-run lunch (hot dogs, chips, cookies, bananas) and waited for lunch. I did drink water, but it wasn't enough.  After I ate, showered, and rested for a bit I felt a lot better. Luckily I was well taken care of! I shouldn't feel sick from a 5K. Knowing how I feel when I don't eat soon enough, I'm sure that's what it was.

Sunday: Monster Dash Chicago.

What a fun race! A friend and I dressed up 80s style for this race and had a lot of fun.  There were people in costumes handing out candy a few times along the route. I did not take candy.  Since I was running and not just walking for fun, I decided candy negated my work!

This race was not officially timed but I wore my heart rate monitor to keep time.  I'm pretty sure that my time was similar to what it was on Saturday. I pushed my button before I actually crossed the official starting line, so the walking (huuuuge group of people that had to move forward) added a good two or three minutes to my time.  When I subtracted that, it was a little better than my time on Saturday.  Because it wasn't official, I am not counting it as a PR... That and I don't know my actual time thanks to the walking.

My side stitches started up again but not too bad.  They didn't start until the first water station, and slowing down to slug down some water seemed to help. The nice thing is that there were two stations on the course, and I've only ever done 5Ks that have had one (or none, like Saturday, the Color Run, and the Mud Run).  I also had to stop and tie my shoe, but only once!

Also? I bought laces that don't tie. I think those will work much better for me. I don't like having to go over to the side to tie shoes, especially when the clock is ticking!!

The race was very crowded so again I was running through grass and wet leaves to pass walkers. I think that a lot of the walkers did not follow directions and did not line up as they should've.  It was by time (and there were flags to mark the time areas!) and the walkers should've been last.  The majority of the walkers just got in line, paying no attention to the flag markers. 

I think some of them got annoyed with being passed (sorry if I bumped you, but you should have followed directions!), especially because those of us who were running had to weave in and out of people, off to the side and then back on, sometimes coming very close to the walkers.  It seemed that those of us who lined up according to our average time, as directed, had to fight to get by the walkers at some points. 

I know it wasn't a timed race, but some of us time ourselves and like to push and strive for better things.  Maybe I should've done the 10K instead of the 5K. I think that it would've been more runner-friendly.  Other 5Ks I've done have a lot more space so it hasn't been an issue. 

The plus side is that is was a ton of fun and was better organized than the race on Saturday. Of course, it's a bigger race and those are generally more professionally directed than other, smaller races.  Oh! And I didn't walk at all. I did slow my pace a couple times, but refused to walk. I'm happy with the fact that I ran the whole thing (also why I suspect I was a little faster than on Saturday).  I saw a few people run, then walk, then hurry up and run real fast, and then walk.  Basically they probably averaged out because I kept passing them when they walked and then if I slowed down they passed me, and so on. Of course the one guy who seemed to have a problem with me passing him had really long legs, so his stride was bigger than mine.

What was really important though is that both days I was happy with what I did. I didn't place, but didn't expect to. I'm not a fast runner and I've accepted that. As long as I keep doing my best, challenging myself, and reaching new goals, I'm happy. I kept up with who I thought appeared to be "real" runners yesterday and that made me feel good. They looked like they would be much faster than I and like they were more athletic.  I'm starting to think that maybe I'm more athletic and better than I give myself credit for.  It's time to change that thinking... I'm celebrating all of my athletic achievements, no matter how small!!!

Both days were a lot of fun and I'm happy with my performance. I have new goals set and am ready for the next one!! Hopefully I will set a new PR on the next one!

I suppose I should wrap this up... Off to get adjusted and get ready to watch some football!! It'll be a late Monday night, but hopefully my Bears make it worth it!

Have a great week!!


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